What Pharmacy Technicians Do
Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals.
Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies, including those found in drug, general merchandise, and grocery stores, and in hospitals. Most work full time, but many work part time.
How to Become a Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy technicians usually need a high school diploma or equivalent and learn their duties through on-the-job training, or they may complete a postsecondary education program in pharmacy technology. Most states regulate pharmacy technicians, which is a process that may require passing an exam or completing a formal education or training program.
The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $33,950 in May 2019.
Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Increased demand for prescription medications will lead to more demand for pharmaceutical services.
Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals. They mainly work in retail pharmacies and hospitals.
Pharmacy technicians typically do the following:
- Collect information needed to fill a prescription from customers or health professionals
- Measure amounts of medication for prescriptions
- Package and label prescriptions
- Organize inventory and alert pharmacists to any shortages of medications or supplies
- Accept payment for prescriptions and process insurance claims
- Enter customer or patient information, including any prescriptions taken, into a computer system
- Answer phone calls from customers
- Arrange for customers to speak with pharmacists if customers have questions about medications or health matters
Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of pharmacists, who must review prescriptions before they are given to patients. In most states, technicians can compound or mix some medications and call physicians for prescription refill authorizations. Technicians also may need to operate automated dispensing equipment when filling prescription orders.
Pharmacy technicians working in hospitals and other medical facilities prepare a greater variety of medications, such as intravenous medications. They may make rounds in the hospital, giving medications to patients.
Pharmacy technicians held about 422,300 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of pharmacy technicians were as follows:
|Pharmacies and drug stores||51%|
|Hospitals; state, local, and private||17|
|Food and beverage stores||9|
Pharmacy technicians spend most of the workday on their feet.
Most pharmacy technicians work full time. Pharmacies may be open at all hours. Therefore, pharmacy technicians may have to work nights or weekends.
This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of pharmacy technicians.
For more information about accredited pharmacy technician programs, visit
For more information about state licensure laws, contact individual state Boards of Pharmacy, or visit
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
For more information about certification, visit
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Pharmacy Technicians,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm (visited ).