dcsimg

Pharmacy Technician Schools, Tools, and Career Info

Your Friendly Neighborhood Pharmacy Technician

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 54 percent of pharmacy technicians worked in drugstores and 18 percent worked in hospitals as of 2010 (BLS.gov/ooh, 2013). Pharmacy technicians working at drugstores may be required to work late hours if their store is open 24 hours.

Pharmacy technicians working in hospitals may be responsible for preparing a greater amount of medication, which would not be the case for those working outside of the clinical setting. This can include intravenous medication or inhalants. Additionally, hospital pharmacy technicians may be required to deliver medication to patients in the hospital (BLS.gov/ooh, 2013) and should therefore be prepared to encounter sick, injured or terminally ill patients.

Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, who has a doctoral degree in pharmacy and is licensed. Pharmacy technician duties can include sorting medication, receiving orders and prescriptions, and mixing medication for combined prescriptions based on recipes provided from the pharmacist.

Pharmacy Tech: Education, Skills, and Salary Information

Generally there are no education requirements for pharmacy technicians beyond the applicant earning a high school diploma or a GED, although the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that some pharmacy technicians receive a postsecondary certificate from a 1-year vocational program. The BLS does list certain qualities that may be beneficial for those desiring a career as a pharmacy technician (BLS.gov/ooh, 2013). These qualities include the following:

  • Customer-service skills - pharmacy technicians interact with costumers on a daily basis.
  • Attention to detail - medication can be harmful if incorrectly prescribed.
  • Organizational skills - pharmacy technicians may be responsible for keeping the pharmacy running smoothly.

While the BLS does project a national employment opportunity growth of up to 32 percent for pharmacy technicians between 2010 and 2020 -- which would be faster than average for all other occupations (BLS.gov/ooh, 2013) -- the median annual wage for pharmacy technicians in May of 2011 was $28,940 nationally, which falls below the median annual wage for all other occupations (BLS.gov/oes, 2013).

Pharmacy technicians in most states are regulated (with the exception of Colorado, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania) and may be require to be certified. Some employers may pay for noncertified pharmacy technicians to take the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) or the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) (BLS.gov/ooh, 2013). According to the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), one of two organizations which certify pharmacy technicians, earning certification may increase an pharmacy technician's job opportunities.

Passing the exam earns one the title of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). According to the NHA, the program was established by the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians; however, the CPT is now a part of the NHA. According to the NHA, a CPhT may perform any or all of the following tasks:

  • Process written or electronically submitted prescription requests from patients or doctors (some states may allow CPhTs to process physicians' orders by phone)
  • Retrieve, count, pour, weigh, measure and mix or compound medications as per the prescription
  • Establish and maintain patient profiles
  • Prepare insurance claim forms for prescriptions
  • Manage the pharmacy's inventory of medication

In order to sit for the exam, the following are required of candidates and CPhTs:

  • High school diploma or equivalent educational diploma
  • Full disclosure -- and absence of -- any and all criminal and State Board of Pharmacy registration or licensure actions
  • Absence of a record of criminal conduct involving the candidate

Tools of the Trade

Pharmacy technicians may use auger dosing machines, which utilize the common "drill" (auger device) to provide the exact amount of medication. This is useful when filling large bottles of medication. Smaller prescriptions are filled either by hand using a counting tray or by an automated tablet-counting device such the KL1Plus, which can verify that the type of medication being counted is correct and that the dosage is safe. Automated devices are also available for compounded drugs; however, research conducted by Pharmacy Purchasing & Products indicates that these devices are not widely used.

Search for Campus and Online Pharmacy Technician Schools Below

Click on a school to request more information.

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.

Searching Searching ...

Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
Matching School Ads
1 Program(s) Found
  • Encompasses the Lincoln Tech, Lincoln Culinary Institute, and Lincoln College of New England brands.
  • Lincoln schools made more than $15 million available nationally through scholarships to qualified students in 2015.
  • Designated a Military Friendly School for the 6th year in a row by Victory Media; offers exclusive scholarship for servicemen and women and their families.
  • First Lincoln Tech campus opened in 1946; now 30 campuses in 15 states across the United States.
  • Campuses are accredited by the ACICS, ACCSC, ABHES, and NEASC
  • Accredited
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
UEI College , San Marcos
  • Dedicated to providing career training since 1975.
  • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
  • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
  • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
  • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
  • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
Virginia College , Jacksonville
  • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
  • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
  • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
  • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
  • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found

Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.

* Programs vary by location

* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information

Please call on  844-252-4552 to talk to a respresentative.

  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
Brookline College , Albuquerque

Get hands-on training with Brookline College. We offer diploma and degree programs in the areas of health care, business, nursing, criminal justice, paralegal, and computer security. We understand that today's student is busy with many responsibilities, so we offer day, evening, and online classes, giving you options to fit school into your schedule.

Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found

Dorsey has been a trusted career training school in Michigan for over 80 years!


We offer training programs designed to prepare our students for careers in fields such as healthcare, beauty, culinary, and skilled trades

.

 

  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers programs in nursing, medical assisting, pharmacy technology, dental assisting, and more.
  • Six Campuses across Northern CA: Fremont, San Jose, Sacramento, S. San Francisco, Hayward, and Concord.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, with programmatic approvals from the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians and the Board of Registered Nursing.
  • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating since 2010.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
South College , Knoxville

At South College we welcome students from all different stages of life and career.  Whether you are pursing a degree for the first time, going back to school as an adult learner, or furthering your career with an advanced degree, our faculty and staff will partner with you to give your dreams direction.

Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Job readiness training is available to all graduates, including resume preparation, interviewing techniques, job search skills, and more.
  • Offers programs in medicine, cosmetology, business, and HVAC.
  • Member of the Career Colleges and Schools of Texas state association.
  • Accredited by the Commission of the Council of Occupational Education (COE), with approval from the Texas Workforce Commission, Career Schools and Colleges.
  • Founded in 1960, with 7 campuses across Texas and online options.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid