How do you become a Pharmacy Technician?


How do you become a Pharmacy Technician?

You will need to find employment as a Pre-registration Trainee or Student Pharmacy Technician.

Training to become a pharmacy technician takes two-years. It combines practical work with study as either a distance learning or college-based course. The training consists of two-years consecutive work-based experience under the direction of a pharmacist or pharmacy technicians for not less than 14 hours a week. 

You will need to be enrolled on an approved pharmacy technician training course. A list of which can be found on the General Pharmaceutical Council website here

The knowledge course will either be studied, as day-release or block release, at a local college or by distance learning depending on the training provider You will study a variety of topics such as human physiology, disease management, actions and uses of medicines, pharmacy manufacturing and pharmacy law.

Career Pathways


Many pharmacy technicians in all pharmacy settings are extending their roles to work with pharmacists and other healthcare staff in helping patients to manage their medicines. These specialist roles involve checking and recording the medication that patients should be taking, ensuring sufficient supplies, and helping patients to understand how to use their medicines safely on the hospital wards, and when they return home. Pharmacy Technicians can also take addition training and assessment to allow them to perform the final accuracy check of prescriptions before being issued to the patient. In hospital and industry pharmacy technicians manage the technical aspects of dispensing services and manufacturing medicines.

In the hospital service, there are several grades for qualified pharmacy technicians, based on the NHS grading criteria ‘Agenda for Change. Grading criteria ranges from Band 4 to Band 7 undertaking roles explained by the national pharmacy technician profiles which can be found here

To view the NHS Careers in Pharmacy booklet click here


Professional Registration 


Statutory registration with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) came into force on the 1st July 2011, and all pharmacy technicians need to meet the minimum requirements for registration.

The criteria to register as a pharmacy technician can be found here.

The GPhC website can provide more detail of registering as a pharmacy technician



Overseas (non-UK) qualified pharmacy technicians


Please note: APTUK does not have the resources to map overseas qualifications to determine equivalency. For further information please visit GPhC’s website: 

Overseas (non-UK) qualified pharmacy technicians please see the GPhC website here