Pharmacy Technician

What does a Pharmacy Technician do?

Pharmacy technicians assist in mixing and filling prescriptions and maintaining stock levels. They work under the direction and close supervision of pharmacists.

What might a Pharmacy Technician do in a workday?

Pharmacy technicians:

  • fill prescriptions with prepared drugs and compound sterile intravenous solutions (under the supervision of a pharmacist).
  • mix pharmaceutical preparations under the direction and supervision of pharmacists.
  • package and label drugs, chemicals and other pharmaceutical preparations.
  • order and stock supplies and maintain inventory.
  • compute drug charges.
  • deliver prepared medications.
  • clean equipment and work areas.
  • sterilize bottles, beakers and other glassware according to prescribed methods.
  • greet and assist patients and other health care professionals.
  • gather and input data using a computer.

Developing a Career as a Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians usually work in large hospitals or retail pharmacies in the community, as well as pharmaceutical companies, federal and state institutions, and mail-order pharmacies.

How much salary do Pharmacy Technicians make?

Average Salary Range
$18,000-$31,200

How do I become a Pharmacy Technician?

Students intending to pursue a career as a pharmacy technician should prepare by taking challenging high school courses in science, math and English. A required national certification exam is offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Recertification must be obtained every two years.

Because pharmacy technicians deal with controlled substances, they may be required to undergo background checks. Applicants without prior experience or training may be required to pass a test to determine if they have the necessary aptitude to learn the job. Some typing may be required.

Where else can I learn about becoming a Pharmacy Technician?

Professional Associations:

American Association of Pharmacy Technicians
P.O. Box 1447
Greensboro, NC 27402
(877) 368-4771
www.pharmacytechnician.com

American Pharmacists Association
2215 Constitution Aveue N.W.
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 628-4410
www.pharmacist.com

National Pharmacy
Technician Association
P.O. Box 683148
Houston, TX 77268
(888) 247-8700
www.pharmacytechnician.org

State License Requirements for Pharmacy Technicians

A license is required to practice as a pharmacy technician in the state of Virginia. For more information on licensure, applications and forms, visit www.dhp.virginia.gov/pharmacy.

Virginia Board of Pharmacy
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive
Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233
Phone: (804) 367-4456
Email: pharmbd@dhp.virginia.gov

Find Local Support

Blue Ridge Region AHEC – Shenandoah Valley

Capital Region AHEC – Richmond Metro and surrounding areas

Eastern Virginia Region AHEC – Southeast Virginia and Peninsula

Northern Virginia Region AHEC – Northern Virginia

Rappahannock Region AHEC – Northern Neck

South Central Region AHEC – Lynchburg, Danville, and surrounding area

Southside Region AHEC – South of Richmond

Southwest Virginia Region AHEC – Roanoke Valley and West