What are some of the job duties, opportunities and work environment in pharmacy technology?

Pharmacy Technicians are often employed in hospitals, nursing homes, private and chain drug stores, research laboratories, wholesale drug companies, and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. The work area for Pharmacy Technicians is generally a clean, well-lit environment.

Under supervision Pharmacy Technicians help prepare prescriptions, sometimes measuring, mixing, packaging, labeling and delivering medications to patients. They order supplies and help to keep pharmacy equipment clean. Pharmacy Technicians also help maintain confidential drug and patient records.

Job opportunities for Pharmacy Technicians are excellent. Qualified Pharmacy Technicians are in high demand nationwide. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics the profession will be growing at a rate of 21-35% until the year 2012. The Alaska Department of Labor indicates the Average hourly wage range for Pharmacy Technicians in the state of Alaska is $11.92-$21.80 with an average wage of $16.33.

What are the requirements for licensure in the State of Alaska?

Currently, the State of Alaska requires all Pharmacy Technicians to be licensed. To gain a valid license, one must:

  • be 18 years of age;
  • have a high school diploma or equivalent;
  • not have committed a felony offense;
  • and pay a $100 fee to the State of Alaska.

Additionally, some pharmacies may require applicants to have passed the national PTCB Examination. Although this examination is not required by the state of Alaska at this time, UAA's 16-credit Pharmacy Technician Program will prepare students to successfully pass the national PTCB exam. The necessary form is available for downloading at the Alaska Board of Pharmacy websites.

Is there any recommended preparation for pharmacy technology?

The Pharmacy Technology courses are open enrollment.  There are no prerequisites, but there are some recommendations to encourage student success.

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Math proficiency - must have pre-algebra skills
  • English proficiency - must have good oral command of the English language
  • Keyboarding proficiency - 35 wpm highly recommended
  • Computer proficiency - you should be comfortable working on a computer, opening and attaching documents and clicking around websites

Is there a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree offered?

Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions offer an accredited pharmacy program with a distance pathway leading to a doctor of pharmacy degree (PharmD).

Five (5) seats are reserved for first-year students who meet eligibility criteria and admission requirements who are currently UA students or Alaska residents. 

For admissions information, visit Creighton's Admissions Website.

For additional information about the UAA/UA-Creighton pharmacy initiative, contact Debra Cieplack at dacieplak@uaa.alaska.edu or (907) 786-4495.

What is the process for earning Continuing Education Units for Pharmacy Technicians?

Practicing Pharmacy Technicians who are members of the Alaska Pharmacist Association may earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for completing any of our Pharmacy Technology Courses.  For additional information, please contact Roxi Valentine at rovalentine@uaa.alaska.edu .