Pharmacy Technician Programs in Virginia Beach
2020 has demonstrated one very important thing to the world; frontline health workers like pharmacy technicians are more essential than ever. During the pandemic, pharmacies have stayed open and played a huge role in the health of the nation. And a certified pharmacy technician is a key member of the teams that staff these vital retail and clinical institutions.
In Virginia, in order to work as a pharmacy technician, you must register with Virginia’s Board of Pharmacy. A prerequisite to that registration - and subsequent licensure - is certification via the PTCB - Pharmacy Technician Certification Board - or the NHA, the National Health Career Association.
Although it was not always the case to sit either certification exam - with the PTCE, as administered by the PTCB being the older and better known of the two - in 2020 you will need to have completed an approved pharmacy technician educational course. This is also now a requirement for licensure by the Virginia’s Board of Pharmacy as well.
In Virginia Beach there are four such programs available to students. But before we take a look at those, let's look at just what becoming a pharmacy technician in Virginia Beach has to offer.
Employment & Salaries for Pharmacy Technicians in Virginia Beach
In a state that more than 8.5 million people call home, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 10,320 of those residents were working as licensed pharmacy technicians in 2019. Of those people 2,300 resided and worked in the Virginia Beach/Norfolk/Newport News metropolitan area.
In terms of salary, becoming a pharmacy technician in Virginia Beach offers a relatively well-paid entry into the healthcare field without the need for years and years of formal schooling. In 2019, the average hourly wage for a Virginia Beach pharmacy technician was $15.57.
A newly licensed entry level tech is likely to initially earn less - an average of $10.89 according to the BLS - but that figure rises to $20.87 in the 90th percentile. It should also be noted that as of 2020 those figures are likely to skew higher, as many pharmacy employers are increasing pay rates in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the outlook for employment for a certified pharmacy technician is certainly good.
Pharmacy Technician Schools in Virginia Beach
As we touched on earlier, there are four educational institutions in around Virginia Beach that offer pharmacy technician training programs that are approved by the PTCB.
Here we are going to take a closer look at all of them, and just what each unique program has to offer to help students make the right choices for them.
ECPI University Professional Development Center
5555 Greenwich Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23462| 844-334-4466
The ECPI University Professional Development Center, located in the heart of Virginia Beach is a for profit vocational school that has been offering practical education to Virginians since 1966. They focus on offering small pharmacy technician classes, as much one on one student instructor time as possible and on providing education options that are flexible, suited to both new high school graduates and to working adults.
The Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is an intensive 10-week program designed to provide students with the essential knowledge and hands-on practical experience needed to work successfully as an entry level pharmacy technician upon graduation, as well as to pass the PTCE or ExCPT certification exam and obtain licensure from the state. Course work is completed both online and in a classroom based setting and classes are offered in the evenings and at weekends.
While traditional financial aid is not available to cover the cost of the course, the program is approved by Hampton Roads’ Workforce Development Board and there are scholarships available that can be applied by students to cover all costs associated with it if they meet minimum eligibility criteria and are able to prove area residency.
For students not eligible for scholarships, tuition is charged on a sliding scale basis.
Admission to the certification program requires a student hold a high school diploma or GED, be over the age of 18 and able to pass both a criminal background test and a drug screen. In addition, they must provide valid ID to prove their legal residence in Virginia. These are also requirements to sit either pharmacy technician certification exam and to obtain licensure from the State of Virginia.
The ECPI University Professional Development Center Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is approved by both the Virginia Board of Pharmacy and the PTCB.
Virginia Beach Higher Education Center
1881 University Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23453| 757.368.4150/4155
The Virginia Beach Higher Education Center is a vocational division of Norfolk State University that focuses on providing work focused continuing education to working adults who may want to advance in their current positions or make a career change without disrupting their current schedules.
The Pharmacy Technician Certificate is one of the institutions 'Saturday Programs' and is completed across eight full day Saturday sessions in the school's classrooms. This makes this program ideal for working adults and those with families.
In this time students will be given a broad overview of everything needed to both pass their pharmacy technician certification exam and to begin work as an entry level pharmacy technician. In addition, at the end of the program students are offered an addition 5-hour prep class specifically focused on revision prior to taking the PTCE. This is an optional offering, not a requirement for graduation but most students will find it very helpful.
This pharmacy technician course is not eligible for traditional financial aid and is charged at a fixed cost of $1350 for all in state students. Payment plans are available to spread out the cost, but all tuition and fees must be paid in full prior to graduation. The cost of the program does include books and supplies as well as the entrance fee to take the PTCE certification exam.
Admission to the program calls for a student to be a high school graduate or hold an equivalent GED. The school does not perform criminal background or drug checks, but students do need to be aware of the fact that passing these checks is a requirement for both taking the PTCE or ExCPT and for State of Virginia licensure as a pharmacy technician.
The Virginia Beach Higher Education Center Pharmacy Technician Certificate is approved by the PTCB and recognized by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy as a suitable educational program for pharmacy technician licensure candidates.
Virginia Beach School Of Practical Nursing – Adult Learning Center
2925 North Landing Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456| 757.648.5850
This program is a more comprehensive, yearlong offering designed for rising 12th graders who are expected to graduate before its completion, as high school diploma is a requirement in order to take the PTCE or ExCPT and obtain licensure from the state.
This is not a program that is open to the general adult public, as it an adjunct alternative to local high school programs. In order to be admitted students must meet basic GPA requirements and will be expected to maintain high academic and attendance standards.
There is no cost to accepted students, as the course counts as a part of their formal high school education. In order to attend students must be attendees at a local district high school
The course itself offers a broad introduction to working as pharmacy technician and does include practical placement work in the local community at a retail pharmacy. Upon graduation students are also awarded HIPAA and BLS certifications that are earned as a part of their coursework and are offered additional coaching and prep prior to taking the PTCE exam.
The Pharmacy Technician Certificate offered at the Virginia Beach School of Practical Nursing is approved by all the required bodies; the PTCB, the NHA and the Virginia Board of Pharmacy.
Falls Church, VA, Online| (703) 721-4131
There are a number of different paths to becoming a pharmacy technician and a wide range of job opportunities available to those who want to do so. For those interested in working in clinical and research environments a higher level of education - such as the Associate of Applied Science in Pharmacy Technician - is often preferred by employers.
The Associate of Applied Science in Pharmacy Technician offered at Stratford University is an online 15-month degree program. Students are admitted to it based on their prior academic record, and they are required to take and pass additional general classes as well as those required to graduate with a pharmacy technician degree. The academic standards are reasonably high and in 2019 approximately 45% of applicants were accepted.
The school itself is a national institution, maintaining campuses across the county. While some classes are held on campus - including lab courses - many written portions of the degree course can be completed online. If students choose, they can opt to take the PTCE exam at the nine-month point in the course to obtain their certification and licensure to begin working in their chosen field while still pursuing their education.
As this is a traditional college offering, financial aid is available to those who qualify, or those ineligible may be able to obtain an educational loan from a private lender such as Sallie Mae. Tuition rates vary according to personal circumstance and residence, with the lowest rates charged to in state students.
The Stratford University Associate of Applied Science in Pharmacy Technician is recognized and approved by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy, the PTCB and the NHA.