Pharmacy Tech Schools: How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

Learn about pharmacy tech schools and the steps to become a pharmacy technician, from pharmacy tech certification to state licensing requirements.
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Pharmacy Technician Career Facts

Pharmacy Tech Schools: How to Earn a Pharmacy Technician Degree

Pharmacy technicians sometimes get confused with pharmacy assistants but technicians require more education, training, skills, and knowledge.

The job requires intimate knowledge about the different drug classifications, the process of prescription fulfillment, insurance claims, and day-to-day operations.

This article will guide you on how to pursue a career in pharmacy technician and the job opportunities after you earn your degree.

What Type of Degree Should I Earn and Is It Necessary?

Legally, pharmacies can hire a pharmacy technician even without a certificate or degree.

So, in theory, you can get on-the-job training and be absorbed by the company once management is confident of your ability to contribute.

However, the industry is growing at a rapid rate, and pharmacies have become more discerning, especially since a lot of schools are offering pharmacy technician degree programs.

Companies do not have to worry about the workforce and resources to train someone because they can hire a qualified pharmacy technician instead.

Choose Your Diploma and Certificate Program

Earning your diploma and certificate is the first step to building a career as a pharmacy
technician. These are short courses that you can finish in two semesters and enter the
workforce at the quickest possible time.

You have a choice of curriculums that depends on your career goals.

Certificate Course for Pharmacy Technician

In this course, you will study topics and subjects that are relevant to your course. For example, the Houston Community College has the following items included in its curriculum:

  • Laws covering the profession
  • Intro to health professions
  • Classification of the different drugs
  • Pharma Math I and II
  • Institutional practice of pharmacy
  • Community practice of pharmacy
  • Sterile preparations

As an additional requirement, students will undergo on-the-job training in hospitals, home care settings, and pharmacies.

Associate Degree Program

A pharmacy technician certificate or diploma is your ticket to enter the workforce.

However, should you desire further education, you can earn a pharmacy associate’s degree. It’s
more comprehensive compared to the diploma or certificate course since you will be taking
general psychology subjects, algebra, and even correct grammar and composition.

Below are the listed subjects under the Associate Degree program of Renton Technical College:

  • Pharmacology
  • Fundamentals and ethics for pharmacy technician
  • Pharmaceutical chemistry and calculations
  • Top 200 drugs
  • Business office machines
  • Record-keeping and pharma preparations for outpatients
  • Laws and references governing pharmacy

As a requisite, you will also learn about customer relationship, human relations, and office management in a practical setting.

Job Opportunities for a Diploma Course and Associate’s Degree

According to 1Salary.com, a pharmacy technician earns an average range of $32,940 to
$34,911. Meanwhile, getting an associate’s degree will bump their salary to a range of
$33,092 to $35,030.

The best thing is, with your background in pharmacy technician, the transition to becoming a pharmacist becomes easier if that’s your ultimate goal.

At the very least, the salary difference is substantial as the pharmacist earns a base pay of $127,500.

Do I Need to Take An Exam?

Securing your pharmacy technician certificate requires that you pass the exam given by the PTCB or the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.

Before you can take the exam, however, the following must be submitted:

  1. Your GED or high school diploma
  2. Documents that prove you are not convicted of a felony or drug charge
  3. Proof that you are not listed in the pharmacy or State Board restrictions

You will get your Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) certificate upon passing the exam. As
soon as you get your certification, only then will you be duly recognized by the ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists)

How Much Does a Certificate or Diploma Cost?

The figures vary depending on the state you are located or the college you are enrolled in.

Typically, however, you will spend starting at a minimum of $3,000 or even up to $11,000 for
the entire course. Some variables are factored into the overall cost.

For instance, out-of-state students pay higher tuition compared to in-state students.

Sometimes course rates can be intimidating for someone to pursue their dream at a particular college. Remember, education is your investment in acquiring a stable and well-paying job. Make sure to do your research before deciding on your future.

