Pharmacy technician

Pharmacy technicians are essential to the smooth running of pharmacies, making sure patients get the most out of their medicines. 

Working life 

You'll work under the supervision of a pharmacist. You'll speak with patients, offering them advice on how to best manage their medicines. 

Your typical day could involve giving medicines to patients, either on prescription or over the counter and providing information on potential side-effects. You’ll work with patients to reach the best possible care for them, advising them on their health, how to take their medicines and their lifestyle choice. This could be face-to-face or over the phone.

Sometimes you’ll need to refer patients on to another healthcare professional such as a pharmacist, doctor, nurse or allied health professional. You’ll also be responsible for the supply of medicines at the pharmacy by working in the dispensary. 

You may supervise other pharmacy staff, such as pharmacy assistants.  

Jurinda Cowe

Senior pharmacy technician
My goal is always to make the patients happy and, if I’m lucky, receive a smile and “thank you” from them.

Pay and benefits

If you’re working in the NHS, newly qualified pharmacy technicians will usually start at band 4 of the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scale. You’ll also have access to a generous pension scheme and health service discounts, as well as at least 27 days of annual leave plus bank holidays.  

Terms and conditions can vary for pharmacy technicians outside of the NHS, including those working in community pharmacies, or for other employers that provide NHS services. 

Where will I work? 

  • hospitals 
  • community pharmacies
  • GP practices
  • care homes 
  • patient’s homes
  • prisons
  • the armed forces
  • pharmaceutical industry 

Must-have skills

  • good communication skills  
  • ability to work effectively with your colleagues, patients and the public
  • be able to maintain confidentiality and privacy
  • to be responsible, accurate and methodical, with good attention to detail
  • an interest in helping people and improving people’s health 

How to become a pharmacy technician

You'll need to complete a two-year accredited pharmacy technician course involving a mix of practical work experience and study. You’ll usually be employed by a pharmacy as a pre-registration trainee pharmacy technician and study for a level 3 apprenticeship.  

You can then register with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and practise as a qualified pharmacy technician.  

Entry requirements

Typically, you will need four GCSE or equilvalent at A*-C/9-4 including mathematics, English language, science and one other subject to undertake the level 3 Pharmacy Technician (Integrated) apprenticeship.  

Training and development

You will be required to keep your skills and knowledge up to date with annual continuing professional development (CPD) and formal assessments with the General Pharmaceutical Council to make sure your skills are up to date.  

Your employer may offer in-house training and there are also regional and national courses and qualifications available.

Where your career can take you

  • You could become a senior pharmacy technician, responsible for the work of other pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants.
  • You may even decide to go into management and leadership roles.
  • You could specialise, in areas such as mental health, oncology (cancer treatment) or paediatrics.
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    Pharmacy technician

    General Pharmaceutical Council

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      Pharmacy technician
    • Contact details
      [email protected]
      020 3713 8000
    • Region
      All UK
      Admissions address
      General Pharmaceutical Council
      25 Canada Square
      E14 5LQ
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