Four years of college isn’t for everyone. In fact, it’s very possible to get into a great carer with alternative training, such as certificate programs that can be completed in a matter of months.
Many high school graduates, and professionals looking to switch careers, want to avoid mountains of student loan debt and a long-term educational commitment.A career in the healthcare realm offers great opportunities with training programs that can be completed in a matter of or a couple of years, depending on which profession someone chooses.
Pharmacy technician training is becoming an increasingly popular option. Traditionally, on-the-job training was considered sufficient for this profession, but over time, regulators and the medical community as a whole wanted to see a higher level certification and education.
It’s not hard to see why: when it comes to prescription drugs, the smallest mix-up can cause serious health complications – or even kill somebody. Today, the largest employers of pharmacy technicians want to see that prospective employees are trained and ready to enter the field.
How to Obtain Pharmacy Technician Training
There are plenty of avenues when it comes to pursuing an education. Pharmacy technician training typically lasts anywhere from three to six months. Students will learn how to process orders, fill prescriptions and follow strict administrative guidelines. Techs work directly under the supervision of a pharmacist.
A reputable training program will prepare students to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam. While this certification is not federally mandated, most pharmacies will only hire technicians who have earned the designation.
Certificate candidates are tested on pharmacy law, safety, inventory management, billing and information systems, to name a few. Students have the option of studying online, or at a physical campus – both options can prepare students to pass the PTCB exam.
Will There Be Jobs?
The job outlook is very promising for technicians. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is expected to grow by 32 percent through 2020. The increase of opportunities is attributed to pharmaceutical advancements allowing more medical conditions to be treated with drugs. Another aspect is an increasing population of senior citizens, who typically take more prescription meds than younger people.
Pharmacy technicians who work in hospital can expect to make around $32,000 a year. Those who work in drug stores and grocery stores typically make a little less, roughly $28,000 per year.
Technicians with a combination of experience and education earn around $40,000 a year or more, once they be come supervisors or lead pharmacy technicians.
The first step to becoming a pharmacy technician is finding a good training program. Whether you attend courses in person or online will depend on your scheduling needs and learning style.
Online courses offer the flexibility of studying at you leisure. While there are deadlines, students don’t have to sit through a class at any particular time.
The advantages of attending classes in person include access to instructors and a more structured learning environment; some people simply learn better in a traditional environment.
Either option is viable and will provide the training needed to pass certification exams and launch a rewarding career in a growing field.