Washington, the Pacific Northwest state known for cities like Seattle, Olympia, and Tacoma, is one of the most populous states in the west. Industries like lumber, commercial fishing, agriculture, and wine production reign in the state, all of which make Washington one of the wealthier states in the U.S. This strong economy has helped Washington reform its healthcare system and establish cities like Seattle with a high concentration of hospitals, pharmacies, and other healthcare centers.
Pharmacy technicians work throughout the state of Washington, providing an essential service. They serve a crucial function, ensuring that people receive their prescriptions efficiently and assisting pharmacists with essential tasks throughout the day. In order to perform these tasks, pharmacy techs are subject to certification requirements.
Washington Pharmacy Technician Certification Requirements
In order to work in Washington as a pharmacy technician, you must complete a series of requirements. These requirements include:
- Completion of a Board-approved technician training program, including eight hours of pharmacy law study
- Answer questions pertaining to health status, impairment, previously lost licenses, felony convictions, liability claims, and disciplinary actions
- HIV/AIDS training for four hours
- Certificate demonstrating a passing score on a national pharmacy tech certification exam
- Completion of ten hours of continuing education each year, including one hour of pharmacy law
- Completion of an application and attach the necessary signed documents
Additional requirements may be necessary for different applicants. For example, individuals who do not speak English as a first language must also pass the TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language. Plus, pharmacy techs must renew their certification each year on or before their birthday. A fee is required to renew certification. Failure to renew can lead to fines and other penalties.
Washington Pharmacy Technician Careers & Employment Outlook
Pharmacy technicians perform important tasks in pharmacies, and they ensure that a pharmacist is able to provide care to patients as efficiently as possible. Technicians help pharmacists interact with patients, dispense medications, process data, and take inventory, for instance. Outlook for this career is growing as the responsibilities of a pharmacy technician’s duties grow as well. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ projection for the career is that it will grow four percent up to the year 2029. This is in step with many other careers in the country.
Currently, the state sees about 7,150 people employed in pharmacy technician roles. The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians in the United States was about $33,950 in 2019. In Washington, the annual salary for those working in the field is higher at $43,910. The hourly wage is $21.11, making Washington the third top-paying state for this career field. One of the highest paying metropolitan areas for pharmacy techs in the United States is the Olympia-Tumwater areas.
As reliance on prescription medications increases for chronic conditions, such as diabetes, the demand for pharmaceutical services and pharmacy technicians may increase significantly. Pharmacy technician requirements ensure that the people working in these roles are experienced and educated, capable of fulfilling this crucial pharmacy position.
Washington Schools That Offer Pharmacy Technician Training Programs
Mt Vernon, WA