"Why becoming a certified pharmacy technician is not worth your time"

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Diogenes in Thousand Oaks, California

28 months ago

I've been looking for work as a licensed Pharm tech or Pharmacy service representative/assistant for almost a year and haven't even been able to land an interview. I have a BA in Psych and no criminal record and a few years experience in retail. I'm seriously considering just giving up looking. The job market is like a dry desolate desert. I apply everywhere I can online which is like a desert cause there are practically no openings where you can even apply. Most places just say 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 openings under that position for every location in a 30mile radius. And all I hear is how much this job sucks and how they "can't tell you how many times someone went on their lunch break and never came back". Well if this job is so miserable and so many people quit then why is it that whenever I walk in anywhere to apply I turn into a psychic cause I already know what they're going to say, "no we don't have any openings but you can leave your resume". So if this job sucks so bad why do so many directionless losers want to do it? Is it because they're so dumb that they're so easily brainwashed by commercials? Also why do people say their co-workers quit left and right yet there's never any openings? I've been wanting to work in a Pharmacy ever since I was hanging out with drug dealers as a teen (since I thought it was so cool) but why do others want to do it? Hopefully more people (who just work there cause it's just a job and have no interest in medicine) will have enough sense to leave and go elsewhere so that people who really are interested in the field and would appreciate the job, no matter how many sick miserable people they have to deal with (cause that's part of the fun), can take their ungrateful place.

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Diogenes in Thousand Oaks, California

28 months ago

For some reason my reply didn't post so I hit back on my browser and hit reply again which is why you see duplicates of my rant. I guess this forum doesn't have a delete comment option.

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Sabrina in Tampa, Florida

26 months ago

The first poster hit the nail on the head. You are pretty much doing everything except what the law will not allow you to do. And sometimes the lines are blurry.

I work at as a certified pharmacy technician in a store that start with a W. Starting pay for an un-certified pharmacy technician $8.70. Certification increases salary by $.75. Then you get measly yearly raises.

I totally don't really recommend this job to anyone as a career. It's a pretty decent job for a college student. For one, you are basically a cashier. I guess we are not allowed to refuse to ring up customers unless they have an obscene amount of items (10 +). And people continually come to the pharmacy because the front end registers are always jacked.

Then there are the pharmacists whom are so "busy" they can make calls themselves which leaves me stuck making loads of calls to people. In the time it takes the pharmacist to explain the situation to me, s/he could have made the call. It's a lot of little things that annoy and bug me about the job. I guess they are specifically pharmacist related. I wish the pharmacists would help out a little more than they do instead of leaving everyone aspect of the prescription process to me except the duties that the technician cannot legally perform.

I was actually in the middle of counting and this guy asks were a specific type of bean was located. It said he couldn't find it. So the pharmacist asked me to help him find the bean. (insert sarcasm) Like I know where ABC Beans are because I wonder the aisles on my break memorizing locations of items (end sarcasm).

When I volunteer at other stores, I cannot use the register, and I love being a technician then. I am currently looking for a job at either a mail order pharmacy or a hospital.

But more than that I am looking to transfer out of pharmacy technician into something that deals with pharmacy but pays more in the $40,000- $50,000 range.

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knaz in Houston, Texas

25 months ago

Regarding several comments I saw while reading some of these posts: Keep in mind that as with anything in life, you get what you put into it. I mean if you look at the requirements to become a Pharmacy Tech. then yeah you're not gonna make enough to be the "bread winner" for your family.

I wanted to suggest a website that I have found to be a good resource as to what stores/companies pay (if it hasn't already been posted) for pharmacy tech (or any position for that matter). glass door.com (one word, the forum wouldn't let me post this until I edited it) You can enter the job title & click the "Salaries" tab and it will show you all the retail companies, and even some hospitals. It is voluntarily submitted by others. After being on the site a few minutes it'll ask you to join. But joining is free & simple to do. It only takes a few minutes.

Hope it helps.

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knaz in Houston, Texas

25 months ago

I forgot to mention that they have a "Jobs" tab as well that show all current openings for the area that you select.

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Kat in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey

25 months ago

JOEY1296 in Salinas, California said: AND ANOTHER THING, YOU WORK IN CLOSE QUARTERS WITH YOUR CO-WORKERS SO YOU CAN CHIT-CHAT AND TALK WHILE YOU WORK TO MAKE THE DAYS A BIT MORE PLEASENT, YOU BUILD ACTUAL FRIENDSHIPS WITH YOU'RE CO-WORKERS

Well you definitely don't work for Rite Aid then. They pay us $7.65 per hour, We have to renew and pay for our licenses ourselves, and while they do certify us they never have the hours to send us to classes. Not one of us is certified, and even now they won't give us the dollar raise for certification like they used to. It's now part of "training."

Seriously, my advice to anyone looking to pursue a job as a tech, either get into a hospital or only step foot into retail if you're just looking for experience. The pay is terrible, the pharmacy profession as a whole is becoming more and more of a joke. I've been working towards pharmacy school, but I'm starting to think it'll be a whole new ballgame once I graduate.

