How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

If you want to know how to become a pharmacy technician, than you will need a high school diploma or GED. On the job training is the most common way for getting prepared for the job. Pharmacy technician schools prepare you for your on the job training.

States that require pharmacy technician certification do require a little more preparation to pass the certification exam. Pharmacy techs are regulated in most states, Which is when you are required to get formal pharmacy tech training to become a pharmacy tech and get certified by a national body.

How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

Below we show you all the steps to become a pharmacy technician. Follow these and you are on your way!

Enroll in Pharmacy Tech Training

Many aspiring technicians become pharmacy techs through on the job training. Each employer has different procedures in which they teach their employees. All are through the regulated guidelines of their respective state..

Other pharmacy technicians enter the occupation after completing post secondary education with pharmacy technician programs. In most cases these programs are offered by community college and vocational schools. Certification programs typically last less than a year but associate’s degree programs last 2 years. These can be done through online pharmacy technician programs as well. In the preparation in becoming a pharmacy technician you will take classes in math (related to the job), record keeping, medication dispensing procedures the law and ethics of pharmacies. Pharmacy techs will be expected to learn necessary names, doses and the uses of medications. Clinical hands on training is the best way to learn these parts of the job as a pharmacy technician.

The (ASHP) or American Society of Health System Pharmacists is the accrediting body for pharmacy technician programs that have 15 weeks and 600 hours of training at minimum. As off 2012, there were over 210 pharmacy tech certification training programs that were accredited.

Get Your Pharmacy Technician Certification

Ther is state regulation is various ways. Those ways do differ from state to state. You must check with your states board of pharmacy to see what the exact standards are for your area. Requirements for pharmacy technicians in states that do regulate their pharmacy tech training are typically these listed below:

HS Diploma or GED
Pass Background Check
Pass Certification Exam
Pass Formal Pharmacy Tech Training
Pay Necessary Fees
Enroll in Continuing Education

Many states and employers demand the passing of the pharmacy tech certification exam. Even in states that do not require it. But in many cases the employer will pay for it.

There are two certifying bodies. The first is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board or (PTCB), which requires a HS diploma or GED and passing a certification exam. The second is the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certification. They require that you be 18 with a HS diploma or GED, complete an accredited pharmacy technician training program or you must have at least 1 year of work experience. Re-certification is necessary for pharmacy techs every two years.

Qualities of a Successful Pharmacy Technician

There are two traits that are essential to the job as a pharmacy technician. You must have these two skills. You must have customer service skills and organizational skills with the capacity to be extremely detailed oriented. Health problems are treated by the medication at the pharmacy so if the pharmacy tech cannot relate to the customer and listen to their needs and somehow the wrong medication is dispensed, then health problems can arise quickly. Additional skills needed are basic math skills and people skills. This is where pharmacy tech training really helps. You can get a real leg up with the practice given, and before you know it you will be on your way to becoming a pharmacy technician.

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