Pharmacy Technician Schools in Chicago, IL

Chicago, Illinois is the third largest city in the United States after New York and Los Angeles and is home to thousands of pharmacy facilities, including retail, mail-order, hospital and healthcare facility pharmacies.

All of these require expert and skilled staffing, especially when it comes to pharmacy technicians. Unlike some states Illinois does not require that you pass a pharmacy technician certification exam to register with their Board of Medicine - which is a must - to work as a pharmacy technician. However, the majority of employers, especially in clinical pharmacy settings, prefer to hire those who are already certified via the PTCE or the ExCPT pharmacy technician certification exams.

Featured Pharmacy Technician Programs in Illinois

Search Pharmacy Technician Programs

Get information on Pharmacy Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

Sponsored Listings

Pharmacy Technician Statistics: Chicago vs. Illinois

Female pharmacy technician working in a retail setting

According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of registered pharmacy technicians working in the state in 2019 was 21,090. Of those people, 15,950 identified as Chicago residents.

The outlook for pharmacy technicians in Chicago both financially and in terms of job growth is good. While the average hourly starting salary for a pharmacy technician in Chicago was $11.59 the average earned by those with six months experience or more in 2019 was $16.46 and for those in the highest paid 90th percentile that figure rose to $23.22.

The highest salaries for pharmacy technicians in Chicago are usually paid by clinical facilities, and most of them do not hire people who are not formally certified. Therefore, to earn the best compensation, and obtain the most exciting challenges at work, those considering becoming a pharmacy tech should consider certification.

There are a number of schools serving the Chicago area that offer the training and education needed to for new pharmacy technicians to pass their certification exam and begin working in this exciting branch of the medical field.

We are going to take a look at them, and what they have to offer, here. 

Top Pharmacy Technician Schools in Chicago

As mentioned, there are a number of schools and institutions that offer pharmacy technician courses, and each of them offers something slightly different. To help you make the best choice for you, what follows is a brief overview of each of them.

? 1900 W. Jackson, Chicago, IL 60612 | ☎ (312) 850-7000 

Many of those who live in Chicago are familiar with the City Colleges of Chicago Education System. For those who are not it is a citywide system compromising of several colleges that offer certificate, Associates Degree Programs in a number of educational and vocational disciplines.

Only one of the colleges in the system, Malcolm X, offers the Advanced Pharmacy Technician Certificate but the prerequisites required to be completed before you take it can be completed at any CCC campus and those credits will transfer as valid to the program. These colleges include Harry S. Truman College, Olive Harvey College, Wilbur Wright College and Richard J. Daley College, all of which are conveniently located across Chicago.

As traditional colleges the student body across campus is primarily young - recent high school graduates. However, the Advanced Pharmacy Technician Program is also geared towards working adults who are seeking a career change.

The Advanced Pharmacy Technician Certificate is administered in two parts, the initial Basic Education Portion and then the pharmacy specific education. Tuition is charged on a per credit hour basis and will vary according to a student's age, personal situation, residency and other factors. A personal Cost Estimator is provided by CCC and can be completed here.

Full Federal and State Financial Aid packages are available to those who qualify and 90% of students enrolled in the Advanced Pharmacy Technician Program fund their education within the in this way. Some students may also qualify for a retraining grant that the CCC system has been granted.

The Advanced Pharmacy Technician Certificate program offered at Malcolm X College is a highly respected one and as such is quite competitive. In order to be admitted students must:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Hold a high school diploma or GED and have maintained a 2.0 or greater GPA
  • Complete and pass English and Math 101 at the CCC campus of their choice with a minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Be able to present evidence of health insurance coverage
  • Pass a basic physical
  • Pass criminal background and drug tests 

The time frame to complete the Advanced Pharmacy Technician Program at Malcolm X College is 37 credit hours. This does not include the time to complete the Basic Prerequisite courses in English and Math, which may add up to a semester to the total course length. Students can expect that, in total, it may take 12-18 months to complete the course

As an Advanced program this course covers some aspects of the profession that others do not. There is a heavier focus on science as well as pharmaceutical law. 

In addition to their classroom learning students complete two rotations with a 'real world' employer, one at a retail pharmacy and one in a clinical pharmacy setting. These are arranged by the school on the student's behalf. 

The program is accredited by the (ASHP) American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, is an approved PTCB training course and has been awarded several national awards for excellence in healthcare education. 

? 1 N. State Street Chicago, IL 60602 | ☎ (800) 720-3990

Coyne College is one of the oldest vocational schools in the USA. What began as a school to train electricians has developed into a fully-fledged vocational school that caters to both new high school graduates and working adults. The Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program they offer is a comprehensive and popular one and is designed to have students ready to take their certification exam and start working as a pharmacy technician as quickly as possible while also providing them with extensive knowledge beyond the basics needed to pass the PTCE or the ExCPT.

The Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program offered at Coyne College is a 51-quarter credit course. Tuition in 2019 was charged on a per credit basis, making this a 12 full credit course. Actual costs vary based on a student's age, personal financial situation, income and other factors. The school provides a calculator here so you can estimate your costs.

To cover the cost of school both Federal and State financial aid is available to those who qualify and for those who do not a private student loan via a lender such as Sallie Mae is another option.

In order to be admitted to the Coyne College Pharmacy Technician program students must meet the following criteria:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Hold a high school diploma or GED
  • Pass criminal background and drug tests
  • Hold or earn a BLS (basic life support) certification.
  • Meet minimum health and vaccination standards. 

