A pharmacy technician, or called a pharmaceutical technician sometimes, refers to a pharmacy aid staff member. As the name implies, he or she is trained to assist a licensed pharmacist or equivalent. If you want to become such a healthcare worker too, in most cases you have to finish the related training program and receive your diploma in the first place. So, the next question you may ask is, “How long does pharmacy technician certification take?” After all, this is one of common concerns for those who aspire to pursue a career in this field.
In fact, there are quite a few different school options offering such a certificate program. These school options include vocational school, continuing education division of colleges and universities, and community college. In fact, you have other options as well besides of a certificate program. For example, you can still choose the enrolment in Associate in Applied Science in Pharmacy Technician program or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree Program in Pharmacy Technology to finish the curriculum needed. So, it is up to you to choose the right one that fits best with your schedule.
As mentioned above, you can choose between a certificate program and a Associate’s degree program. So, what is the difference between them and which one fits you better? Now let’s simply compare these two options for you. The former refers to a 285-hour curriculum, which should be finished in 90 days in off-job training or 90 to 300 days in on-the-job learning; the latter is usually a two-year program, during which you should take both specialized courses and general education classes such as composition and Pharmaceutical mathematics. Just like a certificate program, at some schools an Associate’s degree program also offers distance learning in order to allow more new comers to study for very little tuition.
Usually, at least you need to have a high school diploma to qualify the Pharmacy Tech School admissions. From the above-mentioned programs, you are going to study courses like Pharmacology, Inventory practices for pharmacies, Pharmacy Math, Body organs and anatomical systems, Pharmacy Laboratory Skills, Insurance procedures, Fundamentals of Chemistry, to name but a few.
However, a certified pharmacy technician is not mandatory in some states. However, it often means more job opportunities for you if you obtain such a certification accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) once you pass the Pharmacy Exam (ExCPT). In other words, if you are now granted the title of CPhT you are qualified to engage in the job as a pharmaceutical technician.