How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Tennessee

Choosing to become a pharmacy technician in Tennessee is the right career move for individuals who are willing to learn new information and enjoy working in a team environment. Pharmacy technicians work closely with a pharmacist to fill prescriptions as well as interact with customers. With the right attitude and motivation, getting a job in this growing career field is attainable.

Education Requirements
In Tennessee, the minimum education requirements include a high school diploma and a license as a pharmacy technician. In high school, candidates should score well in English, math, and science classes since they will use skills associated with these subjects when they work in a pharmacy. While formal training isn’t required in this state, it is offered through applied technology schools. These schools offer programs of study where students earn a certificate of completion as well as receive on-the-job training to prepare them for their career. It is possible, though, to by-pass this type of school and instead get training while working in a pharmacy. After completion of a combination of training and education, candidates are required to take steps to get licensed.

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Registration and Certification
In Tennessee, before working as a pharmacy technician, one must register with the Tennessee Department of Heath. The steps in registration include paying a fee and submitting statements related to having a good moral character and a crime-free background. In terms of certification, while it is possible to obtain certification in this state, it is not a requirement. However, there are schools that offer certification programs to prepare students before they work in a pharmacy. To earn the certification, a student must pass the classes in the program of study and successfully complete a hands-on training program.

Job Duties
Typical job duties for a pharmacy technician include working side-by-side with a pharmacist to fill prescriptions and assisting customers or patients. Depending on the work environment, the duties vary. In a retail setting, duties include working the cash register, entering prescription information in the computer, communicating with insurance companies, and keeping inventory of supplies. In a hospital or nursing home setting, the duties include preparing medications, reading patients’ charts, and assisting nurses. A technician’s duties differ from a pharmacist’s duties in what they legally can do. Legally, technicians can’t counsel patients or complete final checks.

Pharmacy Technician Salary in Tennessee
In Tennessee, the average salary for a pharmacy technician is $26,000 a year. The minimum salary falls just below $23,000 a year. However, it is possible to make between $27,000 and $32,000 a year depending on the location and workplace.

Continuing Education
Although Tennessee does not require continuing education for pharmacy technicians, it is highly recommended. After all, information regarding medications is constantly changing. Technicians should be informed and educated about these changes in order to better serve customers and work with pharmacists.

The keys to becoming a successful pharmacy technician in Tennessee include getting registered and licensed. An added bonus is to become certified by attending a school that offers a program for potential pharmacy technicians. Finally, a candidate with a positive attitude, willingness to help others, and desire to learn more about medications will thrive in this career.