Advice for a Pre-Pharmacy Student Looking for a Pharmacy Technician Job

I’m a recent college grad who plans on going into pharmacy school. But because I’m passed due with registration, I have to wait for the next cycle. In between studying for the PCATs and volunteering at the hospital, I figured getting a job as a pharmacy technician would look good on my resume. However, even though I’m certified, I’ve been having difficulty finding a job. Most mail-order pharmacy look for 1-2 years of real-life pharmacy experience, which I don’t have. I’ve also had little luck with in-patient pharmacies at hospitals. My only chance, I figured, are retail chains (where most of my friends got their start), however because of the summer session, it seems that they’ve slowed down the hiring process. I know it’s only been a month, but I’m just itching for a pharmacy technician job (not just for money and experience, but for a recommendation as well). I know there’s some luck involved, but is there anything else I should be doing in order to increase my chances? Should I lie about my experience (I’ve been volunteering at a hospital pharmacy for close to 3 years now, but apparently that’s not considered real-life pharmacy experience)? I was also told not to tell my employer that I plan on going to pharmacy school, is that something I should do?

 

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Newly minted pharmacist here. Keep talking to your local retail stores IN PERSON when the pharmacy manager is there, and don’t bug them when the manager is not there. There is always lots of pharmacy technician turnover in retail so just be persistent and friendly. Another thing you could offer is to do all the required training for free, a manager or two might jump on that idea, and if that results in you getting a job quicker it might be your best option.

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I’ve been doing just that thus far. But thanks for the advice!

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Late advice, I hope you got your job already, but summertime is the least busy time for pharmacies. Every pharmacy with my current retail chain I work with in my region is on hiring freeze and cut hours. During flu season, they will be desperate, if you can’t get a job by then.

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Yeah, that’s what I’m being told so far with every retail chain I’ve been to. They tell me to come back after summer ends, when the sessions start picking up. I thought it would be smooth sailing after I got my license, only to be wrong. The only places that are consistently hiring are at mail-order workplaces, except they require at least 1-2 retail experience.

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Do you recommend a certain time of day or particular day of the week that would give a more successful interaction with the pharmacy manager if one was to just walk into a retail pharmacy chain? (less busy, more likely to see the pharmacy manager, ect?) How should this sort of interaction generally be tackled?

I am almost in the identical situation as Anthem26 minus the hospital experience. However I do have national and state certification as a pharmacy technician and recently graduated with a science bachelors degree. The problem seems to be that no one will hire you without real pharmacy technician experience…but how the hell do you get pharmacy technician experience without being able to get hired as a pharmacy technician?

I seem to not have any trouble getting interviews for advertised pharmacy technician openings but every time, they end up hiring someone with years and years of work experience. It is getting frustrating to say the least.

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I’m currently a student working as a pharmacy technician, I found the job through my university pre-pharmacy program. Since a lot of retail pharmacies only hire 1 or 2 pharmacy technicians it can be a while for a position to become available. I’d suggest talking to your local pharmacies in person to see if they need any help.

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I’ll keep that in mind. For the most part, I feel I’ve been very unlucky. One of my friends, who happens to work as a pharmacy technician at a walmart pharmacy recommended me to his boss, but they hired someone internally instead. I had another opportunity to work at CVS full-time, but I was still going to school at that time.

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You could apply to outpatient pharmacies. You could also go into a few independent or smaller pharmacies and talk with the pharmacy manager about your goals.

Should I lie about my experience?

Never ever ever lie on any application or resume. About anything. Ever. The pharmacy world is a surprisingly small community. You’d be surprised with who knows who.

I was also told not to tell my employer that I plan on going to pharmacy school

What reason were you given? The only thing I can think of is that by saying you plan on becoming an intern you’re saying that you won’t be there as a pharmacy technician for very long so they’d just need to hire and train someone else to replace you. I guess I don’t have a whole lot of insight on that, but don’t lie if you’re asked about it.

It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get a pharmacy technician job. I know plenty of people in pharmacy school (myself included) that had no pharmacy experience prior to starting school.

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What reason were you given? The only thing I can think of is that by saying you plan on becoming an intern you’re saying that you won’t be there as a pharmacy technician for very long so they’d just need to hire and train someone else to replace you. I guess I don’t have a whole lot of insight on that, but don’t lie if you’re asked about it.

It was advice given by a prospective employer. He told me that admitting that I had plans for pharmacy school sort of meant that I was only temporary.

It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get a pharmacy technician job. I know plenty of people in pharmacy school (myself included) that had no pharmacy experience prior to starting school.

I understand that. I was talking to one of the advisor of a school I wanted to get into and they told me that they weigh hospital volunteer/internships and pharmacy technician work experience about the same. What I am worried about is getting a recommendation from a pharmacist. Even though I’ve been volunteering at a hospital for almost three years, I haven’t established a strong relationship with any of the pharmacists, mostly because I volunteer on Sundays and everyone rotates on that day. The only pharmacist I sort of knew, quit to pursue full-time dentistry. And I hate to admit this, but I also have an irrational fear of being a nuance. I don’t ask for help much and I feel like I would be burdening someone with a task that they don’t have to do, especially for a person they don’t know very well.

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I can definitely understand the hesitation to ask for help (I hate feeling as though I’m a burden). I think there are a lot of professionals out there who wouldn’t mind at least being asked to write a letter of rec. Most of them all got to where they are partly in thanks to letters of rec written for them. Even if you haven’t developed a strong relationship with someone, I’m sure they’ve noticed you. Ask someone if they would be able and willing to write you a positive letter of rec. Offer to provide some information to include such as where you’re applying and why you’re perusing this profession.

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Will do, thanks for the much need advice!

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have you ever thought about doing a 6 year pharmacy program? You wouldn’t have to take the PCATS then.

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It’s bit too late, I just graduated from college with a bachelors in the Biological Sciences. And pharmacy was far from what I wanted to do after graduating high school, I was geared towards industrial design until I realized I didn’t want to starve for the rest of my live.

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I work with Walgreens in oklahoma. I have trained several pharmacy technicians and cashiers. If you decide to work with walgreens as a pharmacy technician I suggest that you begin as a cashier apposed to getting your license through your respective state first. Walgreens pays all state fees as long as your on time. Working as a cashier first will expose you to insurance processing and the workflow of the pharmacy. Once you have a good understanding of what a pharmacy is like and how the system works talk to the pharmacy manager on a consistent basis about becoming a licensed pharmacy technician. Walgreens wants to hae every single employ who is exposed to the pharmacy on a consistent basis to be certified so there should be no reason you should have any problems there. Ask questions constantly. Read the short descriptions of drugs when you are putting them into the bins. Familiarize yourself with Insurance information and keep a small not book on the tips and tricks of insurance. Sucha as what acronyms walgreens uses to process with the associate bin#s and PCN#(processor code numbers). And before you attempt to become Nationally certified be sure to have a good understanding of rations and common dosages. It is also always good to make it fun and interesting. If you need any more info feel free to contact me on here.

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I am nationally certified, I took my pharmacy technician’s exam almost a year ago. And not to be conceited or anything, but I feel that because I already have my bachelors, I would be overqualified. But thanks for the advice though.