Summary Report for:
29-2052.00 - Pharmacy Technicians
Prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. May measure, mix, count out, label, and record amounts and dosages of medications according to prescription orders.
Sample of reported job titles: Accredited Pharmacy Technician; Billing and Quality Technician; Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT); Compounding Technician; Lead Pharmacy Tech, Certified Pharmacy Technician (Lead Pharmacy Tech, CPhT); Lead Pharmacy Technician (Lead Pharmacy Tech); Pharmacy Technician (Pharmacy Tech); Senior Pharmacy Technician; Technician; Technician, Inventory Specialist
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Receive written prescription or refill requests and verify that information is complete and accurate.
- Prepack bulk medicines, fill bottles with prescribed medications, and type and affix labels.
- Answer telephones, responding to questions or requests.
- Maintain proper storage and security conditions for drugs.
- Assist customers by answering simple questions, locating items, or referring them to the pharmacist for medication information.
- Price and file prescriptions that have been filled.
- Establish or maintain patient profiles, including lists of medications taken by individual patients.
- Order, label, and count stock of medications, chemicals, or supplies and enter inventory data into computer.
- Receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.
- Mix pharmaceutical preparations, according to written prescriptions.
- Operate cash registers to accept payment from customers.
- Clean and help maintain equipment or work areas and sterilize glassware, according to prescribed methods.
- Prepare and process medical insurance claim forms and records.
- Transfer medication from vials to the appropriate number of sterile, disposable syringes, using aseptic techniques.
- Supply and monitor robotic machines that dispense medicine into containers and label the containers.
- Restock intravenous (IV) supplies and add measured drugs or nutrients to IV solutions under sterile conditions to prepare IV packs for various uses, such as chemotherapy medication.
- Compute charges for medication or equipment dispensed to hospital patients and enter data in computer.
- Deliver medications or pharmaceutical supplies to patients, nursing stations, or surgery.
- Price stock and mark items for sale.
- Maintain and merchandise home healthcare products or services.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Benchtop centrifuges — Centrifuges
- Bi distillation units — Water distillation equipment
- Cash registers
- Compact disc CD or labeling printers — Label printers
- Desktop computers
- Dry heat or hot air sterilizers — Sterilizing equipment
- Filling or sealing auger dose machines — Automatic unit dose strip packaging machines; Tube filling and crimping machines
- Forced air or mechanical convection general purpose incubators — Incubators
- Fume hoods or cupboards — Horizontal and vertical flow hoods
- Gas burners — Bunsen burners
- Hydrometers — Specific gravity testing equipment
- Intravenous tubing with catheter administration kits — Intravenous IV supplies
- Laboratory balances — Equal-arm balances; Single-beam balances; Torsion balances; Unequal-arm balances (see all 5 examples)
- Laboratory blenders or emulsifiers — Blending/agitating machines; Total Parenteral Nutrition TPN compounders
- Laboratory graduated cylinders — Graduated cylinders
- Laboratory mills — Benchtop colloid mills; Colloid mills; Grinding and shearing colloid mills
- Laboratory vacuum pumps
- Laboratory washing machines — Flask washers
- Laminar flow cabinets or stations — Laminar flow hoods
- Laser printers — Computer laser printers
- Medical syringe without needle — Syringes
- Medication or pill dispensers or accessories — Robotic dispensing systems
- Microscope slides — Agar slides
- Multipurpose or general test tubes — Test tubes
- Notebook computers
- Personal computers
- Petri plates or dishes — Petri dishes
- Pharmaceutical filters or ultra filters — Filtering devices
- Point of sale POS terminal — Point of sale POS computer terminals
- Steam autoclaves or sterilizers — Autoclaves
- Sterile or aseptic processing or filling machines — Automatic bottle filling machines; Computer-based dispensing equipment; Semiautomatic sterile solution transferring devices
- Tablet counters — Tablet counting machines
- Vacuum blood collection tubes or containers — Evacuated blood collection containers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Accounting software — Billing and reimbursement software
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software; Drug compatibility software
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Pharmacy management software
- Inventory management software — Cardinal Health Pyxis CII Safe
- Label making software — Label-making software
- Medical software — Compounder software; Patient record maintenance software; Pharmaceutical software; Prescription processing software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Point of sale POS software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Detailed Work Activities
- Record patient medical histories.
- Verify accuracy of patient information.
- Perform clerical work in medical settings.
- Maintain inventory of medical supplies or equipment.
- Maintain medical equipment or instruments.
- Prepare medications or medical solutions.
- Merchandise healthcare products or services.
- Enter patient or treatment data into computers.
- Sterilize medical equipment or instruments.
- Clean medical equipment or facilities.
- Process medical billing information.
- Telephone — 95% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 80% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 91% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 80% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 88% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 76% responded “Extremely important.”
- Time Pressure — 80% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 72% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 62% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With External Customers — 63% responded “Extremely important.”
- Physical Proximity — 45% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 52% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 58% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 57% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 69% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 63% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 47% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 61% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 53% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 39% responded “Very important results.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 29% responded “More than half the time.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 50% responded “Some freedom.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 25% responded “Extremely important.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 38% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 31% responded “Limited freedom.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|60||High school diploma or equivalent|
|13||Some college, no degree|
Interest code: CR
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$14.33 hourly, $29,810 annual|
|Employment (2012)||355,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Faster than average (15% to 21%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||105,900|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Pharmacy Technicians . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.
- American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) , 7272 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814. Phone: (301) 657-3000.
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA) , 11161 Overbrook Rd., Leawood, KS 66211. Phone: (800) 499-9092. Fax: (913) 661-6291.
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) , 2215 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20037. Phone: (800) 363-8012.