Prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. May measure, mix, count out, label, and record amounts and dosages of medications according to prescription orders.
Sample of reported job titles: Accredited Pharmacy Technician, Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), Chemotherapy Pharmacy Technician (Chemo Pharmacy Technician), Compounding Technician, OR Pharmacy Tech (Operating Room Pharmacy Tech), RPhT (Registered Pharmacy Technician)
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Receive written prescription or refill requests and verify that information is complete and accurate.
- Enter prescription information into computer databases.
- Establish or maintain patient profiles, including lists of medications taken by individual patients.
- Maintain proper storage and security conditions for drugs.
- Receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.
- Answer telephones, responding to questions or requests.
- Assist customers by answering simple questions, locating items, or referring them to the pharmacist for medication information.
- Operate cash registers to accept payment from customers.
- Price and file prescriptions that have been filled.
- Mix pharmaceutical preparations, according to written prescriptions.
- Order, label, and count stock of medications, chemicals, or supplies and enter inventory data into computer.
- Clean and help maintain equipment or work areas and sterilize glassware, according to prescribed methods.
- Prepack bulk medicines, fill bottles with prescribed medications, and type and affix labels.
- Compute charges for medication or equipment dispensed to hospital patients and enter data in computer.
- Prepare and process medical insurance claim forms and records.
- Transfer medication from vials to the appropriate number of sterile, disposable syringes, using aseptic techniques.
- Restock intravenous (IV) supplies and add measured drugs or nutrients to IV solutions under sterile conditions to prepare IV packs for various uses, such as chemotherapy medication.
- Supply and monitor robotic machines that dispense medicine into containers and label the containers.
- Deliver medications or pharmaceutical supplies to patients, nursing stations, or surgery.
- Maintain and merchandise home healthcare products or services.
- Price stock and mark items for sale.
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- Accounting software — Billing and reimbursement software
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software ; Drug compatibility software
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Pharmacy management software
- Inventory management software — Pyxis MedStation software
- Label making software — Label-making software
- Medical software — Medical condition coding software ; MEDITECH software ; Patient record maintenance software; Pharmaceutical software (see all 6 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Point of sale POS software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
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- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
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- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
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- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Perform clerical work in medical settings.
- Verify accuracy of patient information.
- Enter codes or other information into computers.
- Enter information into databases or software programs.
- Enter patient or treatment data into computers.
- Process medical billing information.
- Record patient medical histories.
- Maintain inventory of medical supplies or equipment.
- Prepare medications or medical solutions.
- Clean medical equipment or facilities.
- Maintain medical equipment or instruments.
- Sterilize medical equipment or instruments.
- Merchandise healthcare products or services.
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- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 98% responded “Extremely important.”
- Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 97% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 90% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Electronic Mail — 78% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 74% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 72% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 51% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 69% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 68% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 51% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Consequence of Error — 44% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 44% responded “Important results.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 57% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 42% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 47% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With External Customers — 52% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 54% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 37% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 53% responded “Some freedom.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 37% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 30% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 37% responded “Some freedom.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 44% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 42% responded “Every day.”
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|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|36||High school diploma or equivalent
|15||Some college, no degree|
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Interest code: CR Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$16.87 hourly, $35,100 annual|
|Employment (2020)||419,300 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Slower than average (1% to 5%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||31,700|
|Top industries (2020)||
Health Care and Social Assistance
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Pharmacists Association
- American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
- National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
- National Healthcareer Association
- National Pharmacy Technician Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Pharmacy technicians
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board
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This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.