The program runs for 42 weeks in the classroom on a 20-hour per week basis. Classes are held in the daytime from Monday to Friday and students do have some flexibility with their scheduling to better accommodate their other commitments. 

In addition to their classroom training students must also complete a 6-week externship with a local employer prior to graduation. These placements are arranged by the school and are offered in a retail or clinical setting. 

The course covers all the information needed to pass the PTCE or ExCPT certification exam and also includes an additional focus on OTC and alternative medicines and how they are used alongside traditional prescription medications. 

The course is approved by the PTCB as a preferred training program for PTCE candidates. 

Search Pharmacy Technician Programs

Get information on Pharmacy Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

Sponsored Listings

? 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois 60473-1200 | ☎  (708) 596-2000

Southern Suburban College is located in the heart of the city and offers practical vocational education in a wide range of subjects including pharmacy technology. The school is designed to provide adult education, and so caters very well to working adults who are looking to make a career change while continuing to work.

The Pharmacy Technician Diploma Program offered at Southern Surburban College is a 59-credit course that takes about 9 months to complete. Tuition is charged on a per credit basis and will vary according to a student’s age, residence, income and dependent status. The school provides more information on costs via their Admissions Department. 

Federal and State financial aid is available to those who qualify, or, for those who do not private funding at a reduced rate for Illinois residents is available via Nelnet. As it is direct financing rather than a loan this is not subject to a credit check. These funds are issued inclusive of books, supplies and the fee to take the PTCE certification exam after graduation. 

"This program prepared me for the pharmaceutical industry. After completing the program, I was able to successfully obtain my pharmacy technician certification and, consequently, obtain a competitive pharmacy technician position." - Kelis King

To be admitted into the program students must:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Hold a high school diploma or GED
  • Be able to pass criminal background and drug tests
  • Be able to show proof of current health insurance
  • Pass a basic physical. 

The Southern Suburban College Pharmacy Technician Diploma Program is designed to be completed in 10-11 months. Classes are offered during the week in the mornings and afternoons and students are allowed some flexibility in scheduling them to better suit their outside commitments.

The course itself covers the basics needed to pass the certification test of a student’s choice (PTCE or ExCPT) as well as additional training in Pharmacy Law and HIPAA regulations as they apply to the role of pharmacy technician.

The program is accredited by the ASHP (American Society of Health System Pharmacists) and is an approved and preferred training course in the eyes of the PTCB. 

? 5999 S. New Wilke Rd. Bldg. #500 Rolling Meadows, IL 60008-4504 | ☎  847-290-6425

Northwest Suburban College is a private health careers focused vocational school that offers training and education for a number of different medical support roles including pharmacy technician. The school caters to both recent high school graduates and to working adults.

This pharmacy technician certificate program is PTCB-recognized and is held in Rolling Meadows, IL. Admissions into the training program is opened every month.

The cost of the Pharmacy Technician course is charged on a sliding scale basis that takes into account a student’s personal and financial situation.

Many students can get help paying for their education as a pharmacy tech at the school via the Business Careers Services and Illinois Work Program offered by the Illinois Department of Employment.

Traditional student loans are not available but ‘bad credit’ financing offered by the school strives to ensure that students are given an affordable payment plan to cover balances not met by grants.

To be admitted to the program students must:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Hold a high school diploma or GED
  • Pass drug and criminal background checks
  • Pass a basic physical demonstrating they can lift at least 50lbs and stay on their feet for at least 45 minutes without a break

The course is designed to be completed in 8 months of full-time study

Classes are held in the afternoons and evenings – which may help some working adults fit schooling into their schedule –and are classroom based. Students are encouraged to take the PTCE or ExCPT exam just prior to graduation and they are given extra study resources to help them get the best possible pass mark.

During the course students will learn all they need to know to become a certified pharmacy technician and will, in addition to their classroom training, complete an externship with a local employer as arranged by the school.

The Northwest Suburban College Pharmacy Technician program is a PTCB approved training course.

? 1600 E. Golf Road Des Plaines, IL 60016 | ☎  847.635.1844

Oakton Community College is traditional community college offering a wide range of Associate Degree, Certificate and Vocational courses. Their Pharmacy Technician Certificate program is especially designed to help working adults make a career change or to interest high school seniors and recent graduate in moving into the healthcare field as a part of an ongoing statewide STEM initiative.

As a community college Oakton offers affordable secondary education to local residents, who are charged tuition at a considerably lower rate. This is a 7-credit hour course, but the cost varies according to a student’s age, income, dependent status and residency. The school’s Admission’s Department can provide individual students with more accurate cost estimates on request.

Traditional Federal and State financial aid may be available to fund students admitted to the program as are some state sponsored educational grants (money that does not need to be paid back.) 

To be admitted to the program students must meet all the following requirements:

  • Be over 17 years old
  • Hold a high school diploma or GED by the time they graduate from the program.
  • Be able to meet basic academic standards in Math, English and computer literacy as assessed by a school administered skills test.
  • Pass a basic physical and provide evidence of current health insurance.
  • Pass criminal background and drug tests. 

The Pharmacy Technician Certificate program offered at Oakton Community College is completed in 8 months. The classroom portion of the course takes the majority of the time but students will also be required to complete an externship with an outside employer as arranged by the school. 

The course covers everything needed to gain the knowledge to pass either the PTCE or ExCPT certification tests and also offers and an additional focus on the customer service and legal aspects of pharmacy technology.

This program is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and is a PTCB approved training course. 

***

Other school guides and locations in Illinois:

Search Pharmacy Technician Programs

Get information on Pharmacy Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

Sponsored Search