How to Pick the Best Pharmacy Technician Training Program Near Vestavia Hills Alabama
Having decided to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Vestavia HillsAL, you might be wondering just how to pick the best college to receive your education and training. Of course the first step is to find schools that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. Many future students begin by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are critical concerns when selecting a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. And if you prefer studying in your home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding 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 courses.
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Pharmacy Tech Training Programs
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally two alternatives to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at an accepted Vestavia Hills AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically takes about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered
Certification is not required in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy technician schools choose to become certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, a number of Vestavia Hills AL employers will only hire a technician that has earned certification. 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, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every two years by both programs, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Technician Online Programs
Before choosing a pharmacist technician online school, it's necessary to understand that most schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is typically fulfilled in a local Vestavia Hills pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy tech so as to receive some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed over the internet in your Vestavia Hills AL home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for many students, particularly for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online schools are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online college you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Find the Best Vestavia Hills Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the best pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting customers with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacy technicians were trained "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacies can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy technician schools include both classroom and laboratory training. As we have addressed in this article, it's important to enroll in a school that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. With the right education and determination you can achieve your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Vestavia Hills Alabama.