Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists in filling prescription medications for healthcare professionals and the customers. They mostly work in pharmacies and hospitals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they earned around $29,320 in 2012. The demand for this profession is estimated to increase by 20% from 2012 to 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Pharmacy Technician Training Information
There is no standard training for pharmacy technicians, although they can learn more about their trade through on-the-job training that often lasts for less than a year. Those who want to take up this profession can also get the training they need by taking certificate programs. Typical courses in these programs include counting medications, packaging medications, and helping licensed pharmacists. Other courses may include medical terminology, medication side effects, regulatory compliance, and billing tasks.
Most of the programs available for aspiring pharmacy technicians can earn them a certificate or diploma. However, an associate degree of two years is also available.
Certificate in Pharmacy Technology
Technical schools and community colleges offer a certificate in pharmacy technology that can be completed in two semesters. Their programs usually teach students about the measures for getting accurate dosages, medical terminology, and pharmaceutical abbreviations. They also introduce students to the concepts of organizing patient files, stocking medications, and taking inventory. Students are also prepared for the certification exams, such as those provided by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians.
Pharmacy technician’s classes are more focused on science and math subjects. Students are exposed to lectures and clinical work, as well as field experience. The typical topics discussed during lectures include ordering medications, calculating dosages, payment and insurance, preparing medications, pharmacy ethics and law, and processing prescriptions.
Candidates who want to complete a pharmacy technician training must have a high school diploma or GED. They must have English skills and must be computer literate. Find out more about Pharmacy Technician Practice Test.
Availability of Online Training and Certification Programs
As the demand for pharmacy technicians continues to increase in the US, candidates can expect better jobs, especially if they have a certification.
Distance learning is more accepted these days, hence the rise of online schools. Now, it’s not surprising to find a pharmacy technician training and certification program being offered online. They accept students who have at least high school diploma or equivalent.
In choosing an online program, one needs to ensure that on-the-job training or internship is also offered. Actual experience is critical to the training of the future pharmacy technicians. A good online program offers internship in hospitals, pharmacies, or grocery stores.
Most of these online training programs require a year to complete. The financial condition and the potential financial support provided by the school should also count before making a decision as to what online school to attend. There are some schools that allow students to work and study at the same time, but most of these distance learning schools offer grants, scholarships, and loans to help financially-challenged students complete their education.