How to Pick the Best Pharmacist Technician College Near Chandler Arizona
Now that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near ChandlerAZ, you may be thinking about just how to pick the right school to get your education and training. Of course the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. A number of prospective students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are significant factors when choosing a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. And if you prefer studying at home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's review the certificate and degree options available.
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Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 alternatives to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an accepted Chandler AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically takes about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
After you have decided whether you wish to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy tech programs to select from in the Chandler AZ area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Chandler residence. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are several other variables that you need to consider in order to effectively compare colleges. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacist technician colleges and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a complete quality education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Be sure to verify that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Chandler AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many employers desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This requirement may be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be met through an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Chandler Arizona area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Chandler AZ upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some help. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Chandler AZ residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide 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 looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy technician program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Chandler AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Find the Right Chandler Pharmacy Technician School
Finding the best pharmacist technician training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where helping people with their health is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist tech colleges incorporate both clinical and classroom work. As we have addressed in this article, it's necessary to select a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the ideal choice. With the proper training and dedication you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Chandler Arizona.