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Make good money as a pharmacy technician—here's how

CareerBuilder | March 3, 2021

Looking to improve your income potential, use your customer service skills and wonder *what do pharmacy technicians do*? This industry may be for you.

Typically, a Pharmacy Technician earns a median salary of $62,000, and depending on education and experience, can earn over $100,000 annually. Here are 4 pieces of advice for a pharmacy tech to make good money:

Pharmacist technician counting medication


Explore Compounding Pharmacies

Unlike traditional pharmacies, compounding pharmacies create custom medications for patients. These pharmacies might combine several medications into one pill or liquid product so that patients don't have to swallow many tablets. Pharmacy technicians can also create special dosages that don't exist on the traditional market to suit a patient's weight, metabolism, and specific needs.

If you love customer service and you want to play a larger role in patients' lives, a compounding pharmacy could give you the satisfaction you want. You might also advance faster in such a role because, at private pharmacies, you could get better opportunities for management or supervisory positions. Additionally, under a pharmacist's careful eye, you might learn how to compound medications yourself, on-the-job training which offers valuable work experience for future jobs.


Work in a Clinical Setting

A larger facility, such as a hospital, might create more advancement opportunities than an off-site pharmacy. In addition to filling prescriptions and offering customer service, you might also learn how to prepare patients for IV insertions and do other procedures that become necessary in a clinical setting.

You could advance to a supervisory position if you show an excellent work ethic and a desire to learn new skills. Focus on impressing your supervisors with your work ethic to get the best opportunities.


Become a Pharmacist

While you work as a pharmacy technician, consider returning to school to become a pharmacist. You'll enjoy much higher earning potential and access to better benefits. Additionally, pharmacists work directly with patients and have greater responsibilities.

Get your Doctor of Pharmacy, Pharm.D., degree and pass your state's exam to become a pharmacist. The process might take longer if you're working a full-time job as a pharmacy technician, but you'll thank yourself for putting forth the effort. Once you have your pharmacist credentials, you can work anywhere you like. In fact, you could open your own pharmacy.


Demonstrate Leadership Skills

Regardless of your career aspirations, you can't get ahead as a follower. If you want to advance your pharmacy technician career, focus on demonstrating your leadership skills in each interaction with colleagues, customers, and supervisors. Show initiative, ask questions when you're unsure about something, and speak up if you have an idea.

Most importantly, work extremely hard. You'll set an excellent example for your fellow techs, which might get you noticed by your boss. If something goes wrong, take immediate responsibility and describe how you'll prevent the problem in the future. You'll show that you're willing to learn, quick to admit mistakes, and eager to put in your fair share of work.

A pharmacy technician doesn't have to serve as the last stop in your career trajectory. Follow the above tips to advance your career and gain better job opportunities.



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