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Career and Education Opportunities for Pharmacist Technicians in Laredo, Texas

If you want to be a pharmacist technician, the Laredo, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 24,420 working pharmacist technicians in Texas; this should grow by 44% to about 35,050 working pharmacist technicians in the state by 2016. This is better than 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 $13 per hour or $28,350 yearly on average in Texas. Nationally, their income is about $13 hourly or $27,710 yearly. Earnings for pharmacist technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Pharmacy in Texas and not quite as good as general Pharmacy category earnings nationally. People working as pharmacist technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: drug coordinator, pharmacy technician, and pharmacy technologist.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Laredo where you can study to be a pharmacist technician, among five schools of higher education total in the Laredo area. Given that the most common education level for pharmacist technicians is a post-secondary certificate, you can expect to spend a short time studying 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 They also receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Pharmacist Technician Training

Southern Careers Institute Inc-Laredo - Laredo, TX

Southern Careers Institute Inc-Laredo, 4805 Maher, Laredo, TX 78041. Southern Careers Institute Inc-Laredo is a small school located in Laredo, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 8 students. Southern Careers Institute Inc-Laredo has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated twenty-three students 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: Laredo, Texas

Laredo, Texas
Laredo, Texas photo by Billy_Hathorn

Laredo is situated in Webb County, Texas. It has a population of over 221,659, which has grown by 25.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Laredo, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Laredo cost $137,000 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred sixty-eight new homes were constructed in Laredo, down from 1,257 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Laredo are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, other transportation, and support activities, and couriers, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 14.7% of Laredo residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Laredo is 8.1%, which is the same as Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Laredo residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. El Buen Pastor Assembly of God Church, El Mesias United Methodist Church and Heights Baptist Church are among the churches located in Laredo. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Laredo is home to the Webb County Courthouse and the Dolores Ranch as well as Shirley Field and Laredo Entertainment Center. Visitors to Laredo can choose from Blue Caribbean Ventures, Motel 9 and Bender Hotel for temporary stays in the area.