If you’re interested in an exciting career as a pharmacy technician, the very first step is registering for courses at one of the pharmacy technician schools in your community. Finishing a formal training program not only helps you to reach your goals in the workplace, but also makes you qualified to sit for one of several nationally-recognized pharmacy tech certification exams. In only six to 12 months you can finish your pharmacy technician training, get certified and start working as a pharmacy technician.
The Demand is Rising for Pharmacy Technician Schools!
As the healthcare industry continues to expand, more and more businesses require the pharmacy tech’s expertise in the areas of combining medications, helping patients get their prescriptions and helping the pharmacist in the day-to-day management of the pharmacy.
Their skills are sought after at hospitals, grocery stores, drug stores and, of course, pharmacies. The fundamental requirement for employment at the vast majority of these places is certification.
Requirements for Pharmacy Technician Schools
Credentials and licensing requirements for pharmacy techs differ by state, but the majority call for technicians to complete formal training with an accredited school. Successfully finishing at one of the accredited pharmacy technician schools is an important step to take if you are interested in working in the pharmacy industry.
At the conclusion of your training program, you will be permitted to challenge for pharmacy tech certification in your state. Based on which exam is given, passing the examination permits you to become certified by the NHA or Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. For more information we have gathered some pharmacy tech FAQS from our visitors and students that have used our services.
Pharmacy Technician Training Curriculum
Training programs cover such core fundamentals as: names and uses of different drugs, procedures for providing them, important laws regarding pharmaceuticals, and fundamental principles in record-keeping and inventory management. Programs will also typically provide work experience opportunities for trainees in the local healthcare community.
By an internship or externship, students gain a great deal of invaluable on-the-job training. Because they’re able to work together with actual pharmacists, there is also a chance to do networking and possibly find their first position.
Choosing the Best Pharmacy Tech School
Even though every school is different, many training courses can be finished in a few months to one year. In most cases, it is possible to find a school that offers an accelerated training curriculum that drastically reduces this time-frame for full-time students. When trying to decide which pharmacy technician school fits your needs, there are various issues you should look into.
The ASHP is responsible for accrediting pharmacy training programs, and any school you look at needs to be recognized by this agency. Students from accredited schools are immediately eligible to take the certification test, and are usually in demand from a number of companies.
Looking at the school’s admission requirements to ensure that you are eligible to sign up is additionally important. The majority of schools stipulate that applicants have to be high school graduates or hold a GED, be 18 years of age or more, and not have a criminal history, but selected schools sometimes have further requirements as well.
After that, you’ll need to think about the tuition expenses for the courses you are considering. The admissions person at most schools can help you get financial aid if you’d like to enroll but have concerns about the cost.
One further thing to look for is the school’s career services center. The better pharmacy tech programs usually arrange these programs for their students.
Online Pharmacy Technician Schools
Pharmacy technician online schools are a popular option for single parents, people who work full-time or anyone else who may find it difficult to fit school into their schedule. By attending an online program, it is possible to complete the majority of your required pharmacy tech training wherever and whenever it is convenient for you.
While it is possible to cover pharmacy practice theory in a virtual classroom environment, internships and externships must still be completed on-site. The better pharmacy tech programs usually arrange these programs for their students.
Pharmacy Tech Certification Testing
In order to earn your pharmacy technician certification, you will need to pass your state’s certification exam at the conclusion of your formal training program. Regardless of whether you take the ExCPT or PTCE, you can expect it to consist of approximately 90 multiple-choice questions.
The three areas that are covered by the exams are: assisting the pharmacist and serving patients, control systems for medication and inventory, and management and administration of a pharmacy. You should expect to find a particularly large number of questions on the daily responsibilities of pharmacists and technicians.
Test scores can usually be reviewed on the same day you sit for the exam. Students who pass the exam usually receive their CPhT license in the mail just a few weeks later.
Job Outlook for Pharmacy Technicians
The pharmacy tech job market is one of the most-robust in the country, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a growth rate of 32% by the end of this decade. The fact that this rate is more than twice that of the national average means that newly certified CPhTs should have a relatively easy time finding work. Reasons for this optimistic outlook include two notable trends in pharmacy practice.
The first beneficial trend for job seekers is that of pharmacists showing an increasing preference to hire technicians instead of aides to fill-out their staffs. Whereas pharmacy aides are limited in the amount of patient care they can provide, technicians are capable of handling a significantly larger number of customer service tasks.
A second trend driving the growth in job opportunities for technicians is the number of older patients who require specialized service. Again, the extra level of training received by technicians makes them better suited to fulfilling this need within the pharmacy.
Pharmacy Tech Salary Oulook
According to ONetOnline.org, the median pharmacy technician salary in the U.S. was approximately $29,320 per year in 2012. The actual pay you can expect may differ significantly from this figure based on a variety of factors, including: experience, type of employer and the city and state you live in.
One of the most-significant factors that influences pay is generally geography as technicians employed in metropolitan areas and states along the East and West Coasts typically earn more than their counterparts in less-populated areas. The type of employer can also have a significant effect on pay with CPhT salaries paid by hospitals often exceeding those paid elsewhere.
With all of that said, the salary you are offered by an employer may be significantly different than the national median.
If you’d like to find out what pharmacy technicians with similar experience to your own are paid in your area, you can refer to sources like Salary.com to see actual salaries of local professionals. The data offered by these types of sites may give you a more accurate picture of what to expect.
Pharmacy Tech Schools in the Largest Cities
Resources for Pharmacy Technicians
The following list of resources can help you discover even more helpful information about pharmacy technician classes, training and jobs near you.