Pharmacy Technician Programs in Greeley, CO
As the population ages, and more people gain access to healthcare, pharmacies, both retail pharmacies and those found in hospitals, nursing homes and urgent care centers, are becoming busier and busier. This has led to an increase in demand for the services of certified pharmacy technicians all over the country, including in the State of Colorado and the City of Greeley.
While Colorado is not one of the states that mandates pharmacy technicians be certified it is hard to find a good job in the field if you are not, one of the reasons more and more people in the state interested in a pharmacy tech career are taking the time to do so.
Featured Pharmacy Technician Programs in Greeley
Greeley vs Colorado Pharmacy Technicians Employment
Greeley, CO is located 49 miles east of Denver, Co and is home to just over 100,000 people. It's a major part of the Front Range Urban Corridor mega region and a city known both for its blue collar industries and its beauty.
In the State of Colorado overall there are people 5,610 working as pharmacy technicians, and of those 220 identify themselves as hailing from Greeley, CO. That's not many but it's an occupation that's growing, as more people become willing to commute a little further afield to work in this lucrative career field.
Pharmacy Techs employed in Greeley represents 4% of all PT's employed in the state of Colorado (2018, BLS)
Total Pharmacy Technicians employed in Colorado state (2018, BLS)
Salary for Pharmacy Technicians in Greeley
In 2021 the average hourly wage earned by a Greeley, CO pharmacy technician was $17.70, working out to an annual salary of around $36,820.
Within the salary range hourly wages were paid at $14.01 in the lowest 10th percentile rising to $22.35 in the 90th.
Most often the highest salaries are paid to those who work in a hospital pharmacy setting, and to obtain those positions formal pharmacy tech certification is almost always required.
Pharmacy Technician Annual Wages in Greeley
(BLS Data May 2021)
Entry-level graduates can expect compensation between the 10% and 25% rates in the first 1-3 years in a job. The 90% salary is typical of someone who has been working in the field for 7 years or more.
Pharmacy Technician Schools in Greeley, CO
Many of Greeley's pharmacy technicians are graduates of the 4 accredited pharmacy technician schools in the city.
Those who want to increase their earning potential by becoming a certified pharmacy technician and ensure that they have the knowledge needed to pass the certification test have three approved options when it comes to pharmacy technician schools in Greeley, CO.
And more and more are doing so, thanks in part to a change in the way the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s (PTCB) exam is offered. In previous years the exam has been open to anyone willing to pay the fee and meet a minimal practical experience requirement.
In order to sit the exam a student, per the PTCB website there are two 'pathways' you can take that break down as follows:
Complete a PTCB-Recognized Education/Training Program
Equivalent work experience as a pharmacy technician for a minimum of 500 hours.
With all this in mind, let's take a look at the pharmacy technician schools in and around Greeley, CO and what each one of them has to offer to an aspiring pharmacy tech.
AIMS Community College [ Loveland and Greeley Campuses]
Address: 5401 W. 20th Street, Greeley, CO 80634 | Phone: (970) 330-8008
AIMS Community College prides itself on being one of the most affordable education options for students from all walks of life in the Front Range Region. With campuses located in Greeley and nearby Loveland the school offers more than 200 affordable certificate and Associates Degree programs including a Certificate of Pharmacy Technology Program.
AIMS Community College Pharmacy Technician Program
The non-credit Pharmacy Technician program offered at Aims will help students learn how to assemble medicines for prescriptions and provide information to patients and healthcare professionals. This program will prepare graduates to enter the pharmacy field and to pursue certification including the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board's PTCB exam.
Estimated program cost
The costs involved in pursuing a Certificate of Pharmacy Technology at AIMS Community College are laid out very clearly for students up front. The cost of the program is $899, and, somewhat unusually, that figure does include the books and other written materials students will need to complete the course.
What the price does not include is the cost of taking the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s (PTCB) exam. In 2020 that adds $129 to the overall cost.
As the program is not credit granting Federal or State financial aid is not available to help meet the cost, but payment plans may be available to some students.
Basic admissions requirements
AIMS Community College tries to help as many students as possible get the career education they need and to that end their admission requirements are very simple. To take the non-credit Certificate of Pharmacy Technology course a student needs to have, or be pursuing, a high school diploma or GED.
Most students are over the age of 18 but some 16-18 year olds are accepted with the help of their high school and parental permission. All students will also need to provide a photo ID and be able to prove their legal status in the US.
Unlike some pharmacy tech programs being up to date with vaccinations and being able to pass criminal background checks and a basic drug test are not mandated for program admission. They are, however, mandated by the PTCB and by many employers and so students should be prepared to complete them (with the school's assistance) before they apply to take the PTCB certification test.
The program is split into two sections. The classroom portion of the program is a 50 hour commitment and will need to be completed on campus. Students can also opt to complete 80 practical hours with a local employer, but this is not a mandatory requirement for graduation. The school can help arrange this in many cases.
