As we celebrate the hard work and dedication of pharmacists across the country, today also serves as a reminder to express gratitude for the many other pharmacy-related workers who help patients access prescriptions and medications around the clock. A pharmacy technician is a key supportive role in a pharmacy and a career that falls under the FastForward training umbrella. Through short-term training programs at Virginia’s Community Colleges, you can become a pharmacy technician quickly, sometimes in as little as six to 12 weeks. What does a pharmacy technician do, and how can you get started?
Here’s a quick overview of the occupation to help you prepare for a career change in this growing, service-oriented industry.
Understanding the role of a pharmacy technician
Working alongside pharmacists, pharmacy technicians play an integral part in ensuring patients receive the right prescriptions. Many pharmacy technicians work to prepare and distribute medications and help update patients’ medical records to reflect important life changes. Oftentimes, pharmacy technicians work on drug research and collect data for pilot drug studies. Many pharmacy technicians go on to become specialists in different health-related fields, while others go back to school to earn their Doctor of Pharmacy, the professional degree required to be a licensed pharmacist.
Starting as a pharmacy technician is a great way to explore the field, gain hands-on work experience and make a lasting difference in many people’s lives. The need for qualified pharmacy technicians will not dwindle any time soon, as medications and prescriptions continue to expand (credit: ASPH).
Steady growth ahead
If you’re worried about a depleting job market, you’ve come to the wrong place. The demand for pharmacy technicians remains steady going into 2023. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technician jobs are expected to grow nationally by 5% through 2031, with over 40,000 new jobs available annually. In Virginia, pharmacy technician jobs were listed as a top occupation last year, according to a report by Virginia Office of Education Economics.
On the job training
FastForward courses prioritize hands-on learning. From hospital and pharmacy visits to learning how to make compounds and properly count medications, the pharmacy technician program is fully encompassing of the field and gives credential-earners a head start when entering the profession.
Hear from students firsthand
Don’t just take our word for it. Hear what students are saying about the pharmacy technician program at Piedmont Virginia Community College, and discover how their local community college helped them prepare for their first job upon program completion.
If you’re ready to discover what it takes to become a pharmacy technician, the first step is talking with a career coach at your local community college. Reach out, and get started today!