How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Colorado

What Does it Involve to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Colorado?

Planning a career as a pharmacy technician is a fine ambition. With it comes a great deal of knowledge, dedication and willingness to help others. A pharmacy technician cannot afford to make mistakes with organizing medications, as the safety and well being of others is at stake. Regulations and state laws will differ, and Colorado has its own unique requirements for pharmacy technicians.

To become a pharmacy technician in Colorado, it is best to prepare while still in high school. Studying hard and taking the right courses will definitely help when preparing for this type of career. Mathematics courses will help, although excelling in biology is a definite plus. Chemistry courses will also be of value to a person pursuing a career as a pharmacy technician. One will need a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED. One aspect some are inclined to overlook, is that pharmacy technicians in any state will also need to possess excellent typing skills. Good reading skills are also a must, as well as communication skills.

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Pharmacy Technician Training in Colorado
To become a pharmacy technician in Colorado, you will need formal training. This may happen on the job, under the guidance of a licensed pharmacist. Attending a community college where you can receive science programs are necessary if you are to become certified. While certification is not mandatory, you must receive continuing education if you choose to become certified. Becoming certified may help you advance your career and obtain a better position. Also, if you are working as a team with more than three pharmacy technicians, one will need to be certified as per state regulations.

Pharmacy Technician Certification in Colorado
Assuming you choose to become certified, what is involved in this process? You will need to pass an examination known as the ICPT. Alternatively, you may pass an exam known as the PCBT. You will not be required to obtain a license, however. To prepare for certification, training for several weeks will be necessary.

Pharmacy Technician Job Duties
What are the duties of a Colorado pharmacy technician? For one thing, you must possess good telephone speaking skills. You’ll most likely be taking prescription orders over the phone. After obtaining the information from the caller, you’ll need to file this into a computer program.

For this reason, you’ll need more than basic computer skills. As a pharmacy technician, you will also be dispensing medications. One mistake could result in dire consequences here, so you will need to be very vigilant and careful.

Various other tasks are also required. You’ll probably need to work the cash register as well, and some training may be needed. You may also be required to contact nurse practitioners and physicians regarding prescriptions. You may need to stock the medications or organize supplies within your department. Some moderate lifting may also be required of you. Also, be prepared to work irregular hours and shifts, especially at a pharmacy that is open round the clock.

What tasks is a pharmacy technician legally allowed to perform?
While all of the above mentioned tasks are allowed to be legally performed in the state of Colorado, be advised of tasks that are not. For one thing, you are not permitted to advise customers regarding health matters or medications. You are legally allowed to receive information from patients regarding their medical history and medications taken. As a Colorado pharmacy technician, you may also legally phone physicians to obtain refills. Technicians may package medications as well. Technicians are also legally allowed to unpack medications and take inventory of stock.

Work Environment
You may be wondering about the environment in which you will work. The environment will typically be in a retail store with an on site pharmacy. Privately owned pharmacies are another option. You may be required to wear a white pharmacy jacket, although some environments have a more relaxed dress code.

Pharmacy Technician Salary in Colorado
The annual salary of a Colorado pharmacy technician is $25,000 at entry level. The average salary is approximately $32,000. Experienced technicians may potentially earn over $36,000.