How to Become a Pharmacy Assistant: 5 Steps 

Pharmacy Assistant helping patient with medication directions - How to Become a Pharmacy Assistant: 5 Steps 

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a pharmacy assistant in Alberta, it’s important to understand the requirements and steps involved. Here’s a simple guide to help you become a pharmacy assistant in Alberta: 

1. Complete an Education 

While a high school diploma is typically the minimum requirement, some employers may prefer candidates who have completed a pharmacy assistant program. These programs provide specialized training in areas such as pharmacology, pharmacy operations, medication management, and customer service. 

2. Gain Experience 

Look for opportunities to gain practical experience in a pharmacy setting. This can be through internships, volunteering, or part-time positions. Pharmacy cashier experience will also give you a better understanding of the role and enhance your job prospects.  

3. Develop Key Skills 

Pharmacy assistants need strong organizational and communication skills. They should also have good attention to detail, as they will be responsible for tasks such as packaging medications and maintaining patient records. 

4. Consider Obtaining a Certification 

While certification is not mandatory in Alberta, it can improve your job prospects and credibility. The Canadian Association of Pharmacy Technicians offers a National Pharmacy Technician Bridging Education Program for pharmacy assistants who wish to further their education and career. 

5. Job Search 

Once you have the necessary education and experience, start looking for pharmacy assistant positions in retail or hospital pharmacies. You can find job opportunities on online job boards, healthcare industry websites, or by directly contacting pharmacies. 

A Realistic Timeline 

Overall, it can take approximately a few months to one year to become a qualified pharmacy assistant in Alberta, including the time spent on education after high school, gaining experience, and potentially obtaining further certification. It’s important to note that these timelines are estimates and can vary depending on individual circumstances and opportunities available. 

Get Started with Your Pharmacy Assistant Education Today 

Becoming a pharmacy assistant in Alberta requires a combination of education, experience, and key skills. By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to a rewarding career in the pharmaceutical industry. 

To get started, consider enrolling in ABES’ Pharmacy Assistant Diploma program. In 6 months, you’ll be a fully qualified pharmacy assistant with a complete 6-week practicum placement under your belt. Talk to our admissions team about exploring this opportunity today!