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

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Hrachelle in Houston, Texas

4 months ago

Yep. You have to want it. I'll say it again. I've been in pharmacy for a long time. Started out in retail and worked my way through different pharmacy industries. I am a salaried worker at just over 50000/year. It's pure laziness and the the fact that you are not making a quick dollar that makes you mad. No industry is going to pay you more than you are worth. Take that however you will. If you want to make more you have to make yourself more valuable.

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TWA1958 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma

4 months ago

Hrachelle in Houston, Texas said: Yep. You have to want it. I'll say it again. I've been in pharmacy for a long time. Started out in retail and worked my way through different pharmacy industries. I am a salaried worker at just over 50000/year. It's pure laziness and the the fact that you are not making a quick dollar that makes you mad. No industry is going to pay you more than you are worth. Take that however you will. If you want to make more you have to make yourself more valuable.

I plan on doing just that...I will have my 2nd Bachelors (in Biology) in May of 2016 (at age 58), and plan on apply to PA schools in Texas, Oklahoma, and possibly New Mexico...Congrats on your position...I would have to say however, you are the exception, and not the rule.

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MaryKat13 in Somerville, Texas

4 months ago

Gaby in Miami, Florida said: I recently graduated from a private school as a Pharmacy Technician.
Im registered, but not yet certified cause I tend to freak out about the test.
Im scared that Ill fail it or something.
I graduated in May 2011, should I still consider taking the exam or just go to another career?
also ... would walgreens aor cvs allow me to be a volunteer and work in the pharmacy as a registered pharmacy tech. until im ready to take the exam?

Hi, I work as a pharmacy tech at Walgreens. I know in Texas you can get hired as a Pharmacy Tech Trainee and work with that license until you take your exam. Sometimes it is more difficult to find someone who will hire you without being certified, but the jobs are out there. As long as you let them know you intend on taking the exam, you should be fine. I would give both Walgreens and CVS a shot.

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Hrachelle in Dallas, Texas

4 months ago

Yes, you should take the exam. Even if you do move on to something else. Loads of people do other things and keep their certificates up to date just in case. The test is not hard. I took it without any college classes or coursework. I had worked as a clerk in a pharmacy in high school but that was before you had to be registered as a trainee. Anyway- as far as a pharmacy like Walgreens or CVS allowing you to work, I doubt they would allow you to volunteer. There are very strict rules about these things and If you are not certified, the only way to gain any experience behind the counter is if you are registered as a trainee. There is one last note I want to leave in here because I notice it's a trend in this topic of conversation. Big retailers like Walgreens and CVS are NOT the only pharmacies in existence. If you allow yourself to be narrow minded and think because the are a big retail chain that that are they end of the line and pay the big bucks, then you are wrong. There is so much more to pharmacy than that. There are plenty of independent pharmacies that pay their employees well. There are also compounding pharmacies on the rise of your willing to get your compounding certifications (there are 3). There are in-patient pharmacies everywhere (also require compounding certifications) specialty pharmacies, mail order pharmacies, pharmacy software companies... Use your imagination folks. The pharmacy industry is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Abro22 in Indianapolis, Indiana

3 months ago

So much negativity on this forum; it's ridiculous. I've been licensed as a technician for a year and work at Wal-Mart pharmacy making $12.55 per hour. You start out making around $9 and then get a hefty raise once you're licensed. For those of you saying take a class to get licensed/certified, please stop recommending that. I've never a) known a tech who took a course who actually knows what they're doing when they're hired or b) a pharmacist who wants to hire a tech who took a course. It's a waste of your time/money, you learn a lot more on the job, AND you learn how the pharmacist you're working for wants you to do things.

To add to that, I just got my certification and am now switching to a hospital tech job. It's a good (though stressful) job that pays well and you can get in at a hospital if you're fairly intelligent and a good worker. If you can't handle using your brain on a daily basis or standing up (God forbid), this is not for you.

