Army Pharmacy Specialist (MOS 68Q) prepare and dispense prescribed medication under the direction of the Pharmacist.
Pharmacy Specialist also maintain pharmacy supplies, records and keep track of inventory.
Soldiers in this Army MOS must be familiar with Pharmacy laws and regulations, drug types, uses and how to mix drugs.
Qualifications and Training
To enter into this MOS, recruits must receive at least a 95 on the Skilled Technical (ST) portion of the ASVAB test.
They are also required to have finger dexterity in both hands.
After completing all entry level testing, recruits will attend Basic Combat Training for 10 weeks.
When Basic Training is finished, soldiers will attend Advanced Individual Training.
AIT will be 23 weeks long, is accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacist and includes practicing pharmaceutical tasks.
Skills that are helpful in this MOS include:
- Following instructions and directions
- Precise measurement and standard experience
- Interest in a job that involves mathematics, chemistry, anatomy and physiology
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What are the Job Tasks of a Pharmacy Specialist?
Pharmacy Specialist assist in preparing and dispensing medications for customers.
They work under the direction of the Pharmacist.
Specialist can work in a variety of locations in the United States or in a deployed area.
These locations include troop medical clinics, Army community hospital, combat support hospital, regional medical center or in a field unit.
The goal of the specialist is to ensure that the right medication, in the correct dosage, is distributed to the correct customer and that the customer receives the proper counseling.
Specialist use robotics and other highly technical equipment to fulfill orders.
They will be required to measure, mix and compound medication.
They will verify the correct dosage based on patient age, weight and medical status.
Soldiers will verify the dosage regimen and the quantity prior to releasing medication.
Job tasks can vary based on location.
When working in a hospital, soldiers will be required to fill outpatient or inpatient orders.
This can be filling a prescription pain medication for a released patient, filling an IV bag for an inpatient or a syringe for a newborn baby.
Other facilities may only have customers who visit the facility just for their medications.
In these locations job tasks are similar, but only apply to filling orders related to customer needs.
Specialist do not just fill orders for medications.
They will also complete orders for medical supplies such as syringes or sterile pads.
Discussing the medication with the patient is also part of the job.
Under the direction of the Pharmacist, specialist inform the customer on proper medication use, any side effects that may happen and answer any questions they may have.
They may also work with insurance companies to get coverage for the medication and receive payments from customers for the balance.
Regardless of location, soldiers may be required to perform inventory checks.
They will receive product in when a shipment arrives and ensure that it is entered into inventory.
Specialist will check for damaged products when receiving a shipment or performing quality control duties.
They may also be required to ship out medication to other facilities or return expired medication.
Specialist must be aware of product recalls and will send back any medication to a manufacture in the event of a recall.
Specialist are also required to perform maintenance on the pharmaceutical equipment they use.
Any work completed by the specialist will be documented into computer systems.
The Army video below provides more information on job functions of MOS 68Q.
What Does a Pharmacy Specialist Get Paid?
Army Pharmacy Specialist will get paid based on rank and time of service.
Individuals who are recruited into this position can expect to be paid around $20,000 annually.
Upon completion of training, soldiers receive a certificate stating they have completed training as well as college credits.
Receiving a degree or additional certifications can assist with promotions and higher pay.
Refer to the pay table below for Army base wages.
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||Minimum Monthly Pay|
|E-2||Private Second Class||PV2||$2,001|
|E-3||Private First Class||PFC||$2,104|
|E-7||Sergeant First Class||SFC||$3,208|
|E-9||Command Sergeant Major||CSM||$5,473|
|E-9||Sergeant Major of the Army||SMA||$5,473|
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The base pay table above does not include Army benefits, allowances or special pay.
Some positions in the Army have recruiting bonuses.
There are also special pay opportunities that increase your wage.
The Army pays for housing and food for those living on base.
They also have an annual Military Clothing Allowance that goes towards new Military clothing, or civilian clothing if the MOS requires you to wear it.
Other benefits include:
- Tuition Assistance Programs
- Free/low-cost medical dental
- 30 days annual vacation
- Paid sick time
- Low-cost life insurance
Reviews of this position are mostly positive.
Individuals who have previously been in the position note that this MOS allows for a great experience with coworkers and learning a trade.
The positive reviews note time off, benefits and learning the responsibilities of the Pharmacist.
Negative reviews discuss deployment and long hours.
The review below provides positive and negative aspects of the position.
In the Army video below, a soldier explains the position, how he feels about the position and the training.
Civilian Career Opportunities
The discipline and experience gained from this MOS, can provide soldiers with a future career as a pharmacy helper or aide.
This can be in hospitals, clinics or drug stores.
Soldiers in this MOS have the opportunity to take the written exam and gain certification as a pharmacy technician.
This provides more civilian career opportunities as well as higher pay.
MOS 68Q qualifies for the PAYS recruiting program that guarantees a job interview with a Military friendly civilian employer.
Various medical facilities and hospitals work with the PAYS program.
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Army Pharmacy Specialist (MOS 68Q) are responsible for preparing and dispensing medications and supplies.
Soldiers in this MOS work under the direction of the Pharmacist.
To enter into this career, soldiers must complete all entry level testing, Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training.
Previous Pharmacy Specialist have stated that the position is beneficial to future civilian careers, it provides great benefits and allows for relationships to be built.
Civilian career opportunities related to Pharmacy Specialist include pharmacy aide in civilian pharmacy locations.
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