A pharmacy technology program will give you the training to work with pharmacists
and the public. It is a great way to enter the pharmaceutical industry.
In the past, you could learn on the job. But more and more states are moving
toward certification for pharmacy technicians, so your best choice is to
obtain a certificate or a diploma.
St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology, for example, looks for
"English, Grade 12 mathematics, senior-level biology and chemistry
with 60 percent or better at the advanced level or 70 percent or better at
the general level," says Yvonne McRobbie, coordinator of St. Clair's pharmacy
She also recommends that prospective students take typing courses and
obtain a current standard first aid certificate.
On the other hand, Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts has an open
enrollment policy. "Thus, the only academic requirement is proof of a diploma
or [General Education Development] certificate," says David Baker, chair of
the pharmacy science and technology department.
In high school, get involved with clubs and programs that build your confidence.
And consider doing a high school internship, job shadow or co-op in a pharmacy,
In a field where prescriptions are handled on computers, knowing how
to use a computer is a huge advantage, says McRobbie.
Holyoke's program prepares students for the workplace by teaching them
theory, giving them lab experience and providing clerkship rotations that
allow students to try their skills in the real world.
Tuition and books are the main costs. You may also have to pay for a lab
coat, course mateirals and name tags.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Pharmacy
Journal of Pharmacy Technology
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