Pharmacy technicians assist licensed pharmacists in pharmacies, grocery and drug stores, and hospitals. They help to dispense prescription medication to both customers and those in the medical profession.
Typical duties of a Pharmacy Technician include answering customer phone calls, filling prescriptions from customers or those in the medical profession, measuring medication, packaging it, and labeling prescription containers. Pharmacy Technicians may also be required to keep track of inventory and notify the licensed pharmacist when medications or supplies are running low. While Pharmacy Technicians are allowed to accept payment for prescriptions and process insurance claims, they must refer customers who have questions about medications or health related matters to the licensed pharmacist. In addition, licensed pharmacists must review medication prescriptions prepared by Pharmacy Technicians before they are dispensed to customers.
As of May 2012, the median annual wage for a Pharmacy Technician was $29,320 or $14.10 per hour. The median annual wage means that half of the people in the profession make more than this amount and half of the people in the profession make less than this amount. The lowest 10 percent of people in the profession earn less than $20,580. The top 10 percent of people in the profession earn more than $42,400. There are 5 major areas in which Pharmacy Technicians work, and their median annual wages are as follows: Ambulatory Health Care Services, $35,470; State, Local, and Private Hospital Employees, $33,550; Grocery Stores, $28,760; Pharmacies and Drug Stores, $28,030; and General Merchandise Stores, $27,450. Since many pharmacies are open at all types of hours to accommodate the needs of the customers, Pharmacy Technicians typically work full-time, including nights and weekends.
For those looking to become a Pharmacy Technician in New Hampshire, there are several options. Although typically a high school diploma or its equivalent is required in order to become a pharmacy technician, on-the-job training is also an option. An apprentice who is training to become a Pharmacy Technician may begin the process before the completion of a high school diploma or equivalency program. The length of the program and the requirements will depend on the specific employer.
Another option to get into the Pharmacy Technician field is to complete a post-secondary program at a vocational school or community college. Some pharmacy technology programs can be completed in a year or less. However, for people wanting to earn an Associate’s Degree, the program could be longer.
In the state of New Hampshire, certification to practice Pharmacy Technology is not required. However, those wanting to work as Pharmacy Technicians must register with the State of New Hampshire Board of Pharmacy. In order to register, candidates must be at least 18 years of age or have a high school or equivalent diploma. Individuals can be working towards earning a high school diploma or its equivalent as well. Candidates must also be of good moral character. In addition, a Pharmacy Technician candidate seeking to register with the State of New Hampshire Board of Pharmacy must not have been convicted of a drug-related felony or have admitted to any such activity. Finally, the candidate must have training or experience as determined by the pharmacist-in-charge.