The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 9,280 pharmacy technicians in the state of Indiana, and that these technicians earn on average around $27,532 annually. There are also certain licensing and educational requirements that must be met before becoming a pharmacy technician, a few of which are discussed below.
Pharmacy Technician in Training
Before beginning any formal education program, individuals must first apply for a “pharmacy technician in training” license. The requirements for obtaining this license are:
• Being at least 18 years of age
• Having a high school diploma or GED
• Submit to a criminal background check
After successfully obtaining a pharmacy in training license, you will then be authorized to complete an educational program or undergo approved on-the-job training. This training must take place under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist. No actual work may be performed until after the official “blue card” has been received by the state; otherwise, this could be deemed practicing without a license, which is a Class D felony.
A technician in training permit is good for a period of one year, and is not renewable. Before the end of the one-year period, you must submit proof that you have completed the required training or education in order to obtain a pharmacy technician license. You must submit your affidavit of training along with another application. A $25 application fee is required as well.
Pharmacy Technician Licenses
Indiana does not recognize pharmacy technician licenses from other states. Consequently, if you are licensed in another state, you must either complete the pharmacy in training program, or take one of two state-approved examinations. One is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam, while the other is the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (exCPT), which is administered by the National Healthcareer Association.
Pharmacy technician licenses expire on June 30 of even-numbered years. Those who are scheduled for renewal will be sent a notice in the mail 60 days before the expiration date reminding them of the need to renew. Technicians may also renew their license online. No continuing education courses are required for renewal; however, applicants may have to answer questions about their criminal history again.
Role in the Pharmacy
Pharmacy technicians and technicians in training must be identified while in a pharmacy by wearing a nametape that provides this information. Technicians in training must also identify themselves as such on the phone and in electronic or verbal communications. Both are prohibited from performing certain tasks, and a few of the things they may not do are:
• Provide medical advice to patients
• Consult with prescribing physicians
• Dispense prescription drug information to the patient
• Perform a final check on the completed prescription for accuracy
• Receive new prescriptions over the phone, unless such information is recorded for review by a pharmacist. This does not apply to prescription refills.
Pharmacy technicians and technicians in training are also prohibited from performing any task that is required by law to be performed by a pharmacist, or anything that requires the clinical judgment of a pharmacist.
Pharmacy Technicians Salary
The exact salary you might earn as a technician in training is lower than the amount you could expect to make once fully certified. Many technicians in training start out just above minimum wage, and receive a pay raise once they become fully licensed pharmacy technicians. The amount a pharmacy technician can make will largely depend on geographic location. According to Salary.com, those near Gary, Indiana could expect to make around $31,003 annually, while those in Vincennes may earn around $28,687.
Demand for pharmacy technicians is expected to increase by more than 20 percent by the year 2022. Now is an excellent time to begin a training program in order to take advantage of new job opportunities as they become available.