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Why Become a Pharmacy Technician?

March 13, 2019

If you’re considering a profession within Canada’s growing health services sector, it may be worth researching a career as a pharmacy technician. A pharmacy technician reports to a licensed pharmacist and is responsible for many of the same high-level tasks conducted by pharmacists such as preparing prescriptions, interacting with patients, and communicating with other healthcare professionals regarding the care of shared patients. The points below outline some of the top reasons you should consider a career as a pharmacy technician.


Pharmacy Technician Salary Canada


It’s important to have an understanding of your projected earnings before entering into a new career path. A pharmacy technician salary can vary depending on where you live in Canada, as well as the type of work environment that employs you (ex. Hospital, box-retail store, personal care home, etc). According to statistics provided by the Government of Canada, the median salary for pharmacy technicians is $18.00/hour. Pharmacy Technicians who are established in the career and are paid on the higher end of the scale can make around $28.00/hour — this again according to statistics provided by the Government of Canada.


Advancement opportunities


There are many career advancement opportunities for pharmacy technicians. After spending a couple of years within the profession, you may decide to return to school in order to transition from a pharmacy technician to a pharmacist. As a pharmacy technician you will be able to learn many essential pharmacy skill sets and establish connections within the industry, allowing you to determine if a career as a pharmacist is a career path you’re interested in pursuing.


If you’re more interested in advancement within the pharmacy technician profession, there are plenty of those opportunities as well. As you will learn in the below point, pharmacy technicians have the opportunity to work and advance in a range of work environments. In larger pharmacy settings, you may also be able to pursue management opportunities, and if teaching is a career path that interests you, many colleges look for working industry professionals to instruct their pharmacy technician courses.


Work environment


As mentioned above, there are a number of environments where pharmacy technicians can work, including hospitals, box-retail stores, private care homes, independent businesses, doctors’ offices, and even prisons. For many people, the notion that you have the flexibility to change up your work environment throughout your career is attractive and helps to keep the job exciting and fresh.


Pharmacy technicians’ stress levels are usually low compared to other healthcare professions.


Pharmacy technicians may also find that their job stress levels are relatively low. This can be attributed to, in part, the clean, well-lit, and friendly nature of their working environments. It’s also due to the fact that pharmacy technicians aren’t responsible for performing any clinical duties and usually only interact with patients after they’ve gone through a more thorough examination or treatment with another healthcare practitioner, such as a doctor, nurse, or surgeon. For this reason, the interactions pharmacy technicians have with patients aren’t as high stress.


Job opportunities


Because the Canadian population is aging, there are increased  demands for qualified professionals in every industry of the healthcare sector, including pharmacy technicians. According to Canadian Business — a business information database — there is almost no unemployment within the pharmacy technician profession, making it a worthwhile career to begin if you’re looking for immediate employment.


Customer-service based


One point you should be aware of if you’re considering a career as a pharmacy technician, is that you will frequently interact with patients and should therefore enjoy engaging with the public as a regular task throughout your work day. This can be an extremely rewarding component of the job — patient interactions can provide opportunities to have interesting conversations with people who you wouldn’t normally have the chance to converse with and sharing your expertise with others can be an empowering responsibility. A career as a pharmacy technician is anything but isolating and is an excellent profession within healthcare for those looking to have regular patient contact and establish long-lasting relationships.


Affordable and short education


If you’re wondering how long it typically takes to become a pharmacy technician, the answer for Canadian students is between 1 and 2 years, including the time required for a practicum or work placement. This may be especially appealing if you’re looking for short, hands-on learning that provides the skill sets needed to find immediate employment upon graduation.


The cost to receive a diploma or certificate in this profession varies across the country, but typically sets students back between $15,000 and $20,000 for the entirety of the program. Considering the average Canadian student pays $6, 838 annually for an undergraduate degree, studying to become a Pharmacy Technician is fairly affordable. Graduates of a pharmacy technician program are also more likely to find immediate work as the employment rate for this profession continues to rise in Canada.


Hopefully the above points have illustrated the reasons why you should consider a career as a pharmacy technician. Robertson’s 40-week long Pharmacy Technician Diploma Program, based in Winnipeg or Calgary, is a flexible and affordable way to enter into this growing healthcare industry. Reach out to a Student Admissions Advisor today to learn more about this program, as well as additional reasons why a career as a pharmacy technician is rewarding.

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