NHS Careers > Explore by career > Pharmacy > Pharmacy technician > Community pharmacy technician

Working as a community pharmacy technician

Community pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of registered pharmacists in retail pharmacies.

They label and dispense prescribed medicines and provide information and advice to patients about how to use their medicines. Working under the guidance of the pharmacist, they are also trained to advise members of the public about over-the-counter medicines, the management of minor ailments, and healthy lifestyles.

Range of tasks

Pharmacy technicians get involved in wide range of other tasks, including:

  • helping pharmacists with a range of other duties such as stock checking and ordering
  • keeping individual records of patients prescriptions, usually stored on a computer
  • training other members of the pharmacy team
  • assisting with services to nursing homes or GP practices
  • making simple dilutions
  • manufacturing ointments and mixtures.

Pharmacy technicians may also be involved in selling over-the-counter medicines and other items stocked by the pharmacy, such as cosmetics, toiletries, baby food and photographic supplies. Many undertake additional training so that they are able to perform final accuracy checks on dispensed medicines, immediately before they are handed out. Customers may seek advice and information on the use of medicines or general health issues, and the pharmacy technician must know when to refer the customer to the pharmacist or other health care professional.

Increasingly, pharmacy technicians are involved in delivering services such as smoking cessation and NHS health checks.