Siouxland students prepare for careers as pharmacy technicians

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The job market is booming for people looking for a career in pharmacy. These days, drugstores and grocery store pharmacies are offering vaccine clinics on top of the day-to-day.

When you think of front-line workers, pharmacy technicians might not be the first thing that comes to mind.

“Everywhere you go, you will see ‘pharmacy technicians wanted’ signs posted on all the pharmacies,” said Jullina Williams, the pharmacy technician instructor at Western Iowa Tech Community College.

“It’s pretty cool, it’s in high demand, and that I can be a part of that by becoming a pharmacy tech,” said Alexa Winkel, a student in the Pharmacy Technician program at WIT.

Winkel is gaining hands-on experience at WIT. She’s learning the ins and outs of how a pharmacy runs.

“Honestly, I like counting the pills, that’s fun to me. I’ve always enjoyed math, so I like figuring out problems related to math,” said Winkel.

“In the pharmacy, we also do everything from entering a prescription to filling a prescription to selling a prescription. We compound medications, creams, and ointments,” said Williams.

Williams knows first-hand how careers inside the pharmacy industry are adapting and changing with the pandemic.

“So, I’ve received an email recently from the pharmacy technician certification board asking if I would like to get certified to help administer the vaccination. The future of pharmacy is always continuing to increase. The demand of patients with medications is just a promising job and a promising field to get into,” said Williams.

Winkel says she’s ready to get her career started.

“I hope to get a job wherever I do my internship then complete the test so I can become a pharmacy tech,” said Winkel.

WIT also offers a similar course to high school students. It’s a partnership with the Sioux City School District’s Career Academy. Those students will receive a pharmacy technology certificate when they graduate high school.

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