How to Pick the Best Pharmacy Technician College Near Auburn Alabama
Now that you have decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near AuburnAL, you may be wondering just how to pick the best college to get your education and training. Usually the first step is to find colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. Many prospective students begin by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant concerns when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be evaluated also. And if you prefer attending classes in your 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. We will address these qualifiers and some others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at the certificate and degree options available.
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Pharmacy Technician Degree and Certificate Programs
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally two alternatives to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an accepted Auburn AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
After you have determined whether you wish to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician schools to select from in the Auburn AL area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Auburn residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are several other factors that you need to take into consideration so that you may effectively compare colleges. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a complete superior education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Auburn AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but many employers desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacist technician college needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This qualification may be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Auburn Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Auburn AL upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a daunting task without some assistance. Ask if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Auburn AL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist technician college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Auburn AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Find the Right Auburn Pharmacy Technician Program
Getting the best pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to starting your career in a rewarding profession where helping customers with their wellness is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacist techs were taught "on the job". Nowadays, most pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist tech colleges include both classroom and clinical work. As we have addressed in this article, it's necessary to select a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the appropriate education and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Auburn Alabama.