Pharmacy Technician Programs in Waco, TX
For those who are interested in working in the fast-paced, but rewarding and often well paid field of medicine, the thought of long years in school to become a nurse or even a doctor is often not appealing or even practical.
However, becoming a pharmacy technician allows people to work in their chosen field far faster, and yet still enjoy a satisfying medical career.
A pharmacy technician is an important part of the pharmacy team in a retail or clinical setting.
They often serve as the customer or patient's main point of contact and perform crucial billing and customer service tasks in addition to helping their supervising pharmacist prepare prescriptions.
Even better perhaps is the fact that becoming a certified pharmacy technician does not call for a long college career, as most pharmacy technician programs in Waco, TX can be completed in less than a year!
If you're interested in the pharmacy technology career, this page covers:
Does Texas Require Pharmacy Technicians to Be Certified?
Texas is one of a growing number of US states that requires that pharmacy technicians obtain official certification before being registered and licensed to work by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy.
The State of Texas currently only recognizes the national certification earned by sitting the PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board) exam. The possible acceptance of the National Healthcareers Association (NHA) certification is currently under review.
While attendance at a formal pharmacy technician school in Texas, or completion of an educational course, is not required by the state, doing so not only offers students the best chance to pass the exam but also usually provides the practical work experience required before a pharmacy technician can be licensed.
In addition, licensing as a pharmacy technician in Texas calls for a criminal background free of felonies or drug related misdemeanors and proof of US citizenship or legal permanent residency.
Pharmacy Technician Programs in Waco, TX
For those interested in completing a formal pharmacy technician program in or around Waco, there are a number of available options.
Each of these offers something at least slightly different and at various costs, so exploring all of these options is usually the best way to make the right choice for you.
1. McLennan Community College
Pharmacy Technician Online Certification Training Program
Ph: (254) 299-8622
For those who prefer to learn online, McLennan Community College, in association with ed2go, offers a Pharmacy Technician Certification program that prepares students for an entry level position as a pharmacy technician and to sit the PTCB certification exam to gain the nationally recognized CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) designation.
The PTCB recognizes the program as an acceptable path to that test.
The program's classroom portions are completed online, with students able to choose the timing of the majority of their coursework, although the attendance at some live video lectures is required.
Students may also choose to complete a practical externship with a local CVS pharmacy, arranged with the help of the school. While they can work at their own pace, the program is designed to be completed in less than six months, and can be completed in as little as three.
The program provides a comprehensive basic overview of the skills and knowledge required to pass the PTCB and to work as an entry level pharmacy tech. It includes pharmacy terminology, prescription drug education, insurance billing instruction, including HIPAA considerations, and basic patient care and customer service instruction. The completion of the optional externship will give students a chance to put this knowledge to practical use in a real world setting.
To be admitted to the course, students must be over the age of 18 and able to complete a basic English and Math skills test. The cost of sitting the PTCB exam is included in the course cost, but to take it, students must meet a separate set of requirements, including passing drug and criminal background tests.
As a non-credit course, this pharmacy technician certificate course is not eligible for federal student aid or Pell Grants. Students are charged at a flat fee rate $2,495, which can be divided into equal installment payments should a student qualify for financing via a private student loan provider such as Sallie Mae.
2. Temple College Adult Education
Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program
2600 South First Street
Temple, Texas 76504
Temple College's Adult Education Department offers a comprehensive Pharmacy Technician Certificate program that provides a hybrid online and campus based education designed to help students gain the basic knowledge needed to become a licensed pharmacy technician and to pass the PTCB certification exam.
Much of the written coursework offered by the program can be completed online at a student's own pace. Practical lab work and live lectures are offered at the college's Temple, TX campus on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Coursework covers all the knowledge and skills needed to pass the PTCB certification test, with a special focus on the current role of a pharmacy technician, including insurance billing and HIPAA considerations and controlled substance management.
