10 Alternative Careers for Pharmacy Technicians in 2022

Being a pharmacy technician is among the best-paying medical certifications in the United States. Although being a pharmacy technician means you enjoy a reliable source of income, you can still diversify and take an alternative path in a medical field that pays equally well.

Your knowledge of pharmaceuticals gives you dynamic career opportunities as long as you have the right qualifications and interest to take up the jobs.  

While some alternative careers for pharmacy technicians are in the medical setup, there are still options if you wish to leave the medical field.

When planning to make the switch, you need to consider your salary expectation, the marketability of the job, and your urge to gain experience in different fields.

alternative jobs for pharmacy technicians

What are alternative careers for pharmacy technicians?

Below, we highlight 11 alternative jobs for pharmacy technicians worth pursuing.

1. Patient Care Technician

You can work as a patient care technician and help nurses check patients’ vital signs and ensure the relocation of the sick for medical care or comfort, among other medical duties. Apart from pharmaceutical skills, it would help if you had empathy to put yourself in the patient’s shoes to work effectively as a patient care technician.

Your work environment will be around medical facilities, mainly involving contact with patients to help them restore optimal health as you cooperate with nurses.

To become a patient care technician, you will require certification in patient care as you will be working under the supervision of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals to take care of the patients.

Patient care technicians earn an average annual salary of $34,949. The highest-paid earn more than $65,500 a year.

2. Medical Assistant

Assisting doctors in showing the patients various rooms in a hospital or clinic is an alternative career path for most pharmaceutical technicians. The job involves helping doctors take vital signs, asking patients about symptoms, and transferring collected data to relevant offices.

Advancing your education levels helps you work as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) or a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA). However, most employers give priority to candidates with strong academic qualifications, such as having a post-secondary education and a diploma in the medical field.

Medical assistants earn an average annual salary of $35,850 and the top earners get more than $45k a year.

3. Pharmacy Buyer

Your knowledge of pharmaceuticals can help you work as an inventory keeper and maintain medical records about drugs in a hospital. You will also prescribe over-the-counter medicine for patients and other light medical equipment like bandages.

Providing such services requires a solid understanding of drugs and pharmacology, which will present a great career opportunity for you.

Pharmacy buyers in the US make an average annual salary of $48,900. The top earners get more than $60k a year, which this career option one of the best alternative careers for pharmacy technicians.

4. Customer Service Representative (CSR)

As a pharmacy technician, you can use the knowledge and skills of your career to give information about drugs the hospital or company supplies. Strong communication skills and a positive attitude are desirable attributes one should have.  

The pay is good and can help you maneuver in the flooded job market of Pharma technicians with ease. Depending on your company, the salary may vary, but expect to get an average of $15 per hour.

5. Pharmaceutical Delivery Driver

You can maximize your pharmacy qualifications by delivering medical equipment and pharmaceuticals to various regions. You should possess strong communication and interpersonal skills and a driving license to work as a delivery driver. You can take the job on a part-time or full-time basis depending on your flexibility.

You will work closely with clients in hospitals, pharmacies, and designated destinations. And while this career may not have a constant income, there are many open positions since hospitals and clinics need more than one driver.

A pharmaceutical delivery driver makes an average annual salary of $37,750, making it one of the most flexible and well-paying alternative jobs for pharmacy technicians.

6. Personal Care Assistant (PCA)

There are high chances that you have interacted with many people working as a Pharmacy technician. Similarly, you can take advantage of that and work as a care assistant to provide care in homes of the elderly, orphans, and even rehabilitation centers. Having a background in Pharmacy and handling medicine qualifies you for the job.

Although most centers will allow you to learn other duties while on the job, your responsibilities may include:

  • Prescribing medication for patients in rehabilitation centers
  • Helping with medical orders
  • Ensuring the consumption of proper medication by those within the facility

Pharmacy technicians earn an average annual salary of 36,740 although many facilities will pay more depending on your experience.

7. Medical Receptionist

Medical Receptionists are responsible for handling patient appointments, problem-solving and customer assistance, and maintaining records.

