Pharmacy Technician FAQs

What is a pharmacy technician?
A pharmacy technician assists licensed pharmacists with the preparation and disbursement of medications and other health care items to patients.

What does a pharmacy technician do?
Pharmacy technicians have numerous responsibilities both behind the counter and on the floor of retail and hospital pharmacies. Duties may include preparing prescription labels, pricing and filling prescriptions, establishing and maintaining patient profiles, preparing insurance claim forms, and stocking and taking inventory of prescription and over-the-counter medications. In hospitals, additional duties may include reading patient charts, preparing and delivering medicine to patients, copying information about prescribed medications onto a patient's profile, assembling 24-hour supplies of medicine for every patient, and packaging and labeling each dose separately. Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist.

Where do pharmacy technicians work?
Pharmacy technicians generally work in clean, organized, well-lighted and well-ventilated areas in retail and mail-order pharmacies or hospitals. Most workdays are spent standing and may require lifting heavy boxes or the use of stepladders to retrieve supplies from high shelves. Technicians work the same hours as pharmacists, which may include evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays. As seniority increases, technicians often have increased control over the hours they work. There are also many opportunities for part-time work in both retail and hospital settings.

What is the starting salary for an entry-level pharmacy technician?
Certified pharmacy technicians can earn between $12 and $15 per hour. Most pharmacies also offer excellent benefits.

Is certification necessary?
All pharmacy technicians are now required to be certified in Illinois. This class prepares students for both certification exams: ExCPT and PTCB.

What is the current job outlook for this profession?
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the current number of pharmacy technician jobs at approximately 275,000. By 2012, this number is expected to increase by as much as 35 percent due to the continued creation of new medications by pharmaceutical industries to treat all types of illness and disease. In addition, mail-order pharmacy technician jobs are expected to increase as more people use this service offered through insurance companies as a less-expensive alternative for purchasing their medications.

How does the COD partnership with MRxI Corporation work?
COD Continuing Education has partnered with MRxI Corporation to offer the Professional Pharmacy Technician program. Students register for this COD class through Continuing Education at (630) 942-2208 and attend classes offered at convenient college locations throughout the district. MRxI Corporation's experienced and qualified instructors present a comprehensive curriculum, provide student support and issue certificates of completion. Together, COD and MRxI Corporation join to offer a solid core program with the most up-to-date information on industry standards.

What are the requirements or prerequisites for this course?
Students who are 18 years old, have graduated from high school or earned a GED, and have no prior drug convictions are eligible to take this course. High school level math skills and reading comprehension are also required.

Who can I contact for more information?
For more information, call Continuing Education coordinator Gail McPike at (630) 942-2524, McPike@cod.edu; or contact Bree Abbas at MRxI Corporation, (630) 929-8604, bree@mrxicorp.com.

 

Contact Information


Continuing Education
Student Resource Center (SRC), Room 1110, (630) 942-2208
Fax: (630) 942-3785