Tech Trek Navigator: Thomas Wackerle, CPhT-Adv, CSPT

Thomas is a compounding technician who has worked in retail and hospital settings, and now also teaches pharmacy students. His advice to other pharmacy technicians is to “Keep learning—I can learn something new every day—and build on your career every day. There is always something new to explore.”

Tell us about your career goals.

After coming to the United States, I wanted to stay close to my original field of study and keep working in healthcare. My coworkers suggested I consider working in the pharmacy field. After that first spark of interest, and close to a decade later, I’ve gained experience in retail and hospital pharmacy, and now I am also teaching pharmacy students.

I hope to explore my teaching and educational career even further. I see PTCB's advanced certificates and credentials as a great opportunity to promote advanced education among all levels of technicians and practice settings. I would love to explore different ways to integrate PTCB’s offerings into our career ladder and opportunities at work, helping everyone to reach their desired level of practice.

How have PTCB’s certificates helped you along your career path, or how will they help you in the future?

PTCB's certificates made it easy for me to approach the seemingly complex subject matter, rules, and regulations. The exam outlines and courses build upon each other and in the end, I feel they give everyone a well-rounded education and tools they can bring into their practice setting and use to tackle complex tasks.

Especially valuable for us compounding technicians are the CSPT Certification and the Hazardous Drug Management Certificate. I believe that going forward, these two may even become standards that employers expect. My investment was more than worth it for myself and the patients I serve. I have come to a better understanding of where I want to take my career and can demonstrate my competence every step of the way.

What advice would you give pharmacy technicians as they explore their unique career paths?

Never give up. You passed your first exam with your state and you aced the PTCE. Keep learning—I can learn something new every day—and build on your career every day. There is always something new to explore. Don't hesitate to reach out to other technicians in your area and ask them for advice. Lastly, approach your manager and explore technician advancement options together, through PTCB or your employer. Your manager may not even know about the latest opportunities for technician advancement unless you ask.



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