Thinking of a 2 year Pharmacy Tech program? Waste of time, money, and heres why....

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Rpharm in Surrey, British Columbia

30 months ago

I am a pharmacist and I agree that many of them take advantage of their position and make the techs do all the work. This is a result of the fact that corporations own most pharmacies, not pharmacists. Corporations make their decisions on pure profit and don't have a feel for what goes on in the front lines. If they could have their way, they would hire all techs at minimum wage and no pharmacists. But due to law, a pharmacist is required to check and counsel on prescriptions, therefore they have to hire them. I'm noticing more these days that many big chains are increasing the ratio of techs to pharmacists due to cost savings. Plus they have lobbied universities to increase class sizes for pharmacists, thereby undermining the value of the pharmacist and making them "a dime a dozen", just like techs. But corporations won't pass those savings on to the worker bee techs. They'll just fatten the pockets of the corporate heads and shareholders. Everyone will be screwed. From my experience, I believe an independent pharmacy treats their technicians much better than chains. Because a pharmacist owns the pharmacy, he/she works just as hard, if not harder, than the techs. And they appreciate and compensate techs more because they see the cash-flow generated by good techs, and it becomes a family atmosphere where everyone gets what they deserve. In a chain, the pharmacist is just another pawn and has no idea of how the money is generated, just that they're entitled to lots of it, so they treat the techs like dirt. If you work with the pharmacy owners, such as an independent, they would think twice about treating a tech like dirt as they risk losing an employee that they've invested in, or at the very least will create a toxic environment that won't be good for business. If you're a tech in a bad situation, find an independent pharmacy where the owner actually hires and works side by side with you. You'll be appreciated, respected, and compensated better.

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Katherine in Fairfield, California

30 months ago

To the person from Humble, Texas,
I have recently been certified and am waiting for my state license to come back. I self-studied and therefore have no experience in the pharmacy field, however I am actively searching volunteer opportunities in addition to jobs.
Do you have any advice for job interviews? This is one of my weakest areas, and I don't want to fail another chance at getting my foot in the door! I am dedicated and a hard worker, but I get nervous during interviews and I don't feel like I let my best self shine through. Could you share a little about your experience in landing a job? I would greatly appreciate it. :)

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Bobby in Pickering, Ontario

29 months ago

Hi I work in a retail pharmacy and most of our senior techs make around $23 to $25/hr(registered tech), with full benefits and insurance, sick days and vacay pay. We have hired many people who have not had any pharmaceutical experience and they all have been really bad at the job. So it's hard to believe that anyone can be hired of the street unless they get picked up by a low pay independent pharmacy.

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

29 months ago

You have to be amazed that there aren't more mistakes in drug dispensing w/people hired "off the street" (as indicated in many posts). @ least YOU can feel competent when filling prescriptions if you have professional training. As far as pay scale, the usual wage isn't much better than minimum wage & often w/no benefits. I see one post indicating $23+ an hour + benefits. BE GRATEFUL. There are always exceptions. The veterinary department on the other side of the lawsuit @ my workplace is overstaffed & underbooked, the complete opposite of nearly ALL veterinary clinics in the Cle area. I was so overloaded that I was suicidal after 12+ years. That's another two year degree w/the only value that you know what you are doing medically. Unfortunately, you must rely on an uneducated "street" staff w/limited training who are permitted to resent your degree.

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PharmacyTechIII in Fort Mill, South Carolina

27 months ago

The associate degree programs aren't designed to train Wal-Mart and CVS staff, they prepare grads for work in hospital, home health, pharmaceutical companies, insurance, management, and jobs that require more skill. Retail, despite the relatively low pay, is a good start to get some experience under your belt, and despite the stress, you learn important skills that will last a lifetime--communication and interaction with different people, brand-generic names, inventory management, pharmacy law, to name a few.
Pharm Techs who can't find a job? In NC/SC, there is a high demand right now, but if your resume is written poorly or you don't present well (dress and act like you want the job) then you are not going to get a hired in any field.
BTW, Rad Tech is saturated and has the slowest growth rate of all health professions.
It is a shame this thread comes up when you google pharmacy tech associate degree, because the negativity on this board may drive promising individuals away from a career that can greatly benefit them.

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Sockmonkey in Winnipeg, Manitoba

27 months ago

I am a Technician in Canada and it is the same situation here. The problem stems from the fact that 25 years ago techs were just assistants counting pills, stocking shelves etc. Since that time the job has evolved to the point where techs have taken on many responsibilities previously performed by Pharmacists. This process has evolved slowly over 20-30 years to the point where we now do work we never signed on for and haven't been compensated for. At my hospital we check each others compounding, run satellite pharmacies, and sign off other techs work, do I.T. narcotics etc. all previously done by pharmacists and yet we make 40% of a pharmacists wages. If it wasn't for the union I am convinced they would pay us minimum wage. As long as the profession is run and managed by Pharmacists they will always keep tech wages low ensuring their high wages and making sure you do the work they don't want to. I agree with previous techs, this is not a career I would recommend. This profession has fallen through the cracks and has not been recognized nor compensated for the viable work techs perform.