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HarrowedWrath in Edgewood, Washington

21 months ago

Dumb as Pharmacist in Union City, Tennessee said: I was a technician for over 20 years I know exactly what your job entails, probably beeter than you do. I also know a vast majority of technicans think they do all the work, Let me sum this up for you, You do the grunt work, because you have no Pharmacist license. I am sure in all you vast knowledge you completely understand Pharmacodynamics and the whole CYP interaction scheme. We are paid so much because we have spent 6-8 years in a classroom learning why and understanding how. I'm sorry if you think I am talking down to you, but Us Dumb as- Pharmacist ARE TE ONES YOU RUN TOO EVERYTIME SOMEONE ASKS YOU A QUESTION YOU CANNOT ANSWER. And BTW I wrote many of the questions on yout PCTB exam, so please don't tell me you understand Pharmacology, the questions on that exam were written so technicians wouldn't have too much difficulty in answering them.
I am quite aware there are technicains out there who are extremely smart, and for all practical purposes should be in Pharmacy school, they are wasting their God given gift counting tablets or making IVs. But we need those techs. I also love my technicans and do not think bad of them, I do understand their limitations though, and never ask them to do something that is beyond them.
So just rememmber that us Dumb as - Pharmacist, keep you working, Just look at that sign you stick on the pharmacy every night. Medications cannot be Dispensed without a Licensed Pharmacist on Duty

You sir or ma'am are hilarious. I really hope you did NOT have anything to with any questions on the exam due to the fact that your spelling is atrocious. Your attitude is just as hilarious, sounds to me like you couldn't make it as an MD so you settled for an RPh. You have an elitist attitude and it is sad quite frankly. You may have the degree, you may be required to dispense the medicine at the end of the day but without your technicians you are useless.

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FrogPrincess in Augusta, Maine

19 months ago

I have been a Pharm Tech for almost 12 years. I've worked in all walks of pharmacy, save for a mental hospital or prison setting. Lowest pay is retail (but have had the most fun there, believe it or not!!), highest pay was doing purchasing for a long term care pharmacy (also was the most soul-sucking). Hospital paid somewhere in the middle and was good experience.

I do it for fun now, on the side, 'cause you really can't make a living doing it full time in Northern New England, especially when you live alone and you're the only income.

I work 2 jobs, averaging between 45 and 55 hours a week; one of those jobs is part time in retail as a floating tech. The pay is worse than a steaming poo burrito; so it had BETTER be fun or I wouldn't do it anymore.

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Ann in Paris, Tennessee

17 months ago

Well, I've read all the comments on becoming a Pharmacy Tech and it seems that most everyone just wanted to b-tch about it. If you don't like your job than do something else............. I'm getting ready to take the coarse to become a Pharmacy Tech because I think it is an interesting field and it's to do with the health field of what I'm interested in. If 'we' all wanted to be rich, then maybe some of you should have become 'Doctors' instead.
I've worked in sales for over 15 yrs, so I do know what it's like to deal with rude people. But if you think about it, no matter what you do in life, it deals with 'other people'. Just saying.........LOL!

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S.A in Fox Lake, Illinois

17 months ago

nick1 in Michigan said: I know that this may be a little different because of the category. But the one thing that I have experienced is those who say GPA means something are wrong. Yeah, sure just because your GPA is high that makes a difference. No it doesn't. If anything employers think they know it all and someone who has experience is better. I already have a formal education and a perfect 4.0. But do I get a chance at anything. Nope. Just because I haven't held a certain title or haven't had a chance I don't get a chance. The world is full of favoritism and employers who don't know what their doing when trying to find people for the job. GPA means nothing. If so then I would be doing something because of my 4.0. Just thank God if you get a chance to do anything.

With a perfect 4.0 I would think you had perfect grammar and spelling. Perhaps you should brush up on your English. Or should I say you're English?

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kandikane021 in Moore, South Carolina

16 months ago

So you said this field gets repetitive after 2 yrs....wouldnt any job get repetitive once you've been doing it for years.Just because you choose a field making more money wont necessarily mean you will like it. sometimes its not entirely about money it s about spending time with your family and that goes for the peron who wrote this post above too.

brown_dude34 in Hyde Park, Massachusetts said: Sorry for replying to this post so late. I have seen a lot Kaplan Career Centers around the city of Boston lately. Honestly, I would suggest that you skip the pharmacy technician career path for a much better paying career field. I believe Kaplan is buying up a lot of vocational training facilities around the Boston area.

However, if you’re really interested in a career in the medical field try and seek out a solid 2 year community college program such as a radiology technician, surgical technician, and biomedical laboratory technician . Check out Mass Bay Community College they have a short 2 year degree program in Biomedical Laboratory Technician. It seems solid. As far as being a pharmacy technician this career gets very repetitive after 1 -2 years.

Looking back I wish I never traveled down this career path. I ended up becoming a certified/registered pharmacy technician, but honestly I regret it. I started out in the retail sector via CVS /Pharmacy and you really don’t want to work retail anywhere. For most of the pharmacy technicians 70 – 75% of the pharmacy technician positions are in retail. Too many horror stories eventually you will get frustrated from the low pay, ingrate pharmacist attitudes, and customer aggravation.

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butterdandylion in Waco, Texas

16 months ago

If this is not the truth! I have been certified since 2007 and almost a decade later, have not been able to secure a job. I feel as though I wasted time and energy..Do not do it, it is a waste!!!

