Pharmacy Assistant

Last updated December 31, 2014

A red-eyed customer sneezes a few times before complaining that his usual allergy medicine isn’t working this season. Can you help him find an alternative? Another customer learns that her doctor prescribed a medication that isn’t covered by her insurance company. Is there another drug that works the same -- and is covered by insurance?

Pharmacy technicians answer questions like these and help patients understand the drugs they take. They work under the supervision of pharmacists.

Pharmacy technicians work with licensed pharmacists to fill prescriptions. They also advise patients about prescription and nonprescription drugs and health care products.

Did You Know?

Technicians who work in hospitals and assisted-living facilities must often read patient’s charts in order to prepare and deliver their medication.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Work for a retail pharmacy or health care facility
  • Advise and help patients who are often feeling bad and moody
  • Learn new pharmacy technology such as robotic dispensing machines
  • Use math
  • Call doctors’ offices and insurance companies
  • Work nights and weekends

It Helps To Be...

Alert, organized, responsible, and patient. With such precise work, avoiding and spotting errors is crucial. The ability to take directions and work closely with pharmacists is as important as the ability to communicate calmly and clearly with patients.

Make High School Count

  • Take plenty of math and science courses.
  • Build communication skills in English, drama, and speech classes.
  • Learn a foreign language so you can communicate with patients in diverse communities.
  • Volunteer or work at a health clinic, a hospital, or a community pharmacy.

Did You Know?

As a pharmacy technician, you’ll spend most of the day on your feet.