Pharmacy Technician Programs in Chandler, AZ
A residential suburb of the capital city Phoenix, Chandler AZ has been voted one of the best places to live in Arizona several times, and is home to a growing population of young professionals and families. It's also home to a growing number of pharmacies that serve them. This means that the demand is increasing for qualified pharmacy staff, including graduates of pharmacy technician programs.
Becoming a Pharmacy Technician
A pharmacy technician usually works as the 'right-hand person' to a supervising pharmacist, and as such plays a pivotal role in the day-to-day operations of any pharmacy, whether it is located in a retail or clinical setting.
As is the case for most states in the US, the State of Arizona requires that pharmacy technicians obtain licensure from the State Board of Pharmacy. As the duties a pharmacy technician can be asked to undertake continue to increase in complexity, ensuring that pharmacy techs receive the proper education and training is a must as far as the Board is concerned.
To become a pharmacy technician in Arizona and obtain that all important license, candidates must demonstrate they have passed one of two national certification exams, either the PTCB or ExCPT. Both of these exams require students to demonstrate they have undertaken an approved course of study before applying to sit for them. For this reason, attending an accredited pharmacy technician program is a must.
In addition to the educational requirements you should also be aware that to obtain licensure any would be pharmacy technician hoping to work in Chandler - or anywhere else in the state - must:
- obtain an Arizona fingerprint clearance card,
- have graduated from high school or passed the GED,
- hold state issued photo ID and pass a drug screen.
- There is also an $82 licensing fee.
Pharmacy Technician Programs in Chandler, AZ
As you will need to pass a national certification test to obtain a pharmacy technician's license, you'll need to start your career as a pharmacy tech by completing a PTCB/ExCPT approved course at a pharmacy technician school.
As you'll discover, there are a number to choose from within a reasonable distance from Chandler, so how do you make the right choice?
While everyone's decision will differ, ensuring that the class format fits your lifestyle is a must, as is finding a schedule that fits the rest of yours. Financial aid is important to lots of students, and practical work experience while still in school can prove an invaluable help, and is often a great way to impress future employers.
Keeping all of this in mind, here's a closer look at all 9 pharmacy technician schools in Chandler available for you to choose from, and a basic overview of what each of them has to offer.
1. American InterContinental University
Accreditation: Arizona Workforce Initiative
American InterContinental University’s Pharmacy Technician program is an online offering that is both PTCB and Arizona State Board of Pharmacy approved to provide students with the knowledge they need to take the PTCB examination required for certification as a pharmacy tech in Arizona.
The 400-hour course is designed to be completed in a maximum of 12 months, but for students hoping to get through it faster that is an option if they are willing to undertake additional hours of study. There is no educational requirement to meet to take the course, but both the PTCB and the State Board of Pharmacy require that students hold a high school diploma or GED.
The course covers all the information needed to pass the PTCB exam, as well as additional instruction in important areas of legal protocol for pharmacy technicians and HIPAA, controlled substance management and advanced pharmacy terminology. Financial Aid isn't available to cover the costs of this offering, but some state residents may be able to obtain a workforce grant to do so.
2. Arizona’s Virtual Pharmacy Tech School
Arizona’s Virtual Pharmacy Tech School is another pharmacy technician school in Chandler, AZ that offers its coursework completely online, and is designed to be completed in as little as 21 weeks of study, although students are allowed to alter the pace to fit their personal schedule if needed.
The course offers a complete overview of the information needed to pass the PTCB exam. There is a mandatory practical element in the form of a short work experience assignment to be completed at a local pharmacy. The school partners with both Pillpack and Walgreens, or will help arrange an externship with another local pharmacy if needed.
Students who qualify can make use of Federal financial aid to cover their costs, and payment plans are also available to those who need/prefer to pay for the course in full. To enroll, students must provide the school with proof of high school graduation or GED completion, but those are the only educational requirements to meet.
3. East Valley Institute of Technology
1601 W. Main St., Mesa, AZ 85201
District, charter, and homeschooled high school students from the 11 East Valley school districts around Chandler are served by the Cognia-accredited career and technical school known as EVIT, or East Valley Institute of Technology, located in downtown Mesa.
A career training program at EVIT can be attended by high school students from Apache Junction, Cave Creek, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Higley, J.O. Combs, Mesa, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, and Tempe, or homeschooled students registered as living in these areas.
EVIT's Pharmacy Technician program is open to eligible students who have earned at least six high school credits. While students will not be able to take the PTCB or obtain licensure until they are 18 and hold a high school diploma, the course offers a great introduction to the profession that lasts two standard semesters and all costs, including bus transport to the Mesa campus, are covered for eligible students.
4. Phoenix College
1202 W. Thomas Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85013
(602) 285 7777
Phoenix College offers a short course, noncredit Pharmacy Technician Program at a reduced cost to Maricopa County residents who hold a high school diploma or GED. The 72 class hour program is campus based, and can be completed in 14-16 weeks of study, or approximately one semester.
The program covers all the basic information and knowledge needed to take and pass the PTCB certification exam, while also offering an additional focus on the proper management of controlled substances and working with advanced pharmaceutical offerings like Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) and IV medications.
