Career Requirements for Pharmacists, Pharmacy Aids and Pharmacy Techs
Pharmacy professionals work for independent drug merchants and pharmaceutical companies, at hospital and clinic pharmacies, nursing homes, and for mass retail stores. Pharmacy aids work as clerks at retail and hospital pharmacies. Pharmacy technicians assist licensed pharmacists in preparing prescriptions or in serving customers.
Pharmacy aids should hold at least a high school diploma and shave some retail experience. They are required to have strong customer service skills and sound math and reading capability.
Pharmacy technicians often begin a pharmacy career in this role before moving into full-time advanced pharmacy studies. They may receive formal training from medical trade schools or business colleges, leading to an associates degree or certification from the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians. Course work may include studies in medical terminology, pharmaceutical technique, record-keeping, and drug terminology. Federal and state requirements stipulate re-certifications for pharmacy techs every two years. After several years on the job, pharmacy techs may receive promotions to management positions at retail pharmacies overseeing pharmacy technicians with less experience.
Seeking Career Pharmacist Training
Full-fledged pharmacists earn the Pharm.D degree from two to three-year post-secondary programs. Requirements may include advanced training in pharmaceutical chemistry, laboratory techniques, biology, mathematics, medical ethics, and physics. Career pharmacists can also earn masters and Ph.D. pharmacy degrees if they want to work as researchers at universities or drug manufacturers.
All 50 states have licensing requirements for Pharm. D graduates who want to practice pharmacy in their state.
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