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Pharmacy technician Pharmaceutical technician

Pharmacy technicians prepare prescriptions. They're supervised by a pharmacist.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £19,000 to £31,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

To become a pharmacy technician, you'll need to:

  • have 4 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including science, maths and English.
  • start as a pre-registration pharmacy technician
  • do on-the-job training and get a college qualification in Pharmacy Service Skills
  • register with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

You could get into this through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • good maths and IT skills
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • the ability to explain instructions clearly to customers
  • administration skills for record keeping

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • 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

4. Salary

Starter: £19,000 to £22,000

Experienced: £22,000 to £28,000

Highly Experienced: £28,000 to £31,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 35 to 40 hours a week, including weekends and evenings. You may work on a rota.

Your employer will usually provide a uniform and protective clothing.

6. Career path and progression

You could work in a hospital or a community-based pharmacy. You may also find work advising GPs on pharmacy services. You could work in the prison service or armed forces.

In a hospital, you could move to an administrative or supervisory post. Or you could move into a specialist role like clinical technician, working with healthcare professionals and patients on wards.

In a community pharmacy, you could become supervisor or manager, or go into sales or marketing. You could also move into research, development and production work in hospitals or the pharmaceutical industry.

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Last updated: 18 August 2017