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Ambroshia in Montgomery, Alabama

21 months ago

Well, I understand and sympathize with each and every situation. The facts are what they are. However, when most of us decided to become CPht or Pt, it wasn't just for the money. I say that because we too have to make a living for our families. But at the time is not true that our reasons for pursuing such an occupation was because we wanted to help people and feel good about what we do. You are all correct in saying that there are myriads of us, yet only a select few find it neccessary to become Nationally Certified. When we have lost the purpose of or occupation or are unable to survive because of a career choice it may be time to become creative. Find other avenues to either stay with the same career choice or do whatever it takes to make the necessary changes. I hope you all find what you are looking for!

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Babbs01 in North Carolina

20 months ago

As a CPhT with an AAS in Pharmacy Technology and work experience in both retail and hospital pharmacy, I can personally tell you that this degree is completely worthless. My employer encouraged me to obtain my AAS in PT. I was made promises (that I should have gotten in writing...note to self) about a new job/job description with pay that never happened. I have been looking around for nearly 3 years to be able to put my degree to use and it is not happening nor do I see it happening anytime in the near future. It is a big waste of time and expense. Put your money towards something that actually has a future for growth.

Like may of the posts that I have read, the technicians do the majority of the work for hardly any pay. I have been in pharmacy for nearly 20 years. I used to love my job and everything that it entailed, but that has certainly changed over the course of the last several years (even prior to the worthless degree). The harder you work or are willing to work, the more they want out of you. Why bust your butt when there are others working with you that wastes all kinds of time and you both still bring home a pay check?

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Skeptical

10 months ago

I created an accout just to post how i feel.im a college grad.Have taken many courses,also have a dagree in pharmacy technology,have a national certification.I have taken pharmacy buisness and law,pharmacology,anatomy,medical terminology,dosage calculations,aseptic technique and iv room, pharmacy buisness and law,drug prep and manufacturing, just to name a few. I have also taken side courses like logic,japanese,statistics,chemistry.etc.. with all of my experiences and knowledge i gained i have lost so much more. I have a job in a pharmacy as a technician.quess what i make, i make 9.50$ an hour, yes 9.50$ an hour. Thats barly above minimum wage.Yes the pharacist deserve higher pay then any tech but 9.50$ an hour.thats offensive. It really is. And from what i see and read i dont see it geting to much better no matter where i go as a tech. That basicly meens that for every hr that i work with a pharmcist, he gets payed for 4hrs or more. So when we work 2hrs together its like hes geting payed for 8. That basicly meens that when i work 1 10hr day with the pharmacist its like they get paid for one full week in comparison to my pay. Tell me thats not offensive. Let me tell you. I have had customers give me so much crap,want to fight me and all kinds of b.s for dam near no reason. Iv had patiants scream at me and threaten me. 9.50$.crazy. I use to hav a job in the past working in a warehouse. I started off at 10.50$. I got 12$ after becoming certified on a fork lift. It took 1week to get certified on that machine. Unbelievable 9.50$.Ive caught mistakes and discrepancies that could have deceased a person. I do alot of work pharm tech or not. 9.50$ is absurd. We work with chemicals that are dangerious, kinds of drugs that some may abuse,medications that can save a life or take a life. I deal with 1001 questions a day. I have to retain and omit a great deal knowledge. I hav to obliged by laws & mantain compliance. is 9.50$ an hour and thousans of dollars in debt worth it?????

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BCPhT in Forest Park, Georgia

5 months ago

After reading these posts, I have to vent my situation. I went to a pharmacy technology school, graduated, and did an internship at CVS. I hated working at CVS so i tried for years trying to work in a hospital. I'm certified and licensed and after 5 yrs no job!!!! I actually got hired at Ingles making $8.00 but I was never placed on schedule to work in the pharmacy. I was replaced and forced to bag groceries. I regret this because I should have did radiology.

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erica

3 months ago

I think that's a bs comment because anywhere that u apply at u have to have experience you can't just walk up to walgreens and be like hey I wanna work here as a pharmacy tech can I have a job... Really!!! First thing there gonna say is do u have experience and then what... you don't so you gets no job.

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Sapphyreopal5 in Charlotte, North Carolina

8 days ago

I came across this post because I was interviewed for a pharmacy technician position at my current place of employment (Target) a few weeks ago. Apparently the starting pay for a tech here in NC is $10 not certified and around $12 something certified from what others who've worked back there tell me. Since I am going to be trained as a pharmacy tech backup, I won't see a pay increase for now but the pharmacist and team lead back there told me they intend on hiring me for the next open position. One of the girls who's been there for a while told me she took a class for pharmacy tech (idk if it was continuing education or what), interviewed back there after applying, and didn't get the job.

You know why they chose to hire me as a backup tech? Because they were impressed by my enthusiasm for the job (asked A LOT of questions during both interviews), and were very impressed with how I answered their questions. Oddly enough, I informed the pharmacist during the interview I was planning on pursuing another medical field (most likely medical technology starting in the spring). The point of my post I guess is that I don't think it's worth the money to get an associate's degree in pharmacy technology, or even any continuing education to start out in the field. I believe that if possible, the best way to start off is to start off in a place that's willing to train you on the job and let you take the certification test when ready. Of course, you can always take the certification test beforehand as an added bonus. Retail may not be an ideal environment, but it's certainly much easier to get in as a starting point (not to mention get some experience on your belt).

As with any field of work, it's not always about hiring who the most educated person is; it's often about hiring who the most experienced person is and/or whether or not they like your personality and attitude.

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