How to Pick the Best Pharmacy Technician Program Near Montgomery Alabama
Now that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near MontgomeryAL, you might be wondering just how to choose the best school to receive your education and training. Usually the first step is to find schools that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. A number of prospective students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical concerns when choosing a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be evaluated as well. And if you prefer attending classes at home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. Let's take a look at the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online courses.
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Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 alternatives to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at an approved Montgomery AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications
Certification is not required in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to become certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many Montgomery AL employers will only hire a tech that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The NHA requires that the candidate be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Technician Online Classes
Before choosing a pharmacy technician online training program, it's necessary to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in a local Montgomery pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy technician so as to receive some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed over the internet in your Montgomery AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, particularly for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online programs are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials can be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online program you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Find the Right Montgomery Pharmacy Technician School
Getting the right pharmacist tech training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a fulfilling profession where helping customers with their health is your objective. In the past, many pharmacist technicians were trained "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacies can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is offered by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy tech colleges include both clinical and classroom work. As we have discussed in this article, it's important to enroll in a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. With the proper training and determination you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Montgomery Alabama.