Employment for pharmacy techs is expected to grow by 32% by the year 2020. If you want to be part of this growing field, attending a pharmacy technician program is a great place to start. Enroll today and get started on the path to a rewarding career.
While there is currently no nation-wide educational or certification requirement for pharmacy techs, that could be changing. In a recent task force recommendation, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has recommended that certified pharmacy technicians be required to complete an accredited pharmacy tech program, and that the policy change be instituted by 2015.
As part of a PhT program, students will have the chance to complete pharmacy technician courses that will give he or she a firm knowledge of medical terminology, pharmacology, and technology. The majority of these programs last one year or less, and are offered at a variety of community and technical colleges. Prospective students may also want to consider prerequisite courses that may be available in high school or community college.
Pharmacy Tech Courses
Typical courses will cover the following:
• Medical Terminology
• Applied Pharmacology
• Anatomy & Physiology
• Orientation to Pharmacy Practice
• Pharmacology Basics
• Pharmacy Records Management
• Drug Dosage Calculations
• Microsoft Office Basics
• Community & Hospital Drug Dispensing
• Pharmacy administration
• Pharmaceutical calculations
• Medical terminology
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take any courses online?
Yes! Whether you are working full time, attending to a family at home, or just prefer to work at your own pace, on your own time, online pharmacy tech courses can be the solution. Online degrees are now commonplace and widely accepted. Technology has made it possible to work with your professor and your fellow students in a real-world environment, where you can chat and get feedback for your work. There are many schools and training programs that offer their courses online. That can be a great solution for anyone who needs or wants the flexibility to attend class on their own time.
Are internships/externships available?
It is typical in a pharmacy tech program for an internship (sometimes called an externship) to be required during the last quarter of school. The location of the internship is typically decided by the school, with very little input from the student. These internships give the student a chance to immerse themselves in the field, and are a great opportunity to network. Some are even paid, especially in a retail pharmacy setting.
These internships are a trial period, so treat it like you would a paid job. Work hard, ask questions, and make the most of this time. The company may end up being a future employer, or may be able to refer you to someone who is hiring.
Many internships require the student to obtain a pharmacy technician license from their state’s Board of Pharmacy. For more information, visit your state’s Board of Pharmacy or Health Department website.
Is Background check and drug screening required?
All applicants to pharmacy tech school must complete a multi-state criminal background check and pass a drug screening. In most cases, the company that a student is doing an internship/externship for will also require a background check and drug screening. Students should be aware that certain gross misdemeanors and felonies may prohibit them from attending pharmacy tech school or performing an internship. Most future employers will also require successful passing of such tests as required by law in most states. For more information, visit your state’s Board of Pharmacy.