How to Choose the Best Pharmacy Technician College Near Jacksonville Alabama
Having decided to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near JacksonvilleAL, you may be wondering just how to choose the ideal program to receive your education and training. Of course the initial step is to find schools that offer the degree or certificate 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 cost. While cost and location are significant factors when selecting a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be evaluated as well. And if you are interested in studying in your home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school 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 courses.
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Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program 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 vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at an accepted Jacksonville AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually requires about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician colleges elect to become certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, many Jacksonville AL pharmacies will only hire a technician that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The NHA requirements are that the candidate be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by both programs, which may be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Technician Online Classes
Prior to selecting a pharmacy technician online college, 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 commonly satisfied in a local Jacksonville pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy tech in order to get some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training may be taken online in your Jacksonville AL home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for most students, notably for those who continue to work while attaining their certificate or degree. And online schools are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials may be reduced 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 any online college you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online instruction may be the best option for you.
Enroll in the Best Jacksonville Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the right pharmacist technician training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a gratifying profession where helping people with their health is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacist technicians were trained "on the job". Nowadays, most employers can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy technician colleges incorporate both laboratory and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it's necessary to select a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. With the appropriate education and dedication you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacy technician in Jacksonville Alabama.