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How Do I Become a Pharmacy Clerk?

Lainie Petersen
Updated May 17, 2024
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To become a pharmacy clerk, you will have to meet the regulatory requirements in your jurisdiction as well as qualifications set by the pharmacy or health care facility that employs you. In some places, simply working in a pharmacy does not obligate you to complete an educational program, obtain certification, or become licensed. Some jurisdictions reserve certain pharmacy job functions for individuals who are registered with or licensed by a government agency. In the United States, pharmacy technicians must meet certain educational and training requirements in order to perform specific tasks in a pharmacy or health care setting. The process to become a pharmacy clerk who takes on pharmacy technician duties typically includes the completion of an educational program; passing an exam; and applying for licensure, certification, or registration with a government agency, trade association, or both.

If you seek employment at a pharmacy that requires its clerks to be pharmacy technicians, you may be required to complete the credentialing process in your jurisdiction. Trade schools and community colleges in your area may offer pharmacy technology programs, and professional organizations for pharmacy technicians can give you information on becoming certified. In many cases, you'll have to sit for a proctored exam, and in U.S. states that license pharmacy technicians, you will have to undergo a background check when you submit your application for licensure. It may be possible for you to become a pharmacy clerk before receiving licensure as a pharmacy technician, but you may be restricted by employer policy or the law from undertaking certain tasks, such as filling prescription bottles or mixing medicines.

If you want to become a pharmacy clerk who primarily completes office tasks, processes insurance forms, and provides basic customer service by ringing up purchases on the cash register, you may be able to get a pharmacy clerk job simply by applying at a pharmacy. An employer may require you to have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and training for your position will probably be provided on the job. Some pharmacies may offer you tuition reimbursement if you decide to pursue additional education so that you can become a pharmacy technician.

Regardless of the type of pharmacy clerk you become, your employer will probably ask you to consent to a background check as well as a drug test. Pharmacies are typically concerned about employees using their position to illegitimately obtain drugs. As such, if you have a criminal history, particularly drug convictions, you may not be eligible to become a pharmacy clerk even if you have met other educational and professional qualifications.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.
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Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
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