Thursday, December 2, 2010

To be or not to be - should I go to pharmacy technician school?

  So let me tell you a little about pharmacy techs.  Techs do everything the pharmacist does minus a few tasks such as taking new prescriptions over the phone, final verification of a prescription, counseling, and a few other things.  They, however, do this at a much much much lower wage.  Technicians are at a disadvantage in that they get to share in the daily stress of a pharmacist without sharing in the pay that makes the pharmacists job almost worth it.  To top it all off people are being tempted daily by schools out there claiming to give them the edge that they need to become a tech, if they are willing to attend class and pay tuition (of course).

  First of all, technicians can start out as cashiers in a pharmacy.  They can work as a cashier and do everything that a tech does except fill prescriptions. While they do this, they are getting the training that is needed as well as GETTING PAID to do receive this training.  States differ in their requirements, but in my state, you can work and become a tech without going to school (GED or high school diploma is needed though).  "Tech school" is not required.  So why do it?  Well if you are sitting at home and you are unhappy with your job/life, and see a commercial that promises all the great things in life if you would just finish a program that their trade school has to offer, you would get pretty motivated to do look into it.  So people do.  If they are like one of my friends, they will enroll, realize its actually tough, and not finish.  Thus owing a school money for a trade never learned.  Furthermore, the information that is taught in those schools is more than is needed to work as a tech.  Trust me, you do not want to be an "expert" pharmacy tech.  The pharmacist will always know more, and there is a ceiling to how far you can go (in regards to pay and status).

  These schools remind me of what Bone Thugs-n-Harmony like to call "Dummy Men."  The guys that sell dope that ain't dope.  You know crooked crooks.  (Did I mention I'm from the streets?) They sell an education that can easily be learned on the job while being paid.  Also, a technician would need to learn the system and work flow of a company before he or she would be proficient at their job.  In other words, they may start a job after getting out of school and be lower on the totem pole than a person who didn't go to school (or even a cashier for that matter). 

  So take my advice.  Stay away from pharmacy unless you find a slow job where people don't try to rip your head off everyday.  Secondly, DO NOT go to a pharmacy technician trade school UNLESS your state requires it.  Pharmacy isn't for the faint of heart, you can't be any geek off the street, you got to earn your keep. You got to be a Regulator.

PS to see more of what I am talking about  go to, but be sure to come back here!


  1. I volunteer at a pharmacy in downtown LA and I was shocked to find out that people pay thousands of dollars for those programs.

    Since I wasn't a student at a tech school, the pharmacy wouldn't let me volunteer there until I got my tech license (thank you CA Pharmacy Board for taking 3 months to process my application). This meant that I had to take and pass the PTCB.

    So I borrowed 2 books, self-studied for less than a month, and passed the PTCB with flying colors (the test is very easy, just read the questions carefully and double check your calculations. Although I'll admit I have a bachelor's already and waiting to see if I can get land an interview for the pharmacy schools I applied to).

    PTCB test = $129
    CA pharmacy technician license application fee = $80
    2x2 photos = $6
    Getting fingerprinted = $89
    Total = $304

    This route is a lot cheaper and I can't believe it isn't advertised.

    PS The pharmacy where I'm at loves tech students. Tech students = free labor

  2. Hi all,

    Pharmacy technicians are recognized only when they hold a certificate. To be a certified technician, one needs to pass the nationwide pharmacy training. There is a good number of registered pharmacy technician schools across the country. Pharmacy tech schools are responsible for the training of local drugstore personnel which, on the other hand, work directly within a licensed pharmacist and their training program, they can accomplish that by completing a certified online program from a pharmacy technician. Thanks a lot...

  3. Well, you can check out testimonials and blogs from pharmacy technician professionals and even those students to help you decide whether you should be in this field or not.

  4. Few of the ptcb practice test papers ahve been discussed in these sites. Check here to learn more.