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Career and Education Opportunities for Pharmacist Technicians in Seattle, Washington

If you want to be a pharmacist technician, the Seattle, Washington area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 5,370 people are currently employed as pharmacist technicians in Washington. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 11% to about 5,950 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for pharmacist technicians are expected to grow by about 30.6%. In general, pharmacist technicians prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist.

Pharmacist technicians earn approximately $17 per hour or $36,010 annually on average in Washington. Nationally they average about $13 hourly or $27,710 yearly. Pharmacist technicians earn less than people working in the category of Pharmacy generally in Washington and less than people in the Pharmacy category nationally. People working as pharmacist technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: pharmacy laboratory technician, certified pharmacy technician , and pharmacy technician.

There are eleven schools within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can study to be a pharmacist technician, among sixty-five schools of higher education total in the Seattle area. Given that the most common education level 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 They also receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.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 Seattle include:

  • Cardiac Technician. Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
  • 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.
  • Licensed Dispensing Optician. Design, measure, and adapt lenses and frames for client according to written optical prescription or specification. Assist client with selecting frames. Measure customer for size of eyeglasses and coordinate frames with facial and eye measurements and optical prescription. Prepare work order for optical laboratory containing instructions for grinding and mounting lenses in frames. Verify exactness of finished lens spectacles. Adjust frame and lens position to fit client. May shape or reshape frames.
  • Pharmacist. Compound and dispense medications following prescriptions issued by physicians, dentists, or other authorized medical practitioners.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Pharmacist Technician Training

Everest College-Renton - Renton, WA

Everest College-Renton, 981 Powell Avenue, Sw, Suite 200, Renton, WA 98057. Everest College-Renton is a small college located in Renton, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 141 students and an admission rate of 50%. Everest College-Renton has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated thirty-three students in 2008.

Everest College-Everett - Everett, WA

Everest College-Everett, 906 SE Everett Mall Parkway, 6th Floor, Everett, WA 98208. Everest College-Everett is a small college located in Everett, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 117 students and an admission rate of 99%. Everest College-Everett has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

Clover Park Technical College - Lakewood, WA

Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499-4004. Clover Park Technical College is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,781 students. Clover Park Technical College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated seven and twenty-six students respectively in 2008.

Seattle Community College-North Campus - Seattle, WA

Seattle Community College-North Campus, 9600 College Way North, Seattle, WA 98103-3599. Seattle Community College-North Campus is a medium sized college located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,159 students. Seattle Community College-North Campus has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated sixteen and one students respectively in 2008.

Tacoma Community College - Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Community College, 6501 S 19th St, Tacoma, WA 98466-6100. Tacoma Community College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,942 students. Tacoma Community College has an associate's degree program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated one student in 2008.

Pima Medical Institute - Renton, WA

Pima Medical Institute, 555 South Renton Village Pl-Ste 110, Renton, WA 98055. Pima Medical Institute is a small school located in Renton, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 272 students. Pima Medical Institute has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

Everest College-Bremerton - Bremerton, WA

Everest College-Bremerton, 155 Washington Ave. Ste. 200, Bremerton, WA 98337. Everest College-Bremerton is a small college located in Bremerton, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 91 students and an admission rate of 100%. Everest College-Bremerton has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

Pima Medical Institute - Seattle, WA

Pima Medical Institute, 9709 Third Ave NE Suite 400, Seattle, WA 98115. Pima Medical Institute is a small school located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 432 students. Pima Medical Institute has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Everest College-Tacoma - Tacoma, WA

Everest College-Tacoma, 2156 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402-3004. Everest College-Tacoma is a small college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 127 students and an admission rate of 96%. Everest College-Tacoma has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated forty-nine students in 2008.

Renton Technical College - Renton, WA

Renton Technical College, 3000 NE Fourth St, Renton, WA 98056-4195. Renton Technical College is a small college located in Renton, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,708 students. Renton Technical College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated eighteen and one students respectively in 2008.

Edmonds Community College - Lynnwood, WA

Edmonds Community College, 20000 68th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA 98036-5912. Edmonds Community College is a medium sized college located in Lynnwood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,823 students. Edmonds Community College has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated fourteen 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: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.