How to Pick the Best Pharmacist Technician Course Near Fairbanks Alaska
Having decided to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near FairbanksAK, you might be thinking about just how to select the right college to receive your education and training. Naturally the first step is to locate colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. Many potential students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical factors when selecting a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. And if you prefer attending classes at home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifications and others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at the certificate and degree options available.
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Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Certificates
The fastest route to becoming a pharmacy technician is through a certificate or diploma program. These take around two semesters, or one year to complete. Some states will require you to pass a certification exam after your program. Pharmacy technician associate’s degree programs provide a greater depth of study in the pharmaceutical sciences and in management and customer service, as well as general education classes. Associate’s degree programs take approximately two years to complete. Prospective pharmacy technicians who are considering an undergraduate degree in the future may want to go with an associates’ degree, as many of their credits can be applied to a future degree. Those who graduate from an associate’s degree program may find themselves in greater demand or eligible for more generous compensation. Often, degree holders are better positioned for advancement. The choice between these two paths will depend on your goals and the amount of money you have available to invest in your education, but it is important to select a program that is accredited.
Points to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs
After you have decided whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacist tech schools to choose from in the Fairbanks AK area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Fairbanks home. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you must take into consideration in order to adequately compare programs. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacist Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech colleges and trade schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a complete quality education. Online schools may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Be sure to verify that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it might assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Fairbanks AK employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of employers desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech college should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This qualification can be met by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with Fairbanks Alaska area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Finding that initial position in Fairbanks AK after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a challenging task without some assistance. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Fairbanks AK home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist technician program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fairbanks AK area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Fairbanks Pharmacy Technician Course
Getting the right pharmacist technician training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting people with their wellness is your objective. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were trained "on the job". These days, the majority of employers can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist tech schools incorporate both laboratory and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it's necessary to choose a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to compare colleges so that you are sure to make the ideal choice. With the right training and commitment you can achieve your goal of becoming a pharmacy technician in Fairbanks Alaska.