Pharmacy Technician Schools in Denver, CO

Career opportunities in various branches of the medical field continue to grow as the 21st century progresses. This includes the field of pharmacy technology. Pharmacy technicians are increasingly needed to staff retail pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, and pharmacies operated in long term care facilities, urgent care facilities and online companies.

In Colorado, it is not legally mandated that pharmacy techs be formally certified to work but increasingly employers are requiring certification for employment in any case. This means that if Denver residents want to take advantage of working in this growing, lucrative field they do need to consider going to a pharmacy tech school and gaining the knowledge they need to pass the PTCB certification test.

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Statistics

Denver vs Colorado Pharmacy Technicians Employment

denver metro area

colorado

3,000
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5,610
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Pharmacy Techs employed in the Denver metro area represents 53% of all PT's employed in the state of Colorado (2018, BLS) 

Total Pharmacy Technicians employed in Colorado state (2018, BLS)

Capital of the State of Colorado, Denver is a vibrant, exciting city that is home to all kinds of industries and entertainment. Of the 5,610 people employed as pharmacy technicians in Colorado 3,000 of them live in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan area.

Salary Percentiles for Pharmacy Technicians in Denver

For those people working in the field in the area is a relatively well paid vocation, even at entry level. The average hourly wage for a Denver pharmacy technician is $18.16, which equals an annual salary of approximately $37,760. The lowest wage paid, in the 10th percentile is, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, $13.04 rising to $23.93 in the 90th percentile.

Pharmacy Technician Annual Wages in Denver metro area 
(BLS Data May 2018)

10th Percentile

$27,130

25th Percentile

$32,170

50th Percentile

$36,950

75th Percentile

$43,810

90th Percentile

$49,770

Entry-level employees can expect wages between the 10% and 25% rates in the first 1-3 years in a job. The 90% Wage is typical of someone who has been working in the occupation for 7 years or more.

Pharmacy Technician Schools in Denver, CO

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Many of Denver's pharmacy technicians are graduates of the 4 accredited pharmacy technician schools in the city.

There are several schools that offer the schooling required to prepare to sit the PTCB certification exam. Which is a good thing as while the state has yet to require certification for pharmacy techs an increasing number of employers do and, in addition, the requirements to take the certification tests have changed in 2020.

In the past anyone who felt they had the knowledge and experience to pass the PTCB exam could apply to take it. In 2020 there are two ways that a candidate can qualify for the test. One is to have completed a formal course at a PTCB approved school. The second is to have completed 500 hours as a working pharmacy tech. As the latter is getting harder to do without certification, most of those interested in becoming a certified Denver pharmacy technician are choosing to go to school.

What do these schools have to offer, and which of them might be best suited to your circumustances? 

That is what we are going to take a look at here.

PIMA Medical Institute [ Denver Campus ]

Address: 7475 Dakin Street, Suite 100 Denver CO 80221 | Phone: 800-477-PIMA

The PIMA Medical Institute is a nationwide vocational college system that offers a wide range of certificate programs in many industries, including pharmacy technician. The certificate program is offered at their Denver campus, which is located close to highways and public transportation, making it easy to reach for those commuting from a little further outside the city itself.

Pima Medical Institute Pharmacy Tech Certification Program

Graduates of this program are granted a certificate in Pharmacy Technician and receive a certificate in IV/Sterile Products from the National Pharmacy Technician Association.

Here are just a few classes you will take during the Pharmacy Technician program: pharmacology, pharmacy math, pharmacy laboratory skills and fundamentals of chemistry.

Estimated program cost

For 2020 the tuition cost attached to the Pima Medical Institute Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is $14,106. This does include the testing fee - currently $129 - to sit the PTCB certification exam after graduation. However, additional supplies and books will add approximately $1,000 more to your final total.

Students who qualify can apply for Federal student loan aid to meet these costs and will often also qualify for a Federal Pell Grant, which is money that does not have to be repaid. For those who cannot/choose not to take out these types of loans payment plans are also available.

