Job Description

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals. 

Rewarding Aspects of Career
  • Job security
  • It's a great first step toward becoming a certified pharmacist. 
  • Good pay for a career that doesn’t need a 4 year degree. 
2018 Employment
2028 Projected Employment
The Inside Scoop
Job Responsibilities
  • Collect information needed to fill a prescription from customers or health professionals
  • Measure amounts of medication for prescriptions
  • Package and label prescriptions
  • Organize inventory and alert pharmacists to any shortages of medications or supplies
  • Accept payment for prescriptions and process insurance claims
  • Enter customer or patient information, including any prescriptions taken, into a computer system
  • Answer phone calls from customers
  • Arrange for customers to speak with pharmacists if customers have questions about medications or health matters
  • Resolve insurance issues
  • Quality control: identify potential harmful drug interactions and therapy duplication
Skills Needed on the Job
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Attention to detail 
  • Extremely organized 
  • Problem Solving – Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; works well in group problem solving situations.
  • Technical Skills – Assess own strengths and weaknesses; pursues training and development opportunities; possess and obtain knowledge of drug names – generic and trade; ability to recognize subtle differences in names and numbers; knowledge of medical terminology.
  • Customer Service – Responds promptly to customer needs; responds to requests for service or assistance; meets commitments.
  • Interpersonal – Maintains confidentiality; listens to others without interrupting; remains open to others’ ideas and tries new things.
  • Team Work – Balances team and individual responsibilities; exhibits objectivity and openness to others’ views; contributes to building a positive team spirit.
Different places of employment
  • Pharmacies in grocery store (i.e. CVS, Walgreens)
  • Hospital pharmacy
  • Private pharmacies
  • Pharmacy benefit manager
  • Administration
Expectations/Sacrifices Necessary
  • Work nights and weekends
  • Work on your feet for extended periods of the day
What kind of things did people in this career enjoy doing when they were younger…
  • Loved biology, chemistry and math
  • Desire to help people
  • Liked talking with people from a wide range of backgrounds
Education and Training Needed
  • HS Diploma 
  • Training: There is no national educational requirement. Each state varies in their requirements. Go to to figure out what your state’s requirements are. 
    • On the job training: Community or hospital based
    • Postsecondary accredited program in pharmacy technology.
  • Certification: 2 options
    • Pharmacy Technician Certification Board: Take exam and get the credential. Go to
    • National Healthcare Association (NHA) certification must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, and have completed a training program or have 1 year of work experience. Technicians must re-certify every 2 years by completing 20 hours of continuing education courses.
Typical Roadmap
Pharm Tech Gladeo Roadmap
How to land your 1st job
  • During training, complete an externship to gain experience in a real-world pharmacy.
  • Apply to a pharmacy environment that best suits your particular interests.
    • Hospitals
    • National chain drugstores
    • Big-box retailers
    • Mail-order pharmacies
    • Independent pharmacies
Advanced Roles

In Community Pharmacy Practice 
Clinical Support Technician 
Patient Assistant Program Technician
Management or Supervision
Tech-Check-Tech (TCT)

In Institution/Health System Pharmacy Practice 
Controlled Substance Surveillance Technician 
Medication Reconciliation Technician 

In Technology 
Automation / IT Technician 
Telepharmacy Technician 

In Quality Assurance Medication Safety 
Regulatory Compliance
Pharmacy Accreditation Preparation 

For description of these roles, go to Slides 15-20 on this presentation 


Jobs by

Programs at Foothill

Certificate Of Achievement In Pharmacy Assistant (Aide/Clerk)
Short-term, entry-level certificate serves as a direct CTE pathway for high school/rising students to pursue careers within the pharmacy profession
Certificate Of Achievement In Basic Pharmacy Technician
9 month, part-time, stackable program, which serves as a direct CTE pathway for students to pursue careers within the pharmacy profession

Online Courses and Tools