Pharmacy Technician Programs in Baltimore, MD
Baltimore, MD is a city that has seen great change over the past several decades. The addition of an NFL team, the refurbishment of the city's beloved Camden Yards baseball stadium, the development of the Inner Harbor and the ever elevating status of Johns Hopkins University as a world advising intuition have all served the make the city better known - and more populous, than ever before.
In a city that is home to more than 593,490 people - that is also a part of the larger Washington-Baltimore combined statistical area (CSA), which is home to 9,797,063 people - it's no surprise that the demand for pharmacy services is high, both in retail and clinical settings like hospitals and long term care homes.
Also Related: Retail vs Hospital Pharmacy Technician: Pay, Duties and Making the Switch
This also means there is a growing need for pharmacy technicians (PT's) to help staff these facilities. These are the people at the heart of any pharmacy, as they help and serve both patients and customers and the pharmacists themselves.
To become a pharmacy technician in Maryland you must register and be licensed by the Maryland State Board of Pharmacy. To do that you need to be able to demonstrate you either already hold a pharmacy technician certification from the PTCB or the ICPT or that you have completed at least 160 hours of a state approved training program and are working towards taking the PTCE or ExCPT certification exam.
This means that while in some other states in the Union pharmacy technician schooling is optional, in Maryland it is not.
There are a number of schools and colleges in and around Baltimore that offer pharmacy technician training programs that meet the state's expectations. Each of them offers something lightly different and one maybe more suited to some students than others. Making the right choice for you is a must, so these schools, and what they offer, are what we are going to take a closer look at here.
Featured Pharmacy Tech Schools in Baltimore
Key Statistics for PT's in Baltimore vs MD
Of the 7,640 people registered with the State of Maryland as pharmacy technicians in 2019, 4220 of them identified themselves as living and working in the Baltimore area.
The average wage paid to these people in 2019 was $16.71.
The average starting salary was $12.61 but that figure rose as high as $22.87 for those in the 90th percentile of the earning bracket.
Approved Pharmacy Technician Programs in Baltimore
As mentioned earlier, the State of Maryland treats the pharmacy technician profession with more regulation than some other states. A part of those regulations is that any school a candidate for licensing has attended, or is attending, must meet both their standards, as laid down by the Maryland Board Of Pharmacy and the standards of the PTCB.
The PTCB - the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board - sets and administers the most commonly taken certification exam, the PTCE.
Maryland also recognizes the newer certification exam, the ExCPT, as set by the International Health Careers Association - as valid but still requires that schools meet PTCB standards.
Also Related: Insight into the PTCE Exam from the PTCB
This is just one of the things that you should be looking for when choosing the schooling right for you. Cost, financial aid options, course duration and class schedules are all important as well.
It should be noted that like most states Maryland requires that to be licensed as a pharmacy technician a candidate passes a drug test and that background check is free of felonies and certain misdemeanors. Some schools assist students with this testing, others do not. Regardless of the school's position though it's important that you, as a candidate, understand these possible bars to employment.
With all these considerations in mind let's now take a closer look at the pharmacy technician schools in Baltimore out there for you to choose from.
? 2200 Broening Highway, Baltimore, MD 21224 | ☎ (410) 631-2742
All State Career College is a network of for-profit vocational schools that includes a Baltimore campus located in Randallstown, close to public transportation and major highways.
The Pharmacy Technology Program plan is designed to give students the knowledge and experience needed to pass the PTCE and work in an entry level position in a retail of clinical pharmacy setting.
The cost of the program varies according to a student's income, dependent status and residence, and can be confirmed with an admission's counselor. Federal and state financial aid is available to students who qualify as well as a limited number of employment grants.
To be admitted to the program students must be18 or older, hold a high school diploma or GED and sign an acknowledgment that any drug use or criminal convictions may result in them being barred from taking the PTCE and obtaining licensing from the state. The school does not administer drug or background checks.
The career diploma offered by All State Career College can be completed in around 9 months. Classes are based around both written study and practical classes conducted in the school's labs. Students also have opportunities to spend time working and learning from pharmacy professionals in the community to gain additional insight and experience.
The program is approved by the PTCB as a suitable training program and therefore accepted by the Maryland Board of Pharmacy as such as well.
? Liberty Center, 3637 Offutt Road, Randallstown, MD 21133 | ☎ (443) 840-2770
Also located in Randallstown you will find the Community College of Baltimore County. This is a traditional community college offering a range of certificate and associate degree programs to Baltimore County residents (and others) at an affordable cost.
The program offered to prospective students interested in becoming a Pharmacy Technician at Community College of Baltimore County is a 12-15 weekend, non-credit program that prepares students to sit the PTCE. Classes are taught on campus and include both written theory sessions and practical lab classes taught under the supervision of working pharmacy professionals in addition to college teaching staff.
The cost of the program, including lab supplies, the fee to take the PTCE, books and drug and criminal background testing as required by the state is $2059.
Traditional federal and state financial aid and student loans are not available to cover the cost of this course, but some students may be eligible for Workforce grants and other help from the local government. A financial aid counselor is available to help determine if you are eligible for any of these grants. The school also offers a flexible payment plan.
Enrollment in the program is open to anyone over the age of 17 who holds a high school diploma or GED or will hold one by the time they are ready to sit the PTCE exam. Students must also complete the school arranged background and drug tests prior to enrollment.
The program is approved by both the PTCB and the Maryland Board of Pharmacy.
? 700 York Rd, Towson, MD 21204 | ☎ (1 855) 436-7847
FORTIS is a post-secondary network of colleges and institutes that stretches across North America. At their Towson campus, just outside Baltimore, a number of healthcare career diploma programs are on offer, including a career diploma in Pharmacy Technology.
