Walgreens is one of the leading national retail pharmacy chains in the United States, employing thousands of pharmacy technicians. Walgreens pharmacy technicians can work in the retail store, the CPO (Central Pharmacy Operation), or they may work in multiple locations. Pharmacy technicians at Walgreens enjoy many benefits including health, dental, and vision insurance, 401K packages, profit sharing, paid vacation and holidays, store discounts, and free flu shots.
You may be wondering, “How does one get a job as a pharmacy technician at Walgreens?” The answer to that question depends on the state you live in, whether or not you have experience or certification, and the job openings in your area.
Applying for a Job as a Pharmacy Technician at Walgreens
Every person who applies for a job at Walgreens must go through the same process. The first step is filling out an online application. This can be done in the comfort of your own home, on a public computer, or in a Walgreens retail location. Do not think that you can drop off your resume or use a paper application. If you try this, you will be instructed to apply online.
The first step of the online application asks for your zip code. Then you will be asked to choose English or Spanish to finish the application. Next, you will be asked for your social security number. If you do not have one, you will not be able to pass this page of the application. The next step is to answer a security question. Write the question and answer down because you will need it again. After this step, you will provide your contact information, work history, and personal references.
Once your personal information has been recorded you will be asked to choose the positions that you would like to apply for. The choices include pharmacy, photo, cosmetics, and cashier. If you are only willing to work as a pharmacy technician, then only choose that option. If you may be willing to work in other areas of the store, then select all positions you are willing to consider.
Near the end of the application process you will be given an opportunity to choose which stores in your area you would like to apply to. Your application will be sent to every store that you put on your list. If you live in a highly populated area, then you may have many choices. You will have the best opportunity of being called for an interview if you choose every location within reasonable distance to you. If you are hired, you can transfer to a different store later. The idea is to get your foot in the door with the company.
Getting an Interview
When you have completed the online steps, you will be instructed to go into any Walgreens location to complete your application. This will consist of skills testing on a computer inside the store.
You should go to the store that you would most like to work at. You can go into the store for your skills test at any time and you will be allowed to take the test. However, it is a good idea to choose a time when you are most likely to be able to have a conversation with the manager. This allows you an opportunity to make a good impression. Walgreens managers are usually very busy during the morning hours. The best time to find one available is in the afternoon between 2:00 and 6:00 pm. If the store seems very busy when you go in, you may want to come back later or on the next day.
If you do well on the skills test and make a good impression on the manager, then you may be interviewed right away. If not, don’t be upset. If there is an opening in any of the stores you applied to, you will get a call within a few days.
Restrictions to Getting a Pharmacy Technician Job at Walgreens
There are a few restrictions that can affect your ability to getting a job as a Walgreens pharmacy technician. First, you must be 18 years of age. This is a national requirement for any pharmacy technician. Secondly, you must have a clean background check. Most felony prosecutions and all drug-related prosecutions will disqualify a person from working as a pharmacy technician.
Another thing that can hinder your ability to be hired as a Walgreens pharmacy technician is whether or not you are nationally certified. There are nineteen states that require pharmacy technicians to be certified prior to working in a pharmacy. If you are not certified and live in one of those states, then you will have more challenges in getting hired as a pharmacy technician.
The good news is: not being certified does not mean that you cannot be hired as a pharmacy technician in a state that requires certification. It only means that you will be faced with more obstacles. Walgreens has an excellent pharmacy technician training program. If you are selected for their training program, then they will pay you while you train and they will pay the fee for taking the certification test.
The bad news is: in those states which require certification, they will prefer to hire certified pharmacy technicians. Don’t let this completely discourage you. In areas with a pharmacy technician shortage they will hire and train qualified candidates. Walgreens also prefers to promote from within. That means that if you take another job such as cashier, photo lab technician, or cosmetician; you have a chance of being promoted to pharmacy technician.
Final Words of Advice
If you want to work as a Walgreens Pharmacy Technician don’t give up. The job opportunities for pharmacy technicians are expected to increase through 2018, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means that companies such as Walgreens will be more willing to train pharmacy technicians. If you are not initially offered a job as a pharmacy technician, it is a good idea to accept another position. This will give you an opportunity to show the management team that you are a good employee who is worthy of being trained as a pharmacy technician. Talk to your managers often about your desire to work in the pharmacy. You can even offer to help out as a cashier in the pharmacy when they are experiencing a high volume of customers. It is also a good idea to get to know the pharmacist and express to him or her your desire to work as a pharmacy technician. The pharmacist often has a strong say in who is trained as a pharmacy technician.