Pharmacy Assistant

CampusStart DateTuition/Fees
Saint JohnSeptember 2023 (Blended Delivery) - Offered every other year Domestic | International
MonctonSeptember 2024 (Blended Delivery) Offered every other year/ Application opens Fall 2023 Domestic | International

Program Overview

Local pharmacies are a critical link in the healthcare chain. And in almost every pharmacy, you’ll find pharmacy assistants working as part of a team to make sure people in the community get the medications they need. From managing records to processing prescriptions and providing excellent customer service, we help people feel comfortable and cared for every day. If you’re interested in starting a career in healthcare, there are plenty of paths to achieving your dream. Becoming a pharmacy assistant could be yours. 

In our Pharmacy Assistant program, you’ll learn the medical and administrative skills to contribute to effective pharmacy operations. Specific areas of study include anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, communication skills, pharmacy law and ethics, pharmacy calculations, non-sterile compounding techniques, long-term care pharmacy, receiving and entering a prescription, pharmacy software, inventory, and third-party billing. During your studies, you’ll learn skills in lab sessions that occur on campus, and through a work practicum period in the field. When you graduate, you’ll be ready for anything that comes your way on the job.


The requirements for this certificate may be achieved within one year of full-time study. 

Admission Requirements

    Profile K

  • High School Diploma or Adult High School Diploma or GED Diploma of High School Equivalency or Essential Skills Achievement Pathway: Post-Secondary Entry High School Diploma
    • Foundations of Mathematics 110
      Geometry and Applications in Mathematics 112 and Functions and Relations 112
      • Biology 112 or 122
        • Chemistry 112 or 122

          NB Francophone High School Math Equivalencies
          International Student Admission Equivalencies

          Career Possibilities

          Our graduates gain the broad range of skills and knowledge required for success in busy pharmacy settings. You could find employment in a community pharmacy. Some graduates also work directly for pharmaceutical distributors or insurance companies. Others choose to continue their education to become pharmacy technicians.

          Find career possibilities related to this program in Career Coach.

          Specific Considerations

          Prior to, or during an applied workplace experience, Host Agencies may require:

          Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector checks

          Host agencies require students to provide a current criminal record check and/or vulnerable sector check from a recognized police service in order to be considered for an applied workplace experience. Please note: An up-to-date (less than 6 months old) criminal record check is necessary before a student can participate in practicum. Individuals who have been convicted criminally and not pardoned may be prohibited from proceeding to a work placement. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that he or she is eligible to participate.

          College Immunization and Medical form

          Students will be asked to submit proof of specific immunizations prior to commencement of training.  Any associated costs are at the students' expense. The form can be accessed through the following link: (pdf)

          Mandatory Clearance Requirements

          To protect the health and safety of students during their clinical/practicum placements, as well as anyone they may encounter, students will be obligated to complete mandatory clearance requirements as a part of the process of being assigned a placement. There will be a cost associated with completing these requirements, which has been calculated as part of the Material Cost of this program. Students who do not complete the requirements will be unable to attend their clinical/practicum placements, which could impact eligibility for the required courses or industry facility visits needed to complete their program. See Clinical/Practicum Placement Requirements for more details.
          Living accommodations must be secured, and paid for, by the student

          You may be expected to travel to practicum sites outside the campus area, and potentially around the province. Costs incurred for travel and accommodation are at your own expense.
          Student must adhere to a dress code (e.g.: wearing a uniform) Students must adhere to employer policies.

          There are irregular work hours, including evenings and weekends.
          Technology Requirements
          NBCC is a connected learning environment. All programs require a minimum specification, including access to the internet and a laptop. Your computer should meet your program technology requirements to ensure the software required for your program operates effectively. Free wifi is provided on all campuses.

          Note to International Applicants

          International applicants, or those that present with international credentials, must provide proof of English proficiency, as per the benchmarks listed here. Please note that this is a higher standard than most other programs at NBCC.

          Areas of Study

          • anatomy and physiology
          • pharmacology
          • communication skills
          • pharmacy law and ethics
          • pharmacy calculations
          • pharmacy software
          • non-sterile compounding techniques

          Program Courses

          Courses are subject to change.

