Pharmacy Technician Schools and Programs in Washington

In Washington pharmacy technicians enjoy some of the highest wages in the country. The profession in this state has been regulated since 1977.There are currently 7,590 pharmacy techs residing in the state. Spokane ranks 2nd in the list of top ten cities to work as a pharmacy technician in the country due to its low cost of living, rising demand and high pharmacy tech salaries at $42,440. There are currently 15 schools offering pharmacy technician training programs across the state. Washington offers a promising career to pharmacy technicians, considering some of the highest wages in the country are paid in this state; you will want to ensure to choose the best pharmacy technician school from the 15 schools in the state to complete your pharmacy technician education. We have ranked 7 best pharmacy technician schools in Washington offering ASHP accredited programs for you to start with.

7 Best ASHP Accredited Pharmacy Technician Schools in Washington for 2020

#1. Renton Technical College - Renton

Renton Technical College is one of 34 colleges in Washington that is operated by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. The Renton Technical College service area encompasses the Renton, Kent, Auburn, Tahoma and Enumclaw School Districts and the central and south portions of the Seattle School District. It engages a varied population through educational opportunities for career advancement, providing for the needs of individuals, the community, businesses, and industry. The college nurtures an academic environment which encourages fairness and does away with systemic and institutional barriers. The College's goal is to present job training in the shortest interval of time at a very affordable cost. It offers a Certificate and an Associate Degree in Pharmacy Technology. The course-work comprises of - Pharmacy operations, Pharmaceutical Calculations, Pharmacology, Institutional Pharmacy and Community Pharmacy.

Accreditation: ASHP
Program Length: 9 to 12 months for the Certificate Program and up to 2 years for Associate Degree Program


#2. Spokane Community College - Spokane

Located in Eastern Washington since 1963, Spokane Community College serves 38,600 students annually. The college has a big and lively campus and it offers intercollegiate and intramural sports and a host of cultural activities. The estimated employment rate of its students is 80%. The college offers an early childhood education service called Head Start and Early Head Start, wherein it provides a secure environment to nurture child growth in the presence of a licensed child care provider. Spokane Community College offers a Certificate and an Associate Degree in Pharmacy Technology. The typical coursework includes Human Anatomy, Medical Terminology, Introduction to Pharmacy technician, Pharmacology, Community and Hospital Pharmacy, Pharmacy Law and Ethics, Interpersonal Communication and Community Pharmacy Dispensing and Management.

Accreditation: ASHP
Program Length: 1 year for the certificate and 2 years for the Associate program


#3. Clover Park Technical College - Lakewood

Clover Park Technical College dates back to the 1940s' and offers more than 40 programs, with over 7,384 students pursuing their education at its campuses in Lakewood and South Hill. With on campus and online programs being offered, the college has an employment rate of 71%. The college offers a Certificate and an Associate Degree program in Pharmacy Technology where it trains its graduates for a career in retail as well as hospital pharmacies. With a combination of classroom and laboratory learning, its graduates get three months of on-the-job training to get the right head start they need to start their career as a pharmacy technician.

Accreditation: ASHP
Program Length: 3 to 4 quarters for the Certificate and 3 to 5 quarters for the Degree


#4. North Seattle College - Seattle

The North Seattle College which is located at the Northgate area of Seattle, was started in 1970. It provides an equal opportunity to a diverse population of 14,000 students. The college has a vibrant campus life with a diverse population that includes 900 international students from 50 countries adding depth to experiences such as concerts, lectures and fitness programs. The college assures that lack of English skills does not become a barrier to participation and admission into the college programs. North Seattle College offers a Certificate and Associate Degree in Pharmacy Technology. A significant component of the program is many hands-on hours and externships at 2 different sites, giving students the training required to work in real-time pharmacy settings.

Accreditation: ASHP
Program Length: 53 credit hours for the Certificate and 94 credit hours for the Associate Degree program


#5. Yakima Valley College - Yakima

Since 1928, the Yakima Valley College has concentrated on student success. The main campus is located at S. 16th Ave. And Nob Hill Boulevard in Yakima. They believe that their future is tied to the success of the students who enter their door. The college is committed to providing affordable, instructional and technological quality, and the support services which promise success. They respond to student needs, build community internally and externally, integrate technology encourage effective learning. The Certificate and Associate Degree offered by the college have the course-work consisting of Physiology, Anatomy, Pharmacology, Pharmacy laws and ethics, Drug interactions, Medical abbreviations, and Computers.

