A career in the booming medical industry is always a good choice and with the ever increasing roll out of big retail chains all over America, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are becoming a popular career choice among. If you are considering becoming a pharmacy technician then do read up on the nature of the job, the working hours and the typical salary ranges for a pharmacy tech.
As for how to becoming a pharmacy technician, the steps are pretty straight forward. While most states do regulate pharmacy technicians, majority of them do not require a certification to become one. The states that do require certification are Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
As far as certification authority goes, the consensus and recommendation is to go with the certification issued by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. This certification is generally accepted by all States but please do double check with your state authority. The other certification body is the institute for certification of pharmacy technicians(ICPT) which is now part of the National Health Career Association (NHA).
There are no formal requirements as far as education and training is concerned. While this means that anyone with a high school diploma or its equivalent with the necessary on the job training could become a pharmacy tech, the reality is that with increased competition for pharmacy technician job openings, employers these days prefer to hire candidates that have undergone a pharmacy technician training program.
Most community colleges and trade schools offer pharmacy technician training programs. The course is usually anywhere between 6 months to 2 years and may include on the job training for experience as well. A typical pharmacy technician course will train students in proper terminology, calculations, techniques, record keeping and ethics. Choose your pharmacy tech program carefully and opt for one that includes some sort of internship that will impart valuable on the job experience.
Typical work duties of a pharmacy tech would require him or her to maintain patient records and insurance claim forms, take prescriptions from the patient, label bottles, count pills etc. With pharmacies now present in retail chains, hospitals, nursing and retirement homes, you now have a choice of work environment.
Becoming a pharmacy technician can be quite rewarding in terms of career and salary prospects. Decide if you feel that this is a career that makes sense to you and hopefully this guide on how to become a pharmacy technician is helpful.