Online Degrees in Pharmacy: Become a Licensed Pharmacist or a Pharmacy Technician

If you love assisting the public and are curious about the mechanism of that make prescription drugs valuable, you may be interested in getting an online degree in pharmacy. A variety of degrees with different levels of responsibility exists within the pharmacy field. Whether you are interested in becoming a licensed pharmacist, or if you want to assist the pharmacist as a technician, there are online programs in the field of pharmacy to help you reach your career goals.


Although both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians work with prescription drugs, it’s the pharmacist who advises the patients on side effects and possible drug interactions. Furthermore, it’s the pharmacist who will go over the dispensing instructions or any other information the doctor has provided. It’s a matter of protocol, but by law since the pharmacist has the qualifying academic and professional background they hold all of the responsibility when it comes to preparing the medication and addressing patient concerns. Both the pharmacist and the technician share in keeping track of patient records. Both professionals can add or update patient records, but the only the pharmacist is in charge of changing records. Likewise, only a licensed pharmacist can order medications from drug companies, but it’s usually a technician who stocks the shelves at the pharmacy. In addition, the technician is usually first to answer the phone and field any calls before involving the pharmacist.


A pharmacist must have a doctor of pharmacy degree and be licensed which requires passing 2 exams.  According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for pharmacists in 2010 was $111,570. Employment is expected to increase by 25 percent between 2010 through 2020. Like professions within the medical field, the aging population within the United States has a direct effect on the medical needs of society.


If you want a career as a pharmacy technician either as a stand alone profession, or to work your way up to a pharmacist, a high school degree and an online associate degree will give you the best job chances. Getting your online associates degree will give you better employment and higher salary outcomes. You can however; get an online certificate for a pharmacy technician if that suits your needs as well. One of the benefits of becoming a pharmacy technician is the ability to work part time and get hourly rate as high as $20.13 per hour.


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