The Pros and Cons of Online Pharmacy Tech Schools


A report on online education released in 2009 concluded that students learning online perform better than those receiving face-to-face instruction. The report was compiled by SRI International for the Department of Education and examined 99 studies comparing online and classroom performance for the same courses. Most of the comparative studies were done in adult continuing education programs.

What does this mean for you? It means – statistically at least – if you enroll in coursework at one of the many online pharmacy technician schools, you may learn more and perform better than you would in the same traditional brick and mortar classroom courses. Other benefits of online pharmacy tech schools include:

Earn While You Learn

College can be expensive, even if you qualify for government financial aid programs. Many college graduates end up with thousands upon thousands of dollars in student loans and other debt. If you don’t wish to be among them, pharmacy technician online programs may be the right choice for you. The flexible schedules at online schools allow you to complete your coursework around your other obligations. If you’re holding down a full time job, you can complete online courses at night or on the weekends. This makes pharmacy technician certification online a fantastic option for someone who wants to transition to a new career without a period of unemployment.

Set Your Own Pace

Maybe you excel at math but find medical terminology a bit sticky. If you’re taking courses online, you can breeze through the math quickly and take more time with the terminology. Perhaps you’ve planned a two-week family vacation. You can complete coursework ahead of time or even catch up after you return from your trip. Training to become a certified pharmacy technician online gives you the freedom to progress through your coursework as quickly – or as slowly – as you like. You’ll have flexibility to take time off as needed – ideal for students with family commitments.

Avoid the Commute

If you’re going to attend a traditional brick and mortar school, you have to live nearby or be willing to make the commute to classes. This can mean navigating through rush hours and inclement weather. If you live far enough from campus, it can add up to more time on the road than in class. Online pharmacy tech schools enable you to learn from the comfort and convenience of your home (or the coffee shop, or anywhere else you have a computer and access to the Internet).

Juggle Your Commitments

It’s a busy world we live in, and sometimes 24 hours in a day just doesn’t feel like enough. While attending a traditional college requires you to focus on one task at a time, pharmacy technician online programs enable you to multi-task and juggle your responsibilities. Have small children at home? You can complete coursework while they nap. Holding down another job? Study at night and take quizzes on your lunch break. As long as you complete assignments, tests and quizzes by deadline, become a certified pharmacy technician through online courses offers virtually unlimited flexibility.

Online pharmacy technician schools are not for everyone. If you’re uncomfortable with computers, dislike reading and writing, lack self-direction and motivation or require face-to-face interaction with instructors in order to stay on task, then you may fare better at a traditional pharmacy tech school.

Reasons to Enroll in an Online Pharmacy Technician Program

Becoming a pharmacy technician is a wise decision. The projected outlook for pharmacy technicians is expected to steadily rise over the next several years as the baby boomer population grows older. But let’s say that you have a very busy life style and it may be difficult to find the time to attend college classes. Don’t give up your dream of becoming a pharmacy technician just yet. You can now take your pharmacy technician classes online. Read on to find our more information about enrolling in an online pharmacy technician program.

An online program is very similar to a campus program. The courses are the same and you are still responsible for turning any work in on time. But there are distinct advantages to taking an online program.

The first advantage to an online school is location. There is no driving to and from classes. You can take your classes with you if you have a laptop. You can access them from anywhere and at anytime.

Flexibility is another advantage to the online pharmacy technician programs. For those who work a full time job and have a family, online classes are the way to go. You can log on at any time day or night to access your classes. You can work on your schedule and not the school’s schedule.

An online school may be a little cheaper because there are no overhead costs factored into the tuition. This should make it considerably cheaper to attend online classes. A lot of the online programs place most of the textbooks online so that you may not have to shell out a lot of cash for your textbooks. You will also save money in commuting costs.

A big advantage to an online program is that you have access to your instructor via email or telephone. This is like having one on one instruction. Try to get that in a large university classroom.

