How to Choose the Best Pharmacist Technician College Near Athens Alabama
Now that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near AthensAL, you may be wondering how to choose the right school to receive your education and training. Of course the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. Many prospective students start by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are critical concerns when choosing a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation need to be evaluated as well. And if you prefer attending classes at home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. Let's take a look at the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.
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Pharmacy Tech Certificates and Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at an approved Athens AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically requires about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Available Certifications
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician colleges opt to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Also, a number of Athens AL pharmacies will only hire a tech that is certified. There are two organizations that offer certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The NHA requirements are that the applicant be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which may be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Tech Online Classes
Before deciding on a pharmacist tech online school, it's important to understand that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in an area Athens pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician in order to acquire some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed online in your Athens AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, especially for those who continue to work while attaining their degree or certificate. And online colleges are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and costs for driving and course materials can be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online program you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Enroll in the Right Athens Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the ideal pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting people with their wellness is your objective. In the past, many pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacies can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is offered by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy technician schools incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to choose a school that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. With the right training and determination you can realize your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Athens Alabama.