This job requires both clerical skills, customer service, and certain pharmaceutical knowledge and technical skills. A pharmacy technician needs understand doctor’s prescription, calculate the dosages, preparation of compound drugs, communication between doctors, pharmacists, and patients often over phones, and explaining the medicinal products to the patients/customers. They basically mix and prepare ointments, creams. lotions, make pills/tablets or suspensions from powdered drug, and other medications under the supervision of pharmacists.
$14.00 – $25.28
$27,300 – $49,296
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A certificate or diploma from a training program approved by the provincial college of pharmacists is required.
$14.00 - $25.28
$27,300 - $49,296
Employment outlook is mostly good across provinces. More information is available here.
350 hours or completion of a 2-month practicum
Communication skills; ability to work independently; flexibility; interpersonal skills
Pharmacy assistants find employment in hospitals, community, retail, medical clinics, and long-term care pharmacy practice settings
Most positions are part-time. Full-time opportunities are limited.
Difference between pharmacy technician and assistant:
Unlike technicians, pharmacy assistants do not have the authority of signing on new prescriptions and refills.
Pharmacy assistants do not need to be certified by respective provincial college of pharmacists (Alberta College of Pharmacists, Ontario College of Pharmacists etc.) following exam. Usually a certificate/diploma program is sufficient to become pharmacy assistants.
The length of the pharmacy assistant programs (~6 months) are shorter than pharmacy technician ones (~1 year)
To become competent for getting a job as a pharmacy assistant usually any of the following steps can be taken:
Obtain a pharmacy assistant certificate from a college that offers practicum
Seek volunteering opportunity at any local (non-franchise) pharmacy (preferably, if it is possible to connect with a pharmacy owner/pharmacist personally). Then learning and gathering experience from there one can apply to any pharmacies for such position.