Become a Certified Pharmacy Technician


Jobs are getting harder and harder to find. But one job market that is booming is the healthcare market. But maybe you don’t want to be a nurse or a nursing assistant. Maybe you don’t have the money or the desire to go to college to become a doctor. Don’t worry, you can get a good job in twelve months or less if you become a certified pharmacy technician. Read on to discover more information about this exciting and stable career choice.

The reasons to become a certified pharmacy technician are many. We will touch on just a few of them here. The first reason is the work environment. You will be working in a clean, well ventilated, comfortable environment. The work is not really physical, but you occasionally may need to lift a few heavy boxes. You will be on your feet a lot. Depending on the setting that you choose to work in, you may be dealing with customers all the time or working more behind the scenes if you choose a hospital pharmacy.

As mentioned before, the job outlook for certified pharmacy technicians is excellent. One study predicts that the employment of pharmacy technicians is expected to increase by thirty-two percent through the year 2016. This is a much faster increase than all other occupations.

It takes only twelve months or less to become a certified pharmacy technician and the pay is quite good. The average pharmacy technician annual salary is between $26,000 to $38,000 per year. This will depend on where you live and what setting you choose to work in. In general, hospitals and healthcare settings tend to pay a little more.

So what type of requirements must you have to become a certified pharmacy technician? There are very few state requirement and no federal requirements at this time. You must have a high school diploma or GED. You cannot have any felony convictions within five years of applying for certification. But keep in mind, drug or pharmacy felony convictions will keep you from ever getting a certification, no matter how long ago the conviction was.

The first step to becoming certified is to find a good pharmacy technician program. You can choose to take classes at your local college or you may want to check into online classes. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited and that it will fully prepare you for the certification exam.

There are two organizations that administer the national certification exam for pharmacy technicians. They are the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians. You may choose to get certified through either of these organizations.

To prepare for the certification exam, you can study your workbooks and take online prep tests. You must travel to a testing site to sit for the exam. You can check online to see which certification organization offers a testing site closest to you.

There will be a fee to take the certification test. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam (or PTCB exam) will cost under $200 to apply for and take the exam. The exam is administered via computer at a monitored test site. You will be given two hours to answer ninety multiple choice questions. The PTCB does not immediately tell you if you passed or failed but it does give you the instructions of when results will be available and where to check online to find them.

The Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technician exam (or ExCPT for short) charges around $100 to apply and take the exam. It too is administered via computer at a monitored test facility. You will have two hours to take 110 multiple choice questions. The exam is graded by the computer and you are given results immediately.

If for any reason you fail the certification exam the first time you can retake the exam. There is a waiting period before you can re-test and this waiting period is different for each testing organization.

Once you have become certified, you must take 20 hours of continuing education every two years to re-certify. This will allow you to stay up date on any new policies and laws that affect the pharmaceutical industry.

So if you are looking for a stable job in these turbulent times, consider becoming a pharmacy technician. You won’t have to spend a lot of time in school and you will have rewarding, exciting career in pharmaceuticals.

Pharmacy Technician Education and Training

In most pharmacies there is at least one pharmacy technician who helps the pharmacist fill prescriptions and perform the other tasks that must be completed.

Currently the federal and most state governments do not require any special type of pharmacy technician education or training. However, most pharmacies do.

A pharmacy technician does not have anywhere near the responsibilities of a pharmacist. However, they do have some pretty important jobs. Therefore it is important that they have the proper education and training.

Currently there are many two year schools that offer a program for people to become pharmacy technicians. There are also some schools that offer shorter more intensive programs. At the end of this education the student is required to pass a test in order to become certified. The test is called the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam.Once the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam is passed then a person is a certified pharmacy technician.

In order to continue to hold this certification the pharmacy technician is required to complete a small number of training hours every two years. They then must apply for recertification. As long as the training hours have been completed and as long as there is no reason to deny the application, the pharmacy technician will be recertified.

It is important that all pharmacy technicians are properly trained and educated. They have an important job – one that can seriously harm people if it isn’t performed correctly. It can even mean life or death.

The actual pharmacy technician education and training is not too difficult. It does require a person to be decent at science and math. Since pharmacy technicians are required to do more then just accept prescriptions and count pills, their education and training is more involved. To gain certification a prospective pharmacy technician has to show an ability to perform all the tasks that are required of the job.

Once the education and training is over, and once a job is secured, a pharmacy technician can expect to make between $20,000 and $30,000 depending on where the pharmacy is located and which pharmacy it is. Not all pharmacy technicians make the same amount of money throughout the United States. Obviously with experience a pharmacy technician will be paid more. And as demand for medical care and an equal demand for prescriptions continues to rise, a pharmacy technician can expect the salary to continue to rise.

At some point there probably will be some type of federal standard that’s required to become a pharmacy technician. When this happens there will probably be a specific amount of education and training that is required of every single pharmacy technician. But right now no such requirements exist.

So although the federal government and all the state governments don’t require any specific pharmacy technician education and training, almost all pharmacies do. Most pharmacies require that their pharmacy technicians be certified and retain their certification throughout their time of employment as a pharmacy technician. This helps protect the pharmacy’s customers and the pharmacy itself because it helps to ensure that everything is done correctly.