Which Is A Better Career Path: Dental Assistant Or Pharmacy Technician?

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Question by ?Cherry;: Which Is A Better Career Path: Dental Assistant Or Pharmacy Technician?
I Am Stumped On Which Career Path To Take, Taking Into Consideration That I Would Love To Do Both. I Will Be Going To A Career Training School That Will Be About 8-12 Months To Complete. Which Path Would Be Better To Take: Dental Assistant Or Pharmacy Tech? Money-wise & The Career In General.
PLEASE Answer. Thanks In Advance. (:
Also, Include The Reason Why It Is A Better Career Path. (:

Best answer:

Answer by Saige
Pharmacy technician

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  • Andaleeb says:

    Dental! You will get paid more! But good luck with children!

  • memoryBurner says:

    Hi, congrats on both of these choices…both are expected to have solid demand and growth and neither can be outsourced to China or India.

    You asked which would be a better career path…this sounds like you might move “up” from the position to either a pharmacist or dentist ? Both can pay over 100k but the daily tasks are very different. Would you prefer the “hands-on” work inside people’s mouths, or the responsibility for prescriptions and interaction with many customers ?

    If you do not intend to “move up” but want these roles to BE your career, you really need to decide if you want to be more on your feet and working with multiple prescriptions all day, or sitting more frequently and working inside peoples mouths. The stability of each job is very similar and you should be able to find work for either one.

    There’s info about average pay and sample tests for pharmacy techs in the link in the source below.

    Best of luck !

  • Roger says:

    As someone who has done both, I’d say dental assistant slightly wins. First of all, dental assistants get paid more, possibly double. pharmacy technicians make anywhere from 8-15 dollars/hour depending on experience, location, and setting. Dental assistants anywhere from 20-35 dollars/hour depending on experience and location also. Both have pretty good job prospects if you want to move on to becoming a pharmacist or a dentist. Dentists could make a lot of money, even more than pharmacists. Plus, there is a gluttony of pharmacists in this country so the demand is lower than it used to be, meaning less jobs. Pharmacists have to deal with either difficult nurses and customers and it is very busy. The dental assistant works patiently with one patient at a time without much distraction. Pharmacy technicians are constantly distracted. The only downside with being a dental assistant is having contact with fluids from the patients mouth. If you are okay with this, choose dental. If you don’t like it, I guess pharmacy technicians are the other alternative. Check out http://www.bestpharmacytechnicianschools.com/ for information about being a pharmacy technician.

  • Amanda says:

    To become a dental hygienist you have to go through schooling- either a certificate or an associates degree (2 years). You have to have a license. To get a license you need to:
    1- Graduate from an accredited dental hygiene program
    2- Successful completion of the written National Board Dental Hygiene Examination
    3- Successful completion of a regional or state clinical board examination
    Once these steps have been completed, an applicant for licensure must then contact the state licensing authority in the state where he/she wishes to practice. As licensing requirements vary from state to state, it is necessary to contact each licensing authority in a given state for its specific application requirements and procedures. Examples of other types of requirements and information needed are:
    Successful completion of a jurisprudence exam
    Proof of CPR certification
    Letters of recommendation from dentists licensed in the state in which you wish to obtain licensure
    Official transcripts from high school and colleges attended
    Official letters from the boards of dentistry where licensure is held

    Plus most states require you to renew your license each year.

    To become a pharmacy technician, you may need to go through training as well and may need to get a certification and register with your state board of pharmacy. It all depends on your state’s requirements. Some states have no regulations for pharmacy technicians and some require a lot. However training can take you as little as 3 months to complete- depending on how much time you spend on it, and you generally don’t need to get a license and renew each year. Usually the most that is required is training, certification, and registering with the state board of pharmacy. You can look up your state’s requirements at http://pharmtechtraining.net/state-requirements.html There you will find a list of requirements by state.

    As far as the job goes- I think the one that would be harder depends on your personality. Personally I couldn’t look into people’s mouths all day and smell bad breath and clean plaque off their teeth. But that is me. I’m sure dental hygienists have ways of dealing with those issues. As a pharmacy technician you would have to deal with sick customers and generally a lot of elderly people. There are good parts to each job too.

    Pay:
    The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics includes pharmacy technicians in a group called Pharmacy Technicians and Aides. According to their 2010-11 Occupational Handbook the median annual wage of pharmacy technicians was $ 27,705 in May 2008. The middle 50% earned between $ 22,776 and $ 33,030 and the highest 10% earned more than $ 39,478.

    Median annual wages of dental hygienists were $ 66,570 in May 2008. The middle 50% earned between $ 55,220 and $ 78,990. The lowest 10% earned less than $ 44,180, and the highest 10% earned more than $ 91,470.

    I would suggest looking more into each career to see which you think you would like more. You can find all sorts of data on the Department of Labor website bls.gov/oco/ Or if possible you can take a look at training courses so you can get an idea of what type of info you will be learning and see if you would like it or not. I know of a course demo for pharmacy tech training http://www.careerstep.com/demo/?uid=ref10077 but not for dental hygiene. Obviously that won’t be a course you can take online.

    Hope this info is useful! Good luck with your search!