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cf3001atyahoodotcom in Lancaster, California

3 months ago

Author = my email. Retail techs please email me for this great easy commission opportunity.

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Tranquilkitten in Chaska, Minnesota

3 months ago

Advice needed! I worked as a Pharm Tech in IL in the 90's when all that was needed was a certificate from the state. Worked at Walgreens for 4 years & was sent to work at their mail order facility in Orlando for a summer because they were short-staffed. I then moved to working at an off-site Long Term Care pharmacy for 6 yrs that supplied over 100 nursing homes. I left pharmacy when I moved to MN 15 yrs ago & am working a Finance job that I detest. My husband & I will be moving to CA this year & I want to go back to pharmacy. My goal is to eventually work in any of the environments I described above (including hospital) EXCEPT retail. I plan on going to an accredited trade school to prepare for the certification exam. Am I right to assume I will have to take the exam twice- here in MN & again in CA? Will I have to do an externship in retail? Will any of my past experience count in my job search? BTW, no hate for the retail folks- it's just not the environment I thrive in. I regret leaving the field so much as it was so interesting to me... Just wanting to get back to what I love doing & trying to find my way.....

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smccue2 in Fredericksburg, Virginia

3 months ago

Tranquilkitten in Chaska, Minnesota said: Advice needed! I worked as a Pharm Tech in IL in the 90's when all that was needed was a certificate from the state. Worked at Walgreens for 4 years & was sent to work at their mail order facility in Orlando for a summer because they were short-staffed. I then moved to working at an off-site Long Term Care pharmacy for 6 yrs that supplied over 100 nursing homes. I left pharmacy when I moved to MN 15 yrs ago & am working a Finance job that I detest. My husband & I will be moving to CA this year & I want to go back to pharmacy. My goal is to eventually work in any of the environments I described above (including hospital) EXCEPT retail. I plan on going to an accredited trade school to prepare for the certification exam. Am I right to assume I will have to take the exam twice- here in MN & again in CA? Will I have to do an externship in retail? Will any of my past experience count in my job search? BTW, no hate for the retail folks- it's just not the environment I thrive in. I regret leaving the field so much as it was so interesting to me... Just wanting to get back to what I love doing & trying to find my way.....

If you take the national exam with the ptcb then you will only need to take the exam once. You just have to follow the states specific licensure rules. Usually when u get the national cert u just have to register with the state healthcare professional agency. I'm not sure what Minnesota or California's state reqs are.

As to the externship, most programs will have some retail aspect as well as exposure to hospital or clinical environment But each program varies so it will depend on which program you go with.

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smccue2 in Fredericksburg, Virginia

3 months ago

Tranquilkitten in Chaska, Minnesota said: Advice needed! I worked as a Pharm Tech in IL in the 90's when all that was needed was a certificate from the state. Worked at Walgreens for 4 years & was sent to work at their mail order facility in Orlando for a summer because they were short-staffed. I then moved to working at an off-site Long Term Care pharmacy for 6 yrs that supplied over 100 nursing homes. I left pharmacy when I moved to MN 15 yrs ago & am working a Finance job that I detest. My husband & I will be moving to CA this year & I want to go back to pharmacy. My goal is to eventually work in any of the environments I described above (including hospital) EXCEPT retail. I plan on going to an accredited trade school to prepare for the certification exam. Am I right to assume I will have to take the exam twice- here in MN & again in CA? Will I have to do an externship in retail? Will any of my past experience count in my job search? BTW, no hate for the retail folks- it's just not the environment I thrive in. I regret leaving the field so much as it was so interesting to me... Just wanting to get back to what I love doing & trying to find my way.....

Also your past experience will count. I've known a few people who took a break from pharmacy but were able to come back and find a job. It will just depend on who is hiring.

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Tranquilkitten in Chaska, Minnesota

3 months ago

smccue2 in Fredericksburg, Virginia said: Also your past experience will count. I've known a few people who took a break from pharmacy but were able to come back and find a job. It will just depend on who is hiring.

