How to Select the Right Pharmacy Tech Training Program Near Jacksonville Alabama
Having decided to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near JacksonvilleAL, you may be wondering how to pick the best college to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find schools that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. Many future students start by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical factors when selecting a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation should 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 school 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 classes.
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Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially two options to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at an accepted Jacksonville AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically takes about 2 years of studies. Although not needed 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. Either program should provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available
Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech programs elect to become certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, a number of Jacksonville AL employers will only hire a tech that is certified. 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, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every 2 years by each program, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Colleges Online
Prior to deciding on a pharmacist tech online college, it's important to realize that most programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is typically satisfied in an area Jacksonville pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician so as to get some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Jacksonville AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, notably for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online schools are often less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online training might be the best solution for you.
Find the Right Jacksonville Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the right pharmacist technician training is an important first step to launching your career in a rewarding profession where helping people with their health is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". Nowadays, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy tech programs include both laboratory and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it's important to choose a school that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. With the proper training and commitment you can achieve your goal of becoming a pharmacy technician in Jacksonville Alabama.