How to Find the Best Pharmacy Technician Course Near Birmingham Alabama
Now that you have decided to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near BirminghamAL, you might be wondering just how to choose the best school to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. Many future students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important concerns when choosing a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. And if you prefer attending classes at home in front of your computer instead of 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 certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online courses.
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Pharmacy Tech Training Programs
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially 2 options to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at an accepted Birmingham AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally involves about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available
Certification is not required in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech schools choose to become certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, a number of Birmingham AL pharmacies will only hire a tech 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 completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Technician Online Programs
Before choosing a pharmacy tech online training program, it's important to realize that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in an area Birmingham pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken online in your Birmingham AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for most students, particularly for those who continue to work while attaining their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials may be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete 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 college you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online classes might be the right solution for you.
Enroll in the Best Birmingham Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the ideal pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting people with their wellness is your mission. In the past, many pharmacist technicians were taught "on the job". Nowadays, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist tech schools incorporate both classroom and laboratory work. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to enroll in a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. With the proper training and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Birmingham Alabama.