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Gail in Wallingford, Connecticut

16 months ago

brown_dude34 in Hyde Park, Massachusetts said: Can’t tell you how many aspiring pharmacy technicians I have seen just go on lunch break and never return lost count over the years. If I had to do it all over again I think the best path would be to go the 2 year community college route. In the long run you are better prepared and you will have earned the college credits to further your education should you choose to

. I know that radiology technicians earn double what a starting pharmacy technician makes and there’s a shortage of qualified biomedical laboratory technicians. Unlike pharmacy technicians which are a dime a dozen. No formal education is required by Massachusetts law . All it takes for you to become a certified pharmacy technician in the state of Massachusetts is to sit and pass the national pharmacy technician exam at www.ptcb.org ,so save your money and don’t waste it on that Kaplan Pharmacy Technician Training Program.

Enroll in a local community college and train for something much better. Right now I am at the point where I have to return to college in order to train for better paying career. Just cannot make it on these low wages as a pharmacy technician.

-Good Luck

Thanks for your input. I also thought that biomedical lab tech would be a great field, but I live in Connecticut and there are NO programs for that in the State system of community colleges or in a 4 year school. I did hear of one in Springfield, MA, but it's 50 miles from here. I was told by Gateway Comm. College in New Haven that the state abandoned that program due to low wages upon completion of that degree. :(

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Gail in Wallingford, Connecticut

16 months ago

My son is a pharm tech for Walgreens. He has an impeccable 5 yr history with them, and he is certified. He makes $14/hr now which is an insult to any semi skilled person in Connecticut because the cost of living is very high here. Minimum wage in CT should be $20/hr. - you can just about make it on that if you don't have expensive tastes.

My son hates his job for a number of reasons that ALL include rude/abusive people who blame him for not illegally refilling their Oxycontin prescriptions. He also is sickened by the number of people who pull up to the drive thru in Hummers and Escalades that present him with a State insurance card that should be for only the indigent of disabled. There is so much fraud out there and the state does nothing about it. They made State insurance 'no asset check' even as we continue to go bankrupt here.

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sidhardh chinda in Tbilisi, Georgia

15 months ago

hows dental technology in canada????

how s dental technology in caanda??lookin for nait college

-Good Luck

how s dental technology in caanda??lookin for nait college

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sidhardh chinda in Tbilisi, Georgia

15 months ago

how s dental technology in caanda??lookin for nait college

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x215m in Bothell, Washington

15 months ago

I'm actually doing a pharmacy tech program. I had one of my friends do it too 2 years ago and he got certified and what not. He's now working at a distribution pharmacy and hes only been working for a year and make $17.50/hour. Only at retail pharmacies the pay sucks. You need to be a pharmacy tech in bigger areas like the hospitals if you want to earn more. There's a place here at some clinic in marysville, starting is $20.50/hr. So I don't know what you guys are talking about how pharmacy tech is a waste of time and money. Some people just like helping patients and others.

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RichardsAshleyC in Clayton, Michigan

15 months ago

Brown_Dude34- Do you have ANY IDEA how much I would LOVE the opportunity to do
the 'grunt work' of a pharmacist? Everything you described is what a PT is meant
to do in the pharmacy- PLUS more- The only thing I can say is that no matter
whether you consider it a great job or a slave trade, the pay is AWFUL. AWFUL!
A pharmacist makes about $100-130k annually to start, I believe, while a full time
PT will likely make $12-18K yearly to start- RUBBISH! We deserve at least half of
what the RPh makes!
But anyway, all the stuff you described is just the job, and is similar in any
retail/customer service-based environment. I agree it's been a misleading journey
for a lot of us (read my rant on the board)... But honestly what kind of glamour
did you think it would be!? Good luck in any case :)

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rob909 in Monterey Park, California

14 months ago

JOEY1296 in Salinas, California said: AND ANOTHER THING, YOU WORK IN CLOSE QUARTERS WITH YOUR CO-WORKERS SO YOU CAN CHIT-CHAT AND TALK WHILE YOU WORK TO MAKE THE DAYS A BIT MORE PLEASENT, YOU BUILD ACTUAL FRIENDSHIPS WITH YOU'RE CO-WORKERS

Hi joey,

are you still working with Walgreens?

-Rob

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recode in San Francisco, California

14 months ago

For the most part, yes, Pharm Techs don't get paid for the amount of work they do, but some places do pay more than others. Obviously a hospital setting pays more, inpatient may pay a little more than outpatient. I know there are some techs that make $37/hr. Just gotta keep your eyes open for the opportunities, and network. The Pharmacy field is like an extended family, pretty much everyone knows each other in one way or another.

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Melissa in Manchester, New Hampshire

13 months ago

I don’t know where you worked but your info is off! I am a Pharmacy Technician have been for about a year now starting out with no experience but a background in customer service landed me a job for 12.50 an hour 40 hours a week with full benefits. I took the PTCB about 6 months ago and now make 15.50 an hour with a $1 raise every year to cap at 22.50. There is tons of room for advancement want to work in a hospital, a clinic, nursing home, or go into research? I have been looking into becoming a research technician where starting pay is 20.00 an hour with benefits granted you can no long be a pharm tech in NH for research but you could move and start an awesome job. Also another key thing is you could work your way through school and become a pharmacist that is what I am doing. I have my associates in Pharmacy Technology and will be starting at university for pre-pharmacy next year and most companies are more than willing to help you with tuition and books if you just sign a commitment contract thus while in school you will intern with them and then stay with them for a min. of 3 years and then you are free to go about your business and work wherever you would like.

