How to Get Certified to Be a Pharmacy Technician?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the employment of pharmacy technicians will increase by 32 percent in the 2010-20 decade.* It further adds that the field will add about 108,300 jobs in the same time period.** Clearly, pharmacy technician is one of the hottest allied healthcare careers right now.

But what is the process involved in becoming a pharmacy technician? If you are looking for answers, we have them for you right here. Presenting a complete step-by-step guide on what it takes to become a certified pharmacy technician.

1. If you want to become a certified pharmacy tech, you need to begin at the beginning, which means taking appropriate classes in high school. Courses in math, health and life sciences will establish just the kind of foundation you’ll need when you start school for pharmacy technician training.

2. The next step is to choose an educational program to get trained in the field. Postsecondary pharmacy tech training is available at community colleges and vocational schools. While some states do not have any educational prerequisites other than a high school diploma for pharmacy techs, others require these professionals to complete formal training in the field.

3. If your state does not mandate that you complete pharmacy tech training, you can start hunting for jobs right away and learn the trades as you go along. However, it’s generally a good idea to go to school for pharmacy technician training to boost your employability whether your state requires it or not.

4. Typical coursework in a pharmacy tech training program includes topics like pharmacology, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacy law and ethics, prescriptions, non-sterile compounding, etc. Your program may also include an externship in a pharmacy to provide you some valuable, hands-on experience.

5. Even if your pharmacy tech training program does not include practicum or externship, it’s a good idea to find intern positions at your local drug store. You can also arrange for some shadow sessions and observe other pharmacy techs at work to experience what a typical day for them is like.

6. Getting certification is the final and most important step towards reaching your objective. Before you do anything, make sure you meet the regulations set by your state’s pharmacy board. Some of the typical regulations include a high school diploma or GED certificate; criminal background check; formal training program; continuing education, etc.

7.There are two main organizations that offer certification to pharmacy technicians – the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcare Association (NHA). The PTCB certification can be obtained by passing their Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) and meeting other eligibility criteria. The NHA grants certification to technicians who pass the ExCPT pharmacy exam.

8. After you obtain your certification and start practicing as a certified pharmacy tech, make sure you keep meeting the recertification and continuing education demands of your profession.

This is how you begin your journey as a certified pharmacy tech. When you are ready to don that crisp white coat, bear in mind that it becomes your duty to serve your customers – many of whom will be visiting you under stressful circumstances – with a smile on your face and kindness in your heart!

Sources:

*bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Pharmacy-technicians.htm

**Ibid.

Enrollment and Training Opportunities for Pharmacy Careers

Pharmacy career preparation can be pursued through various schools, colleges, and degree programs. Students can make sure that the education they will receive will be of quality to help them succeed by enrolling in an accredited program. Enrollment and training opportunities for pharmacy careers are available to those who wish to enter into this field. Training will cover various topics of study to allow students to receive the skills and knowledge that is necessary to enter into the workforce. Students can start by selecting a path that fits their individual goals.

*Pharmacy Certification

Those who are looking to become a pharmacy technician may need to obtain certification depending on the state requirements. This can be done by passing the certification exam provided by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Obtaining certification will benefit those who choose to become pharmacy assistants. Courses covered on the exam may include:

  • Terminology
  • Law and Ethics
  • Pharmaceutical techniques
  • Calculations

…and more. Entrance into the workforce with certification will better prepare the students for the career they desire and deserve. Obtaining certification will help prepare the students for a career assisting pharmacy professions with various tasks. Students will be able to work in hospitals, grocery stores, drug stores, and other agencies and businesses. Students can begin the path to an exciting career in this field by finding an accredited program and enrolling today.

*Pharmacy

There are several areas of the pharmacy field that students can choose to enter into. Training can also be completed at various levels depending on the desired career. Accredited schools and colleges can provide pharmacy training for those looking to become professional pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmaceutical researcher, and much more. Training can be completed at the certificate, associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral degree levels. The length of the degree or certificate program will vary, and can last anywhere from six months to eight years. Studies can include training in communication, medical terminology, payment collection, and mathematics. Students can learn behavioral sciences, human anatomy, biology, and other subjects related to pharmaceuticals. Once an accredited education is obtained, students can enter the workforce and seek the employment and career they dream of working in department stores, pharmacies, hospitals, and more. Fully accredited pharmacy schools and colleges can offer students the preparation that is needed for them to seek employment and begin a successful career.

Full accreditation is provided by various agencies such as the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education ( http://www.acpe-accredit.org/ ) to pharmacy schools and colleges that offer their students the quality educational training that is needed to seek employment. Students can make sure that they receive the best education possible by finding a fully accredited school or college to enroll in. By researching various higher education learning facilities, students can gain a better understanding of the options available and request more information. This will help them to select the program that fits their individual needs, desires, and goals to pursue the career they dream of.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

Getting Certified in an Online Pharmacy Technician School

To become a Pharmacy Technician, a certification program at a State Licensed School is required. Some schools may require you to have a High School Diploma or GED, but most will only require you to take an entrance exam. This is to ensure that you are at the appropriate educational level.

Pharmacy tech have more duties than a pharmacy aid and there are more opportunities in this case. This is another reason why more and more people chose to apply for pharmacy tech education. It is also important that when you complete the courses of a pharmacy technician school you also pass an exam and get your certification. This way it will be much easier for you than for other to get a job. This kind of work is needed because of the increase in population and because of the growing number of the hospitals.

Certification with the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (NPTCB) can increase your pharmacy technician salary. Salaries will also vary depending on the work setting. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that those who work in general medical or surgical hospitals will earn an average of $12.32 per hour, while those working in a department store pharmacy will make an average of $9.69 per hour.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May, 2008, Pharmacy Tech earn $19,270 to $39,480. The median salary is $27,710. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), the average annual starting salary for a Pharmacy Technician is $19,000. For more information on Pharmacy Tech salaries, visit this link on the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment for Pharmacy Technicians is expected to increase much faster than the average through 2016. Job opportunities are expected to be good. This is due to the increasing elder population who use a large amount of prescription medication. In addition, as scientific advances continue for treating conditions, more Pharmacy Tech will be needed to fill a growing number of prescriptions.

How can I find a good online Pharmacy Technician school?

*Compare programs at different schools and remember that programs vary in length depending on location, cost and course of study.

*Consider visiting one or more schools and request free information.

*Search online for Pharmacy Tech schools in your area using your zip code.

*Consider studying online and completing your studies from home.

For those pursuing a career as a pharmacy tech, coursework in biology, chemistry, health, and mathematics is recommended, but not required. Areas of study include medical and pharmaceutical terminology, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacy record keeping, pharmaceutical techniques, and pharmacy law and ethics. Although not required, certification is offered through the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Nevertheless if you graduated any pharmacy tech school you do not have the same chances to obtain a good job as you would have if you get a certification too.