Pharmacy Technician General Career Information – Pharmacist Technician Requirements

Pharmacy Technician

A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN is an individual who, under the direct supervision and control of a pharmacist, performs packaging, manipulative, repetitive, or other non-discretionary tasks relatedto the processing of a prescription in a licensed pharmacy, butexcludes all functions restricted to a registered pharmacist.

The exact definition of a pharmacy technician varies based on the state of residence, however, the basic definition is a person who works underthe direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist and performs many pharmacy-related functions.


The requirements to work as a pharmacy technician differ from state to state. Currently just over half of the states require pharmacy technicians to be registered or licensed. A minority – but a growing number – of states now require certification or recognize it in other ways in their regulations. Some states set minimum age, education and training requirements, and some check for a criminal record. For detailed requirements for a specific state, contact the relevant state board of pharmacy.


At least an associate of arts degreein a field of study directly related to the duties performed by a pharmacy technician. Directly related fields of study include; but are not limited to, health sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences, or natural sciences.


  1. Completion of a training coursea ccredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists(ASHP)
  2. training provided by a branch of the federal armed forces
  3. or any other course that provides a minimum of 240 hours of theoretical and practical instruction, provided that at least 120 of these hours are in theoretical instruction.


A minimum of 1,500 hours experienceworking in a community or outpatient pharmacy performing the dutiesof a clerk-typist.


Specific responsibilities will depend on the pharmacy setting and scope of practice. Below is a list of duties that a pharmacy technician might find in many practice settings:

  • Assist pharmacist in labeling and filling prescriptions
  • Assist patients in dropping off and picking up prescriptions
  • Entering prescriptions into the computer
  • Receive written prescriptions or requests for prescription refills from patients
  • Verify that customer receives correct prescription(s)
  • Compound oral solutions, ointments, and creams
  • Scheduling and Maintaining Workflow
  • Prepackage bulk medications
  • Screen calls for pharmacists
  • Medication ordering
  • Work with insurance carriers to obtain payments and refilling authority
  • Prepare medication inventories
  • Prepare Chemotherapeutic agents
  • Compound total parenteral nutrition solutions
  • Compound large-volumes of intravenous mixtures
  • Assist in outpatient dispensing
  • Assist inpatient dispensing
  • Prepare intravenous (IV) mixtures
  • Purchasing and billing
  • Retrieve, count, pour, weigh, measure, and sometimes mix the medication
  • Establish and maintain patient profiles
  • Read patients’ charts and preparing the appropriate medication


The pay of pharmacy technician depends on many factors, including PTCB certification, previous experience, employment setting, area of thecountry, and years practicing as a pharmacy technician. The average pay range anywhere from $6.50 to $14.00 an hour usually based upon certification and length of employment. Median hourly earnings of wage and salary pharmacy technicians in May 2006 were $12.32.

  • General medical and surgical hospitals……….$13.86
  • Grocery stores……….12.78
  • Pharmacies and drug stores……….11.50

California leads in average pharmacy technician pay in May 2007 with 17.04 per hour.

Average Pharmacy Technician Salary by state

Average median salary of pharmacy technician Pharmacy Tech Salary

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