Basic admissions requirements

While the Pima Medical Institute tries to keep admissions requirements to a minimum in order to be able to help as many students as possible meet their career goals there are some minimum requirements students must meet.

These include all the following:

  • Students must be 18 years old, although some 16 and 17 year olds may be considered if they have parental support.
  • Students must be legal US residents
  • Students must agree to and pass a criminal background check
  • At a later date, either before an externship or before taking the PTCB exam students will also be required to take and pass a drug test, but that is not required for course admission.

Timelines

The Pharmacy Tech Certificate program takes approximately 9 months to complete and is offered both as a full time day course and a more flexible evening course. Day students can expect to complete the course - including their externship - in about 35 weeks while evening class students usually graduate around the 40 week mark.

Classroom based instruction covers all the required technical knowledge modules students will need to pass the PTCB exam. In addition to completing these students are also required to complete 250 hours of an externship placement with a local employer. This gives them the practical hands-on experience they will need to get a head start on their career as a pharmacy technician after graduation and certification.

Accreditation

Pima Medical Institute's Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program is fully accredited by the ASHP - the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists - and, importantly, it is also one of the courses accepted by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.

Pima Medical Institute as a whole is approved and regulated by the Colorado Division of Private Occupational Schools, Department of Higher Education. Should, however, a student wish to continue their education Pima does warn that not all schools will accept credits earned in this program. They advise that students keep that in mind and consult with any other institutions they might be considering attending later to determine if the credits would transfer or not.

Address: 1860 Lincoln Street Denver, CO 80203 | Phone: (720) 423-4700

Emily Griffith Technical College bills itself not only as Denver's most affordable technical school but also as its most inclusive. It's Pharmacy Tech program is offered at its main campus in the heart of the city and appeals, thanks to its affordability and relatively short length to busy working adults who are looking to get a jump start on their career in the pharmacy tech industry.

Emily Griffith Technical College Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program

The Pharmacy Tech program offered at Emily Griffith college is a hybrid program, which combines in-person classes with online coursework. Students gain experience in a simulated classroom pharmacy, as well as an internship in a real pharmacy setting.

Estimated program cost

The estimated tuition cost for the Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program in 2020 is $3,738. This does not include the cost of books, or the fees associated with drug and background testing and mandatory vaccinations. These costs, along with various materials fees may add an additional $700-$900 to the total.

Students who qualify can apply for Federal financial aid and may also be able to obtain state aid as well. Those who do not qualify for aid via FAFSA can chose instead to make use of the college's cash payment plan, something that will allow them to graduate debt free.

Basic admission requirements

While the school seeks to allow as many students as possible to enter and graduate from the program there are certain requirements to be met before and during enrollment, including all the following:

  • Students must be over the age of 18 and have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Students must take and pass a skills assessment that covers reading, math and basic computer literacy. They must also complete a student survey outlining why they want to enter the program.
  • Students must order, and pass both a drug test and a criminal background check.
  • Students must be able to prove they are up to date with all required immunizations and have proof of a negative TB test.

Timelines

The classroom and technical written based portion of the course takes approximately three months to complete (not including internship) on a full time basis. This learning is a combination of online learning - which can be completed at home - and more practical campus based classroom learning.

In addition, students must complete a practical externship - arranged by the school - with a local employer of approximately 200-250 hours. New classes form three times a year, with exact class dates posted on the school's official website as they form.

The course provides students with the basic knowledge needed to pass the PTCB certification exam, and the school does furnish graduated students with additional online revision resources to make use of as they prepare to take the exam.

Accreditation

The Emily Griffith Pharmacy tech program is accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists - ASHP - and is an accepted course in the eyes of the PTCB. The school itself is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).

Address: 500 Airport Blvd, Aurora, CO 80011 | Phone: 303-344-4910

Pickens Technical College is located in Aurora, CO, approximately ten miles from the center of Denver. It is a technical school that offers both Associate Degree and Certificate Programs but maintains a focus on Career Technical Education (CTE) programs for working and family responsible adults. The Pharmacy Technician Certificate offered by the school is one such program.

