How to Enroll In the Best Pharmacist Technician College Near Birmingham Alabama
Now that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near BirminghamAL, you may be thinking about how to pick the best program to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find schools that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. Many future students begin by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important factors when deciding on a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be evaluated as well. And if you are interested in studying at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. Let's take a look at the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online programs.
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Pharmacy Technician Degree and Certificate Programs
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 alternatives to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an accepted Birmingham AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically takes about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.
Pharmacist Tech Certifications Offered
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to become certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, a number of Birmingham AL employers will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 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 finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every two years by both programs, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Classes Online
Prior to selecting a pharmacist tech online college, it's important to realize that most schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is commonly satisfied in a local Birmingham pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy tech in order to receive some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed over the internet in your Birmingham AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online programs are sometimes more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online program you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction might be the best solution for you.
Enroll in the Right Birmingham Pharmacy Technician Program
Receiving the right pharmacist technician training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting people with their wellness is your objective. Traditionally, most pharmacist techs were taught "on the job". Nowadays, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy technician programs incorporate both clinical and classroom work. As we have discussed in this article, it's essential to select a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This holds true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. With the right training and commitment you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in Birmingham Alabama.