Pharmacy Technician Schools, Pharmacy Technician School

A pharmacy technician helps a licensed pharmacist prepare and dispense medication to patients. Currently, there are very few formal pharmacy technician training programs in the United States. Most training for this type of job is done through an employer in an on-the-job setting. However, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians offer national certification exams.

Technicians are required to become recertified every two years.

To find out more about this program, use our search tool at the top of the page.

Pharmacy Technician Schools - A Guide

In this day and age, there are medications to treat nearly every medical condition which afflicts the human population. While doctors prescribe medications, pharmacists dispense them.

Prescription medication is on the rise the United States: 34 percent of all adults use at least one prescription medication per month; 11.5 percent of adults use three or more prescription drugs; and 6.5 percent of American adults are taking four or more prescription drugs. With such an increase in drug usage, pharmacists often require assistance to keep up with all the prescription drug orders. Pharmacy technicians are the ones who provide that extra assistance.

Pharmacy technicians are charged with assisting pharmacists in all aspects of their job. Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies, hospitals, and even nursing homes. As a vital member of the pharmacy team, who will be dealing with medications, pharmacy technicians must have above-average ability in the areas of math, science, chemistry and statistics. Having a handle on good customer-service skills also is a must-have attribute for any pharmacy technician.

Pharmacy Technician Education and Training

There are several options when it comes to training for a career as a pharmacy technician and these are included in our how to become a pharmacy technician guide. Some pharmacies offer on-the-job training programs for pharmacy technicians. However, most employers prefer technicians who have received formal training. In most states, technicians must receive certification through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. However, before a candidate can sit for the test, they should complete formal training through a pharmacy technician training program offered by a technical or trade school, or through a community college.

The best pharmacy technician schools will provide training in the following areas: administration, pharmaceutical calculations, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, pharmacology, medical terminology, digestive/respiratory/reproductive systems, and healthcare systems. Pharmacy technicians will be trained in not only the medical aspects of the job, but also the customer service aspects. As with any retail job, a large portion of performing the duties of a pharmacy technician is dealing with the general public. Presenting oneself in a friendly manner can go a long way in helping to resolve conflicts that may arise as part of the job.

Pharmacy technicians should not only possess stellar customer service skills, but also be well organized and computer literate. A large portion of the job requires the use of computerized programs in order to properly dispense prescriptions. Some of the best pharmacy tech schools – as ranked by pharmacy technician school graduates – include the U.S. Career Institute, Kaplan College, Everest College, Virginia College, and Brown Mackie College. There are also options available for online pharmacy technician schools. As with any secondary-learning institution, students seeking to become a pharmacy technician should choose programs which are accredited.

There currently are two kinds of accreditation that these pharm tech schools can obtain: program accreditation or institutional accreditation. Program accreditation focuses solely on the program itself, rather than the entire institution which is offering it. This kind of accreditation is provided by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Institutional accreditation evaluates the entire institution, and is provided by at least five different agencies (ACCSCT, ABHES, ACICS, ACCET and COE).

Future Growth of Pharmacy Technician Jobs and Careers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median salary for a pharmacy technician in 2010 was $28,400 per year. Job growth in this industry is expected to show 42 percent growth over the next decade, which is a faster-than-average pace compared with other occupations.

Article by Shari Berg,

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The use of prescription medications is on the rise in the United States. With 34 percent of all American adults using at least one prescription medication, and the population of older Americans increasing, demand for adequate pharmacies and those who help to fill and dispense prescriptions is in high demand. It's no wonder many people are looking at how to become a pharmacy technician. The demand extends to registered pharmacy technicians, who help to assist pharmacists in every aspect of their jobs.

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