pharmacy technician looking at an ipad inside a pharmacy

Pharmacy Technician FAQs

Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals. They have numerous responsibilities both behind the counter and on the floor of retail and hospital pharmacies. The list of frequently asked questions outlined below can help you determine if the pharmacy technician field is right for you.

Pharmacy technician 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.

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.

The 2023 national median wage is $39,845 or $19.16 per hour. Most pharmacies also offer excellent benefits.

State licensure is required to work as a pharmacy technician-in-training in the state of Illinois, then one must obtain national certification as a pharmacy technician within a two-year period to renew their license. Criminal disclosure is required for state licensure and certification. This class prepares students for both certification exams: ExCPT and PTCB.

According to Career Coach, there are an average of 1,496 regional openings for Pharmacy Technicians annually. The National Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 6% job growth – twice the average rate. 

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.

Essential Functions are generally required for all College of DuPage Health Career Programs. If the ability to perform these essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations result in the inability to meet identified student learning outcomes, the student may be at risk of not successfully completing the course and/or program.

Contact Information

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

Front Desk Hours
  • Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Office hours may vary due to holidays and staff coverage.