The growth of the pharmaceutical industry and what it means for pharmacy tech programs in California
Today, more students are entering pharmacy tech programs in California than in any previous decade. Ordinarily, this might be a cause for concern – unrealistic expectations might bring students disappointment if they don’t end up finding a job after graduating with this skill. After all, oversaturation of a field is a very real possibility, and it’s happening for people with liberal arts degrees as we speak.
However, the more students enter pharmacy tech programs in California, the more find jobs. We’ve discovered that contrary to some expectations, there isn’t a slump in employment of capable pharmacy technicians. So why is the pharmaceutical industry doing so well, and what does it mean for us?
First, let’s talk about the growth industry itself. Since 1994, the pharmaceutical industry has been becoming ever more profitable, growing at astonishing rates even during the recession. The increase in profits actually isn’t due to higher prices on medications – rather, more people are using more medications.
There are a few possible reasons for this: firstly, it seems that because there are more different kinds of medications available – some more potent than others – doctors are more willing to prescribe medications to people.
Also, public knowledge about various health conditions and their symptoms is increasing, so people have become more willing to visit their doctors and seek treatment for common ailments such as high blood pressure. They’re also more aware of the potential risks of medications, and instead of fearing most drugs, people can choose to express interest in the ones associated with the lowest risks. Furthermore, the population is aging as baby boomers enter retirement age. These people raise the demand for all health services, including pharmaceuticals. Finally, new insurance policies and regulations have made more medications accessible for
What does this mean for graduates of pharmacy and pharmacy tech programs in California? Pharmacists are experiencing projected increases in employment of 25% between 2010 and 2020, which is 13% higher than the average projected growth rate. In addition, the ratio of pharmacists to pharmacy technicians is changing, so employment of pharmacy techs is rising even more – 31%. As pharmacies become larger and take on the role of patient care facilities (e.g. “doctor-on-premises” pharmacies), pharmacy technicians become indispensable, and pharmacies need more of them.
For graduates of pharmacy tech programs in California, this is all great news. Not only is healthcare one of California’s two largest economic sectors, but the pharmaceutical industry is a huge and growing sub-sector of healthcare. Incoming pharmacy technicians can not only expect to find jobs in the field when they graduate, but they can also expect to advance their careers by taking on administrative and managerial posts after several years as entry-level techs.
As a pharmacy technician, you are a caretaker, an organizer, and an active member of a team. You can expend your energy by spending most of your time on your feet and moving around, and you work in a clean, safe environment. Interested in this career path? ACHT is home to one of the best pharmacy tech programs in California. Call us today.