Pharmacy Technician Schools in Rockford, IL

A pharmacy technician does a lot more than count pills and wait on customers, they are a crucial member of any pharmacy team, whether that pharmacy is in a retail setting or a clinical one such as a hospital or long-term care facility. It is a skilled job that can be challenging and hectic but also extremely rewarding and well paid. For those interested in joining this growing profession in Illinois pharmacy technician schools in the Rockford metro area may offer the education they need to get started.

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Pharmacy Technician Salary in Rockford, IL

Before paying for school and taking the time to attend classes - and perhaps leave a current job - to become a pharmacy technician it's sensible to understand just what the prospects for your potential new career are. In terms of average salaries, they vary, of course, according to experience level and employer, but on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 1, the average salary paid to a pharmacy technician in Rockford, IL was $29,200 per annum, or $14.04 per hour. That figure was below the state average of $32,110/$15.44 and the national average of $33,950/$16.32. It is still however a good wage for the area in comparison with other professions.

Growth is expected to be excellent as well. Initially the BLS had predicted a job growth rate for Illinois pharmacy technicians of around 11% but given the increased roles pharmacies - and their staff - are playing in general basic healthcare and COVID-19 pandemic management that figure is likely to be higher.

Pharmacy Technician School Programs in Rockford, IL

To become a pharmacy technician in the State of Illinois, unlike many other US states, does not require that a pharmacy technician be certified, only that they can pass a short state administered test set by the Illinois Board of Pharmacy. They also require that candidates for registration as a pharmacy technician hold a high school diploma or GED, can pass a criminal background check and drug screen and are at least 16 years old.  Most employers however do give preference to certified pharmacy technicians. As the job becomes more complex more education is seen as desirable, especially as only certified pharmacy technicians can assist with things like vaccinations and well care, which are becoming common pharmacy offerings.

To take the PTCE, the pharmacy technician certification exam set by the PTCB - Pharmacy Technician Certification Board - students must meet all the same requirements as the state makes for registration, but additionally candidates must be at least 18 years old and have completed a PTCB approved training program. There are several pharmacy technician schools in Rockford, IL that can offer the required education. However, as each of them offers something different it is worth taking a closer look at them all. 

Rasmussen College

? 6000 East State Street 4th Floor Rockford, Illinois 61108 ? 815-316-4800

Rasmussen College is a private, community focused college offering a wide range of vocational certificate and associate degree programs to local residents. For those interested in becoming a certified pharmacy technician they offer a Pharmacy Technician Certificate that can be completed in nine months of full-time study. The program is offered in a hybrid format. Most written coursework is completed online, while hands-on lab classes are held on campus, and a mandatory externship is to be completed with a local employer prior to graduation. Obtaining the knowledge and experience required to pass the PTCE is the program's focus, but it offers a broad overview of the profession as well. 

To be admitted to the program students must meet all the state requirements for pharmacy technician registration as well as Rasmussen College's own basic educational standards. For those admitted the cost of the program for Illinois residents is set at $12,340, a figure that includes all books and school fees. Standard federal financial aid is available, and it is how most students finance their education. Those who do not qualify via FAFSA can also consider taking a private student loan from a lender such as Sallie Mae. 

Kishwaukee College

? 21193 Malta Road Malta, IL 60150 ? 815-825-2086

Kishwaukee College is a traditional community college offering a range of two-year degree and certificate programs to local residents at affordable rates. For those interested in becoming a pharmacy technician they offer a three-month hybrid Pharmacy Technician Training program designed to provide students with basic PTCE prep and an overview of the profession in general. The course is offered as a hybrid online and campus based one, with written coursework completed online and lab classes and lectures conducted on campus. As it is a cash only program students cannot make use of traditional financial aid options to pay for the course, but some students may be eligible for local workforce grants. Admission is open to anyone who meets the state's requirements for registration.  The cost of the program is $1,200, and a payment plan is available. 

RX Tech Prep

? 7210 E.State Street, Rockford, IL 61107 ? (888) 560-5953

RX Tech Prep is an online only course, offering an 11-week basic Pharmacy Technician course that provides an introduction to the profession and covers the basics of the content of the PTCE certification exam. It is not PTCB approved at this time but may be an excellent choice for those still unsure if a pharmacy technician career is right for them.
The program is open to anyone over the age of 18, and there are no educational requirements. However, it is worth remembering that to take the PTCE all candidates must meet PTCB requirements as outlined earlier. The cost of the program is set at $1500, including books and supplies, or at $1200 if paid in full upon enrollment. Traditional financial aid is not available, but a payment plan is for those who need to spread out the cost.

CVS Health

?2454 S. Alpine Rd. Rockford IL 61108 ? (815) 399-5421

CVS Pharmacy is by far the largest pharmacy chain in the United States. It is in their best interests to have certified, highly trained pharmacy technicians available in their retail pharmacies. In some states and operational areas, such as Rockford, IL, CVS offers its own training program that gives students both an education and the opportunity to work full-time at CVS if they pass the PTCE.

To be accepted, candidates must go through an extensive interview process and be deemed suitable for employment with CVS in general. They will receive on-the-job training, which includes online pharmacy technician education classes, if hired on a temporary basis. If they pass the PTCE, they will be assigned to a CVS pharmacy in their area as a full-time employee. The training is free for those who are accepted.

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References:

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020 Occupational Employment and Wages, Pharmacy Technicians https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292052.htm

Other Illinois metro areas schools offering pharmacy tech programs:

Pharmacy technician programs in Aurora, IL

Pharmacy technician programs in Naperville, IL

Search Pharmacy Technician Programs

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

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