Pharmacy Technician Programs in Houston, TX
Houston is a historic cosmopolitan city in the 'heart of Texas' that more than two million people call home.
Those two million people all need all kinds of amenities, including easy access to a pharmacy to obtain the medications they need. They also need to make use of hospitals and long term care facilities that also need to offer pharmacy services.
This all means that pharmacy technicians in Houston are both very much in demand and very busy. For anyone interested in becoming one, both the employment and the pay prospects are bright.
As Houston is in Texas, those people do need to obtain a few more qualifications than their peers working in some other states though. Texas does require that a working pharmacy technician obtains both certification and licensing in order to be legally employed, so attending a program offering pharmacy technician training really is a must.
The certification test to become a pharmacy technician is not one that it is easy to pass without going through a formal training program, and in addition the PTCB, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, who offer the PTCE certification exam, require 500 hours experience in lieu of such certification which, in something of a Catch 22, as pharmacy techs must be certified to work!
Featured Pharmacy Technician Schools in Houston
Houston vs Texas Pharmacy Technicians Employment
In all, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 37,200 certified pharmacy technicians working in the Lone Star State in 2019. Of those, 8,830 were Houston residents.
Salary for Pharmacy Technicians in Houston
In terms of salary, the average hourly wage earned by a Houston pharmacy technician was $17.23. The starting salary, in the lowest (10th) percentile averaged $12.77 per hour but that rose to $22.89 in the 90th percentile.
Pharmacy Technician Schools in Houston, TX
As it is almost a must that any Houston resident who wished to become a pharmacy tech attends school what are their options? Which of those options might be the best choice for them? That is what we are going to take a look at here.
10201 Katy Freeway Houston, TX 77024 | Tel: 800-477-PIMA
The Pima Medical Institute is a nationwide network of private technical schools that offers a wide variety of vocational programs across the country, including a pharmacy technician certification program at their Houston campus. The campus is conveniently located near major highways and offers an easy commute for local students.
As a technical school the Houston campus of the Pima Medical Institute is geared towards a wide range of students, ranging from those who have just graduated high school to working adults looking to make a career change.
Pima Medical Institute Pharmacy Technician Program
In 2019, according to the school's website, the cost of completing their Pharmacy Technician Program was $14,106. This total is inclusive of books and supplies needed to complete the course and also includes the fee to sit the PTCE exam at the completion of the program to become a certified pharmacy technician (CPhT)
Financial aid is available to those who qualify, as are a limited number of state grants. Students not eligible for Federal financial aid may be able to obtain a private student loan from a body like Sallie Mae instead.
In order to be admitted to the Pharmacy Technician certification program, students must meet the following basic requirements:
- Be over the age of 18.
- Hold a high school diploma or GED
- Be able to pass a basic skill test set by the school that includes English, Math and computer literacy.
- Be legal US residents and able to prove that fact
- Be willing to take - and able to pass - both a criminal background check and a drug test.
The pharmacy technician course offered by the Pima Institute can usually be completed in nine months, or, if a student opts to take evening classes instead of studying in the day, a few weeks longer.
The course covers all the basics needed to pass the PTCE exam, including the practical experience requirement, which is covered both by lab based classes on campus and a 250-hour externship with a local employer arranged by the school. In addition, as a part of their studies students cover IV therapy, a skill in demand at many hospitals, and will be able to obtain certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board in that skill as well.
The program is one of the few in the state that is fully accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board also accepts it as a recognized program.
San Jacinto Community College
5800 Uvalde Road Houston, Texas 77049-4599 | Tel: (281) 459-7155
As one of a number of community colleges in the Houston area San Jacinto Community College serves a diverse body of students across a wide range of certificate and Associate's Degree programs. For those interested in Pharmacy Technology they offer a comprehensive certificate program that is suitable for both new high school graduates and those already in the workforce looking to make a change.
San Jacinto Community College Pharmacy Technician Program
The estimated cost for this three semester program is, according to the school's website, $3,118.00 for area residents and $4,942.00 for Texas residents who reside outside the Greater Houston area.
This cost includes all books and supplies required to complete the course as well as the cost of taking the PTCE certification exam upon graduation.
Financial aid is available for those who qualify, and students may also be able to obtain a private student loan from Sallie Mae or a private bank. In addition, payment plans are available if needed.
As a community college students attending San Jacinto Community College must meet minimum educational requirements, including holding a high school diploma or GED and being able to meet basic GPA requirements. They must also pass an admissions interview with one of the school's admission counselors.
There are several more requirements to be met, including the following:
- Students must be over the age of 17 and provide proof of residence.
- Students must take and pass both a drug screening test and a criminal background test
- Students must meet state minimum vaccination requirements and demonstrate they can lift 50lbs.
This is a three semester course that is completed on a full time day basis, on campus. The course offers a comprehensive overview of everything needed to pass the PTCE certification exam. Students complete classroom and campus based lab work and also get on the job training with local employers.
In all the course is completed within a standard three semesters, and in addition to being readied to pass the PTCE - which, according to the school, students graduating from this course do with a 95% first time pass rate - students can also receive IV therapy certification as well.
The program itself is accepted by the PTCB as a suitable course to prepare students for the PTCE exam and the school itself is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Houston Community College
3100 Main Street, Houston TX 77002 | Tel: 713.718.2000
One of Houston's oldest community colleges, this centrally located school offers a wide range of programs, including a pharmacy technician certificate program. In addition, for those interested in pursuing their studies even further graduates of that program can then transition to an Associate of Applied Science degree program on the same campus, while making the most of their previous education to work in their new chosen field.
Houston Community College Pharmacy Technician Program Certificate
According to the school's website, the 38 credit certificate course is charged, for in state residents, at $33 per credit hour, bringing the approximate tuition total to $1,254. This does include the cost of lab and other classroom fees, but not the cost of books and other supplies, or the cost of exam fees for the PTCE or for drug and criminal background tests, which may add up to $1,000 to the final total.
Financial aid is available to those who qualify, and there may also be a limited number of vocational grant awards available for students to take advantage of. For those who prefer to pay outright for the course a payment plan is available.
In order to be admitted to the pharmacy technician certificate program students must be at least 17 years old and hold a high school diploma or GED by the time they graduate. In addition, they must be able to meet minimum GPA requirements and complete two basic prerequisite classes in Pharmacy Technology basics.
The following are also requirements for entry:
- Proof of residence (for fee purposes)
- Take and pass both a drug test and a criminal background test
- Meet minimum vaccination requirements
- Demonstrate an ability to lift over 50lbs.
The certificate course runs for a full three semesters, allowing full time day or evening students to complete it in around 10 months. The program itself consists of extensive classroom work, lab work and work experience opportunities with both retail and clinical pharmacies in the local area as arranged by the school.
Houston Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and their pharmacy technician certificate program is accepted as suitable by the PTCB.
11310 Greens Crossing Blvd #300, Houston, TX 77067 | Tel: 1-800-208-1950
The Remington College Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is rather unique as it is offered entirely online without the need for students to attend campus based classes. This makes it especially convenient for those who are already working or have a family to take care of. There are some cons to this approach, as we will discuss in a moment, but as a way to fit continuing education into their busy lives this program may be ideal for some.
Remington College Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program
The cost of the online Pharmacy Technician Certificate varies, the school website states, according to income level, residency and family situation. Students interested in the program are advised to contact an admissions representative to discuss financing, including whether or not they might be eligible for Federal or State Financial Aid.
There are very few admissions requirements to complete the online Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program offered by Remington College. It should be noted however that in order to sit the PTCE or to be licensed by the State of Texas - both requirements of working in the field - candidates must be over the age of 18, hold a high school diploma or GED and pass criminal and drug tests.
The online course can be completed in 8-9 months and that includes the 'virtual externship' offered as a part of the course which sees students work with professionals from both retail and clinical pharmacy settings. Students are not tied to a rigid schedule and so online coursework can be completed at the times and on the days best suited to their schedule.
The course itself does cover all the subject matter needed to pass the PTCE and many graduates do so successfully.
Remington College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) The Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP).
Other Top Pharmacy Technician Schools and Colleges in Houston TX
Altierus Career College
9700 Bissonnet St., Suite 1400 Houston, TX 77036 | Tel: (713) 772-4200
Altierus Career College a nationwide for profit vocational school that boasts campuses across the country including one located centrally in Houston Business District. It is a school geared to students who are looking for both affordability and flexibility.