          Most business / technical / workplace writing is persuasive writing; it is intended to persuade the reader to act in a certain way or believe/support a certain idea. Persuasive writing is supported by critical reading. A critical reader analyzes the wording, structure, tone, and format of a document to evaluate its meaning and credibility. This course will provide the critical reading and persuasive writing skills necessary to formulate well-supported written arguments.

          This course prepares students for the practice of Pharmacy within the Canadian health care system by introducing the influence that federal and provincial laws and regulations have on pharmacy practice. Professional requirements including ethics, ethical principles and standards of practice for the pharmacy team will be examined.

          Health care is one of the most important issues to Canadians. This course introduces students to the complexity of the Canadian health care system and examines the various factors that impact this system. It also examines the role of inter-professional collaboration in achieving positive outcomes.

          Accurately performing mathematical calculations is an essential skills for those actively involved in the dispensing of medications. This course will provide students with the mathematical skills necessary to work in a pharmacy setting.

          Learners are challenged to apply human relations and interpersonal communications theory to workplace-based and real life situations. They use a problem solving perspective in suggesting and carrying out appropriate communication strategies and techniques.

          This course provides an introduction to the meaning of community service.  Students learn how community service can enhance a student’s educational experience, personal growth, employability, and civic responsibility. Students participate in one day of volunteering to enhance their understanding of civic responsibility and to help the New Brunswick Community College realize its vision of transforming lives and communities. 

          This course is designed to provide the student with the knowledge required to function efficiently and effectively in the community pharmacy setting. The course covers areas including pharmacy policies and procedures involved in processing prescriptions in the community setting.

          This course is designed to provide the student with the basic skills required to function efficiently and effectively in the community pharmacy setting. The course covers areas including processing common prescription orders, third party insurance processing, performing required calculations used in prescription processing, prepare prescriptions for dispensing, and maintaining a record keeping system.


          • PHAR1052C

          This course is designed to introduce theory, terms, equipment and practices used in non-sterile compounding.


          • MATH1108H

          This course is designed to provide students with practical laboratory experience in processing and preparation of basic, non-sterile compounds.


          • PHAR1057B

          This course is designed to introduce provincial legislation within long-term care facilities. Types of product distribution for care homes and special populations in accordance with provincial legislation will be examined.


          • PHAR1053D

          This course introduces the roles, responsibilities and competencies of pharmacy teams in relationship to community pharmacies, institutions and long term care facilities. This course prepares students for the practice of pharmacy within the Canadian health care system.

          This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to manage customer service, operational and non-pharmaceutical elements of a pharmacy.

          The purpose of this practicum is to provide an experiential learning opportunity, applying theory and skills learned in the community pharmacy assistant program.

          This course introduces the sciences of anatomy and physiology of the body systems. The progression of study of the body systems is from simple to complex (e.g. chemical level to cellular level, tissue level to system level).

          This course introduces students to the history and basic principles of pharmacology, specifically related to pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Basic anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology and terminology related to the integumentary system and the immune system is reviewed with an emphasis on medical terminology used in the pharmacy. Students are introduced to the effects of medication on the body, examine how special populations/conditions may have an effect on drug actions and examine various treatment options.


          • PHIS1046D

          This course is designed to provide the students with the knowledge and skills relevant to operate a pharmacy software application. The students learn the purpose of the features and how to use related information technology to organize, maintain and retrieve pharmacy records.

          A safe and healthy workplace is the responsibility of the employer and the employee. This course introduces students to the importance of working safely and addresses how employers and employees can control the hazards and risks associated with the workplace. Students will also learn about the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders including WorkSafeNB, the employer and the employee in ensuring workplaces are safe.

          NOC Codes

          3414 - Other assisting occupations in support of health services

          Disclaimer: This web copy provides guidance to prospective students, applicants, current students, faculty and staff. Although advice is readily available on request, the responsibility for program selection ultimately rests with the student. Programs, admission requirements and other related information is subject to change.

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