Pharmacy Technician Programs in Des Moines, IA: Finding The Best Schools Near You!
Pharmacy technicians have long been an important part of any pharmacy team, either in a clinical or retail setting. They are usually the friendly, smiling face that greets customers and patients, the person responsible for insurance billing and for helping ensure that the right medications are dispensed with the correct instructions.
Increasingly they are also involved in practical; patient care, as retail pharmacies take a bigger role in healthcare via minute clinics and vaccination centers.
In Iowa, for many years a pharmacy technician only needed to register with the state board of pharmacy to work. In 2021 that all changed, and now certification – either via the PTCB or the NHA – is also a must.
Which is where pharmacy technician schools come in. Let’s take a look at some of the best pharmacy technician programs in Des Moines, salary expectations , job outlook and state and certification requirements for an entry-level pharmacy technician.
Pharmacy Technician Salaries and Job Growth Outlook in Des Moines
People are increasingly drawn to pharmacy technology not only because it allows them to enter the medical field with little additional education, but also because it is a well-paying profession with good future job growth prospects.
This is as true in Des Moines as it is in the rest of Iowa.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data, the average salary for a pharmacy technician in the United States in 2022 was $37,790 per year, or $18.17 per hour.
During the same period, Iowa’s average annual wage was $37,070, or about $17.82 per hour.
The average salary in the Des Moines area was slightly higher: $18.62 per hour, or around $38,720 per year.
Salary for Des Moines pharmacy technicians varies depending on the position, employer, and experience level.
According to the same employment statistics, the bottom 10% of earners made less than $31,100 per year (around $14.95 hourly), while the top 10% of earners made around $24.44 per hour, or $50,840 annually.
In terms of job creation, the outlook for pharmacy technicians in Iowa is also promising. Before the pandemic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that employment in pharmacy technology would grow by around 13% in Iowa between 2016 and 2026, a figure that has almost certainly increased due to the expanded services that most pharmacies now provide both in relation to COVID-19 and basic healthcare in general.
Pharmacy Technician Programs in Des Moines, IA
With pharmacy technician certification now required for registration with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy, completing a PTCB approved program of study is now almost a must.
Currently, the options are limited in the Des Moines area, with just two such schools offering such programs, but that may increase in the future in response to the new state requirements.
Here is a closer look at what these pharmacy technician education programs have to offer.
1100 7th St, Des Moines, IA 50314
Des Moines Area Community College offers students the chance to complete a 2 year AAS degree with a concentration in pre pharmacy studies that covers the material and experience needed to both pass the PTCE certification test and to work as a pharmacy technician.
This is an academically challenging program that is open to just 25 students per year, as the credits earned can be transferred to a four-year school in order for those students who wish to begin pursuing a BA in Pharmacology. Instruction is campus based and includes a mandatory clinical rotation with a local pharmacy.
To be admitted, students must meet state registration requirements – be over 18, hold a high school diploma or GED, test drug free and present a background check free of drug related misdemeanors and any felony – and meet the academic standards set by the school.
The program is PTCB approved, and the School of Pharmacy in general is highly respected in the area, thanks in part to its close links to Duke University. Fees are charged on a sliding scale according to a student’s place of residence and personal circumstances, and traditional financial aid is available to those who qualify.
3702 S Center St, Marshalltown, IA 50158
The Iowa Valley Community College District offers a fast track Pharmacy Technician Certificate course to adults living within the district’s catchment area. The 3-month offering meets on campus several evenings a week and offers a broad overview of the pharmacy technician role as a whole as well as prep to take to PTCE certification test. Students may also opt to complete a school arranged 80-hour externship with a local employer, but this is not mandatory for graduation.
As a non-credit course traditional financial aid is not available to meet its cost, which in 2021 is set at $1,299. This fee is inclusive and does cover books, fees and lab supplies as well as the $129 cost to take the PTCB certification exam after graduation from the program. Some adult students may qualify for a state workforce grant to cover the program’s entire cost, information about which they can obtain from their HSS worker. All students must meet state registration requirements to enrol, as well as pass a basic skills test set by the program’s instructors.