- Prepare prescriptions for patients, measuring out medicines, labelling them and recording them
- You'll always work under the supervision of qualified pharmacists
- Progress into supervisory roles or go into medical sales
As a pharmacy technician, you'll be responsible for the preparation of medicines for customers who have prescriptions, and you'll be supervised by a pharmacist.
- Choosing the correct items for a prescription
- Weighing ingredients
- Measuring liquids and counting tablets
- Putting together ointments and medicines
- Making sure prescriptions are legal and accurate
- Creating labels to tell people how to take medicine
- Ordering new stock using computerised systems
- Giving advice to customers about medicines
- Handling confidential information
You could work at a health centre or at a store. You may need to wear protective clothing and a uniform.
For this role, you'll need customer service skills, thoroughness and attention to detail, excellent verbal communication skills, active listening skills, maths knowledge, the ability to work well with others, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, and administration skills.
To apply for a trainee pharmacy technician position, you'll often need have either 4 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including science, maths and English, Level 2 Diploma in Applied Science, or equivalent qualifications. You'll complete 2 years of on-the-job training and work towards qualifications such as a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Pharmacy Service Skills, or a Level 3 Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science.
You could get into this job through an advanced apprenticeship in health pharmacy services.
You'll also need to register with the General Pharmaceutical Council, and pass enhanced background checks.
In a hospital, you could move into a specialist role like clinical technician, working with healthcare professionals and patients on wards, or you could move into oncology, paediatrics, clinical trials, or research and development.
In a pharmacy, you could become supervisor or manager, and in industry, you could move into more specialised areas of development and production, or into sales or marketing. Another option is to become a pharmacy assessor working with trainee pharmacy technicians.
You could also train as a pharmacist through a pharmacy foundation degree.