List of Accredited Pharmacy Tech Schools

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) is the accrediting body for pharmacy technician schools and programs.

Earning your education from an accredited pharmacy tech school shows employers and state regulators that you have completed the proper education and training according to national standards.

Below is a nationwide list of accredited pharmacy technician schools.

Alabama

George C. Wallace State Community College – Hanceville
Remington College – Mobile

Arkansas

Arkansas State University – Beebe
Walmart Stores, Inc

Arizona

Arizona College
Arizona College of Allied Health
Carrington College – Mesa
Carrington College – Phoenix
Carrington College – Tucson
Central Arizona College – San Tan Campus
Penn Foster College
Pima Community College
Pima Medical Institute – Mesa
Pima Medical Institute – Tucson Campus

California

American Career College – Anaheim
American Career College – Los Angeles
American Career College – Ontario
Carrington College – Citrus Heights
Carrington College – Pleasant Hill
Carrington College – Sacramento
Carrington College – San Jose
Carrington College – San Leandro
Carrington College – Stockton
Cerritos College
Charles A. Jones Career and Education Center, Sacramento City Unified School
Cosumnes River College
East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program/Technical Center (ESGV
Foothill College (Middlefield Campus)
Modesto Junior College
North Orange County Community College District, School of Continuing Educati
North-West College – Glendale
North-West College – Pomona
North-West College – Van Nuys
North-West College – West Covina
Pima Medical Institute – Chula Vista
San Bernardino Valley College
San Diego Community Training Center
Santa Ana College
Santa Rosa Junior College
Therapeutic Research Center

Colorado

Emily Griffith Technical College
Front Range Community College
Pikes Peak Community College
Pima Medical Institute – Colorado Springs Campus
Pima Medical Institute – Denver Campus
Connecticut
Yale New Haven Hospital

Florida

Altierus Career College – Tampa
Brewster Technical College
Indian River State College
Lake Technical College
Lee Health
McFatter Vocational Technical Center
Orange County Public Schools
Osceola Technical College
Pasco Hernando State College
Pensacola State College
Pinellas Technical College
Southeastern College – Miami Lakes Campus
The Praxis Institute

Georgia

Albany Technical College
Altierus Career College
Atlanta Technical College
Augusta Technical College
Central Georgia Technical College
Columbus Technical College
Oconee Fall Line Technical College
Ogeechee Technical College
Southern Crescent Technical College
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

Idaho

Carrington College – Boise
Idaho State University-College of Technology
North Idaho College
Illinois
Coyne College
Malcolm X College
Midwest Technical Institute – East Peoria
Midwest Technical Institute – Springfield
South Suburban College
Walgreen Co.

Indiana

Indiana University Health
Ross Medical Education Center – Fort Wayne
Vincennes University

Kansas

Hutchinson Community College
North Central Kansas Technical College

Kentucky

Bluegrass Community and Technical College
Jefferson Community and Technical College
KCTCS Somerset Community College
Ross Medical Education Center – Bowling Green
Sullivan University

Louisiana

Ayers Career College
Baton Rouge Community College
Bossier Parish Community College
Central Louisiana Technical Community College
Delgado Community College
Delta College
Fortis College Baton Rouge
Healthcare Training Institute
Infinity College
Louisiana State University at Alexandria
Medical Training College
Northshore Technical Community College
Remington College – Lafayette
Remington College – Shreveport
Unitech Training Academy – Baton Rouge
Unitech Training Academy – Houma
Unitech Training Academy – Lake Charles
Unitech Training Academy – Metairie
Unitech Training Academy – West Monroe
Unitech Training Academy-Alexandria
Unitech Training Academy-Lafayette

Michigan

Charter Health Care Training Center
Henry Ford College
MedCerts
Mid Michigan Community College – Mt. Pleasant
Ross Medical Education Center – Brighton
Ross Medical Education Center – Davison
Ross Medical Education Centers LLC – Saginaw
Ross Medical LLC – Kalamazoo
Schoolcraft College
Washtenaw Community College
Wayne County Community College

