In Germany, minimum demand for an authorization as Pharmaceutical Technical Assistant (PTA) is a General Certificate of Secondary Education. Furthermore high school performance in science lessons is required.
The PTA education is regulated by law (Educational- and Examination order of PTA) from 23 September 1997. On this basis the federal States of Germany develop the curriculums of PTA schools.
At present the education takes 2.5 years. The education is divided into 2 years of theoretical schooling at a national or a state-approved private school and 6 months of practical training in a pharmacy.
School subjects in 2 years of technical education are:
- Science of pharmaceuticals
- General + pharmaceutical chemistry
- Galenics (production of pharmaceuticals)
- Botany, pharmacognosy + pharmaceutics
- Teaching of dangerous substances, phytosanitary + environment protection
- Teaching of medical products, Nutrition Science and dietetics
- Teaching of Personal hygiene + pharmaceutical principles
- Teaching of physical equipments + specialized mathematics
Besides the plain theoretical lessons the students also get lessons in practical training in investigation of body fluids, identification of medicinal plants, production of certain pharmaceutical forms like ointments and crèmes, solutions and suppository as well as computer literacy.
During schooling the PTA students are obliged to fulfill 4 weeks (160 hours) of practical course (= Famulatur) in a pharmacy to gain insight into internal business procedures and pharmaceutical activities. Eight double period comprehensive education in first aid is required additionally.
Schooling ends with a first section of the examination including a written, an oral and a practical part.
Following the theoretically education in school there will be 6 months of practical education in a pharmacy. This ends with a second state examination.
Practical education consists of:
- Chemical – pharmaceutical exercises including analysis of body fluids
- Exercises of pharmacognosy, galenic and practical experience in a pharmacy including computing.
Job opportunities and prospect of promotion:
- Public pharmacy
- Hospital pharmacy
- Pharmaceutical Industry
- Public administration
- PTA Schools
- Public authorities
- Health authorities
- Sales representative
Salary is based upon professional years and number of weekly working hours.