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What You May Expect in Your First Year as a Pharmacy Technician

Jun 07, 2010

You have finally finished your training and passed your national and (perhaps) your state examinations and are ready to begin looking for your first job as a pharmacy technician.  Congratulations! Now the fun begins; where should you start your job search?  What should you expect from your first job?  Should you work in a hospital or a retail setting?  There are a lot of questions as you are first starting your new career, but all experienced pharmacy technicians had the same types of dilemmas.  Fear not, new pharmacy technicians, you will have all your questions soon answered and your worries will be resolved as you begin your job hunt and then start your new job.

Where to Look for a Pharmacy Technician Job

There are many places to begin your hunt for your perfect pharmacy technician job.  One of the best places is the Internet.  Many popular job sites will let you search your area for potential employers and for job openings.  Another good outlet is local classified ads, where jobs openings at pharmacies are often found.  You might also consider checking out various retail pharmacies' websites as well as hospital websites for job listings.  If you aren't finding anything that fits your expectations, you might consider sending a cover letter and resume to places you would like to work for consideration.  You might want to look at government jobs as well.  These are usually high paying and have excellent benefits.

Which Type of Setting Is the Best Fit for You?

While on your job hunt, you might examine which kinds of jobs you are best suited for.  Can you handle the stress of working in a large medical center's inpatient pharmacy, where there will be a large number of medication orders that will need to be prepared and deliver in a timely manner?  The pay will probably be a little better but is it worth the added stress?  Is a retail or mail-order pharmacy job more like what you had in mind?  It probably pays less than the hospital job you had your eye on but the hours will be predictable and the customers and coworkers generally pretty happy.  This is a decision you must make on your own.  It might be helpful to talk to pharmacy techs in both settings to help you decide which is for you.

Opportunities for Advancement            

As you gain experience, you will also gain knowledge.  You might decide you want to work in another type of pharmacy or even return to school to get an advanced degree.  Continuing education will be required to maintain your certification.  You will need to stay current on current trends in pharmacy technology to be able to do your job well and also to be more marketable when and if you decide to change jobs. 

Salary Highlights

During your first year as a pharmacy technician in most cities you should expect to earn between twenty five thousand and thirty five thousand dollars a year.  You will earn significantly more with experience.  You can gain experience by becoming certified or by getting an advanced degree.

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