Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technicians are a critical part of the health care team. Working closely with pharmacists, they ensure that the highest standards of quality and accuracy are met in the compounding and dispensing of drugs that are vital to the survival and well-being of their patients.


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    Delivery Method

    Delivery Method: Combined Delivery

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    Duration

    Duration: 43 weeks, including two 4-week practicums

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    Starts

    Starts: Twice per year (January and September)

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    Credential

    Credential: Diploma

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    Designation

    Designation: Regulated Pharmacy Technician (RPhT)

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    Wages

    Wages: Up to $28/hour


Pharmacy Technicians are a critical part of the health care team. Working closely with pharmacists, they ensure that the highest standards of quality and accuracy are met in the compounding and dispensing of drugs that are vital to the survival and well-being of their patients. Stenberg’s Pharmacy Technician program is designed to prepare students for Pharmacy Technician positions in both community and hospital pharmacies.

In the combined online and in-class delivery format, instructors facilitate students’ learning of academic competencies in an interactive online environment. Hands-on skills are developed in the lab setting and clinical competencies are mastered at affiliated clinical partner sites (hospitals and community pharmacies). This delivery allows you to pursue the majority of their program in their home communities, with travel / relocation required only for short periods of time to complete program orientation, lab, and clinical requirements.

Stenberg College is accredited by the BC government’s Ministry of Advanced Education through the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB).

PTIB is responsible for setting standards of quality and ensuring consumer protection. Stenberg College has also received the BC government’s Education Quality Assurance (EQA) designation, which is BC’s brand or “seal” of quality post-secondary education for both public and private institutions.

Stenberg’s Pharmacy Technician program was awarded accreditation in 2009 by the Canadian Council for the Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP) based on national standards for the accreditation of Pharmacy Technician programs.

After program completion, graduates are required to write the licensing exam provided by the College of Pharmacists of BC.

In 2013, Stenberg’s Pharmacy Technician program was the first program in British Columbia to receive the status of full five-year accreditation. Only graduates from programs accredited by CCAPP are eligible to take the national and provincial exams required to become Regulated Pharmacy Technicians.

Becoming a regulated technician allows you to operate at an expanded scope of practice and increases your earning potential.

Stenberg’s Pharmacy Technician program has formal affiliation agreements in place with all health authorities in BC and Alberta, as well as other health authorities across the country, and with many community pharmacies and pharmacy chains.
As a Registered Pharmacy Technician, you’ll find opportunities for employment in hospital pharmacies, community pharmacies, compounding and other specialty pharmacies, the College of Pharmacists in your province, insurance companies offering drug coverage plans, provincial government drug coverage plans, colleges offering Pharmacy Technician instruction, and private health insurance companies and research institutions.

Graduates who have completed the requirements to become Regulated Pharmacy Technicians:

  • Earn between $25 to $28 per hour if they are working in hospitals in BC
  • Earn between $26 to $32 per hour if working in hospitals in Alberta
  • Earn between $20 to $27 per hour if working as a Regulated Pharmacy Technician in community pharmacies in BC or Alberta.

Graduates who are working as Pharmacy Assistants while they complete the steps required to become Regulated Pharmacy Technicians:

  • Earn between $22 to $24 per hour if they are working in hospital pharmacies in BC
  • Earn between $26 to $28 per hour if they are working hospital pharmacies in Alberta.
  • Earn between $13 to $19 per hour if they are working in community pharmacies in BC or Alberta

The related national occupation classification number for Pharmacy Technicians is 3219.

For High school graduates and Mature Students (19+):

  • Grade 12 English (min. grade C) or equivalent*
  • Grade 12 Biology (min grade C) or equivalent
  • Grade 11 Math (Foundations, Principles or Precalculus – minimum grade C) or equivalent
  • Grade 11 Chemistry (Min. Grade C) or equivalent*
  • Typing speed of 35wpm net
  • Fluent in written and spoken English. If English is not your first language, and you did not take all of your high school at an English Canadian high school, you need to provide proof of English fluency through standard ESL tests as defined by NAPRA (document provided separately).

Prior to going on practicum, students must complete a test for Tuberculosis showing that they are clear of the disease, and must also have up to date immunizations as required by practicum sites.

*Equivalencies for the required courses can be obtained from Post-Secondary training, Stenberg College challenge tests, etc.

