What is a pharmacy technician and what do they do? Pharmacy technicians assist licensed pharmacists prepare prescription medications, provide customer service, and perform administrative duties within a pharmacy setting. Pharmacy technicians generally are responsible for receiving prescription requests, counting tablets, and labeling bottles, perform administrative functions such as answering phones, stocking shelves, and operating cash registers.
- Delivery: Daytime Classes
- Start: Fall Semester, Full-Time
- Location: Nursing Allied Health Campus
Pharmacy technicians often work in retail, institutional, and mail-order pharmacies and have various responsibilities, depending on State rules and regulations. Technicians receive written prescription requests from patients. They also may receive prescriptions sent electronically from doctors' offices, and in some States they are permitted to process requests by phone. They must verify that the information on the prescription is complete and accurate. To prepare the prescription, technicians retrieve, count, pour, weigh, measure, and sometimes mix the medication. Then they prepare the prescription labels, select the type of container, and affix the prescription and auxiliary labels to the container. Once the prescription is filled, technicians price and file the prescription, which must be checked by a pharmacist before it is given to the patient. Technicians may establish and maintain patient profiles, as well as prepare insurance claim forms. Technicians always refer any questions regarding prescriptions, drug information, or health matters to a pharmacist.
Pharmacy technicians and aides work in clean, organized, well-lighted, and well-ventilated areas. Most of their workday is spent on their feet. They may be required to lift heavy boxes or to use stepladders to retrieve supplies from high shelves.
Technicians and aides often have varying schedules that include nights, weekends, and holidays. In facilities that are open 24 hours a day, such as hospital pharmacies, technicians and aides may be required to work nights. Many technicians and aides work part time.
National median wage: $14.95/hr; $31,090/year (BLS, May 2014)
Texas median wage: $15.30/hr; $31,830/year (BLS, May 2014)
McAllen, Edinburg, Mission Metropolitan Area median wage: $14.27/hr; $29,690/year (BLS, May 2014)
- Meet general admission requirements to South Texas College.
- Have a High School diploma or GED.
- Be 18-years of age for clinical/practicum experience.
- Degree option: Be TSI Complete or TSI Exempt.
- Complete all prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of "C" as listed in the Pharmacy Technician Program degree plan.
- Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for all courses completed through STC.
- Complete program specific requirements for clinical practice.
- Submit a completed Pharmacy Technology program application.
- Participate in individual student advisement with Pharmacy Technician program faculty prior to application.
- Satisfy healthcare agency requirements prior to clinical practice.
General Advisement for the Pharmacy Technology Program is held each spring semester. Application packets are distributed during this advisement session. The application period is from the first Friday in February through the last Friday in May. Please contact the Program office at (956) 872-3018 for additional information or appointment with program faculty.
Additional Information and Requirements
For additional information on the requirements for obtaining Pharmacy Technician Registration from the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, please go to www.tsbp.state.tx.us
For additional information on becoming a nationally Certified Pharmacy Technician, go to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board's website at www.ptcb.org