How to Select the Best Pharmacist Technician Course Near Birmingham Alabama
Having made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near BirminghamAL, you may be wondering how to choose the right program to receive your education and training. Naturally 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 tuition and location are significant concerns when choosing a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. And if you prefer studying in your home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. Let's take a look at the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online programs.
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Pharmacy Tech 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 two alternatives to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at an approved Birmingham AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually requires about 2 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 in the future. Either program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacist Tech Certifications Offered
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician colleges opt to get certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, a number of Birmingham AL employers will only employ a tech that is certified. There are 2 organizations that offer 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 finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every two years by both programs, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Tech Online Schools
Before selecting a pharmacy tech online college, it's necessary to realize that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in an area Birmingham pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to acquire some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your Birmingham AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for most students, especially for those who continue to work while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online schools are often less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials may be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that any online program you are reviewing 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 classes may be the ideal option for you.
Find the Best Birmingham Pharmacy Technician School
Receiving the right pharmacist technician training is a critical first step to starting your career in a fulfilling profession where helping people with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacist techs were taught "on the job". These days, most employers 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. Many pharmacy tech schools incorporate both clinical and classroom work. As we have covered in this article, it's important to select a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. With the appropriate training and determination you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Birmingham Alabama.