How to Pick the Best Pharmacy Technician Program Near Northport Alabama
Having decided to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near NorthportAL, you may be pondering just how to choose the ideal college to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find schools that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. Many prospective students start by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical factors when choosing a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. And if you are interested in attending classes at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. Let's take a look at the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.
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Pharmacy Technician Training Programs
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially two options to becoming a tech whether 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 present an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at an approved Northport 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 offer a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician schools elect to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Northport 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 requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Technician Online Colleges
Before selecting a pharmacist tech online program, it's important to realize that most schools do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is commonly fulfilled in an area Northport pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy tech in order to acquire some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online in your Northport AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, particularly for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online colleges are often less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for driving and study materials may be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online program you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction may be the best option for you.
Enroll in the Right Northport Pharmacy Technician Program
Finding the right pharmacist tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where assisting people with their health is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". These days, most pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is offered by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy tech colleges incorporate both classroom and laboratory training. As we have covered in this article, it's necessary to select a school that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. With the proper training and commitment you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Northport Alabama.