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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree for Pharmacy Technicians

Majors Overview February 27, 2014

Receive information about an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree for pharmacy technicians and its coursework, career choices, and job and wage outlook.

A.A. Programs for Pharmacy Technicians

Students who are interested in performing the functions necessary to running a pharmacy would benefit by earning a Pharmacy Technician degree. Students enrolled in the program can gain knowledge about pharmaceuticals in addition to administrative duties, and hone the skills necessary for assisting pharmacists in order to provide necessary information and medications to customers and patients. It takes about two years for students to complete an Associate of Pharmacy Technician degree program, as is the case with most associate degree programs.

Coursework

Coursework in a Pharmacy Technician associate degree program comprises of courses in an array of topics, including clerical duties and chemistry basics. Other coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Anatomy and Physiology
•Psychology
•Ethics
•Pharmaceutical Calculations
•Medical Terminology
•Inventory Management

Students who aspire to become pharmacy technicians are taught about interacting with both the public and pharmacists aimed at ensuring that both are being served in a given transaction. The program may also develop other skills such as:

•Computer skills
•Interpersonal communication abilities
•Mathematical skills
•Problem solving skills
•Decision making skills
•Understanding of pharmaceutical terminology
•Knowledge of drug interactions

Career Choices

There are enough reasons to justify enrolling into a Pharmacy Technician Degree program. Students who aspire to work in a pharmacy and those who seek occupations in a stable industry would be most benefited by earning a Pharmacy Technician associate degree. After they successfully complete the degree, individuals can seek continued education by earning a baccalaureate degree or choose to enter the workforce, where they can expect to fill management positions after they have gained sufficient experience.

Job and Wage Outlook

Pharmacy technicians often receive hourly wages and earn a median wage of about $14.10 an hour (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). The wage rate can vary according to union status, shift and certifications. The top 10 percent of pharmacy technicians took home over $21.50 hourly (BLS). A positive job growth rate of over 20% has been predicted for Pharmacy Technician degree holders 2012 to 2022. The optimistic projection is based on the assumption that aging baby boomers will demand more health care services in their sunset years.

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