To work as a pharmacy technician, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent; and
- complete moderate-term, on-the-job training.
Education after high school
Some pharmacy technicians complete a formal training program. Pharmacy technician programs last one to two years. Two-year programs grant an associate degree. One-year programs grant a certificate. During training you study medical terminology, pharmaceutical calculations, and pharmacy recordkeeping. You also learn medication names, doses, and uses.
Many pharmacy technicians learn their skills on the job from an experienced pharmacy technician. You may receive training for up to 12 months. During training, you learn:
- the names and doses of medications;
- ethics and laws;
- store policies; and
- customer service.
Many training programs offer internships where you get hands-on experience working in a pharmacy. Interns work under the supervision of experienced technicians or pharmacists.
Some branches of the military train people to be pharmacy technicians. Training lasts from 12 to 17 weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job.