Accreditation: ASHP
Program Length: 9 to 12 months for the Certificate Program and up to 2 years for Associate Degree Program


#6. Carrington College - Spokane

Located in Spokane; Carrington College promises to change your life for the better through education. At Carrington, you will receive quality college education. The college offers a Certificate and an Associate Degree to aspiring Pharmacy Technician students. They provide 'hands-on' training employing technologies and processes which are used in the field, helping you to build your confidence and self-esteem while you 'learn by doing' as quickly as possible. They provide clinical rotations or externships with local medical professionals to help build your resume while you're still at school. Having completed the program, you will take the national certification examination offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. The syllabus comprises of - Pharmacology, Basic Pharmaceutics, Aseptic Technique, Dispensing and Compounding and Computers.

Accreditation: ASHP
Program Length: 9 to 12 months for the Certificate Program and up to 2 years for Associate Degree Program


#7. Pima Medical Institute - Seattle

Located in Seattle and Renton, the Pima Medical Institute provides a nationally recognized and state licensed Certificate and Associate Degree program that prepares you for National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination. You will gain strong medical knowledge and experience which you can apply in a career at health care facilities and world-renowned hospitals and medical centres in the area. What's more, the natural environment as well as the vibrant lifestyle of the region makes these campuses a great place to start your career. The college has been devoted to healthcare education promising to make you the best healthcare professional possible. It provides the students real-world experience right in their home community. The syllabus includes - Physiology, Anatomy, Pharmacology, Pharmacy Laws and Ethics, Fundamentals of Chemistry, Pharmacy Math and Pharmacy Laboratory Skills.

Accreditation: ASHP
Program Length: 9 to 12 months for the Certificate Program and up to 2 years for Associate Degree Program


Altierus Career College - Seattle

Altierus is a non-profit school offering career-centric education to help students reach their employment goals. Altierus Career College offers an 8-month blended online/on campus pharmacy technician training program in WA at its campuses in Everett and Tacoma. You just have to attend classes 3 days per week and the rest will be online. The program aims to provide you with professional skills required for an entry into the pharmaceutical world. Coursework includes Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, Pharmacy Laws and Ethics, Pharmacy Math and Pharmacy Laboratory Skills. As part of its initiative to help student find employment Altierus offers mock interviews, externships and resume development.


Charter College - Vancouver

Charter College located at Vancouver is a private, independent institution of higher education. To provide greater flexibility to its students, coursework at Charter is split between classroom work and online work. The Pharmacy Technician program here in around 10 months prepares students for employment as an entry level pharmacy technician. The program provides the fundamentals of pharmacy calculations, drug distribution systems, preparation of sterile dosage forms, customer service, pharmacy law and ethics, and pharmacy operations. The program includes 180 hours of hands-on experience to prepare students for a career as a Pharmacy Technician.


Clark College - Vancouver

Established eight decades ago as a 2-year community college, Clark believes in inspiring its students to excel, transform and strengthen the community. Clark offers a 1-year certificate of proficiency course and for students who wish to continue their education a more in-depth Associate in Applied Technology (AAT) in Pharmacy Technician Leadership. The AAT program will help develop your business and leadership skills. Clark has a mock pharmacy lab where you will gain valuable hands on experience.


Skagit Valley College - Mount Vernon

Skagit Valley College located at Mount Vernon is offering a certificate program for aspiring pharmacy technicians. The main goal of the college since its inception in 1926 is to improve economic development and promote cultural enhancement by providing high quality education. Coursework includes Pharmacy operations and Calculations, Pharmacology, Institutional Pharmacy and Community Pharmacy. Upon completion of the program you will be capable of working as a pharmacy technician under a licensed pharmacist in a retail, hospital or any other setting.


What are the Requirements to work as a Pharmacy Technician in WA?

The Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission has made it mandatory to complete a pharmacy technician training program, be certified and licensed to be able to work as a pharmacy technician in the state of WA.

Registration/Licensure Yes
Training Yes
Certification Yes
Pharmacy Technician to Pharmacist Ratio3 to 1
Continuing Education Yes
Technician on Board of PharmacyYes
Certification Maintenance Yes
Tech-Check-Tech AllowedYes
(source: ptcb.org)

Education:

Step 1: You need to have a high school diploma or a GED.

Step 2: Complete an ASHP accredited certificate, diploma or associate degree in pharmacy technician program, which includes pharmacy law study and an affidavit of eight hours of pharmacy law study.

Certification:

To get certified you require to pass the PTCB exam. You can prepare for the exam by completing a pharmacy technician education program.

You are required to renew your certification annually on or before your birthday by submitting a renewal fee and renewal card.

To be eligible you must have completed 10 hours of continuing education (CE) units annually, which includes at least one hour in pharmacy law, earned through a program accredited by Accreditation Council of Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE).

