How to get a job as a pharmacy technician in the UK

22 March 2021  •  Locum
How to get a job as a pharmacy technician in the UK

Anyone chasing a healthy dose of job satisfaction and the opportunity to deploy the skills and knowledge they have already accrued as a pharmacist should consider working as a pharmacy technician in the UK. Pharmacy technicians are essential workers within pharmacies, assisting in dispensing prescriptions and ensuring over-the-counter medicines are sold appropriately and responsibly. If you want to know how to get a job as a pharmacy technician in the UK, either as a full-time staff member or a part-time locum, here's what you need to know.

Required professional registrations

You don't need a university degree to work as a pharmacy technician in the UK. However, as with any healthcare role, pharmacy jobs require you to register with the appropriate professional organisation. In this case, that's the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). To register, you need to either an NVQ/SVQ, a National Certificate in Pharmaceutical Sciences, or a BTEC National Diploma.

Registering with an agency

Finding pharmacy technician jobs in the UK is much easier when you register with an agency like Globe Locums. We have a network of contacts already in place, ready for you to take advantage of. We provide healthcare workers to employers on either a short-term or long-term basis, depending on their individual clinical needs.

Many pharmacy businesses in the UK that draw some or all of their staff from a recruitment agency will stick to organisations that appear on the NHS' list of agencies that operate in accordance with their code of practice for the international recruitment of healthcare professionals. Check that any recruitment agency you are considering working with is included on the list before committing to them.

How to get a job as a pharmacy technician after immigrating to the UK

Anyone who has trained and registered as a qualified pharmacy technician in another country can still pursue a career in the same role in the UK. However, before international applicants can register and work as pharmacy technicians in the UK, they will need to complete additional qualifications and work experience. Since January 2021, these requirements also apply to applicants from countries within the EEA.

International pharmacy technicians who are eligible to work in the country they qualified in won't need to complete the additional UK work experience, which is usually two years. To reduce the work experience requirement, you will need to show evidence of your previous qualification, including an academic transcript from your course provider. You will also need to demonstrate that you have eligibility to practice in the country you originally qualified as a pharmacy technician in. If you cannot provide the necessary evidence, you must complete the full two years of work experience in the UK before you can apply to work as a pharmacy technician.

In preparation for a post-Brexit world, the government announced the creation of a fast-track visa for health and social care professionals in June 2020. This new visa offers a reduced visa application fee compared to other skilled workers. It is also exempt from the immigration health surcharge.

Any applicants who are studying the Overseas Pharmacist Assessment Programme under a Tier 4 student visa will need to obtain a separate visa for the purposes of their pre-registration training. The Tier 4 visa doesn't enable them to work for the 12-months required. Most graduates apply for a Tier 2 visa instead. However, there are other options available, depending on the applicants' individual circumstances. The UK Visas and Immigration website contains the most up to date information about what visas are available and what the requirements are to apply for them.

How much demand is there for pharmacy technicians post-covid?

Pharmacists have played an essential role in seeing the UK through the covid-18 pandemic. Not only have they continued to operate throughout the various lockdowns and other restrictions, but they have served as vital hubs for dispensing and administering vaccines. There is no reason to think that they will be any less essential once the coronavirus pandemic finally ends.

Demand for pharmacy technicians is always high in the UK but is likely to increase once the pandemic is over. Many pharmacies have found the last year difficult financially, and government support has been lacking. However, most observers agree that it is inconceivable that the UK government would allow the pharmacy sector to collapse. For some individual pharmacies, the future looks uncertain. But for the sector as a whole, the future remains bright.

The UK is lucky to have a nationalised health service. While most people agree that the NHS remains shamefully underfunded, it is one of the most popular national institutions among the British public. Irrespective of the current government's ideological bent, allowing the NHS to crumble and fail would be political suicide for any administration. There will always be a steady supply of pharmacy jobs within the NHS on top of the thousands of positions available in private pharmacies up and down the country.

How much do pharmacists earn?

The annual salary of pharmacy technicians in the UK can vary depending on a variety of factors. The average salary for a pharmacy technician is around £26,000 per year. However, salaries vary between NHS trusts and private providers.

Many pharmacy technicians prefer to work in temporary locum positions, which often offer a higher rate of pay and provide technicians with greater freedom. Locum positions are also ideal for international pharmacy technicians looking for work while they travel. The pay rate for a Pharmacy Tech is up to £36 per hour - depending on factors such as level of experience, location of the role. 

Pharmacy technicians are essential to the proper functioning of pharmacies. Without their assistance, pharmacists would be hopelessly overworked. Globe Locums has pharmacy technician jobs throughout the UK listed in our database. Search our site to find the best pharmacy technician job available for you today. We have listings for locum, permanent, and fixed-term positions available, and you can narrow your search to your desired salary level if you wish. Globe Locums makes finding golden opportunities easy for qualified healthcare professionals.

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