How to Find the Right Pharmacist Tech School Near Huntsville Alabama
Having decided to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near HuntsvilleAL, you may be thinking about how to select the right program to get your education and training. Usually the first step is to find schools that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. A number of future students start by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are significant concerns when picking a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be evaluated also. And if you are interested in attending classes at home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for 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 Tech Certificates and Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally 2 options to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at an approved Huntsville AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally involves about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician programs elect to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Huntsville AL pharmacies will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The NHA requires 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 graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which may be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Online Colleges
Before selecting 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 carried out in a clinical setting. This is usually satisfied in an area Huntsville pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to obtain some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your Huntsville AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, especially for those who keep working while earning their certificate or degree. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online program you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online training might be the right solution for you.
Find the Right Huntsville Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the ideal pharmacist tech training is an important first step to beginning your career in a gratifying occupation where assisting customers with their wellness is your objective. In the past, most pharmacist techs were taught "on the job". These days, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician programs incorporate both classroom and laboratory work. As we have addressed in this article, it's essential to choose a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. With the appropriate education and determination you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Huntsville Alabama.