Minnesota

Hennepin Technical College
Hibbing Community College
Mayo Clinic
Northland Community and Technical College
Saint Paul College
Thrifty White Pharmacy

Mississippi

Jones County Junior College

North Carolina

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
Cape Fear Community College
Central Piedmont Community College
Davidson County Community College
Duke University Health System Pharmacy Technology Training Program
Durham Technical Community College
Fayetteville Technical Community College
Forsyth Technical Community College
Guilford Technical Community College High Point Campus
Johnston Community College
Wake Technical Community College

North Dakota

North Dakota State College of Science

Nebraska

Central Community College
Southeast Community College

New Mexico

Carrington College – Albuquerque
Central New Mexico Community College
Pima Medical Institute – Albuquerque Campus

Nevada

Milan Institute – Las Vegas
Northwest Career College
Pima Medical Institute
Sierra Nevada Job Corps

New York

Distance Education Co. / New York Institute of Career Development
NYU Langone Health Department of Pharmacy
The College at Brockport, Rochester Educational Opportunity Center

Ohio

Cleveland Clinic School of Pharmacy Technology
Cleveland Job Corps Center
Columbus State Community College
Cuyahoga Community College
Pickaway Ross Career and Technology Center
Ross Education, LLC – Niles Campus 207
Ross Education, LLC – Ontario Campus
Ross Medical Education Center – Cincinnati
Ross Medical LLC – Sylvania
Scioto County Career Technical Center
Sinclair College
Warren County Career Center

Oklahoma

Tulsa Tech

Oregon

Carrington College – Portland
Central Oregon Community College
Chemeketa Community College
Pennsylvania
Bidwell Training Center, Inc.
Community College of Allegheny County
Rite Aid Pharmacy

Rhode Island

CVS/pharmacy

South Carolina

Aiken Technical College
Central Carolina Technical College
Greenville Technical College
Midlands Technical College
Piedmont Technical College
Remington College – Columbia
Southeastern Institute – North Charleston
Spartanburg Community College
Tri-County Technical College
Trident Technical College

South Dakota

Avera Health
Southeast Technical Institute
Western Dakota Technical Institute
Tennessee
Chattanooga State Technical Community College
Concorde Career College – Memphis
Fortis Institute – Cookeville
Remington College – Memphis
Roane State Community College
Southwest Tennessee Community College
Tennessee College of Applied Technology Murfreesboro
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Memphis
Walters State Community College

Texas

Altierus Career College – Houston
Amarillo College
Angelina College
Austin Community College
Cisco College
College of the Mainland
Del Mar College
El Paso Community College
HCC Coleman College for Health Sciences
Health Mart Systems, Inc.
Lamar State College – Orange
Lone Star College – Tomball
Lone Star College-North Harris
Medical Education and Training Campus
Northwest Vista College
Pima Medical Institute
Pima Medical Institute – Houston Campus
Remington College – Dallas Campus
Remington College – Fort Worth
Richland College
Rio Grande Valley College
San Jacinto College, North
San Jacinto College, South
South Texas College
Trinity Valley Community College
Vernon College

Utah

Bridgerland Technical College
Career Step, LLC
Community Learning Center – Tooele County School District
Davis Technical College
Dixie Technical College
Granite Technical Institute
JATC North Pharmacy Tech Program
Mountainland Applied Technology College
Ogden-Weber Technical College
Salt Lake City Community College
Uintah Basin Technical College
Utah State University Blanding

Virginia

American National University
Piedmont Virginia Community College

Washington

Carrington College – Spokane
Clover Park Technical College
Edmonds Community College
North Seattle College
Pima Medical Institute – Seattle Campus
Renton Technical College
Spokane Community College
Yakima Valley College

Wisconsin

Gateway Technical College
Lakeshore Technical College
Milwaukee Area Technical College
UW Health

West Virginia

Mountwest Community and Technical College
Ross Medical Education Centers LLC – Charleston

Wyoming

Casper College

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