Stenberg College’s Pharmacy Technician Program delivers quality training that provides its graduates with the competencies required by NAPRA* in order to be prepared for, and successful on all regulated licensing exams  (OSPE  – Objective Structure Practical Examination, MCQ – Multiple Choice Questions & Jurisprudence) and the SPT’s – Structured Practical Training, as well as be deemed as the graduate of choice by employers who are hiring Pharmacy Assistants and Entry to Practice Pharmacy Technicians.

*National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities

  • To educate potential students to the career of a Regulated Pharmacy Technician (RPhT) within Canada in an accurate & transparent manner.
  • To graduate students who are willing ambassadors for Stenberg College.
  • To be recognized in the health care sector as a college that graduates qualified, job-ready Pharmacy Assistants and Entry to Practice Pharmacy Technicians.
  • To make Pharmacy Technician training accessible to qualified applicants from all areas of BC and other provinces, particularly to those from areas that do not have local access to high quality pharmacy technician training.  This is to be accomplished by providing quality online theory courses combined with face to face hands on skill development within our fully equipped simulated pharmacy lab environments, and clinical competencies being mastered within affiliated clinical partner sites (hospitals and community pharmacies).
  • To be recognized as an organization that values the success and contributions of each student and each person who works at the college
  • To graduate Entry to Practice Pharmacy Technicians who are recognized as a vital part of the health care team for their role in Canadian Pharmacy in the delivery of health care and health care initiatives.
  1. Demonstrate the knowledge base, skills, and attitudes consistent with industry expectations for entry level employment. Graduates will be able to meet competency requirements set out by the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA).
  2. Successfully complete the regulated licensing exams and Structured Practical Training (SBT) required to become a Regulated Pharmacy Technician and qualify for membership with the College of Pharmacists in their province within 12 months of course completion.
  3. Gain employment in the field within 6 months of graduation.
Please click the course title below to scroll to the course description:

Orientation & Student Success Skills

This course will provide a comprehensive orientation to Stenberg College and the program you have enrolled in. As with all new things, there will be some challenges and excitement; this course will explore transitioning as a college student, review learning styles, enhance critical thinking, and familiarize you with the resources available for your use. This course covers student success skills where you’ll learn effective study habits (specifically to improving both reading and writing skills) based on your own personal learning style. Life skills exercises are also integral to the course, teaching communication, accountability, teamwork, self-awareness and building an understanding of the impact you have on others.

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Medical Terminology/Anatomy & Physiology

This intensive, fast paced course is an introduction to medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology. You’ll become familiar with various medical word parts, build fluency in the pronunciation and spelling of these parts, and learn to build and break down medical terms to determine their meaning. Understanding the language of medicine is essential for all healthcare professionals to be able to function effectively and safely in a healthcare environment. You will also develop an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of each body system which will be used in subsequent coursework.

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Pharmacology

This course provides a strong foundation in the principles of pharmacology including pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. Using your knowledge of medical terminology and applying what you learned about the body systems in the previous course, you will learn which prescriptions and over the counter medications are commonly used in Canada to treat diseases affecting each body system. The content covered in this course is continually reinforced throughout the program.

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Pharmaceutical Calculations

In this course you will learn how to perform the calculations encountered in pharmacy practice. The course includes systems of measurement, conversions, calculation of dosages, various routes of administration, and interpreting physician’s order. There is a special focus on how to identify common medication errors related to calculations.

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Law & Ethics I

In this course, you will learn how to apply Provincial and Federal laws and regulations to practice competently within the professional practice framework. You will also learn pharmacy ethics, the need to take personal responsibility for delivering direct patient care, and the obligation to stay current with changes in regulations or professional pharmacy practice standards.

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Professional Practice I

In this course you will develop the necessary communication skills to function competently and compassionately as a health care professional in a pharmacy setting. Basic communication concepts and skills are introduced and a more in depth look at a pharmacy technician’s scope of practice is taken to prepare you for the applied courses. You will be exposed to a variety of issues including attitudes, values and beliefs of successful pharmacy technicians. You will learn about projecting an image appropriate to the profession of pharmacy and the necessity of developing effective interpersonal relationships with other healthcare professionals.

