Best Pharmacy Technician Schools in Iowa
Role: Under the supervision of the pharmacist, assists in the day-to-day operations of the pharmacy, freeing pharmacists from drug distribution activities, including preparation and distribution of medications to patients.
As pharmacy techs are regulated in Iowa and both a national certification exam and registration are required, aspiring students can avail of on-the-job training conducted by a pharmacist in charge or by enrolling in an accredited program in many of the Iowa pharmacy technician schools and institutions.
Depending on the school there may be several training options from which to choose: certificate programs (typically less than a year), diploma programs (typically one year) and an associate degree program (typically two years long and generally includes an externships in the field).
What To Look For in a Pharmacy Technician Program
Every program offering pharmacy technician education varies, and what might suit some may not suit you. That's why it pays - literally, as these programs are not free - to do some comparative research before enrolling in any of them.
Here are some of the things to consider as you do:
Accreditation is important for a number of reasons.
If you are planning on taking the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board's PTCE certification test, ensuring that a program is PTCB approved is a must.
In addition, accreditation from the AHSP (American Society of Health System Pharmacists) is often (but not always) an indicator that a certain pharmacy technician training program is of exceptionally high quality.
Finally, if you are hoping to make use of federal or state financial aid to fund your studies, you will need to ensure the school has the appropriate accreditations to do so.
Classroom Learning and Lab Work Mix
The everyday responsibilities of a pharmacy technician involve plenty of practical tasks, and a good program will offer sufficient lab instruction covering this as well as standard classroom instruction.
It should be noted that online only programs may still include a lab work portion, with students being provided the needed equipment by the school to make use of at home.
The rules regarding working as a pharmacy technician are changing in the State of Iowa, and as of July 2021, pharmacy technicians will not only be required to register with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy they will need to be certified - either by the PTCB of the NHA via their ExCPT exam, as well.
This means that choosing a pharmacy technician program that offers specific certification test prep will be a definite plus for many students.
Getting practical, hands-on real world training with an external employer not only helps better prepare students for the world of work but also helps fulfill the practical requirements set by the PTCB.
Many accredited institutions do offer externships and some are even a requirement of graduation, even for those who complete the bulk of their studies online.
Student Teacher Ratios and Post Graduation Employment Rates
Federal, and most state, laws no longer require that schools publish this kind of information on their websites.
Some do, as an incentive to enroll, and others will state this is information that can be obtained during an entrance interview.
Whatever the case for the schools you are considering, do keep these considerations in mind and inquire about them if and when you have the chance.
Top Pharmacy Technician Schools in Iowa
Des Moines Area Community College
Program: Online Pharmacy Technician Course
Length: 1 Year
Address: 2006 Ankeny Blvd, Address 2, Ankeny, IA 50023-3993
Indian Hills Community College
Program: Pharmacy Technology Diploma
Length: 9 months
Campus: Indian Hills Community College
Address: 525 Grandview Ave, Ottumwa, IA 52501.
Tel: 1 641-683-5111
Western Iowa Tech Community College
Program: Pharmacy Technician Diploma
Campus: Sioux City
Address: 4647 Stone Ave, Sioux City, IA 51106.
Tel: +1 712-274-6400
How Much Does a Pharmacy Technician Earn in Iowa?
The 2021 Iowa pharmacy technician salary was $17.59 per hour / $36,590 annually.
An entry level pharmacy technicians earns a min. of $13.82 or less per hour, an experienced and certified pharmacy tech can earn upwards of $22.88 or more per hour depending on experience, role (Retail vs Lead Pharmacy Technician) and work setting.
Is Certification Required in the State of Iowa?
Pharmacy techs must be nationally certified.
Is Licensure or Registration Required in the State of Iowa?
Other Cities in Iowa
*Salary Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Employment & Wages database.
Iowa Board of Pharmacy
Professional Association for an Iowa Pharmacy Technician:
Iowa Pharmacy Association