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How to Get Yourself a Better Pharmacy Technician Job?

Opportunities abound for qualified pharmacy technicians looking for a job, if you browse through the leading job sites in the net like indeed, simply hired or monster you’ll notice that a lot of employers here are looking for highly skilled pharmacy techs, literally hundreds of job openings for interested applicants but the question is how do you get in? Let’s investigate the qualifications to find out.

If you drill down each job posting, you’ll notice a few things that a lot of these head hunters have in common – they prefer applicants with national certification, have completed a training program and depending on the employer – prefer applicants with previous work experience. The last preference won’t be applicable to un-experienced techs looking for a job for the first time but for the first two qualifiers is something that can be achieved if you take action.

A number of pharmacies who post in these job sites are large corporate firms – CVS, Walmart, Walgreens and Rite Aid. All of the companies mentioned belong to the top 25 pharmacies in the United States, ranked according to the number of stores all over the country. Getting into any one of these would mean getting top notched benefits that include full health and dental coverage, 401K, education assistance, discounts to medication and just to list a few of the benefits. Salaries will vary, the highest earning techs will get upwards of $40,000 a year.

Getting the proper pharmacy technician training

You will have a number of options for this which is dictated by the pharmacy board in your state.

First option would be to get training from a school accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacist or ASHP, all 50 states will recognize this accreditation body but not all states will have schools that are accredited by it. This isn’t the cheapest option available (more on that later on) but you’ll get the best training possible, and a number of schools offer scholarships and loan programs for applicants who might not be able to afford it on their own.

Second option is obtaining training from the pharmacy itself, but that would mean that you have to get a job first without any technician training which is a bit of a risk but it is worth trying because the training you’ll get here will be free but don’t expect a high salary. Take note that Rite Aid offers training to their employees for free, so if you can get job with them it would be a big first step.

Third option would be to obtain training from the U.S. armed forces, this option isn’t for everyone but if you have plans of joining the military and work for a military-based pharmacy then this is the step you can take. What’s great about this is that a majority of states will recognize training obtained from the armed forces so you won’t need to go through another training program to be qualified for registration or licensure with the board.

Fourth and last option would be obtaining an online pharmacy technician training program. It is cheaper and it can be done at your own pace. But be aware that a lot of fly by night schools have come about and have taken advantage of the demand to offer less than adequate programs to unsuspecting people. One way to distinguish a legit school from a bogus one is checking if their curriculum includes an externship program, where the school will arrange for your externship with a pharmacy – this will be equivalent to an on the job training course if you attend a traditional school. Also, a lot of legitimate online schools will prepare you to for the PTCB examination and enable you to get national certification which brings us to the next desired qualification.

Getting national certification

Currently, there are two major national certification giving bodies – (1) the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and (2) National Health Career Association. Both are recognized by the majority of pharmacy boards in the US. To qualify, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or equivalent and full disclosure of criminal and state board of pharmacy registration or licensure actions.

Review materials are available online through these two organisations. The PTCB offers a practice exam (for a fee) that will help you in preparation; it does not contain the actual exam questions but will have the same topics that will be asked in the test which you’ll need to study.

Regardless of the requirements of the pharmacy board in your state, the best investment you can make for your pharmacy technician career is to get nationally certified, not only will you have more employment options now, you’ll have more specialization options down the road to qualify to more higher paying jobs down the road

Opportunities abound for qualified pharmacy technicians looking for a job, if you browse through the leading job sites in the net like indeed, simply hired or monster you’ll notice that a lot of employers here are looking for highly skilled pharmacy techs, literally hundreds of job openings for interested applicants but the question is how do you get in? Let’s investigate the qualifications to find out.

If you drill down each job posting, you’ll notice a few things that a lot of these head hunters have in common – they prefer applicants with national certification, have completed a training program and depending on the employer – prefer applicants with previous work experience. The last preference won’t be applicable to un-experienced techs looking for a job for the first time but for the first two qualifiers is something that can be achieved if you take action.

A number of pharmacies who post in these job sites are large corporate firms – CVS, Walmart, Walgreens and Rite Aid. All of the companies mentioned belong to the top 25 pharmacies in the United States, ranked according to the number of stores all over the country. Getting into any one of these would mean getting top notched benefits that include full health and dental coverage, 401K, education assistance, discounts to medication and just to list a few of the benefits. Salaries will vary, the highest earning techs will get upwards of $40,000 a year.

Getting the proper pharmacy technician training

You will have a number of options for this which is dictated by the pharmacy board in your state.

First option would be to get training from a school accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacist or ASHP, all 50 states will recognize this accreditation body but not all states will have schools that are accredited by it. This isn’t the cheapest option available (more on that later on) but you’ll get the best training possible, and a number of schools offer scholarships and loan programs for applicants who might not be able to afford it on their own.

Second option is obtaining training from the pharmacy itself, but that would mean that you have to get a job first without any technician training which is a bit of a risk but it is worth trying because the training you’ll get here will be free but don’t expect a high salary. Take note that Rite Aid offers training to their employees for free, so if you can get job with them it would be a big first step.

Third option would be to obtain training from the U.S. armed forces, this option isn’t for everyone but if you have plans of joining the military and work for a military-based pharmacy then this is the step you can take. What’s great about this is that a majority of states will recognize training obtained from the armed forces so you won’t need to go through another training program to be qualified for registration or licensure with the board.

Fourth and last option would be obtaining an online pharmacy technician training program. It is cheaper and it can be done at your own pace. But be aware that a lot of fly by night schools have come about and have taken advantage of the demand to offer less than adequate programs to unsuspecting people. One way to distinguish a legit school from a bogus one is checking if their curriculum includes an externship program, where the school will arrange for your externship with a pharmacy – this will be equivalent to an on the job training course if you attend a traditional school. Also, a lot of legitimate online schools will prepare you to for the PTCB examination and enable you to get national certification which brings us to the next desired qualification.

Getting national certification

Currently, there are two major national certification giving bodies – (1) the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and (2) National Health Career Association. Both are recognized by the majority of pharmacy boards in the US. To qualify, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or equivalent and full disclosure of criminal and state board of pharmacy registration or licensure actions.

Review materials are available online through these two organisations. The PTCB offers a practice exam (for a fee) that will help you in preparation; it does not contain the actual exam questions but will have the same topics that will be asked in the test which you’ll need to study.

Regardless of the requirements of the pharmacy board in your state, the best investment you can make for your pharmacy technician career is to get nationally certified, not only will you have more employment options now, you’ll have more specialization options down the road to qualify to more higher paying jobs down the road.

 

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