Generally, a Pharmacy technician can handle all these tasks, especially if you have had some experience through your internships and even in the marketplace.

Your communication abilities, time management, prioritizing tasks, and organizing skills are invaluable if you wish to become a medical receptionist.

The average annual salary for medical receptionists in the US is $37,629. Medical Receptionists make the most in San Francisco at $43,790 a year.

8. Patient Transporter

Patient transporters are in charge of moving patients in and out of taxis, helicopters, and surgical rooms, and lifting patients on beds to prevent pressure area ulcers. This is an excellent alternative career for pharmacy technicians due to their background in patient care.

The career is not complex and your background knowledge about the medication is enough to start you off. You will be doing basic medical duties such as:

  • Checking the patient’s blood pressure
  • Measurement of pulse rate
  • Taking temperature readings

Patient transporters in the US earn an average annual salary of $27,000 with the top earners getting more than $48K a year.

9. Patient Advocate

Your communication skills and abilities acquired through the pharmaceutical course come in handy in helping patients advocate to pass information to the desired people.

You can work as a patient advocate to assist patients in making arrangements to meet doctors and help them get legal and financial support.

While you may not apply much knowledge about pharmaceuticals, your skills help you communicate the patient’s ideas regarding medication.

The average annual salary for a patient advocate in the US is $66,089. The top earners get more than $86K a year, which also makes this among the highest-paying alternative careers for pharmacy technicians.

10. Medical Coder

As a pharmacy technician, you can work in various capacities as a coding specialist, especially in the pharmacy section. Your proficiency in medical terminology will help an organization achieve high performance by ensuring proper coding for prescriptions. Moreover, you can advance your academic qualifications to serve as:

  • Certified Medical Coder
  • Medical Records Coder
  • Registered Medical Coder

All these opportunities are available for pharmacy technicians with coding knowledge. The pay is also good with the average annual salary being $54,797. Keep in mind that certified medical coders make approximately 27% more those non-certified coders.

If you love medical coding then have a look at these high-paying medical coding jobs in the US.

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FAQs about alternative jobs for Pharmacy technicians

Let us have a look at a few frequently asked questions about pharmacy technician as a career path.

Can AI replace Pharmacy Technicians?

Current technology trends continue putting more jobs at risk, and pharmacy technician is no exception. Pharmacy technicians will likely be replaced with machine automation technologies such as AI in the next two decades.

What are the highest-paying pharmacy technician jobs?

The pay of pharmacy technicians varies depending on location, experience, and other factors. However, the following are the highest-paying pharmacy technician jobs in most states in the US include:

  •         Pharmacist Specialist
  •         Clinical pharmacy specialist
  •         Pharmacy informatics specialist
  •         Pharmacy Technician Program Director 
  •         Lead pharmacy technician

What are the different levels of Pharmacy Technicians?

Like other careers, pharmacy technicians also have different ranks and levels. The various levels are based on Pharmacy technician workplaces, Pharmacy technician specialty, and advanced Pharmacy technician. But, generally, pharmacy technicians are classified into levels I, II, and III. Pharmacy technician III is the highest level, while level I is the lowest.

Can pharmacy technicians work in other places other than hospitals?

Pharmacy technicians mainly work in medical facilities. However, while looking for alternative careers, you can work in other places like industries. Industries dealing with the manufacturing of drugs need pharmacists to quantify the medication administered in each package, hence presenting a good working opportunity.

What is the average salary of a pharmacy technician?

Once more, your salary will depend on various factors such as experience level, location, and academic qualifications. However, most pharmacy technicians earn an average yearly salary of $36,740. They also receive other benefits according to what they do. As you engage in alternative careers for Pharmacy technicians, you will likely earn more. Working part-time in other hourly jobs related to your field drastically increases your potential income.

In conclusion

There are various alternative careers for pharmacy technicians, as we have highlighted. You only need to consider the required additional certification and your interest to narrow down your options. However, having good communication skills and positive interaction with clients opens up greater opportunities and high-paying alternative jobs for pharmacy techs.

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