If you want to pursue a career in the fast-growing healthcare field, then, becoming a pharmacy technician will make an excellent option for you.
Pharmacy technicians form a greater part of the healthcare industry and are continually in demand. Aspiring pharmacy techs can now earn their degree online, giving them the flexibility they need to advance their careers and still perform well in other areas of their lives.
Furthermore, Pharmacy tech online schools offer training programs that will provide you with the skills that can help you reach your goals without having to take up a four-year college degree.
You don’t have to worry about how to get started, We have provided in this article the necessary information you need on how to become a pharmacy technician. Not just that, we will also link you with the Pharmacy tech online schools in the world. You can select the option that best fits your demand. The table below will help you navigate the options.
Why Pharmacy Technician?
Pharmacy technicians are licensed healthcare personnel who work collaboratively with a licensed pharmacist to performs pharmacy-related duties.
Their role involves dispensing the correct medication to their patients and must be knowledgeable about the inventory of their pharmacy in order to treat their patients.
Pharmacy Technicians are true and professional members of the healthcare industry. Apart from rendering healthcare service to patients, they also perform an extremely important service to the people in their communities.
A career as a Pharmacy Technician highly lucrative and rewarding. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor projects an increase in the number of Pharmacy Technician jobs in future years.
How Can I Become a Pharmacy Technician?
Becoming a Pharmacy Technician is pretty easy and straightforward. Before you choose any program whether online or on-campus, ensure you verify from a reliable source. Learn how to become a pharmacy tech by following the guidelines below.
- Get Formal Training through an Accredited Institution
- Complete an externship and obtain clinical experience prior to employment.
- Obtain certification from nationally recognized Pharmacy and Health Standards.
Read also: 10 Best Pharmacy Technician Schools in the World | 2024
How Much Does It Cost To Enroll In A Pharmacy Tech Online Schools?
The cost associated with enrolling in a pharmacy tech online varies quite a bit. The factors that determine cost include the state residency; students who live in the same state as their school will often pay lower tuition than out-of-state students.
However, some schools charge flat tuition for all online students regardless of their residency status. Technology fees also impact the price tag of an online degree.
The pharmacy technician online certification generally costs $100 to $200 per credit and takes between 5 to 24 months to complete.
How Long Does It Take To Complete Pharmacy Tech Online Schools?
The length of a Pharmacy tech program varies from school to school. Most certificate programs typically take up to 2 years to complete and consist of 18 to 50 credit hours.
However, accelerated programs allow students to graduate in as little as three months by studying full-time. In most cases, the time it takes students to graduate depends on the amount of time they can put in.
Nevertheless, online pharmacy technician schools meet or exceed the training requisites for both the PTCB and NHA exams.
What Are The Online Program Options for Pharmacy Techs?
Online pharmacy technician schools feature several types of programs to meet the different needs of their students. It helps prospective students to have knowledge of the programs available and to ensure they select the option that fits their career ambition.
Let’s discuss the details of the three most common program options below.
Vocational schools and community colleges offer online career diplomas that can be completed in a year or less. Community colleges are public institutions, and generally less expensive for in-state students.
Pharmacy technician career diploma programs generally include a combination of curriculum hours and supervised training by a licensed pharmacist.
Students enrolled in these programs learn to manage and update patient records, understand medical terminology, and assist pharmacists with office duties. Externships may be offered at community hospitals or local retail pharmacies.
Associate degree programs are general education courses not found in diploma programs. Community colleges don’t only offer a diploma, they also offer associate degree programs to prepare students for careers as pharmacy technicians.
Community college tuition is less expensive for in-state residents and maybe a better financial option. However, tuition differs among programs, so it’s important to research costs before choosing a program.
Associate degree programs typically comprise 90 credit hours of general education and pharmacy technician courses. In some cases, students need to meet math or science prerequisites before beginning their associate degree education, so prospective students should find out what is expected.
Continuing pharmacy education (CPE) ensures that pharmacy technicians maintain competency and improve their professional skills. Since most states require pharmacy technicians to be certified, CPE is also necessary to renew certification.
Each State Board determines the requirements for certification or license renewal.
What Are The Best Pharmacy Tech Schools Online?
The following is a list of the top pharmacy tech schools online. These schools offer certificates and associate degrees that prepare students to take the PTCE exam and provide them with professional practice skills.
Our selection criteria are based on the quality and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.
We got our data from reliable sources, testimonials, interviews, and contacting individual schools. Below is the list of the schools, you will have to read further to get information on the various degree programs offered, tuition info, and program options for these schools.
