Pharmacy Technician Training and Resources

Pharmacy technicians are in a prime position to take advantage of employment opportunities in the growing health care sector of the economy. It is important to set yourself apart from the crowd both when looking for a job or trying to advance in your company and career. Pharmacy technicians have access to resources that might not be apparent at first glance to help them succeed, whether as a young candidate funding an education or as someone already embarked on a career are looking to move laterally or vertically in the field.

One of the best places to begin your search for pharmacy technician training and resources is through professional associations and organizations. Some groups are national while others are local, but almost all require membership. What a pharmacy technician gains can be well worth the up-front cost of membership. Members gain access to extensive training and certificate courses, allowing then to add specialized skills. Associations also present lectures by the brightest lights in the field, highlighting advances in the pharmaceutical industry. There is also the opportunity to receive mentorship from more experienced members.

A professional association or organization is a great venue, both physically and virtually, for networking. It is possible to learn about career opportunities on job boards and through word of mouth and to talk to other members about how to advance and add desirable skills. The lobbying and consulting arms of professional organizations also offer opportunities for work. Pharmacy technicians are needed to advise and help associations work with industry lobbyists to affect the political process. Finally, professional organizations often offer scholarship and grant money to their members. Many offer such services even to non-members, so looking for those resources before choosing a group can be advantageous. Sometimes, the best place to get training is through a degree program and finding resource to defray the costs is a good use of time and effort.

Pharmacy technicians should also look to their employers for training and possible resources. Many hospitals, especially large institutions, have complex procedures and rules and train their employees rigorously in their own processes. Employers often offer incentives to their employees to continue their educations, offering to pay tuition and other fees in return for a promise of work. Asking about specific programs also shows a degree of ambition, which cannot hurt your reputation. An employer might also have a specific job niche that needs to be filled and might prefer to hire from within because is often more cost-effective to promote an employee than to train a new one.

The government is an underutilized resource for pharmacy technician training. The government is a primary resource for financial aid and education for pharmacy technicians. There are several federal government programs for assisting students during their educational phase. There are grants for students of all abilities. Furthermore, federal and state governments are important clearinghouses for scholarship and grant information. Finding a specific source of funding for a targeted degree of study, like physician technician studies, can be a lot easier through a department of education. Of course, becoming licensed by the state is an important step in a professional career in pharmacy. The state itself usually publishes the criteria for passing including information on test preparation and sample questions.

Last Updated: 05/22/2014