You might have entered a pharmacy at least once in your life.

You might have also spotted a friendly face that greets you, assesses your prescription, and helps the pharmacists with delivering accurate dosages.

Have you ever wondered what this career looks like? And where else can pharmacy technicians work?

If yes, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re interested in pursuing pharmacy technician as a career, in this article, we will tell you everything about where you can work as one.

So, keep reading!

where does pharm tech works

What is a Pharmacy Technician? And What Do They Do?

Let us first discuss what these backgrounds are, and what they do.

A Pharmacy Technician is a healthcare professional who works under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist to assist in various pharmacy-related tasks.

Their primary role is to support the pharmacist in the preparation and distribution of medications to patients.

Some of the main responsibilities of a pharmacy technician include:

1. Medication Dispensing: Pharmacy technicians measure, count, and package medications based on prescriptions written by healthcare providers. They ensure that the right dosage and quantity of medication are provided to patients.

2. Customer Service: Interacting with patients, pharmacy technicians answer questions about medications, provide information on proper usage, and address general inquiries. Good communication skills are essential in this aspect of their role.

3. Inventory Management: Technicians are responsible for managing the pharmacy’s inventory. This involves ordering, receiving, and organizing medications to maintain an adequate supply and prevent shortages.

4. Data Entry: Accurate record-keeping is crucial in a pharmacy. Pharmacy technicians enter prescription and patient information into computer systems to maintain organized and up-to-date records.

5. Insurance Processing: Pharmacy technicians often work with insurance companies to process medication claims. This includes verifying coverage, submitting claims, and ensuring proper reimbursement for the pharmacy.

6. Assisting Pharmacists: In various healthcare settings, pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists in tasks such as compounding medications, preparing intravenous (IV) medications, and maintaining a smooth workflow in the pharmacy.

7. Maintaining Cleanliness: Pharmacy technicians contribute to a clean and organized work environment. This helps adhere to safety and regulatory standards in the handling and dispensing of medications.

Where Can You Find Work as a Pharmacy Technician?

Now, coming to the hot topic, where do pharmacy technicians work?

There are six common work environments where pharmacy technicians work:

Retail Pharmacies

Retail pharmacies, such as those found in drugstores or grocery stores, are one of the most common work environments for pharmacy technicians. You will see most of the Pharmacy Technicians working in those pharmacies.

You are more likely to help pharmacists in dispensing medications, managing stock, interacting with customers and patients, and performing administrative tasks.

In most cases, these pharmacies have extended hours; some are open on weekends or even 24 hours a day, which gives pharmacy technicians a lot of flexibility.

The day shifts at retail pharmacies are generally fact-paced, whereas the overnight shifts are slow. Most of these pharmacies provide various benefits to their employees, like paid leave or vacation, health insurance plans, and many more.

Before you start working, it is important to consider the pros and cons of being a pharmacy technician. However, you’ll find several benefits available for techs that you generally find associated with other healthcare employees.

Hospital Pharmacies

Hospital pharmacies provide pharmaceutical services within a hospital or medical center. As a pharmacy technician in a hospital, you can work with pharmacists to prepare and distribute medications to patients, healthcare professionals, and various hospital departments.

Further, you may be responsible for compounding sterile medications or managing medication inventory. Hospital pharmacies have a pharmacy technician on duty 24 hours a day. This gives employees more flexibility with the hours and days. (Related: Pharmacy Technician Compounding)

In addition to providing routine scheduling, most hospitals pay well to their Pharmacy Technicians and offer certain employee benefits such as paid vacations and health insurance plans.

In order to work at a hospital, you’ll likely be required to hold a certification.

To know more about that, you can check our guides on how to become a pharmacy technician & how long does it take to become a pharmacy technician.

Long-Term Care Facilities

Long-term care facilities like nursing homes assisted living facilities, and rehabilitation centers also employ techs in their pharmacies.

