Do You Need Certification to Be a Pharmacy Technician?

There are many pharmacy technician certification programs available. But do you need certification to be a pharmacy technician? We explore the benefits of certification and how it can help you in your career.

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Introduction

A pharmacy technician is a member of the healthcare team who dispenses prescription medications under the direction of a licensed pharmacist. Most pharmacy technicians work in retail pharmacies, but there are other employment opportunities in hospitals, clinics, mail-order pharmacies, and the pharmaceutical industry.

While certification is not required in all states, it may be helpful in obtaining a position as a pharmacy technician. Certification demonstrates to employers that an individual has the knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of a pharmacy technician. In some states, certification is required to work as a pharmacy technician.

There are several organizations that offer certification for pharmacy technicians, including the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcare Association (NHA). To be eligible for certification, candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent and must pass an examination. Many community colleges and vocational schools offer training programs for pharmacy technicians that can help prepare individuals for certification.

What is a pharmacy technician?

A