Online Pharmacy Tech Courses and Schools
Learn about online certificate and associate's degree programs for aspiring pharmacy technicians, and review the course topics you'd study. Get info about the online program format, including in-person clinical training requirements. Read about the work environment for pharmacy technicians.
What You Need to Know
Most online pharmacy tech programs are offered as certificate or associate's degree programs. Of the two, the certificate is more widespread. Some certificate programs are grouped into one lone course, while others require you to complete 18-20 credit hours. You can most likely work at your own pace, moving on to different topics when you complete specific lessons and tests.
Associate's degree programs take two years to complete, with around 110-130 credit hours, and cover a wider range of pharmacy and healthcare topics. In either program, you will learn how to assist licensed pharmacists and communicate with insurance providers regarding claims.
|Courses||Pharmacy ethics and law, pharmacology, insurance billing and claims, alternative medicines, Provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)|
|Online Options||Certificate and associate's degree programs available in hybrid formats|
|Schools||Look for schools with teachers who are experienced pharmacy professionals; consider a school's requirements for hands-on practice|
What Topics Will I Study?
An online pharmacy technician associate's degree or certificate program familiarizes you with medication and other healthcare-related products. You learn about the pharmaceutical industry, how drugs interact with the body and how to calculate medication amounts. These programs also familiarize you with medical terminology and tips on disease prevention and health promotion. Other courses and topics you can expect to find addressed in these programs include:
- Drug classification
- Pharmacy law
- Billing and insurance
- Oral and intravenous medications
- Pharmacy calculations
How Do I Select an Online School?
You should look for schools with a strong foundation in pharmacy, including instructors who have worked many years in the field. The connections these teachers may have could help you land an entry-level pharmacy tech job once you complete the program. Schools that offer online pharmacy tech programs include:
- University of Georgia
- Casper College
- Allen Community College
- Florida Gulf Coast University
- Central Oregon Community College
- California State University - East Bay
- Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Are These Programs Fully Online?
Some programs are blended or hybrid programs wherein some courses are taken online and some on-campus. Some degree or certificate programs also require you to complete on-site laboratory sessions; if you are interested in a program such as this, you need to locate a school that is near your residence. Other programs require you to partake in a clinical rotation or externship or before you graduate. However, these rotations and externships do not need to be completed on-campus. They can be done near your residence and are arranged through your school. You must work in a pharmacy setting, such as a hospital or clinic.
Where Can I Find Employment?
Currently there are no standard training requirements for pharmacy technicians, but many employers prefer to hire applicants who have had some formal education or training.
By completing a certificate or associate's degree program, you can gain the necessary knowledge and experience that may help you get a job as a pharmacy tech. Once you have completed your program, you can seek out employment at numerous locations, including nursing homes, hospitals, drug stores, research laboratories, and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies.