Picking a career is one of the hardest choices you’re ever going to make.
Since, you’re here, you have probably narrowed down your choices a bit and are considering attending a pharmacy technician school. More people are considering jobs that require the wearing of robes, and for good reason. The allied health professions are growing rapidly and the the overall prediction is one of growth.
On the heels of widespread recession, job security is more than a little important. So what makes the pharmacy realm so appealing?
It’s a fast-track to a new career if you do it right. Here are a few ideas that will help make choosing a pharmacy technician school a little easier.
Go for Flexibility
Education is changing. You don’t have to spend your waking hours on campus or in a library to absorb the crucial information that will launch you into a new career. Many pharmacy technician schools offer programs either completely online, or hybrid courses, where some are offered online and others in person.
Unlike other areas of the allied health realm, becoming a pharmacy technician can be done relatively quickly. Programs typically last anywhere from six months to one year. How long the course you choose will be based on how deep into the subject matter you want to go. The more you know, the better your chances of finding gainful employment.
While becoming a technician can be done quickly, you can’t just pick any ol’ school without a little due diligence. Most perspective employers will want to see a certificate or degree from an accredited program. Accrediting agencies basically vet educational programs to ensure they are providing students with enough practical knowledge to perform the duties of a technician effectively – you know, so you don’t accidentally mix up prescriptions and kill people.
While there are pharmacy techs who were trained on-the-job, the industry is rapidly moving away from that model to make sure the people handing out prescriptions are utterly qualified. medication mix-up do happen and the result could easily be deadly.
Today, more employers are requiring certification by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy technicians (ExCPT). The best way to ensure a good score on either exam is to attend a good pharmacy technician school.
You’ll want to be able to pay for the school you choose. The good news is many accredited pharmacy technician schools offer financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants and loans.
If are going to need to take out loans to get through school, be sure to pick the right lender. The federal government has a Direct Loan program, which offers reasonable payment plans and lower interest rates. However, not all schools are eligible to offer government-backed financing.
Once you have figured out your scheduling and financing needs, narrow your search down to the top three schools. If you’ll be going to an pharmacy technician school campus, consider taking a tour to get a feel for the place.
Before you apply, make sure the staff is qualified and the student support networks are all in place. For instance, find out f the pharmacy technician school has a career services department that can assist with job placement and resume writing.
Even if you plan to take all your classes online, it’s important to make sure you’ll have all the support you need to have a successful experience. Will staff members be able to answer questions quickly and effectively? Do professors respond quickly to students?
Find out what current and former students are saying about their experience at the school you are considering.