Associate of Applied Science (AAS): Pharmacy Technician Degree Overview

Pharmacy technology associate's degree programs prepares students for careers as pharmacy technicians. These programs are approved by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Essential Information

A pharmacy technology associate's degree program teaches students about the reaction between the human body and certain drugs. Pharmacy technology students learn how to process insurance details, package or label orders and monitor inventory. Typically, these programs require an internship under the supervision of a pharmacist. Graduates are prepared for professional certification.

  • Pharmacy Technician Program Levels: Associate's degree
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: Internship
  • Program Length: Two years

Associate's Degree in Applied Science: Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technician programs cover various topics such as pharmaceutical terminology, record keeping, ethics and law. Along with general education requirements, students learn about various drugs, their uses and dosage. Courses may include:

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacy procedures
  • Calculation and measurement
  • Medical terminology
  • Pharmacy management
  • Pharmacy law and ethics

Popular Career Options

Pharmacy technician graduates have the opportunity to purse a career in several healthcare areas. Some possible options include:

  • Pharmaceutical care associate
  • Medical records manager
  • Pharmacy records manager
  • Pharmacy billing specialist
  • Specialty pharmacy technician

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), pharmacy technician jobs were expected to increase by 20% between 2012 and 2022, which was much faster than all other jobs. This was partly due to the aging population that required more prescription drugs. The median annual wage in May 2014 for pharmacy technicians was $29,810. The BLS noted that many pharmacy technicians work in healthcare stores, hospitals, grocery and department stores.

Continuing Education

Some states require pharmacy technicians to be registered and certified. Requirements vary by state, but many accept the certification offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). To earn this certification, individuals must meet education standards and pass a certifying exam. The PTCB exam includes topics in maintaining medication and inventory systems, patient service and pharmacy management. Recertification standards can be met through completing continuing education requirements.

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