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Dan in Brockton, Massachusetts

13 months ago

I started my career back in 2006. I signed up for the Lincoln Tech Pharmacy technician program (which was a little over priced, now that I looked back on it), which got me ready for my CPhT test. Which back then was taken 3 times a year. Part of the program was at the end working at Walgreen's for a 200 hours externship. The manager loved me and wanted to give me a job there. But after talking with the district manager, he wanted me to try to get a job at a hospital first. Because the best money he could give me was $10hr(Register) and $12hr(certified). But was willing to offer me a job if nothing happen in a month or so. The very next week I got a call from Mass General Hospital with an interview. I was hired a week later with only 200hr of tech work and just taken the PTCB. Two weeks after I started I pass the PTCB. When I got hired at MGH the pay was $14. I worked there for about 2 1/2 years and left when I got a better offer, closer to home working at Specialty Scripts Pharmacy at $16.50hr. Left there when the company was bought out by Walgreen's and closed (They just wanted to contacts not the people). I got a job at CVS/Caremark as a prior auth. representative @ 13hr but my plan was not to stay there, it was just work. Which is one of the reasons I hate the Walmarts/CVS/Walgreen/RiteAds is the pay and other things. Just worked there 2 months and landed where I am working at the VA hospital. Working for the Government is easy with the pay I started out as a GS-5 $16.40hr, then promoted to GS-6 $18.28hr now got promoted again to GS-7 which puts me @ $20.32. I love my job and if I stay here for the next 15 years not looking at cost of living increase today my pay rate would me $25.08 which is not bad looking at the benefits I get and bonuses every year. I am not the type of person that wants more and more when it comes to pay. I am happy where I am at and I try not to live above my means.

The truth is Retail sucks... Get yourself into a hospital setting...

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Tony in Waterford, Michigan

10 months ago

Tim in Tahlequah, Oklahoma said: $20-$28/hour?...Wow!...What a difference location makes...In Texas the pay for CPhTs is $14-$18/hour (even worse in Oklahoma) for hospital techs, and $9-$12 for retail techs...I'd say if you're considering becoming a pharm tech, RECONSIDER...Try Radiologic Technology, or Medical Technology instead.

They'd probably pay you more if you could read. She wasn't talking about normal technician pay - she's looking to hire an instructor.

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leeblck22 in Newark, Delaware

9 months ago

You don't make much unless you're working in a hospital or a place like Express Scripts. Hospitals require at least one-two years of experience first. Here are a few examples...

I graduated from a decent school. I earned my certification through the PTCB. I've been working as a pharmacy technician for a few months now and am only making $9.00 an hour.

One of my friends (who works as a pharmacy technician at CVS in Delaware for OVER A YEAR now) is only making $9.50 an hour. She graduated from the Delaware Tech Community College pharmacy technician program. She also has her PTCB certification.

I have another friend who has been working as a pharmacy technician at an independent pharmacy in Delaware for 8 months now and is only making $10.00 an hour. She is NOT certified nor did she graduate from a pharmacy technician program.

Half the pharmacy technicians I KNOW are back in school to get into other careers. Now why is that??? Hmmm...

The pharmacy technician salaries on indeed.com and salary.com are misleading. They are including salaries from people who've been working as technicians for 10-15 years. So of course they're going to be a lot higher...

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Dan in Brockton, Massachusetts

9 months ago

Update: My Wife just started working as a pharmacy tech for Right Aid. With no work experience as a pharmacy technician, but did an on-line program to help her get certified. She took the test and passed the PTCB. She did this all before she got her job there. They started her at $14.50hr.

Don’t let the retail world push you guys around when it comes to pay. Always talk to them about pay, don’t say yes to them with the first offer. They always have a range. The pharmacy manager told her that it was $12.50-$14.50hr and she pushed for the high in and got it. I have only been a pharmacy tech for 6 years and I make the high end $21.32hr, but I work IV and Chemotherapy.

Best advise Get Yourself IV, Chemo trained and find a job in a hospital or VA.

I work for the VA and love my job…

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c-dizzy in Houston, Texas

8 months ago

Wow! I see a lot of upset people on here, All I can say is that I just got hired here in Texas as a Pharmacy Assistant/Tech and Im making $15/hr to start...and I dont even have my Pharmacy Tech certification yet, just registered as a Pharmacy Tech Trainee...Maybe you all should steer clear of the CVS's and Walgreens being that they are for-profit companies and they dont pay as well...I'm working for a non profit organization right now...I also have my Bachelors Degree in Health Administration so that may also be a reason for my offer being above average in this field but just keep your heads up!

Best of Luck!

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DUNNTHAT in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

5 months ago

Wow!Talk about negativity! Ok, some of you are really frustrated with your lot in life because you did not get a high-paying position with a retail pharmacy that put your pay scale in line with a pharmacist. DUH! look at the educational differences! with that being said, Pharmacy technician is a field with rapidly expanding job opportunities, with some exciting changes being made in areas of responsibility and with that will come monetary reimbursement. Is it a job that will pay a salary that will put you in the middle class? NO! however with the job market as it stands today it is best to look for job futures that will put food on the table and pay the bills. I have seen many who graduate with bachelor degrees who are working as stock clerks at Wal-Mart. Is is a job that will always have a relaxing mood at all hours of the day? No! will you have times where you feel that you could possibly have made a difference in someones life who is feeling ill and standing in line, who sees a smile on a face instead of one where they feel they are an imposition? YES! Times are changing in the role of Pharmacy Technician. There works in motion that ALL pharmacy Technicians will have to be certified by the year 2020. Add on top of that they will also have to have graduated from an accredited school and you will see that the pharmacy industry will have to step up on the pay scales. This vocation, as are so many in the health field, is not for everyone. But if you stick with it and give it your all, you will see a great change in this vocation in the future. I am an LPN and a CPhT. I teach Pharmacy Technician at a vocational school. I see great promise on this field and I hope that some of these negative remarks do not sway anyone from pursuing a career choice that they want. It is a great stepping stone for those who need some kind of well-paying job while they further their careers in college. For those who are pursuing this career choice, good luck, study hard and SMILE!

