If you have been thinking about a profession in the medical field that does not need years upon years of education, a career as a pharmacy technician might be for you.
Pharmacy technicians work alongside and under the direction of a licensed pharmacist. Their job duties are varied: receiving and preparing prescriptions, dispensing medication, providing important medication information to customers, and more. You will find pharmacy technicians in different settings, such as drug stores, grocery stores, hospitals, and other medical locations. You could say that they are indispensable.
How long does it take to become a pharmacy technician? It can vary based on a number of factors. However there are some basic steps that every student should follow, which are listed below.
After you have completed your high school education or its equivalent, it is recommended that you enroll and complete a program for a pharmacy technician. How long does it take to become a pharmacy technician at this point? Through community colleges and vocational schools such as Southern Careers Institute, you can earn a certificate in a year or less, or you can opt for an associate degree which can take about two years. Courses cover subjects such as pharmacology, anatomy, healthcare systems, ethics and law, medical terminology, and more.
Complete On-the-job Training
Technically, on-the-job training is the only requirement to become a pharmacy technician. It allows you to gain the clinical experience you need to understand and appreciate the work situation. Many schools offer internships to their students as a component of their study program. These internships take place at approved medical facilities that have partnered with your school. For those schools that do not offer clinical experience, you may obtain on-the-job training by finding drug stores or other locations that are willing to hire and train you, possibly after you have completed your pharmacy technician education.
Note that you need to be registered with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) board before starting your training in a licensed Texas pharmacy.
To work as a pharmacy technician, you must have an active registration with the TSBP. You can also become certified by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Once you are registered with the TSBP, you do not need to maintain your PTCB certification. However, your PTCB certification is recognized nationally in case you decide to move to another state.
Obtaining your pharmacy technician certification indicates that you have achieved a certain level of knowledge in your field, and will help you command a higher salary or move up in your career.
Note that you will need to renew your TSBP certification regularly.
As a pharmacy technician, you can also complete more specialized training to work as a community pharmacy technician, central pharmacy operations technician, or other similar roles within your organization.
A Last Thought
How long does it take to become a pharmacy technician? The requirements needed for this career can change, so make sure you research your options thoroughly. If you want to jump into a career as a pharmacy technician, you can start working within a year with options to enhance your knowledge in a way that works with your schedule.