The cost of the program is not eligible for coverage via traditional financial aid, but payment plans are available to spread out the cost of the course over the duration of the program. Those who can prove Maricopa County residency will be charged at the lowest rates and may be eligible for some workforce grants.
5. Arizona College
163 N Dobson Rd, Mesa, AZ 85201
Arizona College offers a comprehensive Pharmacy Technician Program via their highly respected School of Nursing, and it offers a PTCB approved overview of all the knowledge and information needed for a student to take their certification exam, as well as the chance for students to gain valuable practical experience in the school's state-of-the-art labs.
This program, which awards a Career Certificate upon completion, is offered in person at the school's Mesa campus, and includes a school arranged externship with a local pharmacy, as well as the chance to gain clinical experience in the nursing school pharmacy. To enroll, students must hold a high school diploma or GED and have maintained a 3.0 or better average in their final year of secondary schooling.
The cost of the program can be covered by traditional financial aid if a student qualifies, and is usually completed in three quarters of full time study. It should be noted that the program is also one of the few offered in the Chandler, AZ area that is ASHP accredited, an honor afforded only to the pharmacy technician schools considered the very best by the prestigious American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
6. Brookline College
445 W Dunlap Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85021
Brookline College offers a 36-week Pharmacy Technician program at both their Tempe and Phoenix campuses that provides students with an in depth overview of the knowledge needed to pass the PTCB certification examination as well as the chance to complete a school arranged externship with a local pharmacy employer, usually in a retail pharmacy setting.
A large portion of the written classroom material is designed to be accomplished online in this hybrid curriculum. Due to its flexibility, it is a great option for working people or busy parents who must juggle their education with other responsibilities. Lab work must be completed on campus, but evening classes are available.
Traditional financial aid is available to cover tuition costs for those who qualify, with the lowest rates being charged to students who can prove local county residency or certain financial hardships.
7. Carrington College
2149 W Dunlap Ave, Ste 103
Phoenix AZ 85021
A for-profit vocational school, Carrington College places an emphasis on giving students a practical, hands-on education in a range of subjects, including pharmacy technology. There are numerous campuses spread out across the US that offer pharmacy technician certificate programs, including in Mesa and Phoenix.
The program covers everything a student should need to pass their PTCB certification exam, including a school arranged externship with a local retail pharmacy and hands-on practical experience in the campus labs.
Most students complete the program in 9 months of full time study, and the only educational requirement needed to enroll is proof of high school graduation or the completion of the GED.
Traditional financial aid is available to those who qualify, and credits earned on completion of the Pharmacy Technician Program may be transferable to one of the Health Studies AS Degree programs offered by the school if a student wants to continue their formal education. Often a pharmacy technician with an advanced degree can obtain more challenging positions and make more money, so it's something well worth considering.
8. GateWay Community College
245 East Buckeye Road,
Phoenix, AZ 85034
The Certificate of Competency (CCT) in Pharmacy Technician program is an advanced program open to students who can meet stricter academic requirements - including holding a high school diploma, having maintained a 3.0 or better GPA in their senior year and completing a number of prerequisite college level courses in Math and English.
Credits earned in the completion of the Certificate program can later be applied to an Associate's Degree program in a related field offered at GateWay or another community college within the same system.
The program, which includes a mandatory 200 hour in person internship with a local employer, runs for 618 clock hours and is usually completed within a single school year of full time study. Most students use traditional financial aid to pay for their studies, with local Maricopa County residents enjoying the lowest fees.
9. PIMA Medical Institute
13610 N. Black Canyon Highway
Phoenix , AZ 85029
Another nationally based private vocational school, The Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program at PIMA Medical Institute offers a speedy way to complete a full review of the information and abilities needed to work as a pharmacy technician and pass the PTCB exam.
Students who take campus based daytime sessions finish the program in about 35 weeks (about 8 months), whereas those who take night classes at the school finish it in about 40 weeks (about 9 months). For Chandler, AZ residents, there is a choice between attending the Phoenix or Mesa campuses to complete the course.
In addition to proving they hold a high school diploma or GED to enroll, students must pass a basic math and English language skills test. Those who are accepted can use traditional financial aid to pay for their schooling if they qualify, and some school based scholarships are available to outstanding students.
What Can I Earn as a Pharmacy Technician in Chandler, AZ?
The one big question that anyone has when considering a new career path, especially one they will need to attend school for, is how much of a return they will get on that investment of time, effort and money. Or, to put it more simply, what can I earn as a pharmacy technician?
Just how much you can earn as an entry level pharmacy technician will vary from employer to employer, but recent statistics can offer some insight.
According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an entry level - also known as Level 1 - pharmacy technician in Arizona in 2022 was $18.17 per hour, a figure that is slightly lower than the national average of $18.95 per hour. The figure has risen by several percentage points over the last two years - it was $17.69 in 2019 - and the outlook for future wage growth is good.
These are estimates based on the salaries paid to certified and licensed pharmacy technicians with less than two years experience. When a pharmacy technician has gained experience, they can expect to earn up to an average of $22.76 per hour in a retail pharmacy setting, or more than $24.00 per hour in a clinical setting such as a hospital.