- North Dakota State College of Science
- Vincennes University
- Casper College
- Central Piedmont Community College
- State Fair Community College
- Hutchinson Community College
- Lakeshore Technical College
- University of Alaska Anchorage
- Barton County Community College
- Southwestern Oregon Community College
- Central Louisiana Technical Community College
- Altierus Career College
- North Seattle College
- Pickens Technical College
- University of Montana
1. North Dakota State College of Science
|$137 per credit
North Dakota State College of Science is a top online pharmacy tech school. It is a public institution with regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
NDSCS offers an associate-level pharmacy technician degree that provides students with technical and management skills needed to obtain entry-level careers in pharmacy-related industries.
Required courses include pharmacy practice, pharmaceutical calculations, a chemical/physical pharmacy lab, and orientation to pharmacy practice.
To qualify for this program, you must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate and be at least 18 years old.
2. Vincennes University
|$193 per credit
Vincennes University is a public institution that holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. VC offers a pharmacy technician associate degree that prepares students for entry-level positions at the hospital and retail pharmacies.
Coursework covers topics in medical terminology for allied health and pharmacology and a dispensing lab.
The application requires include ACT, SAT, ACCUPLACER, or another VU-approved exam for placement purposes. Students who possess a health pharmacy technology certificate from Indiana University receive automatic acceptance into this associate program.
3. Casper College
|$135 per credit
Casper College holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and offers an online Pharmacy Technician Certificate program. The school program features a skills-based curriculum delivered by experienced instructors.
Coursework covers topics in medical terminology, pharmacy calculations, pharmacy experiential training, and pharmacy law and ethics.
Admission requirements include a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Competitive applicants need a minimum 2.0 high school GPA and a “C” or better in certain prerequisite classes. Additionally, students must pass a background check and a drug test before they can participate in clinical experiences.
4. Central Piedmont Community College
|$77 per credit
Central Piedmont Community College is a public institution that holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school is located in Matthews, North Carolina, and offers an associate of applied science in pharmacy technology.
The program features major courses including hospital pharmacy, professional issues, a survey of medical terminology, and sterile products.
To qualify for admission, you must submit your high school transcripts and a separate pharmacy technology application form.
5. State Fair Community College
|$170 per credit
State Fair Community College is one of the best pharmacy tech program Located in Sedalia, Missouri. SFCC holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and offers an online associate of applied science in healthcare specialists with a pharmacy technician emphasis.
Coursework covers topics in microbiology, microcomputer applications, human physiology labs, and sociology.
Additionally, students are required to take some general education courses in public speaking, business communication, U.S. history, and American government.
6. Hutchinson Community College
|$110 per credit
Hutchinson Community College is a public school. Students can earn a pharmacy technician certificate in 3 semesters of full-time study.
Courses at HCC are available entirely online, but students are required to attend an on-campus lab each semester they are enrolled in the program.
The curriculum features theory, gain hands-on experience, and work in clinical settings throughout the program.
The applicant requirement includes a Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE).
The school offers a range of institutional scholarships to students to help pay for their certificate program.
7. Lakeshore Technical College
|$137 per credit
Located in Cleveland, Wisconsin. Lakeshore Technical College offers a pharmacy technician program for people who are currently working as pharmacy technicians or in a closely related area.
It is a 17-credit program that provides students with skills, a better understanding of technician theory, and also preparation for the national certification exam. Students may need to complete lab-focused coursework in person.
8. University of Alaska Anchorage
|$223 per credit
The University of Alaska Anchorage(UAA) is a public school that holds regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
UAA offers an online pharmacy tech occupational endorsement certificate. The program prepares students to sit for the national pharmacy technician certification board examination.
The program’s curriculum features core concepts like pharmacology for technicians, techniques of pharmacy practice, pharmacy calculations, and topics in pharmacy.
Admission requirements include a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Also, applicants needs to demonstrate a proficiency in math, English, typing, and computer technology.
9. Barton County Community College
Are you seeking to gain the skills needed to assist pharmacists in hospital and retail pharmacy settings? If yes, Barton County Community College is te best destination for you. Located in Great Bend, Kansas, BCC is a public school that holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Barton County offers a two semesters pharmacy technician certificate. Coursework in this program includes pharmacy calculations, pharmacy operations, customer service, and pharmacy technician topics.
Upon completion of the program, students can sit for the pharmacy technician certification board exam or the exam for the certification of pharmacy technicians.
10. Southwestern Oregon Community College
|$96 per credit
Southwestern Oregon Community College is a public school in Coos Bay, Oregon. The college is regionally accreditated by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and offers a certificate of completion, pharmacy tech program.
Coursework in this program covers topics in pharmacology, pharmacy records management, and human relations in organizations. To graduate, learners need at least 51 credits with a 2.0 GPA or higher.
Requirements for application include placement exams in math, writing, and reading. Additionally, students need to complete a criminal background check and drug testing.
11. Central Louisiana Technical Community College
|$192 per credit
Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education, Central Louisiana offers a pharmacy technician certificate program. Students can complete the certificate in as few as 9 months by completing 2 semesters of 29 credit hours of coursework.
The program curriculum includes classroom, lab instruction, and supervised clinical externships where students will work with preceptors from various sites, such as hospitals, retail pharmacies, and community sites, to fulfill the clinical certification requirements.
Coursework covers topics in the introduction to computers, pharmacy technician fundamentals, pharmacology, and professionalism for the pharmacy technician.
Additionally, CLTCC provides both state and federal financial aid opportunities, and several scholarships to deserving students.
12. Altierus Career College
|$301 per credit
If you wish to enter the pharmacy career quickly, Altierus Career College is where you should begin your journey. The school offers a flexible 8-month pharmacy tech program that allows students to take courses 3 days per week whether online or on-campus.
Students can take general courses in subjects such as health care, ethics of pharmacy, pharmacology, pharmacy operations in retail and hospital settings, and medical calculations. The program also provides a clinical externship where students can put their coursework into practice.
The interesting part is, the school provides personalized academic support through coaching, confidence-building interview preparation, and job search assistance. Altierus is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
In addition to the course curriculum, Altierus offers Financial aid in form of scholarship to qualifying students.
13. North Seattle College
|$210 per credit
Another known online pharmacy tech school is North Seattle College. The school offers a 53 credit hours program and takes 9 months to complete. Students who have successfully completed intro-level math and English courses can enroll in this program to quickly launch themselves into a career in pharmacy.
The pharmacy tech program at North Seattle offers hands-on externship experiences that often end up placing the student in a full-time position with their externship site upon graduation.
The coursework leads to the national certifications needed to work as a pharmacy technician. The school has a 99.6% graduation rate.
The certificate program at North Seattle is accredited by the Washington State Board of Pharmacy and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).
14. Pickens Technical College
|$132 per credit
Pickens Technical College is a great pharmacy tech school and one of the best. The school awards an online certificate in pharmacy technology.
Pickens tech is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education, prepares students to take the Pharmacy Technical Certificate Board Exam at the end of the program.
The school offers a range of scholarships to students and other forms of financial aid. However, Pickens does not give student loans.
Pharmacy technology students who earn their certificate at Pickens Tech can continue general education courses and go on to complete other requirements at the Community College of Aurora to earn their Associate of Applied Science degree or Associate of General Studies degree in pharmacy technology from this college.
15. University of Montana
|$324 per credit
The University of Montana is one of the best pharmacy tech online schools. UM is accredited and offers a Certificate of Applied Science in Pharmacy Technology. The program features online courses and hands-on learning opportunities in UM-Missoula’s pharmacy lab at the River Campus.
In addition to coursework, UM-Missoula provides a range of support services for students, including an academic advising center and workshops to develop study skills and learning strategies.
The school also provides financial aid in the form of scholarships to students to help pay for their pharmacy technology certificate program.
To gain admission into UM-Missoula, you must demonstrate college-level skills in writing, math, and computers.
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Where Can I Work As A Pharmacy Technician?
Pharmacy technicians are essential for the daily operations of any pharmacy, nursing home, or hospital. They work in a wide range of environments and their functions vary by the workplace.
A Pharmacy Technician can get employment as a Dental Assistants, Medical Assistants, Medical Transcriptionists and many others.
How Much Do Pharmacy Technicians Earn?
According to the most recent data published in the Occupational Outlook Manual of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for pharmacy technicians is $31,750.
Depending on where you work, your salary may increase, as rates may be higher in outpatient services and in hospitals than in supermarkets or pharmacies. An experienced Pharmacy Technician can earn up to $32,700 a year.
Job Outlook For Pharmacy Technicians
The Bureau of Labour Statistics speculates that the employment of pharmacy technicians will grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. Increased demand for prescription medications will lead to more demand for pharmaceutical services.
Taking up a career as a pharmacy technician is a great choice to make. However, many factors must be considered before enrolling in any program leading to a career in this discipline.
We have highlighted in this article a variety of Pharmacy technician programs especially for those considering a distance-learning option. Choose the options that best fit your demand, they will help you pursue a wide range of job opportunities.
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