How to advance your pharmacy technology career

Wondering how you can advance your pharmacy technician career? Here's some advice.After completing pharmacy technician classes, earning your degree and scoring your first job, the next thing on your mind (aside from applying all the knowledge you gained at pharmacy technology school, of course) will likely be how you can advance your career in the future. More than 100,000 pharmacy technicians are expected to be hired between 2010 and 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.1 That means there are plenty of opportunities for employment, it’s just a matter of taking the right steps to propel your career forward.

Get certified
If you are not already a certified pharmacy technician, earning specialized certifications can improve your employability and opportunities for career advancement. After earning a pharmacy technician degree, you may want to consider completing a certificate program offered by the National Pharmacy Technician Association – you can specialize in everything from sterile products to compounding.2

Consider management
After working as a pharmacy technician for some time, you may be able to move into a management position. These job opportunities are generally only available at large pharmacies or health care systems that operate hospitals and long-term care facilities. However, accepting a position at a smaller pharmacy before changing employers can still give you the chance to gain the work experience necessary to become a manager or supervisor.3

Practice your soft skills
Aside from using the industry-specific skills you gained when earning your pharmacy technician degree, pharmacy techs also need to master a number of soft skills. As a pharmacy technician you spend a great deal of time interacting with customers, and cultivating your people skills can help you become better at your job and possibly earn more responsibilities or a promotion.4

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Pharmacy Technicians,’ March 29, 2012 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm
2 National Pharmacy Technician Association, ‘Certificate Programs,’ 2013 – http://www.pharmacytechnician.org/en/cms/?468
3 Kasson, Elisabeth Greenbaum, Health Callings, ‘Career Advancement for Pharmacy Technicians,’ Oct. 19, 2011 – http://career-news.healthcallings.com/2011/10/19/career-advancement-for-pharmacy-technicians/
4 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Pharmacy Technicians,’ March 29, 2012 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm