Training Requirements for Pharmacy Technicians

Any career in the health care industry field is considered to be a lucrative one because this area will always have demand. One of the careers that is booming in this area is that of a pharmacy technician. They help licensed pharmacists in preparing medications, as well as providing health care service to patients and in maintaining patient profiles. As regards to salaries, pharmacy technicians can earn as much as surgical technicians and physical therapist technicians do. To earn more, pharmacy technicians must take certification examinations and other formal training programs.

Online Pharmacy Technician Training

Even though there is no national training standard for those who want to work as a pharmacy technician, prospective employers prefer to hire individuals who have formal training and ideally have obtained certification.

You can attend an online training program from several accredited colleges. Along with on-campus and distance learning pharmacy tech courses, you can train in as little as 6-12 months. A formal training program will assist you in preparing to work for an entry-level pharmacy technician position. The goal of formal pharmacy technology program is to teach you the following:

  • Medical and pharmaceutical terminology
  • Pharmacology of medications
  • Pharmaceutical calculations

A hands-on practice in retail pharmacy procedures is also offered by an online pharmacy technician training program via its online lab module. The curriculum covers topics such as:

  • Education regarding prescription medicationsy
  • Ethics of pharmacy technician
  • Patient care
  • Patient interaction
  • Charges and reimbursement

In addition to that, an online pharmacy technician associate degree or diploma program will also help you in passing the National Certification Exam given by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Depending on the type pharmacy technician training program you choose, you can complete it within 6 to 12 months.

Pharmacy Technician Externship

As part of a pharmacy technology training program, you may be required to get hands-on experience assisting licensed pharmacists. You will also experience how to answer patient's questions about medications and other administrative duties of a qualified pharmacy technician. Before you can undergo an externship program, you need to meet its basic qualifications

  • Background check
  • Pass drug screening test
  • Obtain liability insurance
  • Meet immunization standards

There are several pharmacies in the US that offer externship programs for those who want to become a certified pharmacy technician.

Pharmacy Tech Recertification​

After you have passed the national certification examinations, you must be re-certified every 2 years. Within that 2-year period, you have to complete 20 hours of continuing education from different sources, such as:

  • Pharmacy associations
  • Colleges
  • Pharmacy technician training programs

You can also earn up to 10 hours of continuing education when you work under the direct supervision and instruction of a licensed pharmacist.

Between 2008 and 2018, it is expected that the job growth for pharmacy technicians will increase by 25% in the US. The growth rate is higher compared with the rest of the jobs in the US. The figures mentioned are obtained from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics​.

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