According to the United States Department of Labor, the growth rate for pharmacy technician positions will increase 20% between 2012 and 2022, exceeding the 11% average growth rate for all occupations during the same time period.
Pharmacy technicians assist licensed pharmacists with a variety of responsibilities, including: assembling medicines for prescriptions (manually counting, filling tablets and capsules, and labeling packaged products), preparing IV fluids, dispensing medication by accurately verifying patient identities, and delivering medications to patient care areas. Pharmacy technicians are also responsible for the management of medication inventory, running inventory reports, executing purchase orders and the proper handling of hazardous drugs and expired drugs.
RCC’s Pharmacy Technician Certification Program prepares students for the PTCB or EXCPT Exams, and provides students with the training needed to become successful pharmacy technicians in community and hospital pharmacy settings. Students are introduced to pharmacology, pharmacy calculations, physiology, pathophysiology medication preparation, medication dispensing, drug interactions, pharmacy law, drug classes, liability and much more. After classroom training, students complete a 150 hour externship in a local pharmacy.
What are the primary benefits of becoming a pharmacy technician?
Many students are drawn to a career as a pharmacy technician because of the professional development opportunities. The program is quick and affordable, and pharmacy technicians are in high demand. You can become a certified pharmacy technician in less than a year. Other benefits include:
- a flexible work schedule;
- competitive compensation (according to salary.com, the median salary of pharmacy technicians in Boston is $34,553); and,
- the opportunity to secure a job that will likely offer medical, dental and retirement benefits, paid time off, and tuition reimbursement.
Where do pharmacy technicians work?
Pharmacy technicians work in a variety of settings, including:
- retail pharmacies;
- mail order prescription businesses; and,
- pharmaceutical companies.
Do you have what it takes to become a pharmacy technician?
You have all the qualities required to be a pharmacy technician, if you:
- are a “people person,” friendly and patient in even the most challenging situations;
- have great communications skills;
- have excellent customer service skills;
- are detail-oriented, observant and highly organized; and,
- have a desire to work in the medical field.
If you have what it takes to become a pharmacy technician, check out our RCC training program, offered by the Department of Corporate and Community Education. The next class begins in Spring 2016. For more information, visit us at www.rcc.mass.edu/pharmtech or call 617-933-7490.
Why RCC? Hear More From Our Participant:
“The pharmacy technician program is a great start for someone with the long-term goal of becoming a pharmacist. I chose RCC’s Pharmacy Technician Certification Program because the program has a great reputation, and I live close to RCC. The instructor is great! He makes sure that every student understands the subject before he moves on to the next topic. I would recommend this program to anyone who loves helping people.”
–Hindia Abdulle, Pharmacy Technician Certification Program Participant, Summer 2015
Meet the Faculty
Dr. Eyob A. Berhe
• PharmD, May 2010, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
• AS in Biological Science, June 2006, Roxbury Community College, Roxbury, MA
Current Positions: Instructor at RCC and Pharmacy Manager at Whittier Pharmacy
Ever since Dr. Eyob Berhe graduated from Roxbury Community College in 2006, he’s been looking for a way to give back to the College. He found the perfect opportunity to do so in May 2015, by joining RCC’s Corporate and Community Education Department as a pharmacy technician instructor.
Dr. Eyob A. Berhe
“I believe in the idea of giving back,” says Dr. Berhe. “It is because of RCC that I was able to achieve my dream. I am forever indebted to RCC for the opportunities given to me when I was a student there, ten years ago. I believe it should be one’s duty to make the path to success a little less arduous for the next generation.”
Dr. Berhe fulfills this duty by making sure that each and every one of his students is prepared for success in the real world. Through a combination of classroom instruction and experiential learning opportunities, he enables his students to become “highly motivated and highly sought-after pharmacy technicians” while helping them build their confidence. At the end of his Pharmacy Technician course, his students are prepared to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam and obtain a Pharmacy Technician License.
“As a pharmacy manager, I know exactly the qualities we look for in pharmacy technicians,” says Dr. Berhe. “I know that working in the health care sector is a privilege that comes with great responsibility. It is not enough just to acquire the academic knowledge to become a pharmacy technician. You also have to be detail-oriented, provide excellent customer service, and possess great communication skills. Therefore, I advise my students to practice these skills in parallel with their academic studies.”