Job Family: Medical and Clinical Technologists and Technicians Pharmacy Technicians
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | Air Force  | National Guard

Photo 1: Technician dispenses medicine. Photo 2:
Technician prepares patient prescription.

Short Description
Prescription drugs and medicines are important to medical treatment. Patients and physicians depend on military pharmacies to fill their prescriptions accurately. Pharmacy technicians prepare and dispense prescribed drugs and medicines under the supervision of pharmacists or physicians. They also maintain pharmacy supplies and records.

What They Do
Pharmacy technicians in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Read physicians’ prescriptions to determine the types and amount of drugs to prepare
  • Weigh and measure drugs and chemicals
  • Mix ingredients in order to produce prescription medications
  • Prepare labels for prescriptions
  • Dispense medications to patients
  • Store shipments of drugs and medications

Helpful Attributes
Helpful school subjects include algebra, chemistry, biology, physiology, and anatomy. Helpful attributes include:
  • Ability to follow strict procedures and directions
  • Ability to work using precise measurements and standards
  • Interest in body chemistry

Training Provided
Job training consists of classroom instruction. Course content typically includes:
  • Pharmacy laws and regulations
  • Drug types and uses
  • Mixing and dispensing drugs

Work Environment
Pharmacy technicians usually work in hospitals and clinics on land or aboard ships. They may also work in field hospitals.

Civilian Counterparts
Civilian pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies, drug stores, hospitals, and clinics under the direction of pharmacists. They are usually known as pharmacy helpers and generally do not have responsibility for the compounding and dispensing of drugs. They perform simple tasks, such as storing supplies, cleaning equipment, and delivering prescriptions. While military pharmacy technicians generally have more job responsibilities than civilian pharmacy helpers, they do not have the qualifications needed to become civilian pharmacists. Pharmacists must complete a college pharmacy degree program, pass a state board exam, and serve in a pharmacy internship.

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