How long does it take to become a pharmacy technician? The answer may surprise you. While it typically takes around two years to complete a pharmacy technician program, becoming a certified pharmacy technician may only take a few months.
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In order to become a pharmacy technician, you will need to complete an accredited pharmacy technician training program. These programs are typically offered at community colleges, technical schools, and through online providers. Many pharmacy technician programs can be completed in as little as two semesters, but some may take up to a year to finish.
Once you have completed your training, you will need to pass the national certification exam administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Once you are certified, you will be able to apply for jobs at pharmacies and other healthcare facilities.
The Length of Pharmacy Technician Programs
Pharmacy technician programs typically take between six months and two years to complete, depending on the type of program and the student’s schedule. Some programs can be completed in as little as four months, while others may take up to three years. Part-time students will generally take longer to complete their programs than full-time students.
While there are some entry-level positions available for pharmacy technicians with no formal education or training, most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed an accredited pharmacy technician program. Pharmacy technicians who have earned certification from a nationally recognized organization, such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcare Association (NHA), may also have an advantage in the job market.
Certification and Training
Certification and Training
Most pharmacy technicians are certified — meaning they have completed an accredited program and passed a standardized exam. Certification exams are offered by two main organizations, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT). Both exams cover similar content, but some states only recognize certification from one of the organizations. You should check with your state boards of pharmacy to see which exam is accepted.
There are many ways to complete pharmacy technician training, but most programs last between six and twelve months. Some programs may be completed entirely online, while others require on-campus labs or internships. Some employers may also offer on-the-job training for entry-level candidates. Once you have completed a training program, you will be eligible to take the certification exam of your choice.
The Job Market for Pharmacy Technicians
Although job prospects for pharmacy technicians are growing across the country, the job market for pharmacy technicians is still competitive. To increase your chances of being hired, it is important to have experience working in a pharmacy. Many employers prefer applicants who have completed a formal training program, such as a certificate or diploma program. Additionally, many employers require pharmacy technicians to be certified by a professional organization, such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcare Association (NHA).
So, how long does it take to become a pharmacy technician? The average time frame for completing a pharmacy technician program is about 9 months, but this can vary depending on the type of program you choose and whether you attend classes full-time or part-time.
If you’re interested in becoming a pharmacy technician, the first step is to research different training programs to find one that’s right for you. Once you enroll in a program, you can expect to complete coursework and hands-on training in a variety of topics, including medical terminology, Pharmacology, pharmaceutical calculations, and more. After successfully completing a pharmacy technician program, you will then need to pass a national certification exam before you can officially start working in the field.