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PDavis in Richmond, Virginia

5 months ago

Pharmacy Technicians make a $27,000-$35,000 salary. - Dept. of Labor Statistics
The work is as good as the people you work with and work for.

Don't waste your time going to school and getting burdened by debt to study to become a Nationally Certified Pharmacy Tech.

Goto www.RxTechExam.com and check out their packages ($174.99 - $249.99), and become a Pharmacy Tech Online and at your own pace.

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pharmtech111 in North Carolina

5 months ago

I really don't know why people waste their time going to school to be a pharmacy technician. I got hired on the same day I asked if they were hiring. I just asked for a manager and told them that I was applying online and that my application wasnt going through. He noticed that I applied four times and noticed that I really wanted to work there as a pharmacy technician. I was told that there was a position open as a cashier in the actual store floor and that when a position would open in pharmacy they would consider me. I got lucky and got hired on the spot as a cashier and a month later was hired in pharmacy as a tech. I was getting paid min wage as a cashier, which I didn't mind because it was a start. But once I started as a tech. my pay rate went up three dollars an hour. Working at Walgreens has been one of the easiest jobs i've ever had. I've worked at random mall jobs at clothing stores and worked my butt off and was not appreciated at all with a crappy pay. I did not have my tech license to be hired. Walgreen pays for your exam for the first time. and if you don't pass it. Then its on you to pay for it. But they expect you to be certified within the first year. the highest walgreens will pay a tech is 13.50/hr I believe. But I think it depends on your location how busy you are and how much work you have to do and at which pace. the one i work at is one the busiest ones. But I like fast pace work and helping people. if its something you like doing..then I say that you should go for it. People need to do their research before they try to be a tech because later they complain how much the pay rate is. the pharmacist obviously gets paid for her degree and her knowledge. she knows the drugs and what theyre used for and what they are at the top of her head. I've had bad experiences working at certain retail places but it isn't the entire company as a whole thats bad. its just certain people. and u can't base their reactions off of what you get paid.

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WishIreadThisB4IstartedworkinGtheRe in East Hartford, Connecticut

4 months ago

I'm working at CVS pharmacy now. I too started in the store and now I am in the Pharmacy as a trainee. I agree with everything you are saying. I am dealing with a deal of stress. I am not going to school for pharmacology. There are only a few things that look appealing about this position: 1.The experience 2.Being nationally certified 3. The boost to my resume. Aside from those three things, the patients and my coworkers are rude. My bosses are great. They are straight forward and respectful. At this point, I already have the position I'm going to stick with it and get my "credentials" and move on.

brown_dude34 in Hyde Park, Massachusetts said: Sorry for replying to this post so late. I have seen a lot Kaplan Career Centers around the city of Boston lately. Honestly, I would suggest that you skip the pharmacy technician career path for a much better paying career field. I believe Kaplan is buying up a lot of vocational training facilities around the Boston area.

However, if you’re really interested in a career in the medical field try and seek out a solid 2 year community college program such as a radiology technician, surgical technician, and biomedical laboratory technician . Check out Mass Bay Community College they have a short 2 year degree program in Biomedical Laboratory Technician. It seems solid. As far as being a pharmacy technician this career gets very repetitive after 1 -2 years.

Looking back I wish I never traveled down this career path. I ended up becoming a certified/registered pharmacy technician, but honestly I regret it. I started out in the retail sector via CVS /Pharmacy and you really don’t want to work retail anywhere. For most of the pharmacy technicians 70 – 75% of the pharmacy technician positions are in retail. Too many horror stories eventually you will get frustrated from the low pay, ingrate pharmacist attitudes, and customer aggravation.

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capslockcrusader in Gurnee, Illinois

4 months ago

JOEY1296 in Salinas, California said: I HAVE TO DISAGRRE WITH ALOT OF PEOPLE'S NEGATIVITY TOWARDS THE PHARM TECH FIELD, I PERSONALLY WOULDN'T MAKE A CAREER OUT OF IT, BUT FOR A FULL TIME COLLEGE STUDENT WORKING PART TIME, THE MONEY IS BETTER THAN MOST JOBS OFFERED TO COLLEGE STUDENTS WHO NEED FLEXIBLE HOURS. AND AS FOR THE BEST PAYING PHARMACY CHAIN, WALGREENS PAYS THEIR TECHS REALLY WELL, I'M 22, NATIONALLY CERTIFIED, AND I MAKE $18.25 AN HOUR, AND I'VE ONLY BEEN WITH THE COMPANY SINCE '07, WHERE I STARTED OUT AT $11.50, BUT GOT BUMPED UP TO $13.75 ONCE I PASSED MY NATIONAL BOARD TEST. ALSO, THEY PAY FOR YOU TO TAKE THE NATIONAL BOARD TEST, THEY'LL PAY FOR UP TO 3 TRIES, AND THEY PAY FOR YOUR STATE LISCENCE RENEWAL, AND HAVE FREE CE'S (CONTINUING EDUCATION ) FOR YOU WHEN YOU NEED THE CREDITS FOR YOUR NATIONAL BOARD RENEWAL. AND AS FAR AS PEOPLE FREAKING OUT ABOUT THE NATIONAL BOARD TEST, THAT TEST IS SO SIMPLE IF YOU'VE TAKEN THE CLASS AND DONE SOME EXTERNSHIP HOURS. ALL YOU NEED IS A 650 AND THE GRADING SCALE IS 300-900, SO IN REALITY, YOU NEED TO GET 350 OUT OF A 600 POINT TEST, THATS 58%, THAT'S LESS THAN A "D" BY REGULAR STANDARDS. SERIOUSLY, ITS NOT A BIG DEAL.

