Pharmacy technician works on a computer

Pros and Cons of Being a Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists. They have a variety of job duties, such as recording information about a prescription, answering phone calls, labeling and packaging prescriptions, and measuring medication. If you are considering becoming a pharmacy technician, then it is important to consider the pros and cons.

The Upside:

  • Short Training
    Unlike many other careers in the medical field, the training and education needed to become a pharmacy tech are brief. Many pharmacy technicians learn their skills by completing an on-the-job training. Pharmacy technician programs are available at technical schools and community colleges and the vast majority of programs can be completed in less than one year. Therefore, if you are looking for a job that does not require lengthy training, then becoming a pharmacy technician may be the right choice for you.
  • Good Salary
    Pharmacy technicians make a decent income for the amount of training required. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, pharmacy technicians make an average of $29,000 per year. It is important to note that annual salary is determined by a number of factors, such as experience and the place of employment.
  • Job Stability
    The demand for skilled pharmacy technicians is at an all-time high. With an aging population, many people need prescription medications to treat chronic illnesses. Additionally, pharmacy technicians are taking on more roles so that pharmacists can spend time doing other things.

The Downside:

  • Customers
    Pharmacy techs spend a lot of time interacting with customers and sometimes those customers become irate. Difficult customers can make the job of a pharmacy technician very difficult. If you want to become a pharmacy technician, then you should have excellent customer service skills.
  • Long Hours
    Many pharmacies are expanding their hours in order to better serve customers. Some pharmacies are even open 24 hours a day. This shift now requires pharmacy technicians to work long hours, even nights and weekends. Long working hours can make it very stressful to be a pharmacy technician.
  • Continuous Education Requirements
    The pharmacy world is always changing. New medications are hitting the market every day and continuing education is necessary to stay current. In addition, your pharmacy technician certification will have to be renewed every two years.
Last Updated: April 15, 2015