With increasing demand for medicine comes a growing demand for pharmacy personnel, including both registered and certified pharmacy technicians.
A pharmacy technician assists in the technical aspects of a pharmacy practice. This means helping the head pharmacist put together prescriptions and other health-care items for sale to the public. Specific responsibilities depend on where the pharmacy technician works and the assignments given by the head pharmacist.
While not necessary for all positions, pharmacy technicians can get certified in their field. Being a certified pharmacy technician means that an individual has passed a test given by an accredited certification board, such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the Institute for Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT).
Advantages of Certification
Being a certified pharmacy technician comes with a number of benefits. The first, and most obvious, benefit is that certified pharmacy technicians earn a higher wage---as much as $1 to $3 per hour more than a registered technician. Many states require that all pharmacy technicians be certified, so achieving certification can broaden a person's job prospects.
According to the statistics in the year 2004 as gathered by the Department of Labor, pharmacy technicians made an average of $11.37. Since then, wages have gone up. Again, certified pharmacy technicians can expect to make more than those who are not certified.
In the United States, the outlook for pharmacy technicians is quite good. Due to an expanding and aging population, coupled with the current lack of pharmacy technicians, job growth in this area is supposed to continue until the year 2012, or so the Department of Labor has predicted.
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