Subscribe to our Newsletter
The Caring Support Blog

What's the Difference Between a Pharmacy Technician and a Pharmacy Assistant?

March 19, 2023

Most pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants work in hospitals, healthcare centres, and retail stores. They fill prescriptions and take care of other administrative tasks. Both pharmacy assistants and pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of pharmacists and often do the same things. Technicians, on the other hand, tend to have more responsibilities and earn more money. Read on to find out more about the differences between a pharmacy technician and a pharmacy assistant, such as how they are licensed, what they do on the job, the future of their careers, and how much they can make.


As a pharmacy assistant, you will greet customers, answer the phone, stock shelves, and take customers' prescriptions to give to the pharmacist or pharmacy technician.

Pharmacy technicians help the pharmacist by filling prescriptions, measuring and mixing medications, getting a patient's medical history, and even working directly with doctor's offices. A pharmacy technician might also be in charge of managing inventory and placing orders for products. And since COVID, pharmacy technicians have been very important because they can now give vaccines.


If you finish a course to become a pharmacy assistant, you can look forward to a rewarding job with lots of different tasks. In this job, you will have to mix up medications under the supervision of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician. You will also have to stock shelves, fill prescriptions, help customers, and do things like help with inventory and keeping records. Even though a pharmacy assistant may not be able to do as much as a technician, they can still work in community pharmacies, long-term care pharmacies, and manufacturing facilities.

To become a pharmacy technician, you must successfully finish a two-year approved pharmacy technician program that combines classroom instruction and real-world experience. As a pre-registration trainee pharmacy technician, you will often work at a pharmacy while you complete your level 3 apprenticeship.

pharmacy assistants work in hospitals


Pharmacy assistants do not require as much school education and aren't regulated. With a high school diploma, you could find an entry-level job and learn on the job, or you could get a certificate as a pharmacy assistant.

Pharmacy technician is a more advanced job that requires you to take courses and get a certificate as a pharmacy technician. In Ontario, you need a license to work as a pharmacy technician. This has the benefit of being regulated and giving you and your customers confidence that your work and service meet the highest standards.


The average salary for a pharmacy technician in Canada is around $51,000 per year, while the average salary for a pharmacy assistant in Canada is $39,000 per year, with entry-level starting at around $31,000. But remember that a worker's potential salary depends on their training, location, work experience, and setting.

Colleges, medical and diagnostic labs, and local government agencies are all places where pharmacy technicians can make money. In the same way, pharmacy assistants who work in places like nursing homes, insurance companies, general medical and surgical hospitals, and online shopping and mail-order stores tend to make more money.

Both professions complement one another, and depending on the scope, the task is distributed among the pharmacy staff as a whole. The prescription will be received by the pharmacy assistants, who will then fill it out, label it, and hand it off to the pharmacy technician for one last inspection. The pharmacist will next provide patient counselling after the pharmacy technician has passed it along. Patient wait times can be reduced due to this mechanism, which also facilitates better pharmacy job organization and customer service. For the best results for the staff, their patients, and the community at large, collaboration amongst the entire pharmacy team is necessary!

You can learn more about pharmacy assistants by reading more here. You are welcome to sign up for an account on the Caring Support platform so that we can help you throughout your journey toward becoming a pharmacy assistant or pharmacy technician.

About The Author
Arielle Rosales
Content Writer

Find Your Dream Job Today!

Get updates from Caring Support

We'll keep you updated on all new application updates and features!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.