What Does a Pharmacy Technician do?

Today’s pharmacy technician drives the operations of the typical pharmacy to quite a notable degree. Working under the guidance of the head pharmacist in charge, this professional tends to a number of crucial activities within the pharmacy. For those wanting to learn more about the pharmacy tech, here’s your quick guide to the ins and outs of this important job.

Condensed Job Description

Pharmacy techs work in pharmacies under the direct supervision of the head pharmacist in charge. The tech will handle any number of drug-related activities including handling customers, answering phone calls, working with doctors and insurance companies, making up prescriptions, and more. All of their duties will take place within the confines of the pharmacy and mainly for the ultimate purpose of responsible drug dispensing to the public.

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Individual Job Duties

To get a better idea of what exactly it is that these pros do on a daily basis, a close look to their individual duties or activities can help a lot. The following represent some of the more common acts that the pharmacy tech carries out within the pharmacy.

Inventory Management – The pharmacy tech will always be highly involved with inventory management. At any time, they may be involved with ordering new supplies, supply counts, reorganizing supplies, and record keeping relative to those supplies.

Prescription Management and Assembly – Much like inventory management, the tech will also be called upon to handle many prescription matters. Assembling, or “filling” prescriptions, managing prescription drug inventory, and working with doctors and insurance companies as needed are all common activities herein. Record keeping is absolutely essential here as well.

Customer Transactions – Techs are also responsible for working with customers at the pharmacy in any and all transactions that need to take place. This can include dispensing medicine, managing in-pharmacy immunizations, answering questions, and giving drug advise.

Staff Management – In some cases, the pharmacy tech actually assists the lead pharmacist in managing staff. Hours, duties, meetings, and other staff matters may then be delegated to the tech in such cases. This is more commonly seen in large-scale pharmacy operations.

Typical Work Environs

As a job-searching pharmacy technician, one may have the freedom to choose to work for any number of pharmacy-holding venues, from stand-alone pharmacies, to those located within hospitals, military bases, grocery stores, or even research facilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics places most techs in one of five categories for places of work. Interestingly enough, this only counts for approximately 83% of the workforce though, as the other 17% of workers in this field work in other, miscellaneous pharmaceutical venues. These BLS projections are as follows.

  • Pharmacies and Drug Stores – 52%
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals; Private – 13%
  • Other General Merchandise Stores – 7%
  • Grocery Stores – 7%
  • Department Stores – 4%

We all depend on the uniquely qualified services of the pharmacy at some point in our lives. Whether it be in the grocery store or in the hospital, these centers of all-important drug dispensing improve and save countless lives. In the end, the pharmacy technician is one of the most integral parts of such an operation.