Pharmacy Technician Programs in Tucson, AZ
Pharmacy technicians are more important than ever as pharmacies gain even more prominence in our communities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.
These frontline, customer-facing healthcare professionals play an important role in healthcare all over the country, and this is especially true in Tucson, Arizona which is surrounded by rural areas where retail pharmacies are increasingly acting as basic healthcare centers as well as dispensaries.
To become a pharmacy technician in the state of Arizona you will need, however, to attend one of the pharmacy technician schools and become a Certified Pharmacy tech (CPhT).
Salary Outlook and Job Growth Prospects for Tucson Pharmacy Techs
Before paying for schooling and taking the time to learn a new vocational skill, it’s helpful to have a better understanding of just what a new career might offer in terms of salary and career growth.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data, the average salary for a pharmacy technician in the US in 2021 was $36,740 per annum, or around $17.66 per hour. In Arizona as a whole during the same time period averaged an annual wage of $37,240 around $17.90 per hour. That figure was a little lower for Tucson residents, at $17.77 per hour, about $36,960 per year.
Salaries vary according to experience level and employer. According to the BLS figures, the bottom 10% of earners in the pharmacy tech profession in Tucson averaged $29,270 per year or $13.86 per hour or less while the top 10% averaged $22.20/$46,170 or more.
Job growth in the field of pharmacy technology in Arizona has been consistently good for some years, and that growth is not expected to slow. According to the BLS a 12% growth in available jobs was expected between 2016 and 2026, but those predictions were made before the pandemic, and now certified pharmacy techs are in even greater demand as a result of it.
Pharmacy Technician Programs in Tucson, AZ
To work as a pharmacy technician in Tucson, and in the state in general, you must be an American citizen or permanent resident alien who passes the PTCE certification exam administered by the PTCB – Pharmacy Technician Board and register with the Arizona Board of Pharmacy. They must also present a criminal background check free of felonies or drug related misdemeanors and pass a drug test.
The National HealthCareer Association’s ExCPT, a newer pharmacy technician certification exam, is also now seen as acceptable for registration and licensure, but the PTCB is preferred.
Education is also important. A student must complete an approved training program to sit for the PTCE as of 2019. This must be an offering that has been approved by the PTCB and the Arizona Board of Pharmacy in Arizona. Those enrolled in such programs must also register with the Board as “pharmacy technicians in training” before participating in any externships.
There are a number of pharmacy technician schools in Tucson, Arizona to choose from.
Each of them offers something a little different. For some students the choice may come down to cost and availability of student loans, while for others scheduling and learning format may be more important.
That’s why we are going to take a closer look at them all here.
201 N Bonita Ave., Ste 101 Tucson AZ 85745
Phone: (520) 368-3028
Carrington College is a for-profit vocational school that focuses on providing students with practical, hands-on education in a variety of fields, one of which is pharmacy technology. It has several campuses across the United States, including one in Tucson, Arizona.
Because this is a private school dedicated to career development, it welcomes students of all ages, including adults who are already employed but want to change careers. Classes are available on a flexible schedule and in hybrid format, which means that some coursework is completed online while others, such as lab work, must be completed on campus. Students must also complete an externship with a local employer, which the college will arrange.
Traditional financial aid is available to assist with program costs. The cost varies depending on a student’s personal circumstances and residency, and is listed on the school’s website.
Students must meet all registration requirements as outlined by the Arizona Board of Pharmacy and the PTCB in order to be admitted to the Carrington College pharmacy technician program, which takes about ten months to complete.
The Carrington College Pharmacy Technician Certificate is accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists – ASHP – in addition to being a PTCB approved training program. This is something only a few such programs receive.
4905 E. Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85709-1010
Phone: (520) 206-4500
Pima Community College is a traditional community college that provides Tucson, Arizona residents with both traditional and vocational education at extremely low costs. Their Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program may be an excellent choice for those interested in becoming a pharmacy technician.
The two-semester program is a full-time on-campus program aimed primarily at recent high school graduates and rising seniors in their final year of high school. Tuition is calculated on an individual basis based on a student’s personal circumstances and residence.
Traditional federal and state financial aid, as well as a limited number of scholarships and grants, are available to those who qualify. If you don’t qualify for traditional financial aid, you might be able to get a student loan from a private lender like Sallie Mae.
Students must meet a number of requirements in addition to those set forth by the Arizona Board of Pharmacy and the PTCB in order to be admitted to the program. Academically, they must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in high school or have achieved certain minimum GED scores in reading, math, and computer technology, and their admission must be approved by the Department Chairs after the completion of prerequisite courses in English and Math.
The Pima Community College Pharmacy Technician Certificate is approved by the Arizona Board of Pharmacy and the PTCB.
2121 N. Craycroft Road, Building 1 Tucson, AZ 85712
A private vocational college, Pima Medical Institute, has campuses across the country, including one in Tucson, Arizona. The school caters to a wide range of students, but its programs are particularly well suited to working adults seeking a career change.
The PIMA Medical Institute Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program also provides a quick way to complete a thorough overview of the skills required to work as a pharmacy technician and pass the PTCE exam. The program takes about 35 weeks (about 8 months) for students who attend daytime classes and 40 weeks (about 9 months) for those who attend night classes.
Traditional federal and state student loans are available to those who qualify, as are some Arizona workforce grants. Those who do not take out student loans are eligible for a payment plan, but the balance must be paid before graduation.
To be admitted to the Tucson, Arizona program, students must be able to meet all of the Board of Pharmacy’s requirements for pharmacy technician registration. Students must also pass a basic entrance exam, demonstrating that they have basic English skills and that they can pass the basic math section with a score of 60% or higher.
Students Complete an externship with a local employer in addition to classroom learning. These are coordinated with the assistance of the school.
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the Arizona Board of Pharmacy both recognize the Pima Pharmacy Tech program and it is also accredited by the ASHP.
5441 E. 22nd St. Suite 125 Tucson, AZ 85711
Phone: (888) 913-7207
Brookline College offers a variety of programs, ranging from certificate programs to associate degrees. They offer a certificate program that can be completed in as little as 36 weeks for those interested in becoming a certified pharmacy technician (about 8 and a half months).
The program is presented as a hybrid course, with much of the written classroom material completed online. This makes it a particularly flexible program for working adults who must balance their education with other obligations.
Most students pay for the Brookline College Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program via traditional student financial aid if they qualify. Individual students’ course costs will vary depending on their age, residence status, and other factors such as available income.
Students must meet the Board of Pharmacy’s registration requirements and pass a basic math skills test set by the school in order to be admitted to the program. They must also complete a practical externship as part of the course. Students are placed with a local Fry’s Food Stores Pharmacy or Walgreens Pharmacy to do so, where they will gain valuable hands-on experience that will benefit them greatly once they graduate.
The PTCB and the Arizona Board of Pharmacy have approved Brookline College’s program, and credits earned can be applied to future study at the school if students choose to pursue an associate degree in Allied Health.