Mar 11, 2011
I'll be graduating with a BS in June and heading back home. The plan is to work as a pharm tech for the next year or so before I hopefully go to pharmacy school.

I've been working at CVS for almost 8 months now but I want to try a different pharmacy setting (hospital, clinic, long-term facilities, or compounding) when I move back home and before I attend pharmacy school. As I'm searching through job ads, I've noticed that most of these types of pharmacies require at least 2 years experience (some say retail is fine but a lot say in a hospital-type setting, which I obviously don't have).

Should I stop bothering looking for this type of pharm tech job and just go for retail? Or are there ways around it, such as volunteering at a hospital or applying for per diems positions and hoping they'll eventually offer a part-time/full-time position?

And in the event that I do get called in for an interview, should I try to evade the question "what are your future plans?" knowing that there's a possibility I'll only be working there for a year? Because I hear most hospital settings prefer to hire people who plan to be there for a couple of years.

Hoping someone can give me some insight please!
Sep 15, 2011
Pharmacy Student
I'll offer my own experience.

I, too, worked at CVS for about a year and a half. The last 5 months of that time, I was busy pestering the lead technician at a local hospital for job opportunities (I interviewed once and was passed over, but kept at it.) I applied again for another per diem position. When I was hired, my supervisor knew that I was in school and would have scheduling issues, as well as possibly moving away 1 1/2 years later for pharmacy school, but was willing to work me in because I came across well in the interview and had a serious interest in pharmacy (it helps to mention that you'd consider a residency or pharmacist position there in the future if all goes well.)

I'm going to be honest: unless you blatantly lie to whoever interviews you about your availability, the chance that you'll land a part time/full time regular position is very slim. I'd go for the per diem; give it a shot. It never hurts to ask.

Good luck!
Jan 2, 2012
Keep trying. It's not like there's a huge pool of tech applicants out there with hospital experience... my hospital prefers hospital experience but honestly we get one person with hospital experience for every 10 or more applications. I started at CVS as well, and just applied at every hospital in my range and eventually got in. If you plan to go home for summers I suggest being honest and as suggested above perhaps apply for a per diem job. That gives yourself the chance to work there in summers and build your experience and contacts. If not then, definitely don't tell them you don't plan to be there in a year. We'd never hire someone who said that, considering it takes a year to fully train someone with no hospital experience. Wouldn't be worth it.