Jun 22, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2021-2022 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2021-2022 Credit Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Pharmacy Assistant

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Program Description

As our population grows and ages, there is a vital need for trained professionals to provide pharmacy-related assistance. In this program, learners will train to assist pharmacy personnel in addressing and ensuring the health needs of a diverse population. As future professionals working under Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians, students of this program will learn to prepare pharmaceuticals, manage inventory, and as the potential first point of contact, assist customers in a variety of related ways.

Through a combination of theory-based study and hands-on laboratory practice, this program covers pharmacy concepts, pharmaceutical calculations, body systems, pharmaceutical implications, order processing, clerical functions, and professional and communications standards. Students will also spend time increasing their competency through integrating theoretical knowledge with real dispensing practice and customer service, during a practicum based in a community pharmacy.

Program Overview

Fast Facts

  • This program should be completed full-time
  • Program Length:
    • Full-Time (2 Semesters)
  • This program is delivered in a classroom or online format
  • Full-Time Intakes:
    • Fall, Winter, Spring
  • Students require a personal computer with Internet access in order to complete the required courses
  • The Pharmacy Assistant software used in this program is not compatible with Apple products

Certain courses may be offered through Open Studies during the daytime, evenings, and/or weekends, as well as in a classroom, blended, or online format. All courses must be completed within the program completion timeframe. Please be advised that for the purpose of student loans, full-time student status requires that learners are enrolled in a minimum of 60% of a full course load per semester.


Your Career

Graduates may work in community-based retail pharmacies. Opportunities also exist in hospital pharmacies and long-term care facilities as pharmacy assistants.

Student Success

Students who experience success in this program and profession:

  • Have higher secondary or post-secondary grades
  • Possess effective communication skills in both written and spoken English
  • Have at minimum basic computer literacy
  • Can type at a speed of 35 words per minute (WPM)
  • Are disciplined for learning in classroom, online, and professional settings, as well as through self-study required of all courses
  • Have experience working in fast-paced retail environments with a diverse clientele
  • Are able to efficiently process large volumes of information coming from a variety of sources simultaneously
  • Demonstrate prowess in active listening
  • Are self-directed, highly motivated, detail oriented, and well organized
  • Enjoy working in a team environment


After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT Pharmacy Assistant certificate.


There are no formal accreditation arrangements at this time. Please contact the department for more information.


Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Admission Requirements

Completion of the following courses or equivalents with an overall average of at least 60%:

  • Math 30-1 or Math 30-2 or Pure Math 30 or Applied Math 30, AND,
  • English Language Arts 30-1 or English Language Arts 30-2.
  • All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Program Outline

Total Credits 22.5

Program Overview - Spring Intake

The Spring semester intake of this program is targeted towards students outside of Calgary and the surrounding area. In this intake, students will attend their lectures online, laboratories on-campus, and subsequently complete a practicum placement. In order to accommodate students with significant distance to travel, on-campus lab days will be scheduled in groups of four to five consecutive days, and occur approximately once per month.

Practicums will be arranged outside of the Calgary area, in collaboration with SAIT’s partner pharmacies. Though location is not guaranteed, students are encouraged to consider an ideal practicum location, and should consider that there is a high demand for pharmacy assistants in Edmonton and the surrounding area.

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