Pharmacy Technician Schools in Long Beach, CA

In the USA, the medical profession continues to expand, and this is true in Long Beach, California, as well as most other major CA cities. As the medical profession as a whole expands, so does the market for pharmacies and the job prospects for the people who work in them.

The 'front line' of support for a pharmacy is their pharmacy technicians. Customers are welcomed by them, their insurance providers are billed by them, drugs are counted and dispensed by them, and customers are usually put at ease by their presence and customer service skills. Some pharmacy technicians are also assisting vaccination campaigns in pharmacy-based minute clinics in response to COVID-19.

Pharmacy technology is a lucrative and well-paying sector that is attracting a growing number of people. But in California, to work as a pharmacy technician you must be licensed by the State Board of Pharmacy1. To obtain such a license a candidate must hold a pharmacy technician certification, either from the PTCB or, if it was obtained after 2017, the NAH.

To obtain these certifications students must pass the PTCB's PTCE exam of the NHA's ExCPT. By far the more widely taken and accepted, most students sit the PTCE. To do so however they must complete a PTCB approved training course at one of the pharmacy technician schools in Long Beach, CA.

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Pharmacy Technician Salary Long Beach CA

We mentioned that the field is growing, but how in demand are pharmacy technicians in Long Beach, CA? And how much can they expect to earn? These are reasonable questions to want answers to before taking the time, and spending the money, to undertake a pharmacy technician schooling program.

In terms of pay, the average pharmacy technician salary in Long Beach, CA is higher than the national average for the profession, and even slightly higher than the state average in some cases. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:2

In Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA:

Certified pharmacy techs on average earn $44,090 per annum/$21.20 per hour
10% of techs earn $31,630 per annum/$15.21 per hour or less.
10% of techs earn $62,180 per annum/$29.89 per hour or more.

In California:

Certified pharmacy techs on average earn $43,280 per annum/per hour
10% of techs earn $29,970 per annum/$14.41 per hour or less.
10% of techs earn $65,150 per annum/ $31.32 per hour or more.

In the United States:

Pharmacy techs on average earn $33,950 per annum / $16.32 per hour
10% of pharmacy techs earn $24,120 per annum/ $11.60 per hour or less.
10% of techs earn $49,130 per annum/ $23.62 per hour or more.

Is there a High Demand for Pharmacy Technicians?

Growth is expected in terms of employment for pharmacy techs in Long Beach, and it may be higher than previously made predictions thanks to the expansion of the role of pharmacy technicians - and pharmacies - in pandemic management and vaccine and testing distribution in relation to COVID-19. Previously however the BLS has predicted that between 2018 and 2028 growth of 13.3% - about 5,000 jobs - has been expected3.

Pharmacy Technicians Schools in Long Beach, CA

View of modern buildings and Shoreline Drive in Long Beach, California

As certification is required for pharmacy technicians in CA, and to take the PTCE a candidate must complete an approved PTCB training school’s program, finding and attending the right pharmacy technician school in Long Beach is a must for those hoping to enter the field. In addition, both to take the PTCB and/or obtain California licensing you must be over the age of 18, hold a high school diploma or GED, present a criminal record free of felonies or drug related misdemeanors and meet minimum vaccination requirements.

There are currently a number of these programs offered by a variety of higher education institutions across the Long Beach, CA area and each of them has something slightly different to offer. To help you make the right choice here is a closer look at them all. 

1. North West College 

? 3799 E Burnett St. Long Beach, CA 90815  ? 562-546-5171

The PTCB approved Pharmacy Technician Certificate offered by North West can be taken as an in person class at their Long Beach campus or as a primarily online offering should students prefer. In all cases an externship with a local employer must be completed prior to graduation and accounts for 120-160 hours, depending on the employer chosen.

Coursework covers all the knowledge required to take and pass the PTCE. In addition, students are offered additional test prep at the end of the program to better prepare them for their certification test. As an on campus offering the course takes around 9 months to complete, while those opting for the online program can expect it to take 10-11 months.

The cost of completing this program is dependent on a student’s personal circumstances and ability to pay, along with their full time residence location. While it differs for each student, the school offers a net price calculator here that can be used to estimate what your tuition might be.

To pay for school, 90% of students make use of traditional financial aid. A college payment plan is also available, but all costs must be paid prior to graduation.

2. California State University

? 6300 E. State University Dr. Suite 104 Long Beach, California 90815 ?

Cal State’s College of Professional and International Education offers a hybrid in person/ online flat fee Certificate in Pharmacy Technician program to adults and students over the age of 18 via their Long Beach campus. The program costs $1,399.00 and is offered 2-3 times a year. This is not a course that is eligible for financial aid, and all costs must be paid on enrollment.

The 50-hour program is designed to provide an overview of the information and knowledge needed to pass the PTCB. Theory classes can be completed online, but lab work is undertaken on campus. An externship/internship is not offered as a part of this course.

To be admitted students must pay all fees, be over the age of 18 and meet all PTCB and state requirements for pharmacy technicians, including passing criminal background and drug tests and meeting minimum vaccine requirements.

3. American University of Health Sciences

? 1600 E Hill St. Signal Hill CA 90755 ? (562) 988-2278

AUHS is a higher educational institute focusing on medical education. Their PTCB approved Certificate of Pharmacy Technology is a campus based, broad overview program that can be completed in seven months on a full time basis.
One of the advantages of this program is that students have the chance to gain hands-on experience in a variety of clinical pharmacy settings with some very notable employers, including UCLA Medical Center. In addition, the course provides all the information needed to pass the PTCE and work as an entry level pharmacy technician in a wide range of settings.

