What to expect from a career as a Pharmacy Technician or Pharmaceutical Lab Tech
Becoming a pharmacist isn’t the only career option in the pharmaceutical industry; there are many other exciting opportunities in the field that don’t require a four-year degree program yet still allow you to work in a pharmacy or a pharmaceutical lab. Pharmaceutical programs at Ontario colleges prepare you for any one of these career paths, so you can start your career sooner in an industry you’re passionate about.
If you’d like to start your career in the pharmacy industry with an Ontario college pharmaceutical program, here’s what you need to know.
Pharmaceutical Program Courses
There are three main types of pharmaceutical program focus areas:
- Pharmacy Technician. Though they do not actually dispense medications themselves, pharmacy technicians collaborate with pharmacists in the preparation and dispensation of medication, as well as in providing customer care. They are also responsible for managing pharmaceutical inventory.
- Pharmaceutical Chemical Lab Technology. In these programs, students learn aspects of pharmaceutical research, such as product formulation, manufacturing, toxicology, testing and more.
- Pharmaceutical Quality Operations. These programs focus on the regulatory guidelines and practices of pharmaceutical manufacturing and submission. Like pharmaceutical lab technology programs, these programs teach clinical research and product formulation and manufacturing, but the curriculum will also emphasize quality assurance and legal regulation practices.
Because of the diversity of program offerings, individual courses will vary. In all programs, however, students can expect lab work and work placements as part of the curriculum.
General Pharmaceutical Program Requirements
Ontario college pharmaceutical programs are offered in varying forms and result in different credentials, including diploma, advanced diploma and graduate certificate. As such, admission requirements will vary.
Diploma and advanced diploma programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, which includes a grade 12 English credit and senior math and science credits. Graduate certificate programs require completion of a diploma or degree program in the science field.
Pharmaceutical Jobs and Salaries
Pharmaceutical grads have a number of job opportunities available to them, from researchers to laboratory technicians and even sales reps and teachers. Jobs exist in hospitals, community clinics and corporate pharmacies, as well as in pharmaceutical companies.
Salaries in the field will vary depending on the position and are difficult to predict. Pharmacy technicians typically start around $30,000 a year, with the potential to earn higher with more experience.
Ontario Colleges Offering Pharmaceutical Programs
Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of pharmaceutical programs at Ontario colleges.