How to Pick the Right Pharmacist Tech Course Near Bessemer Alabama
Having decided to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near BessemerAL, you might be thinking about just how to select the best program to receive your education and training. Usually the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. A number of prospective students start by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important factors when choosing a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. And if you prefer attending classes in your home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. Let's take a look at the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online courses.
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Pharmacy Tech Diplomas and Degrees
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically two alternatives to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at an accepted Bessemer AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually takes about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.
Pharmacist Tech Certifications Available
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech schools choose to get certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, many Bessemer AL pharmacies will only employ a tech 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 at least 18 years old, 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 applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every two years by both programs, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Technician Schools Online
Prior to deciding on a pharmacy tech online program, it's important to realize that most programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in a local Bessemer pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to obtain some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed online in your Bessemer AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for many students, particularly for those who continue to work while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online programs are often less expensive 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 schools are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online program you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online classes might be the ideal option for you.
Find the Best Bessemer Pharmacy Tech Course
Getting the ideal pharmacist technician training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a gratifying profession where helping customers with their health is your mission. In the past, most pharmacist techs were trained "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy technician colleges incorporate both classroom and clinical work. As we have discussed in this article, it's necessary to select a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. With the appropriate education and dedication you can realize your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Bessemer Alabama.