Preparing for a career as a Pharmacy Technician involves extensive training, good
communication skills, and a willingness to work with the public.
A pharmacy technician, also called pharmacy technologist, pharmacy medication
technicians, or pharmacy assistants, provide technical assistance for registered
pharmacists and work under their direct supervision. They usually work in a chain or
independent drug stores, hospitals, community ambulatory care centers, home health care
agencies, nursing homes, and in the pharmaceutical industry. They perform a wide range
of technical support functions and tasks relating to the pharmacy profession. They
maintain patient records, count, package, and label medication doses; prepare and
distribute sterile products; and fill and dispense routine orders for stock supplies such as
over-the-counter products. Pharmacy technicians work under the direct supervision of
licensed pharmacist, their work is subject to quality-control checks to ensure accuracy.
High school students interested in the pharmacy tech career should take courses
in mathematics, science (especially chemistry and biology), and English. Also, in
addition courses in speech, typing, computer science, and health will also be useful. Any
extracurricular activities such as: drama, science clubs, or other activities, will help in
developing communications and interpersonal skills. Most pharmacy technicians receive
their education through formal training programs offered through community colleges,
vocational/technical schools, hospital community pharmacies, and government programs.
The length of the program usually ranges from 6 months to two years, leading to a
certificate, diploma, or an associates degree in pharmacy technology. A high school
diploma is usually required for entry into these programs. On a personal level, pharmacy