How Can Pharmacy Technicians Earn Free Continuing Education Credits?

As a pharmacy technician, you may need to earn continuing education credits on a regular basis so as to qualify for certification or registration renewal. While initial pharmacy technician training costs money, there are some ways to earn continuing education credits for free. Learn more about these methods here. Schools offering Pharmacy Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Continuing Education Requirements for Pharmacy Technicians

According to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), pharmacy technicians are regulated in most states through licensure, registration or certification requirements. About one-third of these states require pharmacy technicians to complete continuing pharmacy education credits to maintain registration, licensure or certification (www.nabp.net). The number and type of continuing education requirements vary by state.

There are two organizations that certify pharmacy technicians: the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcare Association (NHA). Both organizations will require that you meet their eligibility requirements and take a certification examination to become certified. The PTCB and the NHA pharmacy technician certifications must be renewed every two years and each requires 20 hours of continuing education credits per renewal period (www.nhanow.com). For both organizations at least one hour of your continuing education credits should be in the area of pharmacy law (www.ptcb.org).

Important Facts About Pharmacy Technicians

Median Salary $29,810 annually (2014)
Job Outlook 9% growth between 2014 and 2024
Work Environment Hospitals, pharmacies, other types of healthcare environments
Required Education High school diploma
Similar Occupations Dental assistants, medical assistants, medical records and health information technicians

Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Free CE Options

Continuing education credits may be earned in a variety of ways, including attending seminars or completing college courses. Some of these options allow you to earn credits at no cost. You should note, though, you will likely have to pay a fee to re-certify or renew your license or registration.

Workshops

The National Pharmacy Technician Association offers some professional development workshops, seminars and other events that are free for association members (www.pharmacytechnician.org). Such events can usually be applied toward your continuing education requirements.

Work Credit

If you are renewing your PTCB certification, you may be allowed to obtain five continuing education hours by completing a special work assignment. This can be arranged with your employer and is done in addition to your normal work duties. Your supervisor must complete documentation in order for you to receive credit for a special work assignment.

Online Courses

Another option is to complete free courses that are offered by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). These classes are only available for members. The NCPA offers multiple programs that can be completed online and require you to pass a knowledge test before receiving continuing education credits. You will also get a certificate of completion once you pass the courses you take (www.ncpanet.org).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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