Brief Description

Pharmacy technicians assist the pharmacist in preparing prescriptions and medications prescribed by physicians. They assist by labeling and packaging prescriptions and medications, and delivering the medications, ordering and stocking the shelves. Sometimes they manage the billing of customers. Pharmacy technicians are always supervised by a licensed pharmacist.

Pharmacy technicians may be classified as Pharmacy Technician I or Pharmacy Technician II. The difference is in the level of experience of the technician. Typically, Pharmacy Technician II has at least one year of experience and demonstrates proficiency in level I activities.


You can prepare for an educational program in pharmacy technology while in high school by taking courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, typing, English and the social sciences.

You will need a high school diploma or the equivalent (GED) to be eligible for a six-month vocational technical school program in pharmacy technology. Some hospitals and community pharmacies offer on-the-job training for pharmacy technology.

Beginning on January 1, 2017, all applications for the Pharmacy Technician Certificate shall include evidence of the completion of a nationally-accredited pharmacy technician training program. The only organization that accredits pharmacy technician training programs is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Students earn at least 600 hours of practical experience in a Louisiana-permitted pharmacy under the supervision of a Louisiana-licensed pharmacist.


Many pharmacy technicians learn the skills through on-the-job training, however, there are postsecondary educational programs available. These programs typically last 1 year. The student will take pharmacy theory courses related to law, pharmacology, calculations, and pharmacy management. Basic skills in typing, computer literacy, dosage forms, and pharmacy management will be developed. Students will also learn the names, actions, doses, and uses of medications. An internship in a hospital or retail pharmacy is a required component to the educational program.


The employment outlook for pharmacy technicians is good through the next decade.

Projected job growth is expected to be 20% from 2012-2022, which is much faster than the average for other occupations. Those technicians with formal training and experience in retail pharmacy settings have more job prospects than those without these qualifications.

Pharmacy technicians are employed in hospitals, retail drug outlets, clinics, and research centers. Those that work in hospitals are referred to as inpatient pharmacy technicians. They work in clean, pleasant surroundings and are constantly in contact with other health professionals and customers. Much of their work requires them to remain on their feet for much of the day. They normally work a forty-hour week, including some weekends and holidays. Pharmacy Technician I Inpatient pharmacy was indicated to be one of the top careers for 2014.


Pharmacy technicians are employed in hospitals, retail drug outlets, clinics, and research centers. Those that work in hospitals are referred to as inpatient pharmacy technicians.

Pharmacy technicians typically work 40 hr/week with occasional weekends/holidays.


Mean annual wage for LA: $29,920

Mean annual wage by region:
            Shreveport/Bossier and surrounding area: $29,100
            Winnsboro and surrounding area: $31,780
North Central
            Monroe: $29,010
            Natchitoches and surrounding area: $29,710
            Alexandria: $29,700
            Lake Charles and surrounding area: $26,720
            New Iberia and surrounding area: $30,330
South Central
            Lafayette: $29,420
            Baton Rouge: $31,260
            Houma/Thibodeaux: $31,250
            New Orleans/Metairie/Kenner: $29,650
            Hammond: $30,010

Note: Salary can change depending on the work setting.


The following pharmacy technician schools in Louisiana are accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP):

Bossier Parish Community College:

Delgado Community College

Louisiana State University at Alexandria

Virginia College-Baton Rouge

Virginia College-Shreveport/Bossier City:


National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA)

PO Box 683148 Houston, TX 77268


Louisiana State Board of Pharmacy:

3388 Brentwood Drive

Baton Rouge, LA  70809

Phone: (225) 925-6496

Professional Association:

Louisiana Pharmacists Association

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists