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Differences Between a Pharmacy Technician and Pharmacist

There are obviously some key differences between a pharmacist and a pharmacy technician. A pharmacist is a person who has specialized knowledge and advanced education to prepare medication. They are the person who runs the pharmacy, while the pharmacy technician works for them.
Many people know the general differences between these two jobs, but we are going to take a closer look at some of the differences below because the field of pharmacy is growing and there may be an extra demand for workers in this field. If you think you want to get started in the field of pharmacy, working as a pharmacy technician could be a good start. Learn more about the job below and how this position differs from that of a pharmacist.

  • Level of Education – Probably the biggest difference between a pharmacist and a pharmacy technician, is the level of education. A pharmacy technician can go through a short schooling or training program, but this is not always required. On the other hand, a pharmacist needs a doctorate degree in pharmacology. They need this because they will be the ones that are actually putting together the medication. This job requires a lot of medical knowledge and knowledge of drugs impact on the human body. Without this knowledge, patients could be in danger.
  • Medical Knowledge – As discussed briefly above, there is also a significant difference in the amount of medical knowledge these to professions have. A pharmacist has to know how drugs impact the body and how to make these drugs. A pharmacy technician often has a base knowledge of pharmacology, but they are not required to have as much medical knowledge because they are not the ones preparing the prescriptions.
  • Job Duties – There is also a difference in these two jobs based on what the job duties are. A pharmacist fills prescriptions, checks each prescription, and keeps records of the patients and medical information. They also can give medical advice to patients based on certain symptoms the patients are experiencing. Pharmacists can also help patients understand the symptoms of medications and how to use them properly. A pharmacy technician can accept a prescription, pack the order, and label the order, but a pharmacist must check it before it goes out. A pharmacy technician can also help with billing and insurance questions for the patient. Pharmacy technicians also perform other administrative tasks like tracking inventory, running the cash register, and filing paperwork.
  • Responsibility – One other big difference between these positions is the amount of responsibility. The pharmacist is responsible for everything that goes on in the pharmacy, including the pharmacy technicians. They are in charge of and responsible for a lot. The pharmacy technicians do not have to worry about that level of responsibility.

As you can see, there are some pretty big differences in the work of these two professions, but they both work together to make a pharmacy run smoothly. Working as a pharmacist requires a lot of education, but working as a pharmacy technician does not require as much. If working in this field interests you, pharmacy technician school could be a good option. Learn more about this below.

What Pharmacy Technician School is Like

Pharmacy technician school can be really short compared to the education required for a pharmacist. However, pharmacy technician school can still give you a great deal of knowledge and experience for working in a pharmacy.
During this pharmacy technician training, you can expect to take a variety of different courses. For example, you will take a course in anatomy and physiology to better understand the body. You will also take a course in pharmacy calculations so that you can understand basic formulas and calculations for the correct dosage of medication. Your schooling will also teach you about pharmacy principles and pharmacy regulations so that you are more aware of the field you will be working in. A course in pharmacology will also be essential because it will help you better understand how different types of drugs impact the body and its systems. During your pharmacology course, you will also learn about side effects and toxic reactions to drugs. Finally, at the end of your pharmacy technician school program, you will get the chance to do a pharmacy tech externship. This externship will give you some real working experience in a pharmacy so that you can get some practice for your future work.
FVI School of Nursing and Technology has a pharmacy technician training that you can check out. This training can set you up for a great career working at a pharmacy. Click here to learn more about the program.
For more information about graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website: