Pharmacy Technician Programs in Aurora, IL
The demand for pharmacy technicians is increasing across the country, driven by both an aging population and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen pharmacies at the forefront of testing and vaccination efforts.
This is as true in Illinois as anywhere else, and for some, accredited pharmacy technician programs in schools across Aurora, IL are offering a clear career path to becoming a certified pharmacy technician.
Featured Pharmacy Technician Programs in Illinois
Job Outlook and Salaries for Pharmacy Technicians in Aurora
According to the latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020 there were 21,090 licensed pharmacy technicians employed in the state. Of those, 15,950 identified as being from the Chicago Metropolitan area, of which Aurora, the second largest city in the state, is a part.
As a city with a population of 197,757, many of those people are from Aurora. On average, a pharmacy technician working in the city in 2020 made an hourly wage of $16.46. Starting salaries for pharmacy technicians averaged $11.59, rising to $23.22 in the highest earning 90th percentile.
The outlook for employment for certified pharmacy technicians in Aurora is good. As more pharmacies expand and offer additional services - especially large retail pharmacy chains like CVS - the demand increases for their services.
Pharmacy Technician Schools in Aurora, IL
In the state of Illinois, the Board of Pharmacy requires that in order to obtain a mandatory license, pharmacy technicians must become certified via an accepted exam.
The Board accepts certifications via both the PTCE, as offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, and the ExCPT as offered by the National Healthcare Careers Association, with the former being the far more popular choice.
In order to sit the PTCE, students must complete a PTCB approved training course. There are four such programs currently offered in the Aurora, Illinois area.
While all approved by the PTCB, each of them is slightly different, and so here we will take a closer look at them all, to help you determine which one might be the right choice for you.
Waunbonsee Community College
Rt. 47 at Waubonsee Dr. Sugar Grove, IL 60554-9454 (630) 466-2356
Waunbonsee Community College is a traditional community college located in Sugar Grove.
For those interested in becoming a pharmacy technician they offer a comprehensive, adult orientated online Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program that prepares students to take and pass the PTCB certification exam and obtain employment as an entry level pharmacy technician.
This is a cash-only course, which means that traditional Federal financial aid is not available to cover the costs associated with it. The cost is $2,495.00 but includes the cost of the PTCE examination and all required books and supplies.
As the course is completed online the time to graduation varies. As some classes are offered as live sessions some daytime attendance is mandatory, but the majority of students graduate and sit their PTCE exam within twelve months of enrollment.
There are minimal educational requirements to take the course, but students must hold a high school diploma or GED and be over the age of 18.
They should also be aware that the PTCB and Illinois Board of Pharmacy will require them to pass a criminal background check and drug test, although those are not mandatory to enroll in the online Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program offered by Waubonsee Community College.
Northwest Suburban College
5999 S. New Wilke Rd. Bldg. #500, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008-4504 847-290-6425
Northwest Suburban College is a private vocational school focused on providing education for working adults. For those interested in becoming pharmacy technicians, they offer an eight-month Pharmacy Technician Program at their Rolling Meadows campus.
The program is a full time offering and is completed almost entirely on campus. It covers the basics needed to pass either the PTCE or ExCPT certification exams and prepares students to apply for, and obtain, employment as an entry level pharmacy technician. In addition to classroom-based training, students also complete a 40-hour externship with a local employer as arranged by the school.
This is a cash only course, which means that traditional Federal financial aid is not available to students to help cover its cost. There are, however, educational grants available from the school to lower income students along with interest free payment plans. At the time of writing this article, the total cost of tuition for the program is $5,450 and includes all books and supplies as well as a voucher to cover the cost of sitting the PTCE exam.
In order to be admitted students must be over 18 and hold a high school diploma. The school does not require criminal background or drug testing, but these are requirements to take either the PTCE or the ExCPT and to obtain licensing via the Illinois Board of Pharmacy.
Oakton Community College
1600 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016 847-635-1600
Oakton is a traditional community college located in Des Plaines, IL. For those interested in becoming a pharmacy technician the school offers a 'fast track' certificate program that can be completed in less than a single semester.
The Pharmacy Technician Certificate offered at Oakton is a seven credit, single semester offering. Classes are in-person classes that must be attended on a twice weekly basis during the day. The material covered prepares students to take the PTCE exam and to work as an entry pharmacy technician in a retail pharmacy setting.
To be admitted to the program students must be over the age of 18 and hold a high school diploma or GED. They must also show proof of a clean criminal background check and drug test, as well as of required vaccinations. In addition, they must meet minimum educational standards as determined by a placement test.
South Suburban College
15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois 60473-1200 (708) 596-2000
South Suburban College is a private technical college with several campuses located across Illinois. At their South Holland campus, they offer a Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program designed to help students prepare for and pass the PTCB and gain the knowledge and experience needed to work as an entry level pharmacy technician in a retail setting.
The course is offered as a hybrid online and in person lab-based program. Students can also choose to complete a school arrange internship and undertake additional training in aseptic IV preparation.
Tuition is charged on a per-credit basis, and that cost varies according to student's residential and personal circumstances. The school recommends meeting with an admissions' counselor to determine your personal costs.
To be admitted students must be over the age of 18 and hold a high school diploma or GED. They must also pass criminal background and drug tests and meet minimum vaccination requirements.
Federal financial aid is available to those who qualify, as are a limited number of state-based workforce grants for adult students. In addition, students could consider a private student loan via a lender like Sallie Mae.
The 16-week program is the only Pharmacy Technician Program in Aurora, IL that is accredited by the ASHP, the American Society of Health System Pharmacists. This is an honor awarded to a limited number of programs and a high indicator of program quality.
Other pharmacy technician school guides and locations in Illinois:
Salary and job outlook figures courtesy of US Department of Labor.