How to Pick the Right Pharmacy Tech Program Near Birmingham Alabama
Having decided to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near BirminghamAL, you may be wondering just how to choose the right school to receive your education and training. Usually the first step is to locate schools that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. A number of future students begin 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 selecting a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. And if you prefer attending classes in your home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be part of 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 Technician Degree Programs
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically two alternatives to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also include an internship at an accepted Birmingham AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacist Technician Certifications Available
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech schools choose to get 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 two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The NHA requires that the applicant be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just 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 fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Online Colleges
Prior to choosing a pharmacist tech online college, it's necessary to understand that the majority of programs 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 in most cases will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to receive some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed online in your Birmingham AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for most students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential 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 dedicated enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online training might be the ideal solution for you.
Find the Right Birmingham Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the right pharmacist technician training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting customers with their health is your purpose. In the past, many pharmacist technicians were trained "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy tech programs incorporate both classroom and laboratory training. As we have covered in this article, it's important to choose a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. With the right education and dedication you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Birmingham Alabama.