Pharmacy technician certification requires you to go through a multi-step process. It’s best to look at individual organizations who offer the certification to see what they need from you, but here’s what the basic research shows below.
Not Every State Requires Pharmacy Technician Certification
Not every state requires pharmacy techs to gain an official certification. If that’s the case, you’ll still have to achieve some goals to prove that you’re qualified to work in this setting. Those who do go through the certification process report higher pay and perks, so it’s worth looking into.
First, you’ll need to either get your high school diploma or pass a GED test. Then you’ll move on to a college or vocational school that can help you enter into the arena of pharmacology.
Some of the classes you might be taking when you go for your pharmacy technician certification include mathematics, pharmacy technology, anatomy, law, leadership, writing, computers, health care, composition, drug dispensing, chemistry, medical technology, physiology and even communications.
The course work can often be online, but you will be required to prove your worth by doing laboratory assignments, too. The programs each school offers will vary from school to school, so be sure to look at their individual requirements.
Some schools only offer a certain set of coursework to be completed online – like math, medical terminology, and pharmacology. Others don’t allow any, while some offer almost everything online.
Each school is different, but you’ll basically be taking courses for about three semesters (a year and a half), unless you work hard to get it completed in just one year. You’ll be taking anywhere from 25 to 50 credits.
Once you’ve completed the course load for pharmacy technician certification, you’ll move on to in-house work so that you can get hands on experience with this career. You can intern at a hospital or with an online prescription drug manufacturer – but most people go to a retail pharmacy (like a Walgreens for example) to get their internship requirements met.
You also might want to see if a public health clinic has any openings if you have trouble finding work. It may mean that you’re an unpaid intern, but at least you’ll get the experience you need to qualify later.
Most states do require certification, which you’ll get through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board when you pass the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination.
Once you feel ready, you can register to take the exam, which is offered several times over the course of a year. You’ll be given a 90 piece multiple choice exam and sometimes you’ll have to complete a lab portion, too.
Once you pass the exam, it’s not the end of your certification process. You’ll need to complete continuing education courses of at least 20 hours bi-annually to keep your certification active.
There Are Continuing Education Requirements After You Get Your Pharmacy Technician Certification
Most people don’t have to worry about this when they want to get pharmacy technician certification, but just in case you’ve been convicted of a drug felony in the previous 5 year span, you should know that you won’t be eligible to even take the exam.
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