The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that between now and 2020, health care professionals will be one of the most growing careers in the United States and the rest of the world. As human populations worldwide increase, it is projected that more health care workers will be in demand. If you are just deciding on a career or you are thinking of getting into a second career, then becoming a pharmaceutical technician can be one of the most rewarding jobs available.
What a Pharmacy Technician Does
A pharmacy technician is not just a lab assistant – the career is a diverse one and requires you to be skilled at many things. You will need to be an accomplished chemist and may be required to mix medications and prepare certain products. You may also be required to understand and interpret prescriptions written by a doctor, which means a background in oncology, diagnosis and treatment. You will need to be a skilled administrator and a mathematician as well so that you can not only work confidently with dosages and chemicals, but also with finances and the accounting side of the business.
And lastly, you will need to be a highly compassionate and friendly person who gets along fundamentally well with people as you will have a public facing job representing the front lines of the medical profession.
The Job Responsibilities
Because a pharmaceutical technician works directly with people in a health care setting, they also have a fundamental responsibility for confidentiality and medical ethics. Extensive criminal background checking may be required to get your certification to become a pharmaceutical technician. Doctors, nurses, teachers and other public professionals must all undergo this type of background checking.
As a health care professional, you will be looked up to and respected by members of the community. Therefore you must hold yourself to rigorous standards of ethics and responsibility throughout your career – on and off the job.
About the Compensation
Because of all of the above responsibilities and difficulties of the job, pharmaceutical technicians (as well as most health care professionals) have one of the best paying salaries in the country. The average salary for a pharmaceutical technician is about $28,000 per year: the lowest around $23,000 and the highest around $35,000. This number can vary based on the remoteness of the location as well as other factors and is expected to grow by between 30-50% in the next 10 years.