Caps lock is cruise control for cooooool!

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Preston D in Richmond, Virginia

4 months ago

I'll try to address as many questions as possible with this post. I've worked as a Pharmacy Technician for 14 years, and taught Pharmacology for 4 years.

Earlier this year, my colleagues and I launched a website: www.RxTechExam.com
We provide a completely online course, that is both self-paced and moderated by Pharmacy Technician Instructors and Pharmacists.

In my experience, the Math associated with the Pharmacy Technician Exam is the toughest obstacle for most applicants. RxTechExam's course offers step by step instructions on exactly how to solve all of the Pharmacological Calculations that are tested by the Pharmacy Technician Exam.

In addition to Pharmacy Math, it's very important that you review the major principles of pharmacology, dosage forms, DEA scheduling, anatomy and physiology, interpreting prescriptions, pharmacy law, community pharmacy, and institutional pharmacy. RxTechExam's self-paced course has individual chapters that cover all of those elements.

If for nothing else, visit the website and request a Free E-Book from us (no credit card required), you'll see the link on the right side of the page.

Please contact us if you have any questions, we would be more than happy to help you out.

-Preston Davis

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Ali in Baghdad, Iraq

4 months ago

Dan in Brockton, Massachusetts said: Update: My Wife just started working as a pharmacy tech for Right Aid. With no work experience as a pharmacy technician, but did an on-line program to help her get certified. She took the test and passed the PTCB. She did this all before she got her job there. They started her at $14.50hr.

Don’t let the retail world push you guys around when it comes to pay. Always talk to them about pay, don’t say yes to them with the first offer. They always have a range. The pharmacy manager told her that it was $12.50-$14.50hr and she pushed for the high in and got it. I have only been a pharmacy tech for 6 years and I make the high end $21.32hr, but I work IV and Chemotherapy.

Best advise Get Yourself IV, Chemo trained and find a job in a hospital or VA.

I work for the VA and love my job…

Hi Dan, do you think they need a proof that i went through an on-line program? coz i am planning to juts buy the right book, study and take the test to get certified.

Thanks man

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Charlie in Kingsport, Tennessee

3 months ago

kristen in Bristol, Tennessee said: My name is Kristen I live in Bristol TN. I'm 19 and in college . I've been taking a class at ETSU in Johnson City TN to prepare me for the pharmacy tech exam. I think this class has been very helpful. It was 400 and provides your book. You have 19 classes every tuesday and thursday from 6-8 pm for about 2 months. this class is by far the quickest and cheapest way in my area to prepare for the exam. The local buisness school charges 1100 to take the same class and is a whole semester. I would recommend this class to any who who want to become a certified pharmacy tech, or anyone who is interested in becoming a pharmasist.

Hi Kristen:) I live in Kingsport and I am thinking about doing the same program. But I have been out of school for quite a few years. My question to you is....how difficult was the math? That is really the only thing that is bothering me at this point.

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Dan in Boston, Massachusetts

3 months ago

Charlie in Kingsport, Tennessee said: Hi Kristen:) I live in Kingsport and I am thinking about doing the same program. But I have been out of school for quite a few years. My question to you is....how difficult was the math? That is really the only thing that is bothering me at this point.

I wouldn't worry too much on the math. When my wife took the test, that was her biggest worry. But after, it was easier than she though. She took the old test last year not the revamp one. I don't know how the new exam is for the PTCB now.

Pharmacy math can be hard. Just don’t let some of the numbers trick you up. Exp:

How many milliliters(mL) of the drug do you need for this order. Mitomycin 20mg in a 100mL of Normal Saline.
Mitomycin come in a 40mg/20mL Vial.

The part in the math problem that can trick you up is the 100mL of Normal Saline. Because you don’t need it, to figured out the answer.

Always break down the drug, to find out how much of the drug is in 1mL. In this case, all you take is 40mg divided by 20mL ( 40÷20= 2), which is given per the vial.

So you have 2mg of drug per 1mL of volume (2mg/1mL).

Now you just take the total amount order 20mg and divided by 2mg (20÷2=10). So there is your answer 10mL.

You need 10mL of Mitomycin for the order.

The 100mL of Normal Saline just there to trick you up. Once I got my wife too look out for that. Everything else feel into place.

More of my background. I compound both IV and Chemo for the VA. I also train and certify Pharmacy Technician for Chemotherapy, for our hospital.

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pezamber in Middletown, Indiana

3 months ago

No pharmacy technician in the history of ever has made $37/hour.

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Wes in Paragould, Arkansas

2 months ago

Wow you all need Waaa Waaa certificate. Oh no you actually have to work for a living and stand on your feet for long periods of time and do what you call grunt work. answer phones and count pills and fill bottles. Its called a pharmacy tech anyone should know this is the assistant to the pharmacist. Goto school get your certificate or degree and work for a living start at the bottom and work your way up. EARN IT!!!

