A pharmacy technician is the bridge between patients and pharmacists. A pharmaceutical technician performs duties that are necessary for maintaining inventory and compounding medications, whilst also providing customer service to patients while relaying information to the pharmacist.
The average starting salary for a pharmacy technician in the UK is £20,266 per year, but for experienced pharmacists with a master’s degree in pharma, salaries begin from £31,533 per year.
If you want to learn more about pharmacy technician courses, the path towards becoming a pharmacy technician and the top UK universities for a pharmacy technician degree, keep reading below. Book a free consultation with SI-UK London today to begin your application.
What does a pharmacy technician do?
The responsibilities of a pharmacy technician are diverse and versatile. Expected duties include looking for medical information for patients, attending calls about prescription refills, assisting pharmacists with administrative tasks, including checking insurance coverage on medications or following up on shipping information, as well as cleaning areas in the pharmacy that are usually not seen.
How to become a pharmacy technician in the UK?
One doesn’t always need a degree to become a pharmacy technician. Requirements include those of the GPhC, which will require either a BTEC National Diploma, an NVQ/SVQ, or a National Certificate in Pharmaceutical Sciences. The basic steps to becoming a pharmacy technician in the UK are below.
1. Obtain a High School Certificate or An Equivalent Qualification
To become a pharmacy technician, a candidate typically needs to have completed at least a high school qualification or a pharmacy technician certification course. This can involve gaining experience working in various fields related to healthcare, such as volunteering at hospitals or healthcare centres.
Prior to the job, it’s recommended that one study each of the following: physics, chemistry and biology, as well as some formal education in genetics. It is also necessary to take on an apprenticeship role.
2. Completing Post-Secondary Education Programs In Pharmacy Technology
Pharmacy technicians attend post-secondary schooling in order to receive the necessary training to become pharmacy assistants.
Afterwards, there are some that go on to join the industry while others venture off into other pursuits. This type of schooling is typically available through technical schools and community colleges. Programs span between one and two years with a proportionate amount of classroom time versus clinical experience students receive.
3. Achieve other Entry Requirements for Pharmacy Technician
There are two ways to become a pharmacy technician. Either you can pursue a college degree, or you could work your way up to the position without one.
Whether you go for a school-based education or choose to not study at all, there will be some criteria that you must meet in order to enter this field.
First, you must have successfully completed high school with English, mathematics and science subjects on your transcript. Ideally, these subjects would be taken as part of your high school’s GCE Advanced Level program.
Top 3 UK Universities for a Pharmacy Courses
1. Queen’s University Belfast
Queen’s University Belfast’s School of Pharmacy consistently ranks as one of the top UK Schools of Pharmacy across reputable league tables. Queen’s Belfast is recognised for its excellence in teaching and has an international reputation in research.
- Course to consider: Pharmaceutical Sciences BSc
2. Ulster University
The MSci Pharmaceutical Bioscience at Ulster University has been designed for students who have a strong interest in science and are keen to pursue a career in the medical industry.
Ulster’s Pharma courses contain all the relevant chemistry and science that are required in the pharmaceutical industry. Apart from academics, the University also imparts a wider skill set to students that they will require to achieve all the necessary expertise in the biopharmaceutical industry.
- Course to consider: Pharmaceutical Bioscience MSci (Hons)
3. Cardiff University
The Cardiff University MPharm programme equips students with the knowledge, skills and experience that they will need to embark on a career as a Pharmacist. Cardiff’s School of Pharmacy is internationally renowned for its benchmark quality of teaching and research.
- Course to consider: Pharmacy (MPharm)
Study Pharmacy Technician Course in the UK
If you are interested in studying for a Pharma degree in the UK, book a free consultation with SI-UK London to learn more or to start your application.