If you want to opt for a vocation where you can serve patients, tend to their ailments and, at the same time, get involved in the drug industry, what can be more fitting than being a pharmacy technician? Around the country, pharmacies provide medication to people in need. The major role is played by the pharmacists or health professionals who take care of the patient’s diseases and their medications. The technicians are generally appointed to lend a helping hand and assist the pharmacists. They provide pharmaceutical care in some cases.To know how to become a pharmacy tech you should be well aware of the prospects and kind of training required.Career ProspectsThe pharmaceutical industry is a fast growing profession and is expected to grow 32% from the year 2006 to 2016. Pharmacy technicians passing out from genuine institutions are employed in dispensaries or pharmacies. According to surveys, two third of the trainees work in retail pharmacies and drug stores. They work independently or under a retail chain and, sometimes, also in biomedical laboratories. A section of the remaining technicians are appointed in hospitals where they carry out clinical roles and provide medication. Technicians also get involved with the internet pharmacies where they offer counsel and work by mail order. They also serve the Federal Government and tend to warfare patients.Basic Training ProgramsAt many healthcare units, pharmacy technicians are employed without any formal training. However certain facilities prefer their employees to undergo training and certificate courses before they join work. There are some institutions where such trainings are provided, but those certificates are voluntary. Certificate renewal has to be done in every 2 years through 20 hours additional education program. The Institute for The Certification of Pharmacy Technician offers national certificates for the aspiring. Many pharmacies run internship curriculum where the students are given hands on experience. Other than that, diploma or degree programs are offered by many hospitals, technical colleges, armed forces and proprietary schools.Educational RequirementsFor suitable employment, you should be well acquainted with the various jobs performed by a pharmacy tech. The Pharmacy Technician degree and diploma programs provide students with appropriate knowledge and experience. As basics, they teach you preparing and dispensing medications, proper maintenance of medical records, stocking of drugs and labeling of prescribed medications. You are also taught customer service skills and demonstration abilities.Remuneration Your earnings can vary with your work place. Your know-how also counts and as you grow to be an experienced professional, your pharmacy technician salary also sees the high. For a beginner, the offered pharmacy tech salary is around $27,384 to $33,933. However for those at a higher rank, the salary goes up to $37,097. For others, the salary falls in between. With increasing job prospects and demand, pharmacy technicians are gradually making more money.Many aspiring students want to know how to become a pharmacy technician. For them, it is required to gather information about healthcare schools and enroll their names accordingly.
How do I become a pharmacy technician? There is no simple answer for this question. Unlike pharmacists, pharmacy technicians do not have a national standard for what it takes to enter the profession. Every state gets to make up there own requirements for what you need to do. The first thing you need to do is check your states requirements. To do this, Google your state’s name and board of pharmacy (eg, California Board of Pharmacy). Once you find your state board of pharmacy site, look for where it discusses pharmacy technician requirements. Another option is to find a site that has already compiled this information for you and provided links to your board of pharmacy website (my site has this done for you). The rest of this article will go over some of the common requirements seen, but remember, every state can require different things (in fact, some states do not require anything).National Certification: Many states require some form of national certification. Many require it, some have it as one option to become a tech, others increase the pharmacist to technician ratio if the pharmacy has nationally certified techs, and other states do not mention it at all. The two most common options are the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT, but their exam is called ExCPT). When you complete national certification you have the professional designation of certified pharmacy tech (CPhT). To maintain national certification you must complete 20 hours of continuous education credits every 2 years. I recommend everyone obtain national certification, if your state does not require it, you will be more competitive when interviewing for a job.Training Program: The most important thing you need to know is that some states require an approved training program. The approval in some states is from the board of pharmacy; in other states they accept the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) approved programs. Some states do not have a training requirement, and others allow for on-the-job training. To obtain a solid knowledge about pharmacy, I do recommend a formal training program. Campus based programs are traditionally more expensive (there is more cost to run one). There are online programs that are much lower cost, and I think are a great option if you have other commitments (another job or school). Online programs are also great if you do not live by a campus based school.Other:
Experiential hours, these are hours training in an actual pharmacy. Some states require a specific number of hours prior to licensure/registration.
Age limits, most states require you to be at least 18 years of age; however, some states allow someone to train while in high school.
High school diploma or equivalent is typically required.
Criminal record, or lack thereof. Many states require an FBI background search, so do not lie about this. Just because you have a criminal history doesn’t mean you are out of luck. Be honest, up front, and most of all you need to put good behavior time between you and your conviction. SO, BE GOOD!
As you can see, how you become a pharmacy tech is highly dependent on your state. Once you find out your state requirements, the next thing is to make a decision and just do it (or not do it). Send me any comments or feedback, I love hearing from people and will personally respond.