Best Pharmacy Technician Schools in Richmond, VA
Richmond, VA is one of America's oldest and most historic Southern cities. It was there that Patrick Henry famously declared “Give me liberty or give me death”. But it is also, in the 21st century a vibrant hub that is home is over a million people across the Richmond Metropolitan Area.
As the population has grown, and continues to grow, so does the number of pharmacies needed to serve that population, both retail pharmacies and clinical facilities located in hospitals and long term care facilities. This means that the demand for staff, including pharmacy technicians, has grown as well.
Virginia is a state that requires formal licensing and certification in order for people to work as pharmacy technicians, both in the retail and clinical sectors . To become certified pharmacy technicians individuals need to have passed a formal certification exam set by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) known as the PTCE.
This means for the best possible employment opportunities to be open to them anyone interested in becoming a pharmacy technician in Richmond, Virginia, should take a serious look at pharmacy technician schools in the area and what they have to offer.
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Rx Technician Statistics in Richmond vs. Virginia
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were 10,320 people working as pharmacy technicians in Virginia in 2019, and of those, 2,000 were employed in the Richmond Metropolitan Area.
In terms of salary, the average hourly wage for a Richmond, VA pharmacy technician in 2019 was $16.45. Starting salaries in the 10% percentile were lower, at $11.73, but in the 90th percentile that figure rose to $22.79, a figure comparable to some much larger urban areas in more populous states.
Pharmacy Technician Schools in Richmond, VA
There are several schools in the Richmond, VA area that offer training and education that prepares students to take the PTCE, apply for state licensure and work as a pharmacy technician in Richmond, VA.
Each of these schools has something slightly different to offer, and one may be better suited to a student's individual needs than another. With this in mind here is a look at them all.
751 W Hundred Rd, Chester, VA 23836 | Tel: 804-751-9191
Chester Career College is a private vocational college that offers certificate programs in a number of healthcare disciplines including Pharmacy Technology. The school welcomes students of all ages and accommodates both new high school graduates and working adults.
According to the school's website this is a 29-hour course charged on a clock hour and per credit basis. Credits are charged at the rate of $456.56 per hour, for a total of $4,540. In addition a 7-hour externship is charged at a rate of $339.37 for a total of $2,378.39. This means that in total the cost to complete the course - minus the cost of supplies and testing - is $6,918.
Financial aid is available to those who qualify or students may choose to take out a private loan via Sallie Mae. In addition, payment can be made via payment plans for those who do not wish to take on loans.
In order to be admitted to the program, students must meet all the following requirements:
- Be over the age of 18
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Be able to pass drug and criminal background tests
- Meet minimum vaccination standards
The Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is an almost 40-hour program that is completed on campus and is designed to take six months to complete. The course covers all the material needed to pass the PTCE exam and the school arranged externship - usually within a clinical setting - offers a real world taste of the job students will be doing upon graduation.
2002 Staples Mill Road Richmond, VA 23230 | Tel: 804.285.8055
Bremo Pharmacies are a chain of retail pharmacies operating throughout Virginia and will be familiar to many VA residents. What they may not know is that the company offers a 14 week training course designed to prepare interested candidates to take the PTCE and to become a certified pharmacy technician. Graduates may then be considered for positions with the company itself while also being qualified after certification to take the position of their choice.
In total the cost of the Bremo course is $700, which includes the cost of required books and supplies. This is a professional course and as such is not something that can be covered by financial aid and the full amount will be due on the first day of the course.
There are no formal requirements to take the course, but it should be noted that to be licensed as a pharmacy technician by the State of Virginia candidates must be over the age of 18, hold a high school diploma or GED and pass both criminal background and drug tests. These are all now requirements to take the PTCE exam.
The course is designed to be completed in 14 weeks. Classes are held both online and at company facilities, making it what is known as a hybrid offering. Physical classes are offered in the evening, making this a convenient option for working adults.
The course covers all the material needed to pass the PTCE and the hands on work experience at a Bremo Pharmacy helps students get a taste for their future career. After graduation students are also offered additional online prep to help them study for the PTCE itself, including access to past papers.
This program, while not a traditional college program, is approved by the PTCB as an acceptable training course.
313 E Broad St, Richmond, VA 23219 | (804) 517-4029
J.T Pharmacy Technician Training is unique, as it is a small vocational school set up specifically to train pharmacy technicians and offers no other educational courses. Their program, which includes a hands on externship with a local Walgreens Pharmacy, is however highly respected, having earned an A+ BBB rating and a Governor's Award for School Of Excellence, and the program is accredited by the ASHP.
The cost of the program depends upon how a student chooses to take it. A fully classroom based experience costs $950, while a hybrid online/classroom course is $1100. The course is not financial aid eligible and must be paid in cash. Interest free payment plans are, however, available.
The only criteria required to be admitted to a J.T Pharmacy Technician Training course is that a student be over the age of 18 and able to prove legal residency. However, as previously noted to take the PTCE and become licensed as a pharmacy technician in the State of Virginia, candidates are required to hold a GED or high school diploma and to pass drug and criminal background checks.
The in person classroom based program is designed to take 12 weeks to complete, with classes being offered during both the daytime and evening, with three mandatory three-hour weekend sessions and an externship with a local Walgreens Pharmacy required to be completed prior to graduation.
The online course takes longer to complete. It is a two 18-week semester course that can be completed whenever a student chooses, making it ideal for working adults. The Walgreens externship is still a requirement but it is, as far as possible, scheduled around the student's other commitments.
Both courses provide all the knowledge needed to take and pass the PTCE. In addition, an extra focus on IV therapy means that students are also given the knowledge and experience needed to obtain IV Therapy certification from the ASHP.
The Pharmacy Technician program offered by J.T. Pharmacy Technician Training is accredited by the ASHP and the National Pharmacy Board.