You may be wondering if you need a degree to be a pharmacy technician. The answer is no, you do not need a degree to be a pharmacy technician.
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A pharmacy technician is a vital member of the healthcare team who helps pharmacists dispense prescription medication to patients. A pharmacy technician does not need a degree to work in this profession, but some employers prefer to hire those with an associate’s degree or pharmacy technician certification. There are many ways to become a pharmacy technician, and the best way for you will depend on your goals and circumstances.
What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do?
A pharmacy technician is a professional who works in a pharmacy and is responsible for a variety of tasks. These tasks include filling prescriptions, handling customer service inquiries, and maintaining inventory. Pharmacy technicians do not need a degree, but they must complete a pharmacy technician training program.
Dispense prescription medications
A pharmacy technician helps a pharmacist dispense prescription medications. He or she may receive written prescription requests from patients or doctors. The pharmacy technician also may be responsible for answering phone calls and questions from patients.
Answer customer questions
The most important thing a pharmacy technician does is answer customer questions. Customers may have questions about their medications, their insurance coverage, or the prices of the items they need. Pharmacy technicians must be able to provide accurate and helpful information to customers. They must also be able to understand the customers’ needs and recommend the best course of action.
Maintaining accurate inventory records is critical for a pharmacy technician. You will need to track incoming and outgoing stock, as well as maintain detailed records of prescription medications. Good organizational skills are essential in this role.
What Education is Required to Be a Pharmacy Technician?
Although pharmacy technicians do not need a degree, they must complete a formal education program and obtain a license. Most pharmacy technicians have a high school diploma or equivalent, but some states require certification. Pharmacy technicians typically receive on-the-job training, which lasts about four to twelve weeks.
High school diploma or equivalent
A high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum education required to be a pharmacy technician. While some technicians may choose to pursue an associate’s degree or postsecondary certificate, it is not typically required for entry-level positions. Coursework in related subjects, such as biology and chemistry, may be beneficial. Many community colleges and technical schools offer programs that lead to a certificate or associate’s degree in pharmacy technology.
Completion of a pharmacy technician training program
To become a pharmacy technician, you will need to complete a pharmacy technician training program. These programs are typically offered at community colleges and technical schools. They may last for a few months to a year, and they will prepare you for the pharmacy technician certification exam.
You do not need a degree to be a pharmacy technician, but you will need to be certified. Certification is important because it ensures that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform the job correctly. There are a few different ways to become certified, but the most common is to take a certification exam.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is a national organization that provides certification for pharmacy technicians. In order to become certified, candidates must pass the PTCE, a computer-based exam that tests knowledge of pharmacy practice and pharmacy law. Certification is valid for two years and can be renewed by taking the PTCE again or completing 20 hours of continuing education. Once certified, pharmacy technicians can use the credential “CPhT” after their name.
National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offers the ExCPT exam for pharmacy technicians. The ExCPT is a computer-based, multiple-choice exam that tests your knowledge of pharmacy practices. You must have a high school diploma or equivalent to take the ExCPT. The NHA also offers the Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) credential.
After researching the various requirements for pharmacy technician positions, it appears that a high school diploma or equivalent may be sufficient for some entry-level positions. However, many employers prefer or require candidates to have completed a formal training program and/or have obtained certification. Therefore, completing a pharmacy technician program and/or becoming certified may improve your chances of landing a job as a pharmacy technician.