With the online classes you can learn at your own pace. If you are better at the math but have trouble with the medical terminology part of the course, you can buzz through the math and spend more time with the medical terminology.

You need to do your research before you choose a online pharmacy technician program. It is important that you make sure the program adheres to your state’s requirements. You should also make sure that your online school is accredited. This will allow you to transfer credits if you decide to go back for a higher degree.

A great way to evaluate an online school is to find others who completed the course. Ask them about their experiences with the program and if they were satisfied with the curriculum and support. If the school does not get good reviews from past students, you should continue looking.

Even though you are attending an online school, you may be required to do an internship at a local pharmacy. This will give you great hands on experience and you will be able to learn under the supervision of a practicing pharmacist.

Your internship may take place in a hospital setting or it may be in a retail setting. There is a big difference between these two types of pharmacy settings. It is a good idea to look for an internship in the area that you are wanting to work. This will allow you to get some great experience before you start searching for a job.

Once you complete all of your online courses with passing grades, usually a C or better, you will be eligible to take the certification exam. You can take the exam as many times as you need to pass. Once you have certification, you will have to complete twenty hours of continuing education to recertify every two years.

So if you are wanting to become a pharmacy technician, you may want to explore your online programs options. Online programs are flexible and more cost effective. They are the perfect solution for those who have a very busy lifestyle. Just make sure you research any program thoroughly before you sign up.

How an Online Pharmacy Technician Training Course Really Works

If you’ve decided to enroll in pharmacy tech online classes, you’re one step further on your journey towards a stable and rewarding career as a pharmacy technician. With exceptional job growth forecasted by the year 2018 (a 31 percent increase according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), formally educated pharmacy technicians can be certain of finding ample employment opportunities wherever they live.

So what can you expect from a pharmacy tech online course? Courses will vary depending on the school or program chosen. However, if you’ve enrolled in an accredited training program or school, you will receive the best education available. Typical pharmacy tech classes include:

  • Pharmacology – You’ll learn drug classifications, what each drug is used for and how it is administered. This may include both prescription and over the counter medications.
  • Algebra – You’ll learn to use basic algebraic formulas to determine dosages from concentrations.
  • Medical Terminology – You’ll learn the terminology necessary to interpret doctors’ orders and prescriptions.
  • Anatomy and Physiology – You’ll learn the systems and functions of the human body so you can understand why certain medications are prescribed and how they work.
  • Ethics and Law – You’ll learn about current laws governing medical ethics and patient privacy.
  • Computers and Technology – Most pharmacies keep electronic records. You’ll learn to use pharmaceutical software programs and associated technology.
  • Communication – Strong communication skills are important for a pharmacy tech, as they must interact with pharmacists, patients and doctors on a daily basis.

One thing you can expect from online pharmacy tech courses, and also one of their greatest benefits, is flexibility. Many online schools allow students to log in and complete their coursework at their convenience. If you’re working a full-time job, you’re often able to fulfill your course requirements at night and on weekends.

Online courses, or distance learning, work through the Internet. One of the methods in which you may attend your pharmacy technician courses is through live media. In a live media type course, students log in to a chat room or instant messaging program. You may be able to read along with a text lecture or listen to the lecture through live audio. You communicate with other students and the professor through text messages or sometimes through a microphone headset. Lectures may be recorded and posted to the school website to allow students to listen to the material at their convenience.

Another method for conducting an online pharmacy technician training course is through the use of message boards and emails. Each course may share a group mailbox or message board that serves as a sort of virtual classroom. Professors can post lectures and assignments and even conduct discussions. Students can communicate through the message board or by email.As with any educational courses, grades are given based on completion of assignments and scores on quizzes and tests. Assignments are generally sent to the professor through email. Quizzes and tests are usually taken online.

Taking pharmacy tech classes online can be a convenient and cost-effective way to pursue your pharmacy technician training. While online education is not ideal for everyone, it affords a great deal of flexibility and the ability to learn at your own pace. To learn more about what to expect from a pharmacy tech career, please peruse our other articles.