Pickens Technical College Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program

Estimated program costs

The overall estimated cost of completing the program is, in 2020, $8,398.00. This is an all inclusive figure, meaning that the total includes all medical, criminal and drug testing fees, all required supplies and the cost of taking the PTCB certification test after graduation. It also includes estimated costs associated with the mandatory externship.

Students who qualify for Federal student aid will be able to pay for much of their education with student loans and grants, and there are a limited number of CTE grants available to some qualified students. Students who do not qualify for student loans may be able to take advantage of a managed payment plan.

Basic admissions requirements

In order to be admitted to the Pickens Technical College Pharmacy Technician Certificate program students must meet the following basic requirements:

  • Be over the age of 18 and have a high school diploma or GED. Some 17 year olds actively working towards a high school diploma may be accepted, but they will need to have graduated from high school before taking the PTCB exam.
  • Be a legal US resident with proof of such
  • Be able to pass a school administered basic skills test.
  • Complete American Red Cross BLS certification
  • Be up to date on all required immunizations
  • Take and pass both a drug test and a criminal background check

Timelines

The Pickens Technical College Pharmacy Technician Certificate is a two semester course that takes a full school year to complete. Most of the technical lab and written work is completed in a campus based classroom setting with some modules able to be completed online. Classes are scheduled five days a week in either the early morning or mid-afternoon for approximately three hours a day.

This does allow those with families to care for, or who work part time, a larger degree of flexibility than some other college based programs.

In addition to their classroom coursework students will be assigned an externship placement with a local employer, with the school helping to arrange one that best suits the student's schedule and lifestyle.

Accreditation

The Pickens Technical College Pharmacy Technician Certificate program is approved by the PTCB, the body that administers the pharmacy tech certification exam that students will need to complete within 60 days of graduation from the program. The school itself is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education.

Address: 3645 West 112th Avenue, Westminster, CO 80031 | Phone: (303) 404-5000

The Front Range Community College Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is offered at the school's Westminster Campus, located just a few miles outside the center of the City of Denver. It is a more traditional community college, catering primarily to recently graduated high school students and newly working adults.

Front Range Community College Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program

The Pharmacy Tech program is offered at Certificate level only but credits will transfer to other colleges should a student wish to further their education at a later date, making the program a great choice for those who want to get to work quickly but may want to continue their career education later.

Estimated program costs

The Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is a full two-semester, 27 credit program that takes a full school year to complete. Tuition is charged on a per credit basis which is, in 2020, for in state students, charged at $201.01 per credit. This brings total tuition costs to around $5,670. This does not include the cost of books, supplies, medical and criminal background testing expenses or the cost of the PTCB exam after graduation. These add approximately $800 to the total cost.

For those that qualify Federal and State financial aid is available and this is how the majority of the students enrolled in the program pay for it.

Basic admissions requirements

Front Range maintain what they term an open enrollment policy, which means that students can be admitted with or without a high school diploma or GED provided they can pass the school's own admission test. However, a high school diploma or GED is required to take the PTCB certification test.

As a student in a medical program applicants must also meet some special requirements, including all the following:

  • Pass a criminal background check and drug test
  • Be up to date on all required immunizations
  • Have taken and passed the American Heart Association BLS Provider CPR course

Timelines

The Front Range Community College Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is a more traditional full time two semester program (29 credits), which will take a full school year to complete and is almost completely classroom or field based. This is not a program that offers a large online component and most classes need to be completed in school.

The first semester of the program is entirely classroom based at the Westminster Campus and features lectures and practical work that covers the theoretical knowledge required to pass the pharmacy tech certification test.

The program's second semester is one that's spent in more practical settings, in local pharmacies of all kinds, from retail to hospital to community facilities and offers an exceptionally good introduction to the world of 'real work' while also meeting the practical experience requirements needed to be successful in the PTCB certification test.

Accreditation

The Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program offered at Front Range is accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) and approved by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, the body that administers the certification test.

The school itself is one that is fully accredited by the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE), the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE), the Colorado State Approving Agency for Veterans Education and Training, and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

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

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