How to Pick the Right Pharmacist Tech College Near Pelham Alabama
Now that you have decided to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near PelhamAL, you may be pondering just how to pick the best school to get your education and training. Usually the first step is to locate colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. A number of potential students begin by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are significant concerns when picking a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation must be considered also. And if you are interested in studying in your home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. Let's take a look at the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online programs.
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Pharmacy Tech Training Programs
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at an approved Pelham AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacist Tech Certifications Available
Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech colleges elect to become certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, many Pelham AL employers will only hire a technician that is certified. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The NHA requirements are that the applicant be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Tech Online Colleges
Prior to selecting a pharmacist tech online training program, it's necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in an area Pelham pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to acquire some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Pelham AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, particularly for those who keep working while earning their certificate or degree. And online schools are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is critical for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that any online school you are reviewing 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 training might be the right option for you.
Find the Right Pelham Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the right pharmacist tech training is a critical first step to launching your career in a fulfilling occupation where helping customers with their health is your mission. In the past, most pharmacy technicians were trained "on the job". These days, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist tech programs include both laboratory and classroom work. As we have addressed in this article, it's essential to enroll in a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. With the right training and commitment you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Pelham Alabama.