How to Find the Best Pharmacy Tech College Near Athens Alabama
Having made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near AthensAL, you might be pondering just how to select the right college to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. A number of potential students start by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are significant concerns when selecting a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. And if you prefer attending classes at home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. Let's take a look at the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.
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Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 options to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at an approved Athens AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacist Tech Certifications
Certification is not required in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech colleges choose to become certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Additionally, many Athens AL pharmacies will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The NHA requires that the applicant be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which may be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Technician Online Classes
Prior to choosing a pharmacist tech online college, it's important to realize that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in a local Athens pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to get some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Athens AL home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for most students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online colleges are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials can be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online college you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online instruction might be the best solution for you.
More on How to Train to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Athens
Enroll in the Best Athens Pharmacy Technician Program
Finding the best pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a rewarding occupation where helping customers with their wellness is your purpose. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were trained "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist tech colleges include both classroom and laboratory training. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to enroll in a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. With the right education and determination you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in Athens Alabama.
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