To become pharmacy technicians, students can enroll in two-year associate's degree programs in pharmacy technology. A high school diploma or GED is required, as well as chemistry and biology courses. After completing the degree program, students can take a certification exam. Much of what they need to know will be taught on the job though clinical experience.
Certification for Pharmacy Technician
Students in a pharmacy technician associate's degree program are introduced to a wide variety of pharmaceutical topics. The curriculum of most programs combines classroom coursework with laboratory and clinical experience. Students who earn an associate's degree should have the necessary knowledge to pass certification exams offered by the National Healthcareer Association and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Some of the courses in pharmacy technician programs are:
- Pharmacy calculations
- Basic clinical procedures
- Medical office practice
- Pharmacy maintenance
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov), employment growth of pharmacy technicians is anticipated to increase by 9% between 2014 and 2024, and employment of pharmacy aides is expected to increase by 0%. The BLS also states that as of May 2015, the median annual wage of pharmacy technicians was $30,410 and pharmacy aides earned $24,450.
Continuing Education Information
Pharmacy technicians may advance their careers by specializing in a particular area. Technicians with enough experience and training may also eventually become a pharmacist. Becoming a pharmacist involves additional formal training and further certification.
Pharmacy assistants can find education through associate's degree programs, which then allow them to earn certification. In addition to finding work, many choose to pursue specialization to further their options as well as extra training to become a pharmacist in full.