Pharmacy Technician Schools and Training Programs
Pharmacy technicians maintain pharmacy customer files and prepare medications to fill their prescriptions. Read on to learn about schools, certification and training programs.
What You Need to Know
Pharmacy technician schools and training programs prepare students to work with pharmacists, doctors and patients. They teach students how to receive prescription requests for medicine; count, weigh, mix and prepare medicine; label bottles of medicine; maintain client profiles and prepare sterile solutions for medication. These programs provide a great start to building a career in pharmacy, which is a growing and evolving area of healthcare.
|Degrees||Certificate, diploma, associate degree|
|Courses||Anatomy, microbiology, physiology, medical terminology and more|
|Certification||Certifications are available from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the National Healthcareer Association, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (April 2018)|
How Do I Start as a Pharmacy Technician?
Employers typically only require that you have a high school diploma and that you are registered with your state pharmacy board. Most states also require you to be registered in order to work. Although the exact qualifications vary, a high school diploma is the minimum requirement for you to register as a pharmacy technician in some states. Other states require completion of a postsecondary program.
What Training Programs Are Available for Pharmacy Technicians?
Although not always required, you may gain training in this field by completing a postsecondary training program at the certificate, diploma or associate degree level. Coursework in these programs could prepare you for state licensure requirements and could include subjects like medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, microbiology and disease processes. Completing such a program will provide you with college credits or experience, which could be useful to you if you're planning to advance in your education in a relevant field. Other courses you can expect to take include:
- Pharmacy calculations
- Sterile products
- Pharmacy law
- Pharmacy systems
Which Schools Offer Program in Pharmacy Technology?
Certificate, diploma and associate degree programs for pharmacy technicians are available mainly through community and technical colleges. You can complete a certificate or diploma program in as little as one year while associate degrees typically take two years. Most programs include a hands-on experience working alongside a licensed pharmacist. Some schools that offer degree and non-degree programs in pharmacy technology include:
- Fayetteville Technical Community College
- Central Piedmont Community College
- Johnston Community College
- North Georgia Technical College
- College of the Sequoias
- Barton Community College
- Tidewater Community College
- Mission College
How Do I Become Certified?
Some employers and states require that you earn certification as a pharmacy technician. You can receive certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association. Both the PTCB and the NHA require that you have either a high school diploma or a GED in order to take the examination. The PTCB requires candidates to have a clean criminal record. For the NHA certification, candidates must have taken a pharmacy technician or pharmacy-related training program within the previous five years. Every two years, you must renew your certification, which requires you to take 20 hours of continuing education courses. Of these 20 hours, one hour must be in patient safety and another hour in pharmacy law.