Thanks for the info!! I see that in CA all that is needed for a state license is proof of passing the ptcb & a HS Diploma. I can't find anywhere that it is required to attend an actual school in order to sit for the ptcb & see quite a few online courses that are affordable that can help to prepare me for the exam. Do you have an opinion regarding trade school prep vs. online prep?

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smccue2 in Fredericksburg, Virginia

3 months ago

Tranquilkitten in Chaska, Minnesota said: Thanks for the info!! I see that in CA all that is needed for a state license is proof of passing the ptcb & a HS Diploma. I can't find anywhere that it is required to attend an actual school in order to sit for the ptcb & see quite a few online courses that are affordable that can help to prepare me for the exam. Do you have an opinion regarding trade school prep vs. online prep?

I myself did an online course that prepared me very well for the ptcb. It was sponsored by a pharmacy in a local free clinic. i got experience volunteering there and that was the equivalent to my externship. but since you have already worked in the field you already have a working knowledge of the field. so really an online course would probably work. just make sure its properly accredited and you should be fine.its also a way for you to bypass doing externship in a retail environment. the internet is full of study aides and the ptcb site itself provides practice exams

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RxTechExam in Richmond, Virginia

3 months ago

Check out www.Rxtechexam.com we guarantee you pass the PTCB exam with our completely online course.

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cf3001atyahoodotcom in Lancaster, California

3 months ago

Hi everyone. If you're a pharmacy tech for a retail. Please email me. Easiest money you'll ever make. Author name is my email address

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RxGirl56

3 months ago

I started out at Target (10.50) in 2003 and loved it but wanted to experience hospital. So after 2 yrs retail, I got hired at the local hospital. (12.00) I hadn't been used to working with a group of women and unfortunately, I let them get the best of me. Of course I have since learned that people that walk around making remarks are the ones with the problems, Not me, but I couldn't understand why pharmacists who saw it let it happen and decided it wasn't a place I wanted to work at and moved on, back to retail. I worked for Safeway,(14, 16.45 when I left( which cut hours so low, I had to move on. I worked for King Soopers (16.45, 17.06 when I left) but again, retail is never full time. Left to assist a loved on with home health care in 2011 and have been trying to get back into hospital, or Costco since. Stuck at a call center for $10 and miserable, I love being a pharm tech and keeping myself certified. I had hopes but the hospital job I applied for gave the full time position to an internal candidate. All I can do is keep being positive and keep applying. I like that it gives me a sense of responsibility and I feel I've made a difference in someone's life and the life of the ones who love them. It makes me feel like I have purpose. It is a professional job and I would love to retire as a hospital pharmacy tech. Yes, you have to want it, you have to like it, you have to find your own purpose in it. It can be stressful, it can be hard, but it can be so very rewarding. I'm out here, hoping to get back in! Keep positive, keep up your certification, keep in touch with your contacts. I come from a production background and that is my plan b, but, my heart is with pharmacy.

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Karen in Bradenton, Florida

3 months ago

Anyone that wants to make more money - Pharmacy Tech, Teacher et. al. GET OUT OF FLORIDA. Salaries in this state are so much lower than others. I thought everyone knew that. It's a tourist/retirement state. There's no future here. Move to an area that will pay you what you are worth. You can't have the lifestyle and the money.

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Anne in Memphis, Tennessee

2 months ago

I worked as a pharmacy technician for 3 years. I spent about 1.5 years working for CV as an undergraduate and I spent about 1.5 years working there after graduating. Despite it being of no cost to me, I never took the certification exam, however, I was hired as a Junior in college. I believe they assumed I could handle the basics. I was interested in pharmacology. From what I've read, I must have lucked out, because my pharmacist was more than happy to answer my questions about drugs I knew nothing about. I took the time to learn the pharmacology and classifications of the "fast movers" and any drug with mechanisms of action that I found confusing. I kept the position because I was applying for graduate school in pharmacology, so the position was help for me. The pay was extremely low, but as college student and while studying for the GRE, it was suitable. I started at $9.50 and ended at $10.00. I was quick, knowledgeable, pretty helpful with customer questions, and held a B.S., however the company never deemed me fit to earn my experience, skill, or degree's-worth.

Overall, cool job. Mostly, if you're interested in the drug not the money!

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Zack in Irving, Texas

2 months ago

I have been a pharmacy tech with Kroger pharmacy for a few years now and make $15 an hour. I only work part-time due to the fact that I am a full time student at UTA working on my bachelors degree in biology. If you want to be a pharmacy tech DO NOT GO TO SCHOOL FOR IT!!!! If you are gonna spend money on any type of education use it for a degree! I just bought some study material off of amazon, locked myself in my room for a month and took the PTCB exam and passed it on my first try. BE SMART!

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PharmSlave in Bellflower, California

2 months ago

South california wage 11.00 starting @ 24 to 32 hours usually rarely get 40 hours. benefits cost 400 monthly with a high deductible . The kids at in and out make more money than us . grumpy customers no breaks constant standing lab coat checks after clocking out . No discount on medication. High stress . pretty much i think security guards with the 4 red dots on the shoulders get paid the same .

So i think it would be a better career choice to be a security guard at least you can sit sometimes..........

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JT in Plymouth, Indiana

1 month ago

cricket said: I WOULD NOT WORK FOR CVS PERIOD. THEY TREAT YOU LIKE CRAP, NO MONEY, NO BREAKS JUST THREATS ALL THE TIME. I WAS JUST FIRED UNJUSTLY AFTER OVER 4 YEARS OF WORKING MY BUTT OFF FOR THEM BUT THEN AGAIN I ALSO HAVE A WORKERS COMPENSATION LAW SUIT GOING WITH THEM. WOW I WONDER WHY I WAS FIRED. I WAS WARNED BY SOMEONE IN MY STORE "YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED IF YOU HAVE A WORKERS COMP CASE GOING AND BOY WAS SHE RIGHT" STAY AWAY STAY FAR AWAY FROM CVS. BY THE WAY AFTER OVER 4 YEARS ONLY MADE $9.65 AN HOUR ISN'T THAT A SHAME FOR BUSTING YOUR AS- 9 HOURS A DAY WHILE THE DUMB AS- PHARMACIST IS MAKING OVER $120,00.00 A YEAR

Wouldn't really be calling the Pharmacist dumb when they went to school for 7-8 years to have the knowledge that they have.

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Hrachelle

1 month ago

Omg folks, if your not happy with your job, go find another one. There are SO MANY other jobs out there that require a pharm tech license. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!!!!

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Sjfierce

19 days ago

Abro22 in Indianapolis, Indiana said: So much negativity on this forum; it's ridiculous. I've been licensed as a technician for a year and work at Wal-Mart pharmacy making $12.55 per hour. You start out making around $9 and then get a hefty raise once you're licensed. For those of you saying take a class to get licensed/certified, please stop recommending that. I've never a) known a tech who took a course who actually knows what they're doing when they're hired or b) a pharmacist who wants to hire a tech who took a course. It's a waste of your time/money, you learn a lot more on the job, AND you learn how the pharmacist you're working for wants you to do things.

To add to that, I just got my certification and am now switching to a hospital tech job. It's a good (though stressful) job that pays well and you can get in at a hospital if you're fairly intelligent and a good worker. If you can't handle using your brain on a daily basis or standing up (God forbid), this is not for you.

Did you learn everything you needed to get certified in a year? I know taking courses nowadays are expensive and I'd rather not take a $1000 class, especially if I don't pass. I'm only 19 and just now getting into the pharmacy world. It's been 5-6 months. How did you pass? Is their anything you would recommend?

