How to Find the Best Pharmacy Tech School Near Helena Alabama
Having decided to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near HelenaAL, you might be pondering how to pick the right college to get your education and training. Of course the first step is to locate schools that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. Many future students begin by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when selecting a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. And if you are interested in studying in your home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. Let's take a look at the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online courses.
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Pharmacy Tech Diplomas and Degrees
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 alternatives to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at an approved Helena AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive 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 decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available
Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs opt to become certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, a number of Helena AL employers 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 at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which can be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Tech Online Colleges
Prior to selecting a pharmacist technician online school, it's important to understand that most programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in an area Helena pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy technician in order to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be taken online in your Helena AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, particularly for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials may be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is critical for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online program you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online classes might be the ideal solution for you.
Enroll in the Best Helena Pharmacy Tech School
Receiving the best pharmacist technician training is a critical first step to starting your career in a rewarding profession where assisting people with their health is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacist techs were taught "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy technician programs incorporate both classroom and clinical work. As we have discussed in this article, it's necessary to enroll in a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. With the proper education and commitment you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Helena Alabama.