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Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians assist licensed pharmacists by performing duties that do not require the professional skills and judgments of a board certified pharmacist. These duties include preparing prescriptions, ordering supplies maintaining patient records and billing, and maintaining inventory. Pharmacy technicians may also be called upon to mix pharmaceutical preparations under the direction and supervision of the pharmacist. They are also responsible for assisting in the care and cleaning of pharmacy equipment. This may include sterilizing bottles, beakers, and other glassware according to prescribed methods. Another important role of a pharmacy technician is to receive and screen prescription drug orders for completeness and accuracy. This increases the need for a pharmacy technician to be able to prepare and distribute medications in a variety of health system settings. They need to have a broad knowledge of pharmacy practice and be able to use pharmaceutical and medical terms, abbreviations, and symbols appropriately. Pharmacy technicians are even sometimes called on to deliver prepared medications and run errands for the supervising pharmacist.

Work Environment:

Pharmacy technicians typically work in community and chain pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, home health care pharmacies, and other health maintenance organizations.

High School Preparation:

Individuals interested in a career as a pharmacy technician should be exposed to subjects in algebra, biology, chemistry, computer skills, health occupations/medical professions education, history, English, and geometry.

College Requirements:

Students entering a pharmacy technician program should have a high school diploma or the equivalent. These programs are often two years in length and offer an Associate's Degree. There is also training available to become state or nationally certified. Students interested in pharmacy technology should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

Employment opportunities for pharmacy technicians look extremely good especially for technicians with formal training or previous experience. Demand for pharmacy technicians is expected to grow by more then 36% through the year 2010. This growth is due to increased pharmaceutical needs of a larger and older population and the greater use of medication by the population as a whole. There are also an increased number of middle aged and elderly people who tend to use more prescription drugs than do younger people. Another reason for greater employment opportunities for pharmacy technicians is the expansion of retail pharmacies and other employment settings.




Average Annual Salary

Salary Range


Professional Organizations:

American Association of
Pharmacy Technicians
P.O. Box 1447
Greensboro, NC 27402
Phone: (877) 368-4771
Phone: (336) 275-1700
Fax: (336) 275-7222

American Pharmaceutical Association
2215 Constitution Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: (800) 237-2742
Phone: (202) 628-4410

Mississippi Pharmacists Association
341 Edgewood Terrace Dr
Jackson, MS 39206
Phone: (601) 981-0416

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