How to Choose the Best Pharmacy Technician Program Near Huntsville Alabama
Now that you have decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near HuntsvilleAL, you might be pondering just how to choose the best college to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to locate schools that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. Many future students start by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are critical factors when deciding on a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. And if you prefer 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 certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online courses.
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Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Diplomas
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 options to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also require an internship at an accepted Huntsville AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech schools opt to become certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Also, many Huntsville AL employers will only hire a technician 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 at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, 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 mandated every 2 years by both programs, which may be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Technician Online Colleges
Prior to deciding on a pharmacist tech online program, it's necessary to realize that most schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in an area Huntsville pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy tech in order to get some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Huntsville AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college 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 training might be the right solution for you.
Enroll in the Right Huntsville Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the right pharmacy technician training is an important first step to launching your career in a rewarding occupation where helping people with their wellness is your objective. Traditionally, most pharmacist technicians were trained "on the job". Nowadays, most employers can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist tech schools include both laboratory and classroom work. As we have discussed in this article, it's necessary to enroll in a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. With the appropriate training and commitment you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Huntsville Alabama.