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Click on your state to view a list of Best Pharmacy Technician Schools near you. You will also find information about the requirements to become a pharmacy technician in your state.
Before embarking on your journey to select the right school for your pharmacy technician training, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND you read two of our following articles. The first article is about 'Why Should You Attend a Pharmacy technician School' and the second one is about the 'Factors to Consider While Selecting the Right Pharmacy Technician School'. Both these articles will help you understand why attending a school is important and what factors you need to consider while selecting the right school.
Why Should You Attend a Pharmacy Technician School & Get Certified?
The pharmacy technician career is a rapidly growing one and you need more than just experience to succeed; formal training and certification can greatly perk up your resume as well as your employment chances.
Benefits of Going to School
Enrolling for formal schooling provides the following advantages:
1. Scope for higher salary:
Getting formally trained at a college can offer you an annual salary boost of a few thousand dollars. Statistics show that a pharmacy technician who has obtained formal schooling can earn $11 to $18 per hour; while one who hasn't received school training gets paid about $9 to $10 per hour.
2. Peps up your capacity to find a job:
By and large, employers prefer pharmacy technicians who are trained and certified; thus, training at a school proffers you with a gigantic boost and you can nudge out other candidates if you have obtained your diploma or degree certificate. Those who have received school training tend to require less on-the-job training than inexperienced pharmacy technicians; this could be a major timesaver for the employer too. What's more, attending school gives you an edge when you seek employment in highly competitive health care settings such as clinics, hospitals, residential care facilities.
3. Arms you with all the necessary knowledge and skills:
Topics which will be covered in a pharmacy technician program include the following:
• Pharmacy Operations
• Regulations for Drug Development
• Medical Terminology
• Pharmaceutical Calculations
• Compounding of Sterile Products
• Dosage Forms and Routes of Administration
• Label Preparation
• Pharmaceutical Dispensing
4. Helps you to prepare for certification:
Ensure that you select a training program which helps you prepare for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) examination. The PTCB certification is compulsory in a lot of the states. Also, do bear in mind that certification may not be mandatory by all states, but, getting certified proves to your employers that you have expert skills and this provides you with high marketability.
5. Formal schooling helps meet the state requirements:
Each state has its own pre-requisites. Some states mandate formal schooling, training from certain approved schools, PTCB certification, on-the-job training, or a grouping of these; your pharmacy tech program will help you achieve these.
6. Internship / Externships / Auxiliary courses:
Your school can provide you with real-world experience and will assist you to capably do the job of a pharma technician. Schools and colleges provide you with a lot of practice and education via internships, externships and supplementary programs.
Thus, the benefits of getting education most certainly out-weigh those of not opting for formal schooling; hence all you need to do is to zero-in on the training curriculum which is most suitable for you and get started.
Benefits of Getting Certified
The number of job openings for pharmacy technicians as well as the number of aspirants is fast mushrooming; Hence the competition is substantial. Training, experience and certification will make your pharmacy tech resume stand out. Becoming a certified pharmacy tech is not mandatory for most positions. On the other hand, it will provide you with noteworthy value and permit you to apply for jobs that favor certified applicants. Certification means that you have a high school diploma or GED, and have passed the ExCPT exam. Two organizations offer certification; Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Certain states require that all pharmacy technicians be certified. It is vital that you check with your state board to see if where you live necessitates certification. In case you happen to live in a state which does not mandate certification, it would most certainly be to your advantage that you get certified despite the fact that it is not mandatory. In comparison with non-certified pharmacy techs,, CPhT's testify to higher wages, quicker job placements and rapid promotional opportunities. Earning a pharmacy tech certificate may not be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.
Here are the benefits of getting certified:
1. Scoop up a job quickly:
Certification helps you to elbow out competition and land a job sooner. Certification improves your marketability with the employers, employers always prefer pharmacy technicians who are certified over those who are not certified. What's more, in case your place of employment is laying-off people, the certified pharmacy technicians would most certainly be kept on. Having the extra credential on your resume helps you stand out amongst other aspirants.
2. Better scope at certain specific jobs:
At exceedingly cut-throat job placements such as clinics, hospitals, residential care facilities, if you are a certified pharmacy technician, you stand a greater chance of landing the job as compared to an uncertified one.