The school is geared to serve working adults looking to make a career change. This means that flexible day and evening classes are on offer and, if needed, students can take a short leave of absence from the course without penalty. In addition, some written portions of the course can be completed online.
To pay for the program Federal and State financial aid is available to those who qualify. The overall cost varies according to a student's personal situation including their age, where they live, income and dependent status. Those who do not qualify for traditional financial aid may be able to obtain a private student loan from a lender such as Sallie Mae instead.
Entrance requirements are minimal. Students must be over the age of 18 and hold a high school diploma or GED. FORTIS does not administer drug or criminal background tests directly, but students are asked to acknowledge that they understand that criminal convictions or drug use are a bar to pharmacy technician licensing in Maryland. This does mean students will need to arrange for these themselves prior to taking the PTCE or ExCPT.
Most students complete the program in under ten months, including the completion of a short externship with a local employer. By the time they graduate students will have been given all the knowledge needed to pass the PTCE and begin working as an entry level pharmacy technician in a retail or clinical setting.
The FORTIS program is an PTCE approved program and meets the guidelines for pharmacy technician training as laid out by the Maryland Board of Pharmacy.
? 1400 Reisterstown RD Suite B Pikesville, MD 21208 | ☎ (443) 352-8030
Ghandi Health Care is a private, for profit trade school located just outside the City of Baltimore in Pikesville. It specializes in offering vocationally based healthcare education in a number of fields, including pharmacy technology.
For those wishing to become licensed pharmacy technicians in Baltimore, Ghandi Healthcare offers a fixed price diploma course. The cost of the course for 2020 was $1,500 for tuition and an additional $200 for lab fees and required textbooks. Financial aid is not available, but the school does offer a payment plan and students may be able to obtain a private loan from a lender like Sallie Mae.
In total the Pharmacy Technician Certficate program spans over 10 weeks, for a total of 268 hours. 160 of those hours are completed as an external internship with a local employer as arranged by the school. 72 hours are devoted to theoretical classroom learning and the remaining 36 to on campus lab sessions and to PTCE preparation. Classes are held during the day and run for between six and eight hours each.
Students attend school on a daily, full time basis with the vast majority of instruction provided on campus, with the exception of the PTCE prep, which can be completed online.
To be admitted to the course students must be over the age of 18 and hold a high school diploma or GED. They must also take a 5-hour CPR course which is included as a part of the course and in the total fee. To graduate students must maintain an 80% pass rate on all theory tests and a 100% attendance record for all classes.
The program is approved by the PTCB and the Maryland Board of Pharmacy, as well as by the IHCA, the body that administers the ExCPT. The school has also been awarded several Awards for Excellence by the PTCB for its Pharmacy Technician Program.
? 3610 Milford Mill Road, 3rd Floor Baltimore, MD 21244 | ☎ (410) 922-4910
Stein Academy is another private career academy that offers a number of vocational training courses. Its central Baltimore location makes it very convenient for city residents and its flexible class scheduling is great for working adults better served by evening and weekend classes.
The Pharmacy Technician Program offered at Stein Academy is open to those over the age of 18 who hold a high school diploma or GED, or to 17-year-old high school seniors who will have graduated by the time they take the PTCB.
In addition, students must prove legal status in the US, pass a basic physical and TB test, be up to date of recommended vaccinations and pass criminal background and drug tests.
The program is an extensive one, and runs for 260 hours of class, 160 of which is spent completing an externship with a local employer. Most students complete the class in around 3 months.
Portions of the theory can be completed online at a student's own pace, which may affect the time it takes to graduate. All lab sessions are completed on campus, along with most theory classes, with classes being offered in the morning or late afternoon.
The program also runs on weekends spanning over 11 weeks +160 hours Externship or weekdays spanning over 4.5 weeks +160 hours Externship.
The cost of the course is $2,625 for tuition with an additional $300 for lab fees, supplies and drug and criminal background testing and a 5 hour CPR class. Financial aid is not available, but the school does offer a flexible payment plan that spreads the cost out. In addition students may be able to obtain a private student loan from a lender such as Sallie Mae.
The program is approved by the PTCB and the IHCA, as well as by the Maryland Board of Pharmacy.
? 6625 The Corners Parkway, Suite 500 Norcross, Georgia 30092 | ☎ (1-800) 957-5412
For many adults looking to make a career change into the field of pharmacy technology attending a physical school on a full-time basis is very difficult, and so they abandon the idea.
The online only Ashworth College may offer these students a solution. Their Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is offered completely online, with student completing all theory classes from the comfort of their own home via the Internet.
However, as this is a hands-on career, students are still required to complete a 160-hour externship with a local employer in person. Ashworth maintains an agreement with CVS Pharmacy to place its students and as CVS is the largest retail pharmacy chain in the country most Baltimore based students do find that there is an opportunity to complete that externship fairly close to home.
To be admitted to the program students must be over the age of 18 and hold a high school diploma. To graduate they must maintain a GPA of at least 2.0. In addition, as the school is online based students are responsible for arranging the state mandated drug testing and background checks by themselves. These do not need to be arranged, however, until they are ready to take the PTCE or ExCPT certification exam.
The total cost of the program is $769 if paid in full or $999 if paid in installments. Financial aid or private student loans do not cover this cost, but you can choose to make $49 per month loan payments via private finance through Affirm. This cost does not include testing fees, an estimated additional $150-$200.
The course technically covers all the knowledge needed to pass the PTCE or ExCPT but how successful a student is depends on how well they can motivate themselves to study alone, without a group or instructor to physically guide them. There are, however, online advisers available to students on an as needed basis.
The Ashworth College program is only acceptable to the PTCB and the Maryland Board of Pharmacy if the 160-hour internship is completed in full, so doing so is a must, both for graduation from the program itself and licensing in the State of Maryland.