Pharmacy Technician Schools in Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee may be best known for its musical legacy to those who don't live there but for the 695,000 plus people who live there on a full-time basis it's home.

As it is such a musical mecca Nashville's population is swelled by thousands of tourists from all over the world every year, meaning that emergency healthcare - including pharmacies - are kept busy at all times, leading to a demand for trained, certified pharmacy technicians that is higher than ever before.

It's not just retail pharmacies that need the services of a trained pharmacy technician though. Nashville is home to several large medical centers and an aging population has increased the demand for pharmacy services in long term care facilities as well. 

In Tennessee, certification is not required to work as a pharmacy technician, but employers prefer it. Most local and national retail pharmacies operating in Nashville prefer to hire certified pharmacy technicians and almost all healthcare facilities, according to Indeed, demand it. 

A young female student studying in the college library

There are two certification exams you can take as a would-be pharmacy technician.

The oldest, the PTCE is offered by the PTCB and a newer certification exam, the ExCPT, offered by the National Health Careers Association, is accepted in Tennessee as well.

New PTCB rules enacted in 2019 require that to take these exams a student must have completed a PTCB approved training course, which is where pharmacy technician schools in Nashville, TN come in. 

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Outlook for Pharmacy Technicians in Nashville, TN

On a national level, the demand for trained pharmacy technicians has been increasing for several years, and that does extend to Nashville, Tennessee as well. The good news is that this is not only an increasingly stable career path but a well-paid one as well.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019 of the 10270 people declaring themselves pharmacy technicians, 3,250 of them lived and worked in the Nashville area. The average hourly wage paid to all in field was $15.89, with new techs earning and average of $10.71. That figure rose as high as $22.92 per hour for experienced pharmacy technicians and those working in clinical settings. 

In general, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for pharmacy services and for pharmacy technicians, including in the fast-growing mail-order pharmacy sector, as operated by both retail pharmacies and hospitals in Tennessee. 2020 is likely to also see average hourly wage points for pharmacy techs rise, reflecting their status as essential workers.

Pharmacy Technician Schools in Nashville, TN

As previously mentioned, while not a legal requirement of the State, in Tennessee most employers give hiring preference to certified pharmacy technicians, and this is certainly true in Nashville. Certified techs also command higher rates of pay and can expect to be preferred in terms of promotion and advancement.

As also previously touched on, taking the PTCE pharmacy technician certification exam now requires that a student has completed an approved educational program. In the Nashville area there are currently three such programs students can choose from that meet PTCB standards.

As each of these offers something slightly different and may be better suited to some students than others, here we are going to take a closer look at what each of these pharmacy technician programs in Nashville has to offer.

Daymar College

? 560 Royal Parkway, Nashville, TN 37214 |☎ 615-367-6120

Located in the heart of Nashville, Daymar College is a offers both a Pharmacy Technician Diploma Program and the chance to advance to their Pharmacy Technology Associate of Science Degree Program should a student want to complete the kind of more advanced education many hospital pharmacy employees seek.

However, completion of the Pharmacy Technician Diploma Program is considered more than adequate to take the PTCE or ExCPT certification exam and for a graduate to begin working right away.

The cost of both programs is charged on a per credit basis. The cost of each credit varies according to s student's age, personal circumstances and income level. The school does provide a calculator to estimate those costs on their website.

Traditional financial aid is available to those students who qualify, as are a limited number of state employment and retraining grants. In addition, Daymar College itself offers grants to students who maintained a 3.0 or better average in high school.

To be admitted to the Pharmacy Technician program, students must be over the age of 18, hold a high school diploma or GED and understand they will be required to pass criminal background and drug tests to take the PTCE or ExCPT even though the school itself does not administer these.

The diploma program is a 72 1/4 credit hour offering that can be completed in 12 months. Those choosing to continue on to complete an Associate Degree can expect 6-8 months more of study. These students can, however, choose to become certified after completing the diploma portion of the course and begin working in their field while completing their studies.

Classes are offered on campus on a full-time basis with both day and evening classes available. Some study can be completed online, but the required externship with a local employer - as arranged by the school - is to be completed in person. The course meets the PTCB standards and the college itself is accredited by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

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Remington College

? 441 Donelson Pike #150, Nashville, TN 37214 |☎ 1-800-208-1950

Although Remington College does maintain a local Nashville campus, their Pharmacy Technician Diploma program is primarily completed online, with only a small portion of the course - primarily required lab work - being completed on campus. This means that this may be the ideal option for working adults who need to fit education around their work and family commitments.

The Remington College Pharmacy Technician Diploma can be completed in as little as 12 months. The cost is charged per credit, and varies according to a student's personal circumstances, although the school does provide a cost estimator on their website.

To pay for the program, traditional financial aid is available to those who qualify, as are state based employment and retraining grants. The school itself advises setting a virtual appointment with a financial aid counselor to discuss the best ways to pay for schooling and what help might be available to you.

To be admitted, students must be over the age of 18 and hold a high school diploma or GED. They will also need to pass drug and criminal background tests, as well as be up to date on mandatory vaccinations.

In terms of coursework, as previously mentioned, almost all of the course is completed online. On campus lab courses can be scheduled to best suit a student's other commitments.

The Remington College Pharmacy Technician Diploma Program is a PTCB approved course and is also accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP), an honor that is only awarded to a limited number of such courses nationwide.

Tennessee College of Applied Technology

? Murfreesboro Campus (Main), 1303 Old Fort Parkway, Murfreesboro, TN 37129|☎ 615-898-8010

Located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee College of Applied Technology is a vocational school that offers full time, campus-based education to students of all ages. For those interested in becoming a Pharmacy Technician they offer a fixed price diploma course that can be completed in as little as eight months.

For the 2020 school year the cost of the diploma program is $4,046.00, with an additional estimated cost of $788.00 for books, supplies and drug and criminal background testing. Traditional financial aid is available to qualified students, or the school does offer a payment plan for those who do not.

To enroll students must be 18 years of age or older, have a high school diploma or GED and pass school administered drug and criminal background tests. They must also be up to date on required vaccines and be able to show proof of such.

The course is completed primarily in a classroom setting, with an internship arranged by the school with a local employer required to be completed prior to graduation. It is accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) as an acceptable educational path and the PTCB state the same.

Other schools guides and locations in TN:

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