Offered once a year, this limited registration program is open to students over the age of 18 who can pass drug and background checks, hold a high school diploma or GED and successfully complete a basic skills test. Students must also be able to prove US citizenship or legal permanent resident status. The course is designed to be completed in 6 months, at the end of which students will be prepared to take the PTCB certification test.
The total cost of the program, including books and supplies, lab fees, criminal background and drug screenings and the PTCB exam fee is $2,495. 50% of that cost is eligible for FAFSA application federal student aid for those who qualify, and the remainder can be financed via the school in equal monthly payments or via a private student loan provider such as Sallie Mae.
3. Central Texas College Adult Education
Pharmacy Technician Certificate Training Program
6200 W Central Texas Expy
Killeen, TX 76549
Central Texas College's Adult Education department offers students a practically focused, campus based PTCB approved pharmacy technician education program designed to fully prepare graduates for an entry level position in either a retail or clinical pharmacy setting and to take and pass the PTCB certification exam in 10 months of on campus classroom based study.
The program's basic curriculum of 200 hours places an emphasis on the practical skills a pharmacy tech must master, but also covers billing, ethics and HIPAA considerations in great detail.
For an additional fee, and an additional 40 classroom hours of study, students can also complete a certification in Sterile Compounding and Aseptic Technique (CSPT) that will allow them to work in a clinical setting aiding pharmacists in the formulation of compound medications. This IV certification course offers 64 CE credits/5.0 CEUs.
Students may also choose to complete a school arranged externship for an additional fee.
To be admitted to the program, students must meet all the requirements for Texas state licensing, including passing criminal background, drug and residency status tests, be over the age of 18, hold a high school diploma or GED and provide two references.
The total cost of the basic program is $3373 which includes the cost of sitting the PTCB exam. An additional $600 is charged to those wishing to complete the Sterile Compounding and Aseptic Technique , and the cost of the practical externship of 50 clock hours (5 CEUs) is charged at $649.
This program is not eligible for traditional federal financial aid, but the school does offer a lower cost private loan option via a school specific arrangement with Sallie Mae which bypasses the usual credit requirements. Students need to earn 80% or higher to graduate.
4. Baylor Continuing Education
Pharmacy Technician Online Certification Training Program
Pat Neff Hall
1320 S. 7th St.
Waco, TX 76706
For those who prefer online learning, McLennan Community College, in collaboration with ed2go, offers a Pharmacy Technician Certification program that equips students with the skills necessary for entry-level pharmacy technician positions as well as for passing the PTCB certification exam and earning the title of CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician), which is a nationally recognized designation. The curriculum is accepted as a route to that test by the PTCB.
The program's classroom components are conducted online, and although some live video lectures must be attended, students can schedule the remainder of their courses at their convenience. Another option for students is to do a practical externship in a nearby CVS pharmacy, which can be arranged with the school's assistance. The curriculum is intended to be finished in fewer than six months, but students have the option of finishing it in as little as three.
The course gives a thorough introduction to the fundamental competencies needed to pass the PTCB and function as an entry-level pharmacy technician. It covers fundamental patient care and customer service instruction, prescription drug education and billing instruction, including HIPAA considerations. Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge in the real world by completing the optional externship.
Students must be at least 18 years old and pass a basic English and math skills test in order to enroll in the course. A different set of prerequisites, including passing drug and background checks, must be met before students can take the PTCB exam, which is included in the course fee.
The cost of the program, which includes books and supplies and the PTCB testing fee, is set at $2,495. The program is not covered by federal financial aid, but students may be able to obtain a private student loan from a lender like Sallie Mae, or spread out the cost into installments via the private pay later company Affirm.
What Can I Earn as a Pharmacy Technician in Waco, TX?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2022 the average salary for a pharmacy technician working in Waco, TX was $18.66 per hour, or $38,820 per annum.
This is on par with the nationwide salary of $18.17 per hour or $37,790 per year.
The starting pay for pharmacy technicians is $14.25- $24.35 per hour.
You can earn higher wages with specializations, certification, working in hospital settings versus retail settings and by gaining experience working in the field.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, the need for pharmacy technicians is expected to grow 4 percent by 2029.