The cost of the program is charged on a per-credit basis, and is a 42 credit offering. The cost of each credit varies according to a student’s personal circumstances, but the school does offer a net price calculator here so individual students can estimate theirs.

To enroll students must meet all state requirements for pharmacy technician licensure, as well as meet minimum educational requirements, including minimum SAT score requirements. Students must also pass a personal interview process and complete an admissions essay assignment.

Most students make use of traditional financial aid to pay for their schooling, or creditworthy students may opt for a private student loan from a lender like Sallie Mae.

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4. UEI College

? 661 W Redondo Beach Blvd Gardena, CA 90247 ? (424) 286-9990

UEI College is a vocational school that offers a number of professional certificate programs, including a PTCB approved Pharmacy Technician Diploma that can be completed in 10 months on a full time, on campus basis.

The program offers a comprehensive overview of the knowledge needed to take and pass the PTCE, and includes a 120-hour internship with a local employer. The course also includes extensive lab work to provide additional hands-on training. To be admitted to the program students must meet all California licensing requirements and pass a basic skills test.

The cost of the program varies according to student circumstance and residence, but, for in state residents without dependents the average cost is $16,000. Traditional federal financial aid is available to those who qualify, and it is how 90% of the school’s students pay for the program.

5. American College of Healthcare & Technology

? 6330 Pacific Blvd. Second Floor Huntington Park, CA 90255 ? (888) 430-4224

The American College of Healthcare & Technology is a vocational school that focuses on healthcare careers. For those interested in becoming a pharmacy technician they offer a nine-month Certificate in Pharmacy Technology.

This campus based course is PTCB approved and offers a comprehensive overview of the theoretical and practical skills students need to pass the PTCE and work as an entry level pharmacy technician in a number of settings. For admission students must meet all California licensing requirements and pass a basic skills test.

The cost of the program varies according to student circumstance and their residency status, but the school does provide a net price calculator here so that students can estimate their personal costs in advance. The majority of enrolled students make use of financial aid from the FAFSA program and various state grants to pay for their education.

6. ABC Adult School

? 12254 Cuesta Drive Cerritos, CA 90703 ? (562) 229-7960

ABC Adult School offers a wide range of vocationally focused adult education programs designed to further working adults in their careers, including an 874 hour, campus based Pharmacy Technician Certification program designed to be completed in less than a year.

The program, which is PTCB approved, offers a broad overview of the skills and technical knowledge needed to pass the PTCE and obtain California licensing for pharmacy tech. A 100-hour externship is a mandatory element of the course, as are a number of field trip like learning sessions with other local employers.

To be admitted to the program students must meet all the requirements for California licensure. If they are accepted, their tuition is charged at a flat rate of $2,654. This fee includes books, supplies and the cost of taking the PTCE certification tests upon graduation.

While federal financial aid cannot be used to pay for this program some state workforce grants may be able to some, and creditworthy students may be able to obtain a private student loan from a lender like Sallie Mae.

7. Santa Ana College

? 1530 W. 17th Street Santa Ana, CA 92706-3398 ? (714) 564-6000

The Santa Ana College AAS Degree in Pharmacy Technician program was not only the first such program offered by a community college in the US - it was first offered in 1972 - it was the first to be accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), an honor it has held continuously since 1984.

This popular, competitive admission program is a full two-year program that provides a solid foundation for both those planning to enter the workforce as soon as they obtain certification and licensing or for those considering furthering their education and becoming a pharmacist. It offers an award-winning curriculum that covers the knowledge and skills necessary to work in a retail or clinical pharmacy setting.

To be admitted students must meet all California licensing requirements, meet minimum SAT score requirements and pass personal interviews with department admissions staff. The majority of admitted students make use of federal financial aid to pay for schooling, the cost of which is charged on a per-credit basis and will vary according to student circumstance.

8. American Career College

? 4021 Rosewood Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90004 ? (323) 906-2211

American Career College is a vocational school specializing in healthcare education. Their LA campus is located a 30-minute drive from Long Beach, so is accessible for residents there. For those interested in becoming a licensed pharmacy technician they offer a nine month, hybrid online and campus based Pharmacy Technician Certificate program designed to help students pass the PTCE and obtain a position as an entry level tech in a retail setting.

Most theory training is completed online, with lab classes - and a mandatory externship - to be completed in person. The majority of students - more than 80% - then pass the PTCE on their first attempt.

To be admitted to the program students must meet all the requirements of California licensure. They are also required to take and pass a basic skills test that focuses on math and English.

The cost of the Pharmacy Technician Certificate program at ACC for state residents is set at $19,560. This includes all books, supplies and fees, including the cost of taking the PTCE. 90% of enrolled students pay for their education via financial aid and state grants, but students may also consider a private student loan if they are creditworthy.

References:

1. California State Board of Pharmacy: https://www.pharmacy.ca.gov/
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019 Occupational Employment and Wages, Pharmacy Technicians: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292052.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm

Other metro areas offering pharmacy technician programs in California:

Pharmacy Technician Programs in Stockton, Ca

Pharmacy Technician Programs in Victorville, Ca

Search Pharmacy Technician Programs

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

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