You will be expected to have a minimum of four GCSEs to apply to become a trainee Pharmacy Technician, and these must include English, Science and Maths.
Trainee posts will be available at hospitals or community centres, or you could find out about whether there are apprentice schemes in your area. More information about this can be found at the website www.nhscareers.nhs.uk .Once qualified through taking qualifications approved by the GPhC, you will need to register as a Pharmacy Technician. An example of one of the qualifications you can take is the NVQ Diploma in Pharmacy Service Skills.
For experienced Pharmacy Technicians, many NHS employers now register on the NHS jobs website www.jobs.nhs.uk or you can also write to the hospital or community centre that you would like to work in.
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Pharmacy Technicians in the NHS work either in community pharmacies or hospital pharmacies. They prepare medicines and other prescriptions for patients under the supervision of a pharmacist, and create labels for medicines. The preparation of medicines will involve weighing and measuring liquids. In this role you will also be ordering new stock.
In a hospital environment, there are several grades of Pharmacy Technician and the range of areas covers manufacturing, quality control, medicines management and supply procurement. A medicines management Pharmacy Technician works in the hospital teams to ensure that patients have enough medicine supply and that they are using them appropriately. This role involves working with teams of other professionals and coming into contact with a variety of people.
Working hours will vary according to what you specialise in and whether you work in a hospital or community centre. It is common for a Pharmacy Technician to work a 37 hour week.
Skills and Training Development
A Pharmacy Technician must have an eye for detail so that they can be accurate in what they are doing, particularly when measuring out medicines and distributing them.
There are opportunities for career development through specialising in different fields such as medicines management or quality control, and these skills and experience will be transferable to other hospitals or community centres. There is also opportunity for promotion within the pharmacy team.
Related: Pharmacy Technician CV Example
As an NHS worker, a Pharmacy Technician falls into the NHS pay band categories known as the Agenda for Change. As a pay band 4, a Pharmacy Technician can expect to earn between £18,838 per year and £22,016 per year.