Pharmacy Technician Schools in Charleston, SC

A pharmacy technician is an important member of any pharmacy team, whether it's in a retail setting, a hospital, or a long-term care facility.

The job of a pharmacy technician, particularly one who has graduated from one of these pharmacy technician schools in Charleston, South Carolina is a complicated, skilled, and sometimes hectic one, but also a very personal and professionally rewarding one.

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Pharmacy Technician Salaries and Job Growth Outlook in Charleston, SC

Most people want a good overview of what the job has to offer in terms of salary and future growth prospects before embarking on a new career as a pharmacy technician and investing the time, effort, and money required to attend and graduate from a pharmacy technician training program. And this is very understandable, and smart.

In terms of salary, in Charleston, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary paid to a pharmacy technician was $34,650 per annum, or around $16.66 per hour. This is very slightly higher than the national average of $16.32 per hour/$33,950 per annum and higher than the state average of $31,700 annually/$15.24, something you might expect, as Charleston is a major metropolitan area.

Not all pharmacy technicians in Charleston will earn this average wage though. Those just starting out, considered the lowest 10% of earners may start with an average salary of $25,880 per annum/$12.44 per hour. The most experienced techs may earn $46,870 per annum/$22.54 per hour or more.

Location

Median Salary

Salary Range

Charleston-North Charleston, SC

$34,650

$25,880 - $46,870

South Carolina

$31,700

$22,800 - $44,000

United States

$33,950

$24,120 - $49,130

In terms of job growth, it had been predicted that between 2016 and 2026 the BLS expected around a 12% growth. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic has since increased the role pharmacies are playing in both pandemic management and basic healthcare in general that growth projection is likely higher, especially for certified pharmacy technicians who can participate in vaccination clinics. 

Pharmacy Technician Schools in Charleston, SC

Unlike some states, South Carolina requires that pharmacy technicians be formally PTCB certified before they can register with the Board of Health and work as a pharmacy tech. PTCB certification, as of 2020, requires that candidates complete an approved training program prior to taking the PTCE exam.

This means that attending a board-approved pharmacy technician school is a must for anyone interested in becoming a member of this exciting profession. 

There are several PTCB pharmacy technician approved training programs offered at schools in the Charleston area, and each of them offers students something different, and better suited to some than others. To help you make the right decision that is what we are going to take a closer look at here. 

Southeastern Institute

? 2431 Aviation Ave North Charleston, SC 29406 ? (888) 282-0833

A private vocational school, Southeastern Institute, a division of Southeastern College, offers a range of vocational programs to students of all ages. Their Certificate in Pharmacy Technology program is a campus-based offering designed to offer students a comprehensive overview of the responsibilities of, and skills needed to both pass the PTCB certification exam and to work in an entry level position. The course runs for two and a half semesters, and when taken on a full-time basis can be completed in 12-14 months. It offers both written and lab-based classes and a school arranged externship with a local employer must be completed prior to graduation. As the course draws to a close students are also offered addition PTCE test prep. The estimated cost of the course is $25,345, which included the cost of books and fees. Traditional student financial aid is available to those who qualify, and it is how 92% of students finance their education. To be admitted to the program students must meet the requirements for pharmacy technicians laid out by the state - be over 18, hold a high school diploma or GED and present a criminal record free of drug related misdemeanors and any felonies and pass a drug test. Additionally, the school sets a basic skills test to check for basic English and Math proficiency and requires proof of legal US status.

Trident College

? P.O. Box 118067 Charleston, SC 29423-8067 ? 843-574-6111

As a private technical college, Trident Technical College's Pharmacy Technician Certificate program has earned the distinction of accreditation from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), which is an honor reserved for a limited number of such programs. As such it offers an excellent overview of the profession and provides students with a great introduction to pharmacy technology. Entrance to the program is competitive and based on both a student's ability to meet state professional requirements and their past academic performance. Those who are admitted to the program complete 22 credit hours of campus-based instruction - about 12-14 months - on a full-time basis. They are also required to complete a minimum of 100 hours work placement with a local pharmacy employer. The cost of the program is charged on a per-credit basis and will vary according to a student's residence - the lowest rates are charged to Richmond County residents - personal circumstances and income. The average, for a single student with no dependents living at home is $8,200, but those interested should speak to an admission counselor to determine their personal costs. Most students make use of federal student loans to finance their education, and some may be eligible for a South Carolina Lottery Grant as well.

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Patch Career Institute 

? 1818 Norwood St, North Charleston, SC 29405 ? (843) 744-1249

Patch Career Institute is a private vocational school that offers a shorter, basic overview of the pharmacy technician profession, and extensive PTCE prep. The course is offered at their Charleston campus and classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, along with all day on Saturday, and takes three months to complete. Unlike most pharmacy technician education programs, the PATCH Pharmacy Technician program does not set academic standards and can be completed by those without a high school diploma. It should be noted however that students must have a high school diploma or GED to both take the PTCE exam and to register with the South Carolina Board of Health as a Pharmacy Technician. The program is not covered by federal or state aid and is a cash only offering. The cost of the program is $940.00, and the school does offer an interest free payment program to spread out the financial obligation.

Palmetto School of Career Development

? 2183 Ashley Phosphate Rd., Suite A Charleston, SC 29406 ? 843-793-1289

As a private technical training school Palmetto offer a number of vocational courses to students of all ages. For those interested in becoming a pharmacy technician they offer a short basic certificate course that provides both PTCE prep and a basic overview of the profession in general. No high school diploma or academic record is required for admittance, but a high school diploma or GED, as well as clean background and drug tests, are required to take the PTCE and register with the SC Board of Health to work as a pharmacy technician. The program runs for 12 weeks (about 3 months), with classes offered on campus on Friday evenings. As a cash only course students cannot use traditional financial aid to cover the cost - which is set at $1,000. Some students may qualify for job grants to reduce that cost, and a payment plan is available to help spread out the cost.

Resources:

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 wage data and 2019-2029 employment projections. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

2. South Carolina Board of Pharmacy: https://llr.sc.gov/bop/techs.aspx

Other locations in South Carolina

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