How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

For a stable position in an uncertain economy, consider a career as a pharmacy technician. Jobs in the healthcare industry are high in demand, and assisting a pharmacist with providing people with important medication can be satisfying and rewarding. Training requirements usually include a high school diploma and vocational training in an accredited program for a designated length of time. Attending classroom training provides a new graduate with the confidence and knowledge needed in a highly responsible career.

Requirements for a Pharmacy Technician Training Program

Although requirements for technicians vary by state, most employers demand formal educational training from an approved program. Accredited programs are offered by vocational and technical schools, and community colleges that usually require a high school diploma and no previous experience in the healthcare field. The program must include classroom training, a laboratory component and supervised practical experience. To be certified, an exam is usually given after graduation and must be passed to become registered by the State Board of Pharmacy. Check individual states for their specific requirement.

What is the Length of a Pharmacy Technician Program?

Accredited programs comply with the State Board of Pharmacy requirements. For some states, a formal program from four months to two years meets the conditions for certification. In addition, the program may require on-the-job training to complete the practicum. In some cases, a graduate may be hired while waiting to take the certification exam. As a bonus, technicians are in high demand and pharmacies may pay the exam fee, and even reimburse a certain portion of tuition.

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How to Find Accredited Schools for Pharmacy Technician

Accreditation is awarded to educational programs that meet the standards of quality training needed to provide optimal safety and knowledge for the public in a particular field of study. The American Society of Health System Pharmacists is the authority on accreditation of pharmacy educational programs. When searching programs for pharmacy training, visit the website for the American Society of Health System Pharmacists, and choose “Accreditation” on the drop down menu. Scroll down to “Technical Training Directory” and click on it. On the landing page, the link marked as “Pharmacy Technician Program Directory,” will lead to a list of accredited programs available by state, and includes a brief description of each program with contact information. Search for an accredited program that is near your location.

Pharmacy Technology Positions

Enjoy a rewarding career and find satisfaction in helping others. As a pharmacy tech, you will work in a pleasant environment and gain the rewards of working as the member of a team of professionals. Opportunities for advancement are high, and tuition and exam fees may be reimbursed by your future employer. A stable career in a bad economy is available for those interested in working in pharmacy technology.

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