Your duties will remain the same, however, you might have to work with other healthcare workers in the facility to ensure the accurate and safe dispensing of medications to patients. (Read More: Pharmacy Technician vs Pharmacist)

Specialty Pharmacies

Specialty pharmacies focus on providing medications for complex and chronic conditions, such as cancer, HIV, or rare diseases.

As a pharmacy technician in a specialty pharmacy, you would assist pharmacists in preparing and dispensing specialized medications, coordinating with healthcare providers and insurance companies, and providing patient education.

 hospital pharmacy.

Mail Order and Online Pharmacies

Mail-order pharmacies are in trend and becoming popular nowadays. Many pharmacies operate mail-order or online services, where medications are directly home delivered. These types of pharmacies fill a high number of prescriptions each day.

Pharmacy technicians play a very important role in processing and verifying prescriptions, preparing medications for shipment, and ensuring accurate documentation. To fulfill these orders, a pharmacy technician must know how to:

  1. Operate computer software
  2. Refill the machines with medicines
  3. Fix any technical or administrative issues.
  4. Perform basic maintenance of machines and devices.

Read More: Top Pharmacy Technician Skills

Pharmaceutical Companies

Some pharmacy technicians find employment with pharmaceutical manufacturers or research organizations. Here you may work in areas like quality control, manufacturing, or research and development.

Your responsibilities may include assisting with the production of medications, conducting tests, and supporting various aspects of pharmaceutical operations.

Read More: What Does a pharmacy technician do

Education Sector

To prepare the pharmacy leaders of tomorrow, there will always be a need for instructors. A significant contribution to this role comes from pharmacy technicians who impart their knowledge by teaching courses at universities and accredited schools.

The demand for instructors who can train future pharmacy technicians is increasing. These instructors may dedicate themselves to teaching on a full-time basis or opt to teach classes periodically while continuing to work as pharmacy technicians.


Pharmacy technicians also have the opportunity to advance their careers as team leaders and managers. In these roles, they guide other pharmacy technicians, offer support and training to new employees, and carry out routine responsibilities. But this can only be done after gaining experience, which can take years.

Pharmacy technicians looking for management positions often choose to start with a degree program in business management or healthcare. This educational path equips them with the necessary knowledge and skills to grow in managerial roles within the pharmacy industry.

You may also work as a Traveling Pharmacy Technician if you love to travel and have a desire to explore new places.

How to Become a Pharmacy Technician?

To pursue a career as a Pharmacy Technician, there are a few steps you need to take:

Step 1 – Attain Your High School Diploma

A majority of pharmacy technician programs and national pharmacies require applicants to have a high school diploma, making it an important prerequisite.

Step 2 – Complete Your Pharmacy Technician Training

Pharmacy technician training programs come in various formats, each with distinct characteristics. Common classifications include:

Full-Time Programs: Obtain your training through certification or diploma programs offered by colleges or universities, typically taking 1-2 years to complete.

Online Programs: Opt for the convenience of learning from home with self-paced online programs. Ensure you enroll in an accredited training program, as online options often provide advantages such as affordable tuition, flexibility, and post-course externship opportunities.


Step 3 – Obtain Certification

Distinguish yourself from other pharmacy technicians by obtaining certification. Certification exams, administered by institutions like the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), confer the title of Certified Pharmacy Technician. Consider enrolling in a program that prepares you for certification.

Step 4 – Acquire Practical Knowledge

Gaining hands-on experience, particularly in a pharmacy setting, is valuable when seeking entry-level positions. After completing your education, pursue externships or internships to gain practical insights into the field.

Step 5 – Apply for Your License

Apply for a pharmacy technician license, a process that varies based on your location. Typically, it involves submitting an application, undergoing a background check, and paying the required fee.

Step 6 – Update Your Resume and Commence Job Hunting

Explore job opportunities in pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare settings. Consider uploading your resume to job board sites like Indeed to enhance your job search efforts.

Related: Pharmacy technician online schools

About the Author
Grant founded with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.