If you want to get to work without spending years in the classroom, training to become a pharmacy technician is a good bet. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists pharmacy technicians on its report of the 30 fastest-growing occupations between 2008 and 2018, along with careers such as veterinarians, engineers and physical therapists. How does pharmacy technician work stand out among those careers? It requires much less time in school.
Train as a pharmacy technician today and possibly get to work sooner
Pharmacy technician courses range in length from six months to two years and lead to a diploma, certificate or associate degree. Coursework teaches essential information on record keeping, terminology, pharmaceutical calculations and medications.
Students are prepared to work in retail pharmacies, where about 75 percent were employed in 2010, according to the BLS. Pharmacy technicians earned mean annual wages of $29,330 in 2010, though those who worked for the federal government earned $39,940. Technicians may also work in veterans' health facilities and on the military field, two surprising careers that add another dimension to the work.
Qualification for specialty positions, like chemotherapy technicians, may be possible with more education and experience. Technicians may also head back to school later to earn years of additional training, eventually becoming fully licensed pharmacists.