How to Pick the Best Pharmacy Tech Course Near Opelika Alabama
Now that you have decided to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near OpelikaAL, you might be thinking about how to pick the best college to get your education and training. Of course the first step is to find schools that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. Many future students start by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are significant concerns when choosing a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. And if you prefer studying at home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding 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 Degree and Certificate Programs
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially two options to becoming 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 typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at an accepted Opelika AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available
Certification is not required in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician colleges elect to become certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, a number of Opelika AL pharmacies 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 applicant be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Colleges Online
Prior to choosing a pharmacist tech online training program, it's important to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in a local Opelika pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy technician in order to receive some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed online in your Opelika AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for many students, especially for those who keep working while earning their degree or certificate. And online schools are often less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials can be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online college you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online training might be the best option for you.
Find the Best Opelika Pharmacy Technician Course
Finding the ideal pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to starting your career in a rewarding profession where helping people with their health is your purpose. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were taught "on the job". Nowadays, most pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy technician colleges include both classroom and laboratory training. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to enroll in a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. With the appropriate training and determination you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in Opelika Alabama.