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Pharmacy Operations and Dispensing I

This course introduces pharmacy operations and dispensing. You will learn about different types of pharmacies, how they operate and the roles of the pharmacist, pharmacy technician and pharmacy assistant. You will examine common drug plans and their formularies, adjudication challenges, inventory management elements and common business practices in community pharmacies. You will learn to compound non-sterile products using correct compounding techniques and apply professional guidelines, standards and legislation, pharmaceutical calculations, and documentation requirements associated with compounding. You will learn to apply corresponding quality assurance and independent-double-check procedures for the preparation of non-sterile products. You will learn to receive the prescription from the patient, enter demographic and prescription information into a community pharmacy software program, prepare prescriptions (including retrieval from inventory, calculations, and safety procedures). You will also learn to label medication products, supply the correct supplemental patient information, store products safely, apply quality assurance measures, and practice within the regulated scope of a pharmacy technician or pharmacy assistant. You will also learn to appropriately assist clients who are purchasing non-prescription drugs for self-treatment of common disorders.

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Law & Ethics II

In this course, you will expand your knowledge from Law & Ethics 1 and learn how to apply Provincial and Federal laws and regulations to practice competently within the professional practice framework. You will also learn pharmacy ethics, the need to take personal responsibility for delivering direct patient care, and the obligation to stay current with changes in regulations or professional pharmacy practice standards.

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Professional Practice II

This course will provide an opportunity to think and plan for future personal and professional development. Continued learning is important both professionally and personally and you will work through activities to help plan out the most effective development for you to achieve your short and long term goals. The course will also cover important skills in maintaining your work-life balance so that you can enjoy a successful career.

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Pharmacy Operations and Dispensing II

In this course, you will develop the skills needed for the calculation, mixing and labeling of parenteral drugs. You will learn to compound sterile products in a Laminar Air Flow hood using proper aseptic techniques. You will also learn to use applicable quality assurance and independent-double-check procedures for the preparation of sterile products. You will learn to dispense drugs in a hospital environment for patients on various nursing wards, following proper policies and procedures, equipment, and computer systems. You will also learn the legal requirements and procedures for delivering or retrieving narcotics from a nursing ward. You will also be introduced to a hospital computer program and learn to interpret and transcribe doctor’s handwritten medication orders and perform order entry of medication orders.

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Career Search Strategies

In this course, you will learn to network effectively (online and in person), to search and apply for jobs, and to prepare targeted resumes and cover letters. You will be provided with coaching and individualized instructor feedback on your resume, cover letter, and interview skills.

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Comprehensive Program Review

This course will include a review of key theoretical and practical knowledge. You will receive information on test taking skills to help you prepare for the licensing exam and will write a comprehensive program exam. Finally, you will be asked to evaluate your overall educational experience (clinical and didactic) so the program may be improved in relation to your feedback.

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Community Practicum

During your community practicum (also referred to as a Consolidated Practice Experience), you’ll be assigned to a community pharmacy where you’ll be supervised one-on-one by an experienced registered Pharmacy Technician or Pharmacist. This will give you a great opportunity to implement your skills and theoretical knowledge in a professional setting.

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Hospital Practicum

During your hospital practicum (also referred to as a Consolidated Practice Experience), you’ll be assigned to a hospital pharmacy where you’ll be supervised one-on-one by an experienced registered Pharmacy Technician or Pharmacist. This will give you a great opportunity to implement your skills and theoretical knowledge in a professional setting.

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Please click the course title below to scroll to the course description.

Personal and Professional Development Skills Certificate

The Personal and Professional Development (PPD) Skills Certificate is a self-directed, online certificate that enhances your soft skills. The six PPD workshops cover Professionalism, Quality Service, Feedback, Diverse Teams, Conflict Resolution and Leadership. Together, these workshops prepare you to effectively approach and resolve real life situations.

Provincial Violence Prevention Certification

The Provincial Violence Prevention Training Curriculum will teach you to recognize and respond to violent situations and learn about different types of violence and strategies for dealing with the risks in a variety of health care contexts. The Provincial Violence Prevention Curriculum has been developed by a team of experts from Worksafe BC, the Occupational Health & Safety Agency for healthcare in BC, as well as BC health authorities and healthcare unions. This training and certification is offered in collaboration with Fraser Health Authority.

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System

WHMIS provides information about materials in the workplace that can be hazardous, such as cleaning agents, compressed gases and flammable materials. Becoming WHMIS certified will demonstrate the ability to identify hazardous materials and handle them properly.

Fit Testing

This theory course will cover the correct use and care of respirators, respirator limitations, donning and doffing procedures, and proper disposal of respirators in accordance with WorkSafeBC OHS Regulation Section 8.7.3.

You could be eligible for Employment Insurance funding for education, government student loans, as well as other financing options; Stenberg’s Financial Aid Officer would be happy to provide further assistance.

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