Additional Career Paths Upon Completing a Pharmacy Technician Program
Completing a pharmacy technician program can provide you with a foundation of knowledge and skills that can be applied to a variety of careers in the healthcare industry.
A pharmacy assistant, also known as a pharmacy aide or pharmacy clerk, works under the direction of a licensed pharmacist to provide support in various pharmacy-related tasks. The responsibilities of a pharmacy assistant may vary depending on the setting they work in, but generally include:
- Receiving and processing prescription orders: Pharmacy assistants may be responsible for receiving prescription orders from patients and healthcare providers, verifying insurance information, and inputting the information into the pharmacy computer system.
- Filling prescriptions: Pharmacy assistants may help fill prescriptions by counting pills or measuring liquids, labeling bottles, and packaging medications.
- Managing inventory: Pharmacy assistants may be responsible for stocking shelves, monitoring inventory levels, and ordering supplies when necessary.
- Providing customer service: Pharmacy assistants may interact with patients to answer questions about medications, provide information on potential side effects, and provide general health advice.
- Administrative tasks: Pharmacy assistants may be responsible for tasks such as answering phones, filing paperwork, and processing insurance claims.
Pharmacy assistants typically work in retail pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. While they do not need formal education beyond a high school diploma or equivalent, they may receive on-the-job training to learn the necessary skills and knowledge. The job outlook for pharmacy assistants is good, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 4% increase in employment from 2019 to 2029. The median annual wage for pharmacy assistants was $28,940 in May 2020.
Medical assistants work in various healthcare settings such as hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, and other healthcare facilities. Their responsibilities include both administrative and clinical tasks. Some common tasks that medical assistants perform include:
Taking patient vital signs:
Medical assistants are responsible for taking and recording patient vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature.
Assisting with patient examinations:
Medical assistants may assist physicians or other healthcare professionals with patient examinations by preparing patients for the exam, taking medical histories, and providing patient education.
Collecting patient specimens:
Medical assistants may collect patient specimens such as blood, urine, or other bodily fluids, and prepare them for testing.
Medical assistants may assist with medication administration by preparing medications and administering them to patients as directed.
Managing patient records:
Medical assistants are responsible for maintaining patient records, including updating medical histories, recording patient vitals, and entering data into electronic health record systems.Performing administrative tasks: Medical assistants may perform tasks such as answering phones, scheduling appointments, and verifying insurance coverage.
To become a medical assistant, you typically need a postsecondary certificate or diploma, which can be earned from a vocational or community college. Some employers may prefer or require certification, which can be obtained through organizations such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). The job outlook for medical assistants is strong, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 19% increase in employment from 2019 to 2029. The median annual wage for medical assistants was $35,850 in May 2020.
Health Information Technician
A Health Information Technician, also known as a medical records technician, is responsible for organizing and managing healthcare data. They are responsible for ensuring that patient records are accurate, complete, and secure. Some common job duties of a Health Information Technician include:
Organizing patient records: Health Information Technicians are responsible for organizing and maintaining patient records, including medical histories, test results, and treatment plans.
Ensuring data accuracy: Health Information Technicians are responsible for ensuring that patient records are accurate and complete, and that they comply with relevant laws and regulations.
Managing electronic health records: Health Information Technicians manage and maintain electronic health records (EHRs), which are digital versions of patient records.
Analyzing data: Health Information Technicians may analyze patient data to identify trends, track patient outcomes, and improve the quality of care.
Collaborating with healthcare providers: Health Information Technicians may collaborate with healthcare providers to ensure that patient records are up-to-date and accurate.
To become a Health Information Technician, you typically need an associate degree in health information technology or a related field. You may also need certification, which can be obtained through organizations such as the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The job outlook for Health Information Technicians is strong, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 8% increase in employment from 2019 to 2029. The median annual wage for Health Information Technicians was $44,090 in May 2020. Health Information Technicians may work in hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
A Pharmaceutical Sales Representative, also known as a pharmaceutical sales rep, is responsible for promoting and selling pharmaceutical products to healthcare professionals such as physicians, pharmacists, and hospital administrators. Their main goal is to increase sales of their company’s products and to ensure that healthcare professionals are aware of the benefits of these products. Some common job duties of a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative include:
- Building relationships with healthcare professionals: Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives build relationships with healthcare professionals by making sales calls, attending conferences, and providing product information.
- Promoting pharmaceutical products: Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives promote their company’s products by providing information on the benefits of the products and demonstrating how they work.
- Analyzing sales data: Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives analyze sales data to identify trends and opportunities for increased sales.
- Collaborating with sales and marketing teams: Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives collaborate with sales and marketing teams to develop strategies for promoting and selling their company’s products.
- Educating healthcare professionals: Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives educate healthcare professionals on the latest research and clinical studies related to their company’s products.
To become a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as biology, chemistry, or marketing. You may also need sales experience and specialized training in pharmaceutical sales. The job outlook for Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives is good, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 2% increase in employment from 2019 to 2029. The median annual wage for Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives was $73,140 in May 2020. Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives may work for pharmaceutical companies or for contract sales organizations that provide sales services to multiple companies.
Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM)
A Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) is a healthcare professional who is responsible for managing the prescription drug benefits of clients such as health insurance companies, employers, and government agencies. PBMs work to ensure that their clients get the best value for their prescription drug spending while ensuring that patients receive safe and effective medications. Some common job duties of a PBM include:
Negotiating drug prices: PBMs negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical manufacturers to ensure that their clients get the best value for their prescription drug spending.
Evaluating new drugs: PBMs evaluate new drugs to determine their safety and effectiveness and to decide whether they should be covered by their clients’ drug benefit plans.
Developing medication management strategies: PBMs develop cost-effective strategies for medication management, such as promoting the use of generic drugs and encouraging medication adherence.
Managing formularies: PBMs manage formularies, which are lists of medications that are covered by their clients’ drug benefit plans.
Resolving drug-related issues: PBMs work to resolve drug-related issues such as drug interactions and medication errors.
To become a PBM, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as pharmacy or healthcare management. Some PBMs may also prefer or require a master’s degree in healthcare management or a related field. PBMs may also require certification, such as the Certified Pharmacy Benefit Specialist (CPBS) certification offered by the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute (PBMI). The job outlook for PBMs is good, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 10% increase in employment for medical and health services managers, which includes PBMs, from 2019 to 2029. The median annual wage for medical and health services managers was $104,280 in May 2020. PBMs may work for health insurance companies, employers, or government agencies.