Online Continuing Education for Pharmacy Technicians
Pharmacy technicians can use continuing education for certification renewal and skill training. Learn about online courses of study, educational requirements and certification exams.
What Kind of Continuing Education is Available for Pharmacy Technicians?
As a pharmacy technician, you can take continuing education courses to renew voluntary certification or to expand your professional knowledge base. Continuing education courses are available online, and some are available at low or no cost.
Online continuing education courses are usually offered through professional organizations such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or other e-learning providers dedicated to pharmacy education - not through a college or university. Because of this, you should make sure that your online course is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
|Continuing Education Options||Available online through professional organizations|
|Program Format||Self-paced with final examination to receive credit|
|Course Topics||Pharmacy work, medical conditions, dispensing medication, specific types of disorders or medications|
|Pharmacy Technician Requirements||Certificate or associate's degree; must pass PTCB exam to become certified|
|Median Salary (2018)||$32,700 (for all pharmacy technicians )|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||12% growth (for all pharmacy technicians)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
How Does Online Continuing Education Work?
You'll be able to download course materials and complete courses at your own pace. However, you'll have to pre-register for courses that are delivered live through the Internet. Some online continuing education courses require that you pass an exam or complete an evaluation at the end of the course in order to receive credit. Many continuing education courses for pharmacy technicians are available as videos and podcasts.
What Can I Learn Through Continuing Education?
Online continuing education courses for pharmacy technicians cover a wide range of topics. You can learn about laws related to pharmacy work, medical conditions or dispensing medication.
Courses may cover sterile compounding, ethics or how to reduce error in the pharmacy environment. You can also take courses dealing with specific illnesses or conditions. Some of the most common courses address eye disorders, cardiovascular health and infections. Others discuss side-effects and medication errors.
Courses based on legal and regulatory issues may cover patient privacy and record keeping. You can also find courses that deal with the abuse of prescription drugs.
What Do I Need to Become a Pharmacy Technician?
If you aren't a pharmacy technician and wish to become one, you'll need a high school diploma before completing informal training on the job or enrolling in an undergraduate educational program. Most programs award a Pharmacy Technician Certificate or an Associate of Applied Science in Pharmacy Technician degree. You can earn your certificate or degree online. To become certified, you must pass the National Pharmacy Technician Exam - which is administered by the PTCB. Online continuing education courses are intended for pharmacy technicians who have already completed these requirements.