Considering a career in pharmacy technology? Here’s a list of the classes you’ll need to take to get started.
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Decide if You Need Certification
Prospective pharmacy technicians have several options when it comes to completing their education and training. Some states require certification, while others do not. You will also need to decide if you want to take classes online or in person.
Weigh the pros and cons of certification
Before you decide if pursuing pharmacy technician certification is right for you, weigh the pros and cons.
-It might help you land a job. In a tight job market, any advantage can make a difference.
-It could lead to career advancement. Once you have your certification, you might have an easier time moving into a leadership role or landing a job with a better salary.
-It shows that you’re committed to your career. Pursuing certification tells your boss that you’re serious about your job and want to stay in the field for the long haul.
-It costs money and takes time. Unless your employer is willing to foot the bill, you’ll have to pay for certification out of your own pocket. And you’ll need to allocate time to study for and take the exam.
-You might not need it. In some states, certification isn’t required to work as a pharmacy tech. And even in states where it is required, there may be exceptions for workers with years of experience or who have completed on-the-job training programs.
-It doesn’t guarantee employment. Certification alone won’t get you a job—you also need the right skills and experience
Research Pharmacy Technician Programs
Many people choose a career in pharmacy technology because it offers good job prospects and the potential to earn a good salary. The first step on the path to becoming a pharmacy technician is to research pharmacy technician programs. This can be done online, in person, or by contacting your local pharmacy.
Find schools that offer certification
Prospective students interested in becoming a pharmacy technician should look for schools that offer certification. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) offers the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential, which requires candidates complete a accredited training program and pass an exam. Alternatively, the National Healthcare Association (NHA) offers the Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) credential. Although not required, some employers prefer to hire pharmacy technicians with certification.
Complete a Pharmacy Technician Program
Pharmacy technicians are in high demand! They play an important role in the healthcare industry by helping pharmacists dispense prescription medication to patients. In order to become a pharmacy technician, you must complete a pharmacy technician program. These programs are typically around 10 weeks long and offer both classroom and hands-on instruction.
Choose an accredited program
When you’re looking at different pharmacy technician programs, it’s important to make sure that they are accredited. Accreditation means that the program has been vetted by an outside organization and meets certain standards. This is important because many employers will only hire technicians who have graduated from an accredited program.
You can find out if a program is accredited by examining its website or looking at the list of accredited programs on the website of the National Commission for Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (NCCPT). Once you’ve found a few programs that look promising, you can contact the admissions office at each school to learn more about their specific requirements.
To become a Pharmacy Technician, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Although, some employers may prefer you to have some college coursework or a degree in a related field. You will also be required to obtain certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
Take and pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)
To become a certified pharmacy technician (CPhT), you must first pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). The PTCE is administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and is taken at Pearson VUE testing centers. To be eligible to take the PTCE, candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent, complete a formal training program, or have at least two years of work experience as a pharmacy technician.
Once you have passed the PTCE, you will need to maintain your certification by completing 20 hours of continuing education every two years and paying an annual recertification fee. You can learn more about the re-certification process on the PTCB website.