Pharmacy Technician Career Plan

Interested in becoming a pharmacy technician? The steps you take now can help you make a smooth transition into the workforce.

  1. The foundation for success is a high school diploma or GED. Pharmacy technician training programs often require twelfth grade reading and math proficiency. You would also do well to take a class in typing.

  2. Try to spend some time in a pharmacy. Some high schools have health career classes that allow you to shadow different health professionals. Some vocational high schools even allow you to work in a pharmacy as a technician in training.

  3. Find out the licensing requirements of your state and make sure your education will meet them. Some states don’t regulate the profession at all; others have very specific educational requirements.

  4. You may want to enroll in a pharmacy technician training program even if it’s not required in your municipality. It will give you valuable skills and may make you more marketable. Externships (short unpaid work experiences) are generally part of the program. They can be especially valuable.

    Make sure your program is accredited, and that it has a good reputation. Accreditation by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists indicates that a program has met high standards. You may also want to ask about job placement rates.

  5. Treat your externship opportunities as job interviews. If you attend an accredited school, chances are good that you will put in time in both retail and hospital settings. Many people consider hospitals more desirable employers. They pay a little better, but jobs are harder to come by. You want to shine!

  6. Fulfill licensing or certification requirements.

  7. Use your resources and connections to land your first job. Some pharmacy technicians report success dropping in on facilities with resume in hand. They say it pays to be proactive. (You don’t know who will find themselves with an open position next week, but if you make a favorable impression, they may well remember you!)

Personality Traits

Kennesaw State University lists customer service skills, precision, organization, and responsibility among the requirements for success . The Connecticut Area Health Education Center (AHEC) adds the following: an ability to do repetitious work.