How to Pick the Best Pharmacy Technician School Near Prattville Alabama
Now that you have decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near PrattvilleAL, you might be thinking about how to select the best college to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find schools that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. A number of prospective students begin by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical concerns when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. And if you prefer attending classes in your home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school 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 programs.
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Pharmacy Technician Diplomas and Degrees
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two options to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade 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 different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an accepted Prattville AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.
Pharmacist Technician Certifications Available
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician schools opt to become certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Additionally, many Prattville AL pharmacies will only hire a tech that is certified. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The NHA requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every 2 years by each program, which can be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Online Classes
Before choosing a pharmacy tech online college, it's important to realize that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is typically satisfied in a local Prattville pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to obtain some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed over the internet in your Prattville AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for many students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online colleges are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and study materials may be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is critical for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online school you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction may be the ideal option for you.
Enroll in the Right Prattville Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the ideal pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a rewarding occupation where helping people with their health is your purpose. In the past, many pharmacist techs were taught "on the job". These days, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy technician schools include both laboratory and classroom work. 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 online classes and for those attended on campus. With the proper training and commitment you can realize your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Prattville Alabama.