Qualifications to Become a Pharmacy Technician
With the growth of employment opportunities for pharmacy technicians, it is now one of the best careers these days. If you are interested in this profession it is but necessary for you to know the different qualifications to become a pharmacy technician so that you will know where to start.
Education Requirements for Pharmacy Technicians
Unlike other professions, there is actually no national training standard required for pharmacy technicians. However, a formal training and certification is strongly recommended since employers prefer those who have these. These will also give you the chance to apply for better job opportunities where you can have a higher pay, more incentives and better working environment.
When you attend a formal pharmacy technician education, you can choose to have the training from different organizations. You can study in vocational schools, universities, community colleges and hospitals. You can even study through online programs offered by various schools.
These formal training programs can range from six months to two years, depending on the institution where you are studying and the course of study that you are taking whether it is a diploma, a certificate or an associate’s degree. These are designed to edify you on the different concepts and practices that are necessary for this profession. Some of the topics that you will study are pharmacology, pharmacy law and ethics, terminologies in medicine and pharmacology, recordkeeping and pharmaceutical calculations.
Aside from having classroom lectures, you will undergo internships where you will be able to gain a hands-on experience on doing the jobs of a pharmacy technician in actual pharmacies.
Pharmacy Technician Certification
Before you can work as a pharmacy technician after finishing your training program, you will need the examination that is conducted by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. When you pass this exam, it means that you have gained the necessary knowledge that is required of a pharmacy technician. However, before you can take the certification exam, you will need to have these prerequisites:
A high school diploma or the equivalent for foreign examinees.
No felony convictions
No drug-related offenses and misdemeanors
Not under restrictions from the State Board of Pharmacy
In addition to these prerequisites, there will be an application fee that you will have to pay but most of the time, your employers will reimburse the fee to you. When you have passed the exam, you will be awarded with the title Certified Pharmacy Technician or CPhT.
Your certification should be renewed every two years. The recertification will require you to have twenty hours of continuing education which can be taken from colleges, seminars, training programs or pharmacy associations.
A pharmacy technician does not just need education and certification for you will also need the right characteristics so that you can perform your job well. You will need good communication skills so that you can interact well with your patients, other employees and other healthcare professionals. And of course, you will need good customer service skills and precision in what you do. When you have these characteristics, you can do your job with ease.When you have all these qualifications to become a pharmacy technician, then you will be able to have a good start in having a fulfilling career.