What Can You Do With A Pharmacy Technician Diploma?
A pharmacy technician diploma is something you can obtain in just under a year, depending on the program. Some people opt for an associate’s degree instead, but you can complete a pharmacy tech program, earn a diploma, and pass your PTCB exam and start working. If you’re interested in becoming a pharmacy technician, we’re going to show you what you can do with that diploma once you have it.
Remember that not every pharmacy tech training program is the same. If you attend a university, you’ll probably get roped into a two-year program, whereas specific medical academies and programs are designed to streamline the process and make obtaining your diploma that much more simple and affordable.
Here’s what you can do with a pharmacy technician diploma.
Become A Retail Pharmacist
You’ve probably gone to a retail pharmacy at some point to pick up a prescription or just some cough medicine during cold season. Either way, most people are familiar with retail pharmacy locations. Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid immediately come to mind, but some major department stores, like WalMart, also have a retail pharmacy inside stores.
Retail pharmacy is where a lot of pharmacy technician graduates start out. It’s sort of a stepping-stone to other pharmacy jobs, and some people find that they either love it or hate it. The downside, of course, is that you’ll be working in retail. The abuse of retail workers has been on the rise for years, but it took the COVID-19 pandemic to bring it into sharp focus.
Retail pharmacy locations are still a great place to work, so don’t let those statistics get you down. You’ll likely have benefits, work a flexible schedule, and the average pay for a pharmacy tech is about $14-$16 per hour starting out.
The best part about pharmacy tech positions is that it doesn’t matter if you attended a university or online pharmacy tech school. As long as the organization is accredited, you can complete your program and take your PTCB exam.
Work At A Ship-To Home Pharmacy
The world of online retail has exploded in recent years, and with it, some things we never thought we’d see delivered right to our doorstep have become a reality. With this surge in online shopping came the ship-to-home pharmacy—something that offers convenience for those who don’t have time to go to the pharmacy, or who are elderly or disabled.
Ship-to-home pharmacies function similarly to retail pharmacies, except that you’ll be taking online orders rather than dealing with patients face-to-face. This is more behind the scenes for those who don’t want to work in a retail environment.
Some retail pharmacies will ship medications to patients, but a ship-to-home pharmacy exists for the sole purpose of delivering medications off-site. If you don’t want to deal with people all day, this is probably the better option for you.
Work In A Hospital
Hospitals also need pharmacy technicians to help deliver important medications to patients. Often, those medications can be life-saving, or even help a patient to recover from a major operation. Working in a hospital is a bit different than retail pharmacy, and will likely require a bit more experience.
Hospitals usually require longer shifts, as well. You could work up to 12 hours per shift in a hospital, so be ready to be on your feet most of the day. You should have access to better benefits working for a medical facility, however. You’ll get access to healthcare and retirement plans, and while these are common in retail, they’re not always available.
Assisted Living Facilities
If none of the previous options sound good, you can always work at an assisted living facility. This could be a nursing home, psychiatric care facility, or some other long-term care facility. The patients there will need accurate medications just as much as the ones in a hospital.
This rewarding path will put you in a position to provide real assistance to people who are suffering or need special care. In retail, you don’t always get to share a closer relationship with patients, but you’ll likely develop such a relationship in a long-term care facility. The field needs compassionate, caring people, and that could be you!
Once you’ve obtained your diploma and got a feel for the industry, you can make the decision to seek other avenues of employment or even higher education. Maybe you’re unhappy being the pharmacy technician, and you want to be the pharmacist instead. There are plenty of career paths that can open up once you complete your training, and it’s a good idea to always keep an open mind. Even if you like your position, something better and more suited to you could be just on the horizon. Good luck!