How do I get Pharmacist Training?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 30 December 2018
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There are three ways to get pharmacist training: post-secondary education, online schools, and graduate programs. A pharmacist is responsible for dispensing prescription medication to patients, providing counseling services, and assisting in the development and management of prescription medications. All pharmacists must be licensed by both the pharmacist association and the government agency responsible for health.

In order to qualify for pharmacist training, high school credits in chemistry, biology, math, English, and technology are required. It is important to know that to become a licensed pharmacist, a criminal records check is required. Any arrests are reviewed and there cannot be any charges for illegal drugs or any signs of a substance abuse problem.

The most effective way to get pharmacist training is to enroll in an undergraduate degree in pharmacy at an accredited university. Pharmacist training programs are typically three to four years in length. It is important to note that a university degree is required to become a pharmacist. However, there are other training programs to work in the pharmacy industry. These programs are available from a wide range of community or career colleges.

At the college level, the focus is on practical skills required to work in a pharmacy, under the supervision of a pharmacist. Pharmacy technicians and technologists both receive training from two- or three-year college programs. This training is technical in nature, building skills to record pharmacy information, interact with clients and follow the instructions of the pharmacist.


There are wide ranges of online schools that offer pharmacist training opportunities. The first thing to check is that the school is accredited. An accredited school has been reviewed by an independent third party. This agency compares the academic and administrative policies against a minimum standard. Only courses completed at accredited schools can be transferred to other programs. This is especially important for pharmacy programs, as all programs have a laboratory component that must be completed under the supervision of a qualified pharmacist.

Graduate programs for pharmacists provide another type of pharmacist training. These programs are usually part-time courses in a specific area, master's or doctoral programs. Admissions to these programs require a pharmacy degree. It is very important to keep your skills current as a pharmacist, and these training opportunities allow you to keep in touch with changes in the industry while meeting the continuing eduction requirements of the pharmacists licensing board.

People who report the greatest satisfaction with pharmacist training are detail-oriented, meticulous, and precise. People skills are also important in this role, as pharmacists are expected to provide counseling and advice to clients on side effects and possible medication conflicts.



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How can I apply online for a pharmacy program?

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