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scooter4 in Rancho Cucamonga, California

2 months ago

It is a lot of hard work but it can be hard to come by at times. In California techs outnumber pharmacists by a wide margin. The biggest problem people don't always see is that, in a retail setting, your district managers always focus on the numbers, everything else is almost secondary at best. If you work in a retail setting then a lot of time (which happens at my job often), you run into a lot of miscommunication between everyone. I've been in pharmacy since I was 16 and it has its moments of good and bad. The important thing to do is focus on what your duties are and what you have to do. Any type of gossip or conflicting stuff just leave to the pharmacist to decipher that way you don't get attacked for it by the higher ups. Also, just remember that you're also working with pills and other types of medication. If you screw up you can seriously hurt or even kill a person if you give them the wrong thing. I hear about that stuff all the time.

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cpht in Long Beach, California

1 month ago

THIS IS NOT TRUE AT ALL. ONLY CERTIFIED PHARMACY TECHS QUALIFY FOR A HOSPITAL POSITION. HOSPITALS PAY 20DOLLARS AN HOUR TO START. I COMPOUND Ivs n a long beach ca hospital and i make 25an hour. BECAUSE I AN A CERTIFIED TECH I WAS ABLEVTO AFORD TO BUY MY FAMILY A HOUSE. PLEASE DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED FROM BETTERING URSELF

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Amanda in Gardnerville, Nevada

1 month ago

pharmtech111 in North Carolina said: I really don't know why people waste their time going to school to be a pharmacy technician. I got hired on the same day I asked if they were hiring . I just asked for a manager and told them that I was applying online and that my application wasnt going through.

Some states REQUIRE training and possibly from a school on their approved list. You were lucky and work in a state that doesn't have requirements for pharmacy technicians. About half require PTCB certification and very few have no regulations at all. Anyone interested in this career should look up their state's requirements first. pharmtechtraining.net/state-requirements.html has requirements by state or go to your state's board of pharmacy website to see what is required.

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ptcbeasy in Watsonville, California

1 month ago

If you are struggling passing the PTCB exam or scared need that
extra assurance, you are not alone! I have been there! I'm happy
to help! I noticed many books out there make it harder than it needs
to be! You don't need a tutor! You don't need to spend 10k for a
school or 2k for one of those online schools. All you need is the
right tools to pass the exam! I spent countless hours of hard
sweat work to find the right tools that made it easy to understand.
I passed the PTCB exam with flying colors on the first attempt!

Please email me at ptcbeasy@gmail.com
or visit www.ebay.com/usr/wavelightthesmiths

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bxp in Bronx, New York

1 month ago

wow you really pay up to $10000 to be a pharm tech? well i mean i paid $1250 for a 1 month course that guaranteed me an internship of 250 hours.
im certified with no license but i want my license now, not that i like my job, matter of fact i hate it. after my internship i got hired just 3 months later by the same company. i feel lucky, not too many ppl ae that way, my pay isnt bad either but would be even better with my license. i have been working there for 7months now and trust me i hate it now. i have no choice thou because 7 months ago i was working at a fast food chain if you ask me i will tell you i prefer the working conditions, and just yesterday i came back from work with a headache!! the ppl i work with are very nice but the sick ppl are the once that make your job hard, the phone is ringing, you have prescriptions to type, you have to fill, you have ppl in your face that want their meds in 5mins, im not complaining but if you want to do this job, i would say try by all means to get into the hospital or you will lose your mind before you know it. what tops it is that ppl come to the pharmacy and ask if we do photos. i dont get it myself. i hate my retail job but i think i would like it better at the hospital having not to deal with people and their nasty attitudes and getting paid up to $18/hr? HEY, I WILL TAKE THAT!! THINGS IS, YOU NEED EXPERIENCE PLUS LICENSE

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Atashe in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

1 month ago

Hi, I'm am undergraduate getting a BA in chemistry & I want to be a pharmacist. I'm trying to get into the world of pharmacy but I'm having a really hard time. I was wondering if being a certified pharm tech may help me since most jobs I look at on here want you to be certified?

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Julianna in Purchase, New York

28 days ago

Atashe in Milwaukee, Wisconsin said: Hi, I'm am undergraduate getting a BA in chemistry & I want to be a pharmacist. I'm trying to get into the world of pharmacy but I'm having a really hard time. I was wondering if being a certified pharm tech may help me since most jobs I look at on here want you to be certified?

I am not sure what your state's requirements are, but here in NY you do not have to be certified. Most job listings that you look at will say that they prefer or "require" their technicians to be certified, but I have found that most retail pharmacies will hire people even if they are not certified. If you are a quick learner, a hard worker, have retail/customer service experience, and good references, you will be fine without certification. I got a job as a pharmacy tech with zero experience or skills in pharmacy and I've done really well. I worked as a tech for 5 years before I got certified and the only reason I did it was because my employer paid for the test. Personally, I think paying for a course is absolutely unnecessary and a complete waste of money. All that being said, I think it is very smart of you to get experience as a pharmacy tech before committing to pharmacy school. Almost every pharmacist I've met in the last 5 years absolutely hates their job. After working in pharmacy for the last 5 year, I would NEVER want to be a pharmacist- for way too many reasons to list on this post (long hours, treated poorly,etc. So, I think it is very smart of you to work in the field so you can have a better idea of what being a pharmacist will actually be like when you graduate, before it's too late to change your mind! No offense to anyone who enjoys being a pharmacist or pharmacy tech, but I've found that many people, pharmD and tech alike, come in to pharmacy to find that it is not at all what they expected. It may be VERY different in other states or in a hospital setting, but this is what I've found for retail stores in NY

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JC in Purchase, New York

28 days ago

bxp in Bronx, New York said: wow you really pay up to $10000 to be a pharm tech? well i mean i paid $1250 for a 1 month course that guaranteed me an internship of 250 hours.
im certified with no license but i want my license now, not that i like my job, matter of fact i hate it. after my internship i got hired just 3 months later by the same company. i feel lucky, not too many ppl ae that way, my pay isnt bad either but would be even better with my license. i have been working there for 7months now and trust me i hate it now. i have no choice thou because 7 months ago i was working at a fast food chain if you ask me i will tell you i prefer the working conditions, and just yesterday i came back from work with a headache!! the ppl i work with are very nice but the sick ppl are the once that make your job hard, the phone is ringing, you have prescriptions to type, you have to fill, you have ppl in your face that want their meds in 5mins, im not complaining but if you want to do this job, i would say try by all means to get into the hospital or you will lose your mind before you know it. what tops it is that ppl come to the pharmacy and ask if we do photos. i dont get it myself. i hate my retail job but i think i would like it better at the hospital having not to deal with people and their nasty attitudes and getting paid up to $18/ hr ? HEY, I WILL TAKE THAT!! THINGS IS, YOU NEED EXPERIENCE PLUS LICENSE

LOL @ people coming to the pharmacy to ask if we do photos!! Oh boy do I know how annoying that is, lmao. What's worse is if you're in a store where the pharmacy is near the bathroom...then you get people all day long asking you to open the bathroom for them.

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nicholasjarnott@yahoo.com in Kalamazoo, Michigan

26 days ago

I speak of only my own success story6, but this story was no accident. I was determined to make it on my own after high school, and living in another town was exciting. Except, I had no experience outside of my bubble. Of all my research, and realizing that school just isn't working for my life right now- and so many friends regret spending so much on a degree they don't use- what am I supposed to take away from this. I researched pharmacy, and found a program online for $1500, no intern or externship though.

After being certified, it was my understanding that 6 months of experience at local or retail pharmacy positions were mandatory.

Hardly the case.

If you have a lack of experince, like me I came fresh out of a kitchen, just doing enough of the right research, asking get the right questions, and understanding what you're getting into.

2 years I got hired at Bronson Hospital, staring full time with amazing $14/hr pay. Since, as of now, I have received three raises and two promotions, flying straight to the top tier of technician qualification and pay. Never think you are limited, all is possible. Always qualify yourself first, why not earn it. I now make $17.19/hr and I just turned 24.

Hope this was inspirational, and not preachy...just believe in the technicians' capabilities :)

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nicholasjarnott@yahoo.com in Kalamazoo, Michigan

26 days ago

But I strongly emphasize that I only speak for a HOSPITAL SETTING!!

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sarahmccue92 in Spotsylvania, Virginia

25 days ago

after reading a lot of these comments i decided id share my story. i got my national certification in august which i am not regretting. i know from colleagues and what not that many institutions in Virginia are pushing for applicants to have their PTCB cert and state license as well. in virginia hospital techs make hands down a lot more than retail. I was lucky school wise and did a free online tech program through a non-profit pharmacy in the area. I have volunteered regularly with them for two years and have never regretted it because it was great experience and provided plenty of networking and people willing to provide glowing references. I recently graduated from college and got hired as a tech in a unit dose packaging dept in a hospital at $14.00 PRN. I would recommend volunteer work to anyone because without it i might not have gotten hired for that job, im also under consideration for a job at a Giant foods pharmacy and without my volunteer experience they probably would not be considering me.

also i would recommend applying in person, or inquiring about openings in person that way people doing the hiring have a face to match to a name and application. So far that method has worked out for me. If anyone has questions about current technician issues in Virginia feel free to ask

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RxTechExam in Washington, District of Columbia

25 days ago

It's great to hear some great stories from you all regarding your experiences taking the pharmacy tech exam and your willingness to report your salary details. Pharmacy Technicians are in high demand in most but not in all localities... Landing your first gig can be a lil rough but I whole heartedly agree with Sarah... Apply in person, I've never met a hiring manager interested in job requests by phone. Also, while you might be able to study on your own and pass the exam, it will be easier to find a job if you have some sort of formal training. Don't break the bank doing it though.

Preston Davis
www.RxTechExam.com
Online Pharmacy Tech Training

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Angrytech in Portland, Oregon

21 days ago

For all those interested in this career I would say don't listen to everything that people say and how bad of a job it is. I have been a tech for 7 years I was involved in a new pharmacy start up from the ground up I mean from square -0 to go and a software conversion of a large pharmacy with 5 locations all ltc. I can tell you is not all grunt work it can be very rewarding. My salary is 24 an hour I own my own house my wife is a stay at home mom with my 3 year old and we have money to spare so don't give up hope I talk on a daily basis to the ceo / cfo and the coo of a multi million dollar company so if you work hard you will get places I have had offers from 3 other local pharmacies asking if I want to work for them I don't want to make myself sound like I am all that I just don't want competent people giving up a good career.

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