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Sjfierce

19 days ago

Zack in Irving, Texas said: I have been a pharmacy tech with Kroger pharmacy for a few years now and make $15 an hour. I only work part-time due to the fact that I am a full time student at UTA working on my bachelors degree in biology . If you want to be a pharmacy tech DO NOT GO TO SCHOOL FOR IT!!!! If you are gonna spend money on any type of education use it for a degree! I just bought some study material off of amazon, locked myself in my room for a month and took the PTCB exam and passed it on my first try. BE SMART!

What did you buy? I want to take my test before the end of this year just don't know what is the most accurate information to study

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mcneillmama in Winston Salem, North Carolina

19 days ago

Blah* in Winston Salem, North Carolina said: I just took my certification exam today! Passed, but of course, im not getting a raise or anything. I am still below $8.40 that is supposed to be the lowest amount of pay after working for a year. I have been there for 3 years. The pay is ridiculous. 4 people hired after me are getting 30 cents more than me and I'M CERTIFIED. CVS is bull. Walgreens, (i inquired surrounding stores) are starting off around $13.00 dollars... But they aren't hiring . You do ALL,I mean, ALL of the hard grunt work that the 1st blogger mentioned. This work field is NOT worth it. The only reason i got certified was 1) It is free the first time, and 2) it helps me get into the RN program at school. Decide loooong and haaard about pursuing a career as a pharm tech.

NC is well known for paying dirt cheap wages in every field compared to other states. Not just pharmacy techs, but nurses and teachers too. I don't know how our license plates say "First in Flight". I don't think NC has been first in anything except unemployment and illiteracy.

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mcneillmama in Winston Salem, North Carolina

19 days ago

TWA1958 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma said: I have been a nationally certified Pharmacy Tech since 2002, after being laid off from the Telecom industry in the Dallas-Fort Worth area (and I have a Bachelors degree from The University of Texas)..I have worked both hospital and retail, and I can tell you people that alot of these so-called success stories are bs...The truth is 90% or better will start off in retail after getting national certification (many will be part-time, due to retail chain cutbacks), making from $10-$16/ hr depending on locale...If you're lucky, you might get a position in a hospital pharmacy at $14-$18 starting...Good enough to support oneself, but hardly lucrative...If you want to work in the healthcare field, my advice...Go Nursing (become a RN), or respiratory...Or if you have the intellect, become a pharmacist, or perhaps a PA after earning your Bachelors in Biology ...Pharmacy Techs are a dime a dozen...Wished I had gone to PA school :(

Or if you don't want to do hands on care, get a BS Degree or higher in computer science and get a job in the hospital or pharmacy Information Technology department. Network security (HIPAA and Electronic Health Records is the buzz word now)

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Hrachelle in Dallas, Texas

19 days ago

mcneillmama in Winston Salem, North Carolina said: Or if you don't want to do hands on care, get a BS Degree or higher in computer science and get a job in the hospital or pharmacy Information Technology department. Network security (HIPAA and Electronic Health Records is the buzz word now)

How dare you call our success stories BS? Just because you lacked the ambition to make something of yourself in this career doesn't mean you have the right to disrespect the hard work we have put into it. We are at a point in our career where we can teach others and encourage them to put in the effort it takes to get where they want to be in pharmacy. Really you should shut the hell up. We have earned the right to call our stories a success and push others in the same direction. My god, if you hate the damn job, get the hell out. Nobody asked you to stay. Pharmacy techs are dime a dozen?? I wouldn't mind one or two less if they are going to bash our career. GOOD pharmacy techs are few and far between and trust me, we know the difference.

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ericaspar245 in Forest Hills, New York

9 days ago

I agree star415. I think Pharmacy Technician work is great. I am very methodical and like moving my body around. So this is perfect for me. I would hate sitting at a cubicle and selling some kind of telemarketing bs all day. At least this is a real hands on product. You just do the work How simple? Also it is not a dead end for me because I am apply to get my BA then going for PharmD school. What you do with your life is totally up to you. The sooner people realize that the sooner they will understand how life works.

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