Front Range Community College Blog

What Do Pharmacy Technicians Do?

Pharmacy technicians prepare the prescription medications that are dispensed to patients after pharmacist review. The job involves measuring, mixing, counting out, labeling, and recording amounts and dosages according to prescription orders.

The medications could be the pills pharmaceutical companies supply to pharmacies, or they could be medications that the pharmacy technician prepares – that’s called compounding.

Some compounding can be done in non-sterile environments, for example, preparing mouthwashes or topical creams. Some compounding is done is sterile environments because the medicine may be injected into a vein – an IV.

What Will I Learn with a Pharmacy Technician Certificate?

You will learn the technical tasks associated with preparing medications in community and hospital pharmacies, as well as other settings. These tasks include pharmacy calculations, computer skills for pharmacy technicians, and pharmacology. You will take part in clinical rotations in community and institutional settings. You also will learn about pharmacy law, ethics, and professionalism.

Enrolling full time, you can complete the Pharmacy Technician Certification program in two semesters. We also cater to working students with part-time options and evening classes.

FRCC’s Program is Nationally Accredited.

The program is accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists. This is a sign of quality. Graduates are prepared to sit for the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, the “gold standard” of national certification.

According to the most recent federal Gainful Employment disclosure report, the job placement rate for students who complete FRCC’s program is 100 percent, another sign of quality. Faculty will tell you that about 80 percent of students are hired right from their clinical rotations.

What’s it Like Working as a Pharmacy Technician?

Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies, including those found in grocery and drug stores. They work in hospitals, and they may work for companies that prepare medicines for a variety of short- and long-term care facilities.

This is a great career for anyone who likes helping people and wants to be a part of a patient’s health-care team. You need basic algebra skills and a commitment to presenting yourself in a professional manner.

You need stamina, not only because the program itself requires daily attendance but also because the job usually requires a lot of standing, walking, and fine-motor skills, and some light lifting, bending, gripping, and squatting or kneeling.

One Pathway to Become a Registered Pharmacist.

With further study, particularly in the sciences, it is possible for a graduate of FRCC’s Pharmacy Technician program to earn admission into a school of pharmacy. Some of our graduates have done so. Here’s an example.

What’s the Salary and Job Outlook?

Here’s what you will see on the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment website for pharmacy technicians:

Job Title Entry Wage
Average
Experienced
Openings/year
Pharmacy Technician $25,601 $32,877 $36,515 167

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tina Burke is the Pharmacy Technician Program Director at Front Range Community College–Westminster Campus. While getting her undergraduate in psychology, she worked as a Certified Pharmacy Technician to put herself through school. Tina then went on to earn a Ph.D. in integrative physiology and neuroscience from the University of Colorado-Boulder.