Pharmacy technician certification is a career that can be entered by passing several exams. Not every state requires Pharmacy technicians to be certified, however to gain the higher quality salaries and to be certain your training is adequate this would be a very good idea. It takes on average about six months to complete a pharmacy technician certification.
To quality for certification and training the new technician must not have a criminal record going back at least five years with especially no convictions for drug-related felony’s. You also will be barred from certification if you have any restrictions placed on you by the State Board of Pharmacy.
When at work, pharmacy technicians assist the pharmacist and customers with prescriptions. They process information and keep records. They also assist with medications. You will be expected to fill prescriptions which includes counting, mixing, weighing and measuring of many different medications. A primary requirement for this position is accuracy, attention to details and customer service. Those working in smaller venues may also be asked to answer phones, wait on customers and operate the cash register.
Once you have won entry, there are a number of classes to take. this will prepare you for the two major pharmacy technician exams. These two required certification exams are 1) the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) and 2) the Examination for Certified Pharmacy Technician (ExCPT). There are testing fees required for every try.
The first PTCE contains 90 questions. It is a computer-based exam that includes multiple choice. You may attempt these tests as often as needed to finally pass. The questions focus on core responsibilities for the technician such as responsibility to the pharmacist and maintaining medical inventory. It also involves control of the systems operating around the pharmacy business. Supporting the general administration processes is also often required.
The PTCE is a computer-based multiple-choice 90 question exam. The test focuses on the core responsibilities of the technician including the responsibility to both the pharmacist and the client. It includes how to maintain medical inventory and control systems, along with how to take a role in overall administration.
Continuing education is also required for the pharmacy technician to maintain their certifications. This entails ten hours of additional education every two years. At least one of these hours must be spent on understanding pharmacy law.
When studying for your certification you will be learning math with appropriate dosage calculations, how to interpret medication orders, pharmacological law, how to manage inventory and keyboarding for online pharmacy tasks. Some certification programs also provide the much-needed on-the-job training, as experience is mandatory for a good job placement.
Many potential pharmacy technicians support getting themselves work by volunteering for the position, which often leads to employment. If you choose where you would like to work, and offer to help until a job opens, the strategy could pay off.
Market Value and Earnings Potential
The average earnings for a pharmacy technician varies. When one is working for a store focused on health and personal care, the average salary for the pharmacy technician is around $27,900 per year. If the employment is with a general medical or surgical hospital it can go as high as $33,160. For an average grocery store it will be around $28,000 and for a general department store it will average about $26,250. The very top 10% of experienced technicians according to the department of labor and industries is $40,710 per year and they quote $29,330 in May of 2010 as the average salary across the US.
Some of the best markets for jobs as pharmacy technicians include hospitals or clinics, nursing and care homes, assisted living complexes and store locations that include pharmacy services. There are many programs that can be accessed online so the education can be styled to your own timing and schedules.
Whereas most pharmacy technicians get training on the job, many hiring managers want to see real experience. With formal training programs you receive certifications, laboratory experience, focused job training and job search support. You also gain access to quality continuing education and other forms of job placement and job growth support.
If you wish to begin a career as a pharmacy technician, please do attend to the various training centers and schools with certification programs. Some of the online pharmacy technician certification programs include: Ashworth College US, Allied Schools and Penn Foster Career Schools.