How to Pick the Right Pharmacy Technician Program Near Fairbanks Alaska
Having decided to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near FairbanksAK, you may be pondering just how to select the right college to receive your education and training. Of course the initial step is to find schools that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. Many prospective students begin by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are critical factors when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be evaluated also. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. Let's take a look at the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.
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Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Diplomas
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 alternatives to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at an accepted Fairbanks AK pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician schools elect to become certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Also, a number of Fairbanks AK employers will only employ a technician 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 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has completed 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 two years by both programs, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Technician Schools Online
Before deciding on a pharmacist tech online program, it's important to realize that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is typically satisfied in a local Fairbanks pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to receive some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online in your Fairbanks AK home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, notably for those who continue to work while attaining their certificate or degree. And online programs are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials can be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction may be the best option for you.
Find the Right Fairbanks Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the right pharmacist tech training is a critical first step to launching your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting people with their wellness is your objective. Traditionally, most pharmacist technicians were trained "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician programs include both laboratory and classroom training. As we have covered in this article, it's important to enroll in a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. With the appropriate education and commitment you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Fairbanks Alaska.