Pharmacy technician career is both rewarding and promising. Pharmacy technicians or pharmacy techs work under a pharmacist’s guidance and are responsible for accurately filling medication prescriptions. Pharmacy technicians play an integral part in assisting pharmacists in preparing and verifying medications patients receive. The pharmacy tech career path offers many options to qualified workers in settings ranging from hospitals to retail pharmacies.
It has never been a better time to join the pharmaceutical industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), pharmacy technician employment is projected to rise 31% between 2008 and 2018.* The BLS asserts that pharmacy technicians can expect good job opportunities – particularly if they have experience, formal training and/or certification.
Why Choose Pharmacy Technician Career?
The pharmacy technician career path offers a number of benefits, the 3 main benefits are:
- Opportunities nationwide – There are over 70,700 new jobs expected nationwide by 2022.
- Flexible work schedules – The 24/7 nature of many pharmacies offers you the opportunity to find a schedule that easily fits into your life when you're selecting a position.
- Solid foundation for future education – The knowledge of a well-trained pharmacy technician is an excellent start for the further education required for a variety of other healthcare careers.
If you are interested in this growing allied health profession, consider pursuing formal education through a diploma or degree program.
The pharmacy technician’s career path is in high demand because of it takes a relatively short time to certify and offers gainful employment.
Pharmacy technicians can get the training necessary to enter the profession in less than a year. Many vocational programs last from 6 to 9 months.
For students interested in pursuing an Associate of Science degree, training can take up to 2 years and offers a more opportunities. In general, it takes a total of 1 to 3 years to train and become a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).
Pharmacy Tech School Accreditation and Requirements
Pharmacy technicians need postsecondary training or education to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to function effectively in the workplace. In general, either a vocational tech certificate or an associate degree in Pharmacy Technology is acceptable as long as it is accredited by the American Society of Health-System,
Pharmacists (ASHP), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), or another approved entity.
To get into a pharmacy technician school, most candidates need to be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or the GED equivalent. Because of the nature of the profession, aspiring pharmacy techs will need to undergo a criminal background check. They may also need to submit their fingerprints for the state’s records.
Pharmacy technician programs focus on basic pharmaceutical techniques and technology, and also cover significant legal and ethical issues. When you research which pharmacy school to attend, inquire about an internship or externship programs offered. Being in retail or clinical pharmacy setting supplements the classroom coursework. Note that some interns will have to register with the state or obtain a temporary license before they can work directly with patients.
Certification and Licensure
The requirements for becoming a practicing pharmacy technician vary by state. Most require pharmacy technicians to at least register with the state’s Board of Pharmacy. Those that license usually require a minimum number of hours of practical training supervised by a licensed pharmacist. At least some of these hours can be accrued during the training period.
Some states also require professional certification with the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), the primary credentialing organization for pharmacy technicians in the U.S. To get certified, graduates must pass its National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination. Once certified, CPhTs are responsible for renewing their professional status on a periodic basis. The interval is determined by the state. About 1 in 3 pharmacy techs need continuing education credits to keep their certifications valid and up to date.
Learn more about this dynamic career field. Schedule an appointment with Medical Institute of Palm Beach Career Counselor now. -Schedule and Interview with an Career Counselor