How to Choose the Right Pharmacist Technician School Near Muscle Shoals Alabama
Now that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Muscle ShoalsAL, you might be wondering how to select the ideal college to receive your education and training. Usually the first step is to locate colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. Many potential students begin by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are significant factors when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be evaluated also. And if you are interested in studying at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. Let's take a look at the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online classes.
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Pharmacy Technician Certificates and Degrees
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially 2 alternatives to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an accepted Muscle Shoals AL pharmacy or other 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 offer a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available
Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician programs elect to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, many Muscle Shoals AL employers will only hire a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The NHA requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is required every two years by both programs, which can be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Technician Online Schools
Prior to choosing a pharmacist tech online training program, it's important to realize that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is commonly fulfilled in an area Muscle Shoals pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy tech in order to get some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Muscle Shoals AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, notably for those who continue to work while attaining their degree or certificate. And online programs are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials may be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online program you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Enroll in the Right Muscle Shoals Pharmacy Technician School
Finding the ideal pharmacy tech training is an important first step to starting your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting customers with their health is your objective. Traditionally, many pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". These days, the majority of employers can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist tech programs include both laboratory and classroom work. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to enroll in a college that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. With the right education and commitment you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Muscle Shoals Alabama.