3. Higher wages:
Pharmacy technicians certified by PTCB report higher earnings and more promotion opportunities than non-certified pharmacy techs. Statistics demonstrate that a pharmacy tech who has acquired certification has a salary of $11-18 per hour; whilst a non-certified pharmacy technician earns $9-10 per hour.
Certification can help you advance in your field faster, especially if your manager feels that you will be bringing in new skills to the organization.
5. Stay abreast:
Training and certification helps to keep you up-to-date with the recent medical technologies and constantly changing trends in the industry. This ensures that you won't be overlooked or left behind to make place for a new grad.
6. Proves your proficiency:
To get certified requires passing a certification examination; thus when employers know that you are certified, they know that you have the skills necessary to precisely and correctly carry out the job as a pharmacy technician.
7. Certification may be necessary eventually:
Not all states mandate pharmacy technicians to be certified. On the other hand, a lot of the states are having their rules, regulations and requirements re-evaluated and changed and there is a strong likelihood that the other states may make certification mandatory as well; hence, it is always prudent to get certified.
2. Factors to Consider While Selecting the Right Pharmacy Technician School
There are a host of schools which provide training programs for pharmacy technicians. Selecting the school that is most apt for you can be rather challenging. It is difficult to pick one; however, opting for one of the best schools and most suitable for your career aspirations will ensure success and vocation growth. Here are a few things that you need to consider before deciding on the right Pharmacy Technician Program:
The chief criterion for deciding on a school is choosing one which is accredited by a nationally recognized agency - American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If a program in your area appeals to you, check with the ASHP; it will help you in the decision-making process.
• Academic Reputation:
An important factor to consider is the academic reputation of the school. Ask people; speak with alumni and potential employers in the industries where you want to work once you graduate.
• Student-Faculty Ratio:
This is actually a very significant factor that you ought to consider; the more students there are per faculty member the less is the personalized attention that you will get.
• Preparing For Certification:
Students need to make sure that the program they select provides adequate preparation for the certification exam they intend to take be it the PTCE (PTCB) or the ExCPT (NHA).
Discuss with other students and alumni about the college staff; they should be good teachers, should counsel you about your profession goals, offer advice, teach based upon their professional experience, and give you a letter of recommendation. When selecting a college, scrutinize the quality and experience of the professors it employs.
• Location of Campus:
Another critical consideration is the location. If you do not like where you are living when you go to college, it can be a very wretched experience. Make sure you are comfortable with the location of the college. If leaving home isn't a preference, you could attend a state college or community college in your neighborhood. If you do not mind living away from home for your training, then mull over whether you want to live in the city, a small town, or near the beach, etc.
• Job Placement:
It is essential that you find out whether the school offers on-the-job training which can offer immediate employment as a pharmacy technician after graduation.
The coursework should be satisfactory enough to give you all that is necessary to operate well as a pharmacy tech. Furthermore, you must figure out the duration of the program.
• Internship / Externship:
Almost all pharmacy technician schools have an internship/externship program as part of their curriculum. Students can acquire professional, hands-on experiences via an internship provided by the college which enhances employment prospects. Some schools encourage internships, whilst others make them mandatory. Training is sometimes offered by some hospitals, career schools, vocational/technical colleges, and community colleges. Most Pharmacy tech schools consist of classroom as well as laboratory work in such areas as medical and drug terminology, calculations, record-keeping, techniques, and laws and ethics.
Education costs money. Before applying to a pharmacy tech school, examine your financial situation and your future earning potential to establish how much debt you'll be able to tolerate effortlessly. It can be rather stressful if you are not capable of finding a job immediately after graduation, or in case you have overestimated your earning potential. When considering a school, ensure that you know and understand all the costs associated with attending the college, not only the tuition fees. You need to pay for books, supplies, equipment, labs, housing, food and other expenses, and these can add up to quite a bit.
• Financial Aid:
Always find out whether your school offers financial assistance such as scholarships, loans, grants or employer incentives, which would decrease the amount of debt you would lay yourself open to; and whether you are eligible for it.
• Online Learning:
Online pharmacy technician courses are becoming increasingly popular. It is particularly well-liked by students who do not have a school nearby, for those who work full or part-time and for those who need the flexibility of an online degree because of other priorities.
You need to weigh each of these factors and make a decision regarding which pharmacy technician program is the most optimal for you. No individual factor should be measured in isolation; look at the big picture, that will help you make the correct decision.