Perhaps you have an interest in working with pharmaceuticals but don’t want to become a pharmacist. Then, you might consider becoming a pharmacy technician and act as an assistant to the pharmacist. This career is steadily growing so pharmacy technicians are in great demand. If this interests you, keep reading to find out about educational requirements and certifications needed to become a pharmacy technician and how to get a good job in the pharmacy industry.
A pharmacy technician helps pharmacists to provide health care products and medications to patients. You’ll be counting and measuring medications as well as managing inventories. You’ll also complete forms on pharmaceutical dosages.
You’ll need a high school diploma or GED. You’ll might need to have passed a college entrance exam (SAT/ACT). Check with the pharmacy technician program you want to apply to and find out. With this behind your belt, you can enroll in a pharmacy technician program. These programs are usually available at a local vocational/technical college or junior college. Depending on the college, pharmacy technician programs run about a year. Once you have completed this, you can take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) test.
It may please you to know that many colleges have online courses for pharmacy technician so if you are working, you can hold on to that job and study at your own convenience. Some of the materials you’ll learn in your coursework includes:
- The names of drugs and how they are used
- How to dispense various medications
- How to calculate correct dosages
- Learn customer service skills
- Job ethics
- Record-keeping skills
Another thing you might want to consider is to see if any of your local pharmacies offer a pharmacy technician program. The nice thing about this is, you will be trained in exactly what you need to do for that pharmacy and will be employed by that company. Just make sure that the pharmacy properly prepares you for the PTCB test in case you need to apply to other pharmacy companies.
You might consider working as a pharmacy assistant while you’re taking your pharmacy technician program. This will give you much needed experience, look good on your resume and help you do well on your certification exam.
Certifications are gotten from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Boards (PTCB). Requirements include:
- Background criminal check
- State Board of Pharmacy registration or licensure actions
- Compliance with PTCB certification policies
- A passing score on the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam
Once the above requirements are fulfilled, you will become certified. Now, find employment. Talk with your program instructors and let them know you are seeking employment as a certified pharmacy technician. If you worked as a pharmacy assistant, see if that pharmacy is hiring. If not, leave an application and any other information the company needs. Check your local newspaper and search online such as Careerbuilder for pharmacy technician jobs.
You’ll have a number of places available to you such as clinics, hospitals, private pharmacies and nursing homes. Employment is available across the U.S. so if you’re interested in moving, there should be no problem.