Altierus Career College Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program
The Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program on offer at the school is a hybrid program. Much of the coursework can be completed online at a student's own pace and on their schedule, with attending campus classes only being required for two hours, three times a week, with evening classes available.
The total cost of the program, in 2019, was, for a Texas State resident, $14,700. This includes the cost of all books, supplies and testing fees. Financial aid is available to those who qualify, and students can also seek a loan from a private lender like Sallie Mae.
A GED or high school diploma is not required to enter the program, and students can take a school asset skills test instead. However, as previously noted to be licensed in the State of Texas high school graduation or its equivalent is required.
In addition students must pass criminal and drug tests and demonstrate basic physical strength, including the ability to lift over 50 pounds. They must also meet basic minimum vaccination requirements.
A great deal of the technical written modules of the Pharmacy Technician Certificate course offered by Altierus Career College are designed to be completed online, and provide the knowledge needed to pass the PTCE. Practical portions are completed on campus and include lab work, field work with local pharmacies and additional training in patient advocacy and customer service.
In all, most students complete the course in 10 months, with some able to graduate in as little as 8.
The Altierus Career College Pharmacy Technician Certificate program is accredited by the ASHP and approved by the PTCB.
Lone Star College - North Harris
2700 West W Thorne Drive Houston, TX, United States | Tel: (281) 618-5400
Lone Star College operates a number of campuses in the Greater Houston area, and two of them, LSC Tomball and LSC North Harris, offer a Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program to both new high school graduates and adults seeking a career change. Upon graduation from the program students can also, if they choose, apply the credits earned towards an Associates in Applied Science degree taken on the same campuses or at one of the other Lone Star schools.
LSC Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program
The cost of completing the Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program at LSC is charged per credit, which in 2019 was $32. As this is a 34 credit program the approximate final cost for the tuition portion would be around $1,088 for district and in state residents. This figure however does not include the cost of books, lab supplies and fees or other required testing, things that add approximately $1,000 to that cost.
Financial aid is available to those that qualify, or students could consider taking a private student loan from a lender such as Sallie Mae. A staggered payment plan is also available.
The Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program at LSC is a very competitive one and admission is academically based, with a high school diploma and a minimum of a 2.0 GPA being required for consideration.
Those who are admitted will also need to pass criminal and drug tests, be able to prove legal residence status and meet minimum vaccination and fitness requirements.
The course is designed to be completed in a year and encompasses three full time semesters on campus. Classroom education is supplemented with in the field training with local employers and the on campus labs function as mock pharmacies boasting all the same functions as their real life counterparts. There is a special focus on clinical pharmacy, meaning that program graduates are often sort after by hospitals and long term care facilities.
The Lone Star College Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and approved by the PTCB. The school itself is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Houston - Downtown Campus
2700 Bay Area Boulevard Houston, TX 77058 | Tel: (713) 221-8032
The University of Houston's Downtown Campus offers a Pharmacy Technology Certificate course that is specifically geared towards those interested in entering the field of clinical pharmacy, working in hospitals, long term care facilities and urgent care centers.
University of Houston Pharmacy Technology Certificate
The course is also geared towards both recent high school graduates and working adults, and can be taken as a hybrid online/on campus program that offers greater flexibility.
The 50 hour course is offered both as a full time campus based course or as a hybrid campus/online program. Flat fees are charged for both; $1399.00 for campus based education or $1199.00 for the hybrid program.
Traditional financial aid is not available to cover the costs of this course, but the school does have a relationship with Sallie Mae to offer students their Career Training Loan, or payment plans are available to those who wish to pay cash.
In order to be admitted to this program, students must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Be able to prove their legal residence address and immigration status
- Pass criminal and drug tests
- Meet state minimum vaccination standards.
This is a 50 hour course that can be completed in as little as six months. The course covers all the basic knowledge needed to become certified and licensed as a pharmacy technician as well as additional knowledge specific to clinical pharmacy practices and HIPAA regulations. All students also complete a clinical externship with a local employer that is arranged by the school.
The University of Houston-Downtown is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and this program is approved by the PTCB.