The Role of a Pharmacy Technician

A pharmacy technician works closely with pharmacists in hospitals, drug and grocery stores, and other medical settings to help prepare and distribute medicines to patients. In many pharmacies, technicians:
  • Screen prescription orders for accuracy and completeness;
  • Prepare prescriptions - retrieve, count, pour, weigh, measure, and sometimes mix the medication;
  • Perform calculations;
  • Prepare medicines used to treat cancer;
  • Perform medication reconciliation
  • Assist in the management of investigational drug studies and;
  • Use technology to help maintain accurate patient records, prepare and package medications, and place orders.

What is it like to work as a Pharmacy Technician?

State laws decide the activities that pharmacy technicians can perform. More detailed information about the roles and responsibilities of a pharmacy technician can be found on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

Is pharmacy for me?

A career in pharmacy gives you the chance to be a part of one of the fastest growing fields in health care. Pharmacy technicians work closely with pharmacists to help ensure that patients have the medications that they need.

What is the career outlook and wages?

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, pharmacy technician growth rate from 2014 through 2024 is to be at 9% (faster than average), the growth rate in Oregon is to be approximately 17%. In 2016, the mean hourly wage in the state of Oregon was $18.27 an hour ($38,001 a year) and the national mean was $15.47 an hour ($32,177 a year).

Is being a pharmacy technician easy?

Even though careers in pharmacy are rewarding, pharmacy is not easy work. Many pharmacy technicians spend a majority of the day on their feet. Pharmacy technicians may be asked to work a variety of shifts, including weekends and holidays.

What are the legal requirements to work as a pharmacy technician?

The requirements to work as a pharmacy technician differ from state to state. For detailed requirements for your specific state, contact the state board of pharmacy. Links to state boards of pharmacy are found at National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).

Helpful Resources

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

Oregon State Board of Pharmacy