Care + Career

      Resources, news and fun for NHA certification candidates and alumni.

      How the pharm tech role is evolving (and how to prepare)

      pharmacy-tech.jpgThe role of the pharmacy technician is evolving. What used to be a strictly clerical role with desk duties is shifting into areas of greater complexity that require more specialized training and skills.

      This creates exciting opportunities for those who are already in the field, or those considering a new career in pharmacy tech. Employers are looking for candidates who have the training and professionalism required for this evolving role, and taking your education seriously can help you work your way up the professional ladder.

      Here’s what’s shifting now, and how you can excel during and after this transition.

      Greater operation management leadership is needed

      Pharmacy technicians’ operation management role is expanding to new levels. In some areas, these leadership positions already exist, and others are seeing their value. This helps to share some of the responsibility, giving pharmacy technicians more specialization and relieving some of the duties from the pharmacist. (Source)

      How you can prepare:

      Expand and showcase your leadership skills. Take initiative! And if you’re new to pharmacy tech but already have management experience in a previous role, make sure to highlight that experience when you’re job searching/interviewing. Get more job interview tips in our post, “How to prepare for your healthcare job interview.”


      Pharmacy Technicians could be taking on more pharmacist-like duties

      The fact is, there aren’t enough pharmacists to fill the growing need. The potential for pharmacy technicians’ role to extend even further is being debated, especially in areas where there are no pharmacists at all. (Source) The scope of these expanded duties varies state by state and is dependent on local laws and regulations.

      “I think that the responsibilities of technicians have grown considerably, especially during the last couple years,” says Hannah Peabody, CPhT at the Patient Rx Center of Hematology/Oncology Associates of Central New York. “As pharmacies have become busier, technicians have had to step up and take on a greater role to help the pharmacist.” (Source)

      How you can prepare:

      Seek specialized training. If your employer or target employer doesn’t already require certification, it’s likely they will in the future. Learn more about earning your CPhT here.


      Community pharmacies are expanding their scope of practice

      The services provided by many community pharmacies is growing in scope. 93% of Americans live within five miles of a neighborhood pharmacy and 60%, the highest ever, are taking prescription drugs. Perhaps more than ever, pharmacies serve a vital role in our healthcare and our communities.

      Lyndsey McDonald, Strategic Partnerships for ExCPT, expects states to be more specific in their training and certification requirements for technicians in order to match their expanding scope of practice.

      “Community pharmacies play an important role in healthcare delivery,” McDonald says. “Technicians are an integral part of the care team.”

      How you can prepare:

      Stay up-to-date on your state’s requirements and make sure to keep your certification current. Learn more about renewing or reinstating your certification here.

      As pharmacy technicians duties continue to evolve, the need for certification will likely rise. With greater responsibility comes the need for a higher degree of training. 

      This isn’t a bad thing. You wouldn’t want somebody performing healthcare duties on your behalf without adequate training, right?

      And it’s not only what’s best for the customer. Expanding the role of the pharmacy technician can also have huge benefits for the pharmacists they’re helping, and of course, for the pharamcy technicians themselves. An evolving role means new opportunities for career advancement and growth.

      So if you’re considering getting certified, your timing is ideal. Get started and find out if you qualify for certification at

      Topics: Insider, pharmacy, career path