How to Select the Best Pharmacy Technician College Near Saraland Alabama
Now that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near SaralandAL, you may be thinking about just how to select the best school to get your education and training. Usually the first step is to find colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. Many future students begin by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are significant factors when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. And if you prefer studying in your home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. Let's take a look at the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online courses.
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Pharmacy Technician Degree and Certificate Programs
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically two 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 overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at an accepted Saraland AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally takes 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 in the future. Either program should furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacist Tech Certifications Offered
Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs opt to become certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, a number of Saraland AL employers will only hire a tech 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 candidate be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Tech Programs Online
Prior to choosing a pharmacy tech online training program, it's necessary to realize that most programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in an area Saraland pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy tech in order to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed over the internet in your Saraland AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, especially for those who continue to work while attaining their certificate or degree. And online schools are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online school you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online classes may be the best solution for you.
Enroll in the Best Saraland Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the best pharmacist tech training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a rewarding occupation where helping customers with their wellness is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were trained "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of employers can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy technician colleges incorporate both classroom and laboratory training. As we have addressed in this article, it's necessary to select a college that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. With the appropriate education and commitment you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Saraland Alabama.