How to Choose the Best Pharmacy Technician Program Near Opelika Alabama
Now that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near OpelikaAL, you might be wondering just how to choose the right college to get your education and training. Of course the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. Many prospective students start by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are important concerns when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. Let's take a look at the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online courses.
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Pharmacy Technician Training Programs
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 options to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also include an internship at an accepted Opelika 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 furnish a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Available Certifications
Certification is not required in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to become certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, a number of Opelika AL pharmacies will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The NHA requires that the candidate be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every two years by both programs, which may be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Technician Programs Online
Prior to deciding on a pharmacist tech online school, it's important to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is typically fulfilled in a local Opelika pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy tech so as to acquire some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online in your Opelika AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, notably for those who keep working while earning their certificate or degree. And online programs are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online school you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online instruction might be the best solution for you.
Find the Right Opelika Pharmacy Technician Course
Receiving the best pharmacy technician training is an important first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting people with their health is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacist techs were trained "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist technician colleges include both clinical and classroom training. As we have covered in this article, it's important to select a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. With the proper training and dedication you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Opelika Alabama.