Pharmacy Technician Kaihangarau Rongoā

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists to prepare and give out medicines.

Pharmacy technicians may do some or all of the following:

  • receive prescriptions
  • prepare and mix medicines under the supervision of pharmacists
  • pack and label medicines
  • issue, deliver and keep records of completed prescriptions
  • maintain stock levels
  • help in the day-to-day running of the pharmacy
  • organise and repack bulk supplies into smaller containers for hospital wards and departments
  • deliver medicines to hospital wards.

To become a specialist technician you need to be working as a pharmacist technician and complete a New Zealand Certificate in Pharmacy – Specialist Technician (Level 6) through Manukau Institute of Technology.

Physical Requirements

Pharmacy technicians need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses).

Useful Experience

Useful experience for pharmacy technicians includes working as a pharmacy assistant, or other health or laboratory work.

Personal Qualities

Pharmacy technicians need to be:

  • good communicators, friendly, patient and helpful 
  • organised, responsible and careful
  • able to work within a professional code of ethics and keep information private
  • accurate and observant, with an eye for detail
  • good at maths.


Pharmacy technicians need to have knowledge of:

  • medicines and the laws controlling their distribution
  • hazardous substances and how to handle them
  • first aid
  • the human body and how it is affected by different medicines.


Pharmacy technicians:

  • usually work regular business hours
  • work in pharmacies/chemists and hospitals.

Subject Recommendations

NCEA Level 2 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include English and maths.

Related Courses

Pharmacy Technicians can earn around $45K-$56K per year.

Pay for pharmacy technicians varies depending on experience.

  • Pharmacy technician trainees usually earn between minimum wage and $45,000 a year.
  • Qualified pharmacy technicians can earn between $45,000 and $52,000.
  • Hospital pharmacy technicians who take on additional responsibilities can earn up to $56,000.

Sources: Auckland District Health Boards/PSA, 'Allied, Public Health and Technical Multi-employer Collective Agreement, to October 2017; Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand, 2017.

Pharmacy technicians may progress to senior positions with further training.

Pharmacy technicians can specialise as a:

Specialist technician
Specialist technicians check that pharmacies comply with legislation, train technicians, manufacture medications, manage dispensaries and do industrial research.

Years Of Training

2 years of training required.

To become a pharmacy technician and do basic dispensary work only you need to have a New Zealand Certificate in Pharmacy – Pharmacy Technician (Level 4).

To become a fully qualified pharmacy technician you need to have a New Zealand Certificate in Pharmacy – Pharmacy Technician (Level 5).

You can qualify in one of three ways:

  • Distance study through Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, while you do paid work of at least 20 hours a week in a community or hospital pharmacy
  • Full-time study for 72 weeks at Academy New Zealand 
  • Full-time study for 70 weeks at Kauri Academy.

You also need to hold a current first aid certificate.

Pharmacy Technician