The course itself covers all the basic knowledge needed to take the pharmacy tech certification exam. Students are offered access to additional online study resources that will allow them to study specifically for the exam, including past test papers. This course is not as extensive as some, but for those who want to get to work as soon as possible it's a great choice to help 'fast track' that process.
The Certificate of Pharmacy Technology offered at AIMS Community College is a PTCB-Recognized program and it provides all that is needed to sit the PTCB certification test. Students will need to ensure they apply to take that test within 60 days of course completion in order for the credential earned via the certificate to be valid.
AIMS Community College as a whole is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Pima Medical Institute [ Denver Campus ]
Address: 7475 Dakin Street, Suite 100 Denver CO 80221 | Phone: 800-477-PIMA
Pima Medical Institute is a national private vocational college that offers students classroom based and hands on training in a number of vocational fields including that of pharmacy technician. In Colorado it is its Denver based campus that is available to serve Greeley, CO students. That campus is located approximately 47 miles from Greeley, about a one-hour car ride.
PIMA Medical Institute Pharmacy Technician Program
Estimated program costs
The total cost of the Pima Medical Institute Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program in terms of tuition is $14,106. That figure does include the $129 entrance fee to take the PTCB certification test upon graduation. It does not, however, include the cost of books and other supplies, something that adds another $800-$1,000 to the total 'bill.'
Federal student aid is available to those who qualify, and those without a degree at the time of enrollment may also qualify for a Federal Pell Grant. For students who do not qualify for student loan aid from the government there are payment plan options available to spread out the cost of the program.
Basic admissions requirements
To be accepted into the Pima Medical Institute Pharmacy Tech Program all students must be able to meet the following requirements:
The Pima Medical Institute Pharmacy Tech program is designed to provide flexibility, and to that end both day and evening programs are offered. Students participating in the day programs can expect to graduate in 35 weeks.
For evening students it takes a little longer, and most complete that portion of the program in 40 weeks. As the school is not a traditional one classes continue year round and new ones form every 6-8 weeks.
In addition to classroom training students must also complete 250 hours - about 6-8 weeks on a full time basis - of hands on training in an externship placement arranged either by the school or the student themselves.
In addition to providing all the technical and practical knowledge needed to pass the PTCB certification exam to become a certified pharmacy tech the program also offers additional resources to help students prepare for their certification exam, including access to an online library of past papers and other revision aids.
The Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program offered at Pima Medical Institute is accredited by the ASHP - the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists - and accepted by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.
The school itself is approved and regulated by the Colorado Division of Private Occupational Schools, Department of Higher Education.
In terms of furthering their education the school does caution that credits earned as a part of the Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program may not be fully transferable to other schools and that students should check that for themselves before enrolling.
Address: 3645 West 112th Avenue, Westminster, CO 80031 | Phone: (303) 404-5000
Front Range Community College offers its Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program at its Westminster Campus, which is located 49 miles - about an hour's drive - outside Greeley, CO. It is an established community college that offers affordable education at both the certificate and Associates Degree level. For aspiring pharmacy techs the Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program offered by Front Range may be an excellent educational choice.
Front Range Community College Pharmacy Technician Program
Estimated program costs
The Front Range Community College Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is a two semester, 27 credit program. In 2020 the per credit cost for an in state student pursuing an education at Front Range is $210.01, meaning that the course will cost approximately $5,670. Students will also be responsible for the cost of books and lab equipment which may add up to $800 to that cost.
Federal and state financial aid is available for those students who qualify, as are a limited number of state grants.
Basic admissions requirements
As the Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is a credit granting course students do have to meet minimum education requirements but as an 'open enrollment' school anyone over the age of 17 - even if still in high school - can apply and be admitted to the program, with or without a high school diploma or GED, provided they pass an entrance test. Students should, however, be aware that as of 2020 they are required to have a high school diploma or GED to take the PTCB certification test.
There are some additional requirements for acceptance into this program that are unique to medical based programs at the school. All students must be up to date with basic immunizations and have completed an American Heart Association BLS Provider CPR course (offered free in many locations). They must also be able to pass a criminal background check and a standard drug test. The last two are also requirements of the PTCB in order to take their certification test.
As we mentioned earlier, the Front Range Community College Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is a two semester program, meaning that to complete it takes a full school year.
The first semester is spent in the classroom, covering the theoretical knowledge needed to not only pass the pharmacy tech certification test but also to work effectively in the field right away. The second semester is largely spent away from the classroom, with students completing two five-week experiential modules in hospital and community settings that more than cover the practical experience needed to be successful in the PTCB test.
In addition to this as they near graduation students are offered access to additional online and classroom resources to help them prepare to take the PTCB certification exam upon graduation. The cost of this is not included in tuition fees for the program.
The Front Range Community College Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is nationally accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) and approved by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.
The credits earned for the program are fully transferable to other colleges, as 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).
Some students do, upon graduation and after passing the PTCB, choose to return to the school to pass additional classes needed to apply to a school of pharmacy to become a licensed pharmacist in their own right.