Licensure:

Apply to the state board for a pharmacy tech license.

You will have to provide proof of passing the PTCB exam administered by an National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) program like the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)


Choosing the Right School in Washington

Out of the 15 pharmacy technician schools in Washington all schools offer the Certificate/diploma program and only 6 schools offer the associate degree. Choosing the right school is all about knowing whether what the program offers falls in line with your career aspirations. The following information will help you know what you need to look for while making a choice:

Accreditation:

The Washington state board recognizes pharmacy tech programs accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies Accreditation (NCCA) like the ASHP, Choosing a nationally accredited program ensures the school adheres to legal and professional standards, thus preparing students to join workforce as a pharmacy technician.

Tuition Cost:

While each college claims to offer the most affordable tuition cost, ensure you verify what are the added costs you would be most likely spending on. If you are an out-of-state student your education cots may substantially increase. Online education would be an cost effective alternative to on campus study.

Type of Program:

Depending on your career goals and convenience of time and location, knowing the duration and cost of the programs available will help you decide which school best suited to your career aspirations. As an example let's look at some of the colleges offering pharmacy technician programs:

1. North Seattle College has a vibrant campus life with a diverse population that includes 900 international students from 50 countries adding depth to experiences such as concerts, lectures and fitness programs. The college assures that lack of English skills does not become a barrier to participation and admission into the college programs

2. Spokane Community College offers a one year certificate program and a two year associate degree. The estimated tuition cost which includes books and supplies, living and arrangement is $17,712 for in state students.

3. Ashworth College offers an online certificate program which you can complete in as little as 4 months and costs $799. The college is an accredited member of DEAC (Distance Education Accrediting Commission).


Financial Aid

You must attend a school eligible to receive a state grant. Ensure you find out if the school you decide on happens to be in the list, in case you want to avail of financial aid.


Employment Opportunities

Job openings in Washington mainly come from Health and Personal care stores such as Safeway, Riteaid, Walgreens and the University of Washington Medical Centre.


Salary in WA

WA currently employs 7,590 pharmacy technicians and the figure is expected to rise. Pharmacy techs in the state enjoy the highest pay package in the country with the average annual salary being $42,440 (source BLS). The highest salary in the state comes from Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue at $43,660.

Pharmacy Technicians Currently Working in WA 10 Year Job GrowthAnnual Vacancies Average Starting Salary Average Annual Salary
20162026% Growth
7,590 7,1908,65020.31%710 $32,220 $42,440



Pharmacy Technician Related Organizations in Washington

Washington State Department of Health

Washington State Department of Health is where you are required to apply for your pharmacy technician licence and renewal. The board regulates pharmacies and pharmacy practitioners in the state of Washington.

Washington State Pharmacy Association

The Washington State pharmacy Association provides opportunities to its members to meet, collaborate and partner within the pharmacy and healthcare community. As a pharmacy technician, you will get to attend quality programs provided by the Association and enhance your learning curve.

Washington Metropolitan Society of Health-System Pharmacists (WMSHP)

The society formed to help pharmacy practitioners is recognized as a leading organization in Washington DC, promoting the welfare and education of pharmacy practitioners. Being a member, you will be entitled to several benefits such as ACPE seminars, recruitment and networking, continuing education programs and access to educational resources.

Spokane Pharmacy Association

Spokane Pharmacy Association is a voluntary association of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. It works towards patient care and advancing the health and wellness of the community. As a member you will receive newsletters covering local pharmacy news, free attendance for continuing education, discounted admission to the annual meeting and networking with other members of the pharmacy community.


View Washington's Complete List of Pharmacy Technician Schools

School NameLocationType AccreditedProgram Link
1Altierus Career College - EverettEverettPrivate not-for-profitNoVisit
2Altierus Career College - TacomaTacomaPrivate not-for-profitNoVisit
3Carrington College - SpokaneSpokanePrivate for-profitYesVisit
4Charter CollegeVancouverPrivate for-profitNoVisit
5Clark CollegeVancouverPublicNoVisit
6Clover Park Technical CollegeLakewoodPublicYesVisit
7Edmonds Community CollegeLynnwoodPublicNoVisit
8Lower Columbia CollegeLongviewPublicNoVisit
9North Seattle CollegeSeattlePublicYesVisit
10Pima Medical Institute - SeattleSeattlePrivate for-profitYesVisit
11Pima Medical Institute - RentonRentonPrivate for-profitNo
12Renton Technical CollegeRentonPublicYesVisit
13Skagit Valley CollegeMount VernonPublicNoVisit
14Spokane Community CollegeSpokanePublicYesVisit
15Yakima Valley CollegeYakimaPublicYesVisit


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