Pharmacy Technician

By Aedín Dunne - Last update

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Do you pay attention to detail in your work? Are you able to build up good relationships and carry out effective communication? Are you accurate, careful and have both interpersonal and analytical skills? If so, you’ve all the basic skills needed to be a great pharmacy technician. 

What is a pharmacy technician?

Pharmacy Technicians manage and prepare the supply of medicines and provide customers with advice. They provide assistance to pharmacists and help carry out general tasks. 

What third level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:

  • Pharmacy Technician – AIT, LYIT, IT Tralee
  • Pharmacy Technician Studies – TU Dublin Grangegorman, IT Carlow
  • Pharmacy Technician (PLC) – Bray Institute of Further Education, Drogheda Institute of Further Education

Studying pharmacy technician in college 

There are a number of courses available in this area from undergraduate courses to PLC courses. PLC courses will be one year in length and will provide you with a foundation in the area and help you to become familiar with the basics of being a pharmacy technician. 

Undergraduate courses available are all two years long. All courses will give you the opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge in the area to go out and work as a pharmacy technician. There is a Higher Certificate course in Pharmacy which is two years long or a Bachelor’s Degree course which is one year long, both available in AIT, for example. FOr now, we will look at the Higher Certificate course to give you an idea of what is involved. 

Your first year will be focused around introducing you to the area of being a pharmacy technician and help you to become familiar with certain areas you will cover throughout your degree. Modules you may cover in your first year include Chemistry, Mathematics for Scientists Fundamentals of Pharmacology, Laboratory Practice, Learning and Development for Higher Education, Drug Uses and Actions and Community Pharmacy Practice. 

In your second year you will do your Professional Practice Placement to allow you to apply your theory practically and become familiar with working in the role in order to develop your skills and knowledge as a pharmacy technician. You will also focus on modules such as Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Finance and Accounting, Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Hospital Pharmacy Practice, Drug Uses and Actions, Formulation and Compounding and Professional Development.

Courses may differ in their exact layout and structures as well as module titles and content covered but overall, the same content will be covered. The above course structure is based on the Higher Certificate in Science in Pharmacy Technician course offered in AIT. 

Career Options

As a pharmacy technician your main role is to manage, control and prepare medication for customers as well as assist pharmacists in general tasks. This is the main route you can go down. Employment for pharmacy technicians may be found in public pharmacies, hospitals, private pharmacies and government agencies, for example. 

Many people may continue on their study at postgraduate level to specialise in a particular area or move into the education and research area. 

Skills and qualities important in this area include strong communication skills, the ability to work well with others, observation skills, attention to detail, organisational skills, time management skills, interpersonal skills, research skills, analytical skills, genuine concern for customers, a caring nature, empathy and trustworthiness. 

Related Jobs

  • Pharmacy technician
  • Hospital pharmacist
  • Medicinal chemist
  • Community/retail chemist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Clinical researcher
  • Doctor
  • Nurse

Further Study

Visit for more information. 


Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always safest to check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should

include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English. 

Certain QQI Awards in a relevant area may also be accepted. These change from course to course so be sure to research further. 

The highest points required for a course in Pharmacy Technician Studies last year was 321 to study in TU Dublin – Grangegorman. The lowest points were 232 points to study Pharmacy Technician in LYIT. Points mainly range from 200-300 points. 

Where can I study?

You can explore your options here

Did you know?

  • A pharmacist named John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola. 
  • The global pharmaceuticals market is worth around $300 billion
  • Pharmacy technicians are generally paid around €16.80 an hour.


Student Grant Scheme 

Facts about being a Pharmacy Technician

Detailed course overview example  

Aedín Dunne

Stage Management
Biological and Biomedical Sciences


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