How to Choose the Right Pharmacist Technician College Near Mobile Alabama
Having made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near MobileAL, you may be wondering how to pick the right program to get your education and training. Of course the first step is to locate schools that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. A number of potential students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are significant concerns when deciding on a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. And if you prefer attending classes at home in front 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 Tech Training Programs
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two options to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at an approved Mobile AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally takes about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician schools elect to become certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, a number of Mobile AL pharmacies will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are two organizations that offer 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 at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every two years by each program, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Programs Online
Before choosing a pharmacy technician online college, it's important to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is commonly satisfied in a local Mobile pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy tech in order to obtain some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your Mobile AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for most students, notably for those who continue to work while attaining their certificate or degree. And online programs are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and study materials may be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online program you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, 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 instruction might be the right option for you.
Enroll in the Best Mobile Pharmacy Technician School
Finding the best pharmacy tech training is an important first step to starting your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting people with their health is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacist techs were trained "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of employers can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician programs include both classroom and laboratory work. As we have discussed in this article, it's important to choose a college that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. With the appropriate training and commitment you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Mobile Alabama.