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What is the differences between being a pharmacy technician and physical therapy

I have been debating what I should do after I do job corps and I have been thinking about starting working at the pharmacy area at one of the retail stores or should I go to college to be a physical therapist for four years or so to get a degree for be a physical therapist ?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Perry’s Answer

Both are great jobs in healthcare and I'm glad you found careers that peak your curiosity and interest! While both are healthcare related jobs, they both differ greatly from each other. Each career helps to treat patients but in their own ways. Pharmacy Technicians mainly help patients by filling their prescriptions. Physical therapists or Physical therapist assistants help patients by helping them rehabilitate their body through exercise, movement, compression, or other means.

To be a physical therapist, it can take years of study. Normally 4 years of undergraduate studies, then 2 to 4 years of graduate study. A Physical therapy assistant usually needs a 2 year associates degree to be able to sit for examination, pass the test, then apply for a license. A pharmacy technician sometimes only needs formal or on-the-job training. Vocational schools are available to assist with preparation for examination and can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months to complete. An associates degree is available in pharmacy technology which can also help prepare for the pharmacy technician examination as well.

I would encourage you to shadow each job if possible to gain a better perspective of what each professional does in their day to day activities. Payout for each professional can vary greatly so I advise a google search to see what the average compensation is for each one.
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Margie’s Answer

Hi Noel,
There are two very different careers and I would suggest you do your research and see why you like each field.
I can only speak about physical therapy since that's the field I am in.
In physical therapy you can chose to by a physical therapist, a physical therapist assistant, or a physical therapy tech/aide.
A physical therapist is a Doctorate degree which will require to have a Bachelor's degree from a 4 year college/university. You then take the GRE. You apply for PT school. The program is 3.5 years - for a total of 7.5 years of school. The average cost of a DPT program is $110K. Keep in mind if your Bachelor's degree does not cover prerequisite courses for PT programs you will have to take those before you can apply and that will cost you more money and time.
https://www.apta.org/your-career/careers-in-physical-therapy/becoming-a-pt

A physical therapist assistant is an Associate's degree that is 2 years at a community college/trade school. You do not need a previous degree to apply. You will have to take prerequisite courses to apply - every program is different. You apply to the program. PTA programs are usually less mine was $20K.
https://www.apta.org/your-career/careers-in-physical-therapy/becoming-a-pta

A physical therapy tech/aide helps out at a PT clinic. No formal school or training is needed. You will be trained on site at the clinic.

Hope that helps good luck!

Margie recommends the following next steps:

Research each field.
Shadow/observe each field.
Go to open house at local schools that have these programs.
Find a counselor for each program do discuss more.
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Willis’s Answer

Hello Noel,

The difference between a pharmacy technician and a physical therapist is that there are two separate types of schooling. The main job of Physical Therapy is to help others that may have hurt themselves, fight some type of serious diagnosis, or help people that need to get back to daily activities after surgery. You will learn more about the anatomy of the body that will prepare you to take care of others. As a pharmacy technician, you will learn more about how to distribute pills that people may need. You will be able to fill a patient's prescription. Pharmacy technicians can be located in drug stores and hospitals. Depending on what you have a passion for, will depend on what career you would want to choose.
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Cherelle’s Answer

Hello Noel,

A Pharmacy Technician mostly fills prescriptions and checks inventory and helps to dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals. It also requires you to be licensed, but this depends on the state you live in as well. If you want to become a Pharmacist in the future then i would suggest doing this job to gain experience. For Physical Therapy, they mostly help injured or ill people improve movement and manage pain. For this type of job, you can go to a community college for two years and become a Physical Therapy Aid if you want a quick route to becoming one. Both of these career options are good options to seek.
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