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Career and Education Opportunities for Pharmacist Technicians in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for pharmacist technicians in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. There are currently 15,200 jobs for pharmacist technicians in Pennsylvania and this is projected to grow 26% to about 19,100 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for pharmacist technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 30.6% over the next eight years. In general, pharmacist technicians prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist.

Income for pharmacist technicians is about $12 hourly or $25,230 yearly on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally, their income is about $13 hourly or $27,710 per year. Earnings for pharmacist technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Pharmacy in Pennsylvania and not quite as good as general Pharmacy category earnings nationally. People working as pharmacist technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: pharmacy technologist, pharmacy laboratory technician, and certified pharmacy technician .

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including five within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree to start your career as a pharmacist technician. The most common level of education for pharmacist technicians is a post-secondary certificate. It will take a short time to learn to be a pharmacist technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Pharmacist Technician

Pharmacist Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, pharmacist technicians prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. They also may measure, mix, and record amounts and dosages of medications.

Pharmacist technicians answer telephones, responding to questions or requests. They also receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages. Equally important, pharmacist technicians have to maintain proper storage and security conditions for drugs. They are often called upon to assist customers by answering simple questions, locating items or referring them to the pharmacist for medication data. They are expected to prepack bulk medicines, fill bottles with prescribed medications, and type and affix labels. Finally, pharmacist technicians order and count stock of medications and supplies, and enter inventory data into computer.

Every day, pharmacist technicians are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for pharmacist technicians to price and file prescriptions that have been filled. They are often called upon to receive written prescription or refill requests and verify that data is complete and accurate. They also operate cash registers to take payment from customers. They are sometimes expected to clean, and help maintain, apparatus and work areas, and sterilize glassware in line with prescribed methods. Somewhat less frequently, pharmacist technicians are also expected to assist customers by answering simple questions, locating items or referring them to the pharmacist for medication data.

Pharmacist technicians sometimes are asked to deliver medications and pharmaceutical supplies to patients, nursing stations or surgery. They also have to be able to price stock and mark items for sale and restock intravenous (IV) supplies and add measured drugs or nutrients to IV solutions under sterile conditions to ready IV packs for various uses such as chemotherapy medication. And finally, they sometimes have to receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.

Like many other jobs, pharmacist technicians must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Pittsburgh include:

  • Health Information Systems Technician. Compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. Process, maintain, and report patient information for health requirements and standards.
  • Pharmacist. Compound and dispense medications following prescriptions issued by physicians, dentists, or other authorized medical practitioners.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Pharmacist Technician Training

Sanford-Brown Institute Monroeville Campus - Pittsburgh, PA

Sanford-Brown Institute Monroeville Campus, 777 Penn Center Boulevard, Building 7, Pittsburgh, PA 15235. Sanford-Brown Institute Monroeville Campus is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 534 students and an admission rate of 75%. Sanford-Brown Institute Monroeville Campus has an associate's degree program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Everest Institute-Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA

Everest Institute-Pittsburgh, 100 Forbes Ave, Suite 1200, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1320. Everest Institute-Pittsburgh is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 368 students and an admission rate of 70%. Everest Institute-Pittsburgh has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated twenty-nine students in 2008.

Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA

Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has a one to two year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated ten students in 2008.

Bidwell Training Center Inc - Pittsburgh, PA

Bidwell Training Center Inc, 1815 Metropolitan St, Pittsburgh, PA 15233. Bidwell Training Center Inc is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 150 students and an admission rate of 79%. Bidwell Training Center Inc has a one to two year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

Community College of Allegheny County - Pittsburgh, PA

Community College of Allegheny County, 800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895. Community College of Allegheny County is a large college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,366 students. Community College of Allegheny County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated one and ten students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Pharmacy Technician: The goal of PTCB's certification program is to enable pharmacy technicians to work more effectively with pharmacists to offer greater patient care and service.

For more information, see the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.