What Are the Education Requirements for Becoming a Pharmacy Technician?
Are you interested in working with medicine? Do you have a detail-oriented mindset? If you answered yes, then you might be interested in becoming a pharmacy technician. Read on to find out more about this career and how to become a pharmacy technician. Schools offering Pharmacy Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Pharmacy Technician Defined
In this career, you work alongside pharmacists and pharmacy aides to help customers, complete administrative duties and handle medication prescriptions. Your main duty will be filling prescriptions. Due to the sensitive nature of medication, a big part of your job is to verify that the prescription information is accurate. You might work in any of a variety of pharmacy environments, such as a retail setting or mail-order pharmaceuticals company.
There are no formal training requirements for becoming a pharmacy technician; however, employers may prefer that you graduate from a 1-2 year pharmacy technology program. These programs are designed to familiarize you with the concepts, practices and terminology used in the career. Such programs typically result in a diploma, certificate or associate's degree.
In a pharmacy technology program, you can expect to take courses in pharmacology, pharmaceutical mathematics and pharmacy law. Students also learn to label, package and store prescriptions. Along with classroom lectures, these programs incorporate hands-on, supervised training in pharmacy environments.
In most cases, you'll need to register with your state's board of pharmacy to work as a pharmacy technician. You generally need to hold a high school diploma or GED and pay an application fee to be eligible for registration. You may also be required to pass an examination. Select states require pharmacy technicians to be nationally certified.
Even if your state doesn't require pharmacy technicians to be certified, you may choose to earn certification voluntarily to demonstrate your professional aptitude to employers. Certification programs are available through a variety of professional organizations. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, for example, awards the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential to qualified candidates who pass a national certification exam (www.ptcb.org). CPhTs must recertify every two years by earning 20 continuing education credits.
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