According to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, a pharmacy technician is somebody who provides technical services that doesn’t require professional judgement regarding distributing and preparing drugs and is responsible and works under the direct supervision of a pharmacist.
The main duties of pharmacy technicians include:
• Helping customers when picking up or placing their orders
• Filling and preparing prescriptions
• Routine tasks such as inputting customer information, taking prescription requests from doctors, and labeling bottles
Although most pharmacy technicians work in stores such as Walgreens, there are also many job opportunities available in nursing homes, hospitals, research labs, assisted-living facilities, and federal agencies like the Food and Drug Administration. Overall, to succeed in this role pharmacy technicians must be good with math, highly detail oriented, and be able to exercise sound judgement.
Training and Education Requirements
The Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) currently has no formal education requirements, aside from possessing a high school diploma or GED. The majority of pharmacy technicians are trained on-the-job by senior pharmacists or other pharmacy technicians.
If somebody chooses to pursue training through a vocational school or local community college, they need to be enrolled in a program that is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Many training programs include a clinical component during which students work in a pharmacy setting under the supervision of a senior pharmacist. To be eligible for a clinical placement, a student must be registered with the TSBP as a pharmacy technician trainee.
A certificate or degree is not necessary to become a pharmacy technician in Texas, but it can help somebody obtain increased pay, along with a supervisory position.
Becoming a Pharmacy Technician
Overall, some of the main requirements for becoming a pharmacy technician are:
• Possessing GED or high school diploma
• Passing certification exam that is administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board
• Completing an application with the date of high school graduation and SSN number
• No felony convictions
• No denial or revocation on the licensure or registration by any state board
• Becoming registered with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy after passing the PTCB exam
• No substance-abuse convictions. Any violations must be reported to the state board
Pharmacy technicians can also decide to specialize in one area such as nuclear medicine. Technicians with strong performance records in large companies can be promoted into various supervisory roles, although they will still be supervised by senior pharmacists. Another career trajectory that is available is for pharmacy technicians to continue their education to become full-fledged pharmacists.
Pharmacy Technician Salary in Texas
According to salary.com, the median annual salaries for pharmacy technicians in major metropolitan cities in Texas range from $30,000 to about $33,000.
As people continue to age, there will be greater numbers of individuals that are using prescription medication to treat disease and illness. Along with this trend, insurance providers are expecting pharmacists to expand their role into education and patient care. In result, pharmacists are turning to pharmacy technicians to meet the demand for medications while maintaing levels of accuracy and safety. It’s expected that there will be a high demand for pharmacy technicians. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the field is expected to grow by 31 percent, a must faster rate than other occupations.