Technicians retrieve, count, pour, weigh, measure, and sometimes mix the medication. Then they prepare the prescription labels, select the type of container, and affix the prescription and auxiliary labels to the container. Once the prescription is filled, technicians price and file the prescription, which must be checked by a pharmacist before it is given to the patient. Technicians may establish and maintain patient profiles, as well as prepare insurance claim forms. Technicians always refer any questions regarding prescriptions, drug information, or health matters to a pharmacist.
Pharmacists dispense medications, counsel patients on the use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, and advise physicians about medication therapy. They also advise patients about general health topics, such as diet, exercise, and stress management, and provide information on products, such as durable medical equipment or home healthcare supplies. In addition, they often complete third-party insurance forms and other paperwork. Pharmacists in healthcare facilities dispense medications and advise the medical staff on the selection and effects of drugs. They may make sterile solutions to be administered intravenously. They also plan, monitor, and evaluate drug programs or regimens. They may counsel hospitalized patients on the use of drugs before the patients are discharged. Some pharmacists specialize in specific drug therapy areas, such as intravenous nutrition support, oncology (cancer), nuclear pharmacy (used for chemotherapy), geriatric pharmacy, and psychiatric pharmacy (the use of drugs to treat mental disorders).
So that is what each job does. To become a pharmacy technician, you first need to check your state board of pharmacy to see what they require. Some states require that you go through certain approved schools for training, on-the-job training, registering with the state board, obtaining PTCB certification, all of these, a combination of these, or none. So it is very important to look at your state's requirements first. Since I don't know which state you are in, you can look up each state's requirements at http://www.careerstep.com/courses/pharmacy-technician-faq/?uid=ref10077
and go to FAQ#4 Do I need to be certified. There you will find a pdf document with a list of requirements by state.
If your state requires certain approved schools, then you need to go to your state board of pharmacy website to find the list of approved schools. Otherwise if they don't care which school you go to, I would look at job openings to see what qualifications employers are asking for. There is a really good online course that was designed to help graduates pass the PTCB exam. I have heard a lot of good things about them. It is self-paced so you can start whenever you want and work on it as fast as you want. But first check your state's requirements so you can get an idea of what you need to do and what type of schooling you may need. Training can take between 3 months to 9 months- it depends on the training and the amount of time you put into it each week.
To become a pharmacist, you will need to earn a Pharm.D. degree from an accredited college or school of pharmacy. To be admitted to a Pharm.D. program, an applicant must have completed at least 2 years of specific professional study. This requirement generally includes courses in mathematics and natural sciences, such as chemistry, biology, and physics, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences. In addition, most applicants have completed 3 or more years at a college or university before moving on to a Pharm.D. program, although this is not specifically required. Pharm.D. programs generally take 4 years to complete. The courses offered are designed to teach students about all aspects of drug therapy. In addition, students learn how to communicate with patients and other healthcare providers about drug information and patient care. Students also learn professional ethics, concepts of public health, and business management. In addition to receiving classroom instruction, students in Pharm.D. programs spend time working with licensed pharmacists in a variety of practice settings.
Obviously a pharmacist would get paid a lot more than a pharmacy technician and it would be harder. You would need to know about drug interactions and be able to answer patient/customer questions about drugs. The pharmacy tech dispenses the medicine and fields all questions to the pharmacist.
More than likely you will be drug tested.