How To Train To Be a Pharmacy Technician

One of the considerations in learning how to train to be a pharmacy technician is to understand what the job entails as well as the steps to take in order to succeed in the chosen field. In general, pharmacy technicians are responsible for assisting licensed pharmacists in filling up prescriptions.

Unfortunately, to become effective and successful as a pharmacy technician, you need to go beyond being good at counting pills and tablets.

This is why as you learn how to be a pharmacy technician, it becomes extremely important to be aware of how the career can begin to expand and open new horizons of opportunities for you that can lead to significant career growth.

As the population begins to age, it is expected that the career demands for pharmacy technicians will significantly rise by 25% in the coming years. This would be enough motivation to get started in this career in the healthcare industry.

Begin it the right way by following this guide.

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1. Look for the right school

This initial step will actually dictate the potential success that you can achieve in this healthcare field. Although it is true, that the quality of the school would not matter if the student is not serious in studying.

However, in the case of becoming a pharmacy technician, the quality of the school will dictate the type of skill sets that you will receive to form part of your foundation to effectively handle tasks assigned to you.

It is vital to understand that the process of choosing the right school goes beyond its capabilities and quality. As a student forging a career path, you need to take into consideration your availability, budget, and goals.

It would be useless if you will not be able to fit your education into your schedule and budget. More importantly, the type of program the school has should coincide with your career goals.

If your schedule will only allow you to take night classes, then look for schools that offer this schedule, or better yet, provide online pharmacy technician classes.

Be aware that there can be significant differences between the fees involved in these classes. It is equally important to understand that the skills that you would learn should complement exactly what your career goals are.

This means if your chosen career path requires skills in measuring dosages, counting tablets, managing inventories, or having computer skills, look for these specifics in the classes you take.

Give ample weight on your individual qualities and talents. Remember that above all else, these will help you get to your career destination faster. 

Every employer will always be on the lookout for valuable employees that exhibit exceptional qualities like customer service, organization, or communication. These together with your formal training will give you a definite edge.

2. Get more career information

Becoming a pharmacy technician much like anything else would require access to the right information. Despite knowing that the demand in the job market is increasing, it would be useless if you are not informed on what areas of the industry have the biggest demands. Getting career information will guide you where you should take your career to achieve your goals.

For example, retailers have one of the highest demands in the industry for pharmaceutical services because of the continuing advancements in scientific research. Knowing what this industry expects from your field will help you understand how to become a pharmacy technician. 

Despite potential challenges when starting, being aware of these market trends will make it easier to achieve growth.

Considering the amount of experience you will eventually receive in your practice, you will begin to have more options like working in hospitals, online and wholesale pharmacies, and government organizations among others. This can also give you a step ahead of your competition.

Also Related: The Pros & Cons of Becoming a Pharmacy Technician

3. Evaluate training details

Make sure that you look at the details of every training program that you consider. Keep in mind that those that lead to degrees and certifications are far more valuable than others. Programs that will help you develop new skills that can be applied to your work are another great investment of your time and money.

You have to realize that your continuing goal is to keep on adding to your eligibility and qualifications.

In the job market, employers will more than always favor candidates that have a degree or certification than those who stand on experience alone. Imagine how the combination of both can boost your chances of landing your dream job. With most programs taking almost a year to complete, it would be a great way to keep on building towards your goal.

This will also allow you to prepare for the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam.

4. Work for licenses and certifications

The more credibility and eligibility you gain, the more formidable you become in the work place. This is why licenses and certifications are integral components on how to become a pharmacy technician. You have to consult the Board of Pharmacy in your state to be updated on the specific regulations you need to complete. Normally, the common requirements would include:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Cleared of criminal background checks
  • Completed formal training program
  • Passed exam
  • Paid fees
  • Subscribed to continuing education

Some states as well as employers can require pharmacy technicians to be certified before allowed to apply for work. Even in states where certification may not be required, it is still an advantage that cannot be taken for granted.

If you are really good, your current company may offer to shoulder the expenses for you to take the certification exam.

Be aware that the PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board) and the NHA (National Heat career Association) are the two organizations that offer certification.

5. Important qualities to possess/develop

To increase your chances of becoming a pharmacy technician, you also need aware of some specific qualities that can be extremely useful.

Some candidates only know of the academic aspect on how to become a pharmacy technician and often disregard the more functional aspects like:

  • Customer service skills – ability to effectively interact with customers in a polite and helpful manner
  • Attention to detail – this is a vital thing to have especially in the workplace where mistakes in filling of prescriptions can lead to dangerous consequences
  • Organizational skills – as you move your way up on the career ladder, you will realize that the ability to manage and prioritize your responsibilities can prove to be one of the most valuable assets for employers

References:

http://www.nabp.net/
http://www.ptcb.org/
http://www.pharmacytechnician.org/institute/
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm
http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292052.htm
http://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/

Search Pharmacy Technician Programs

Get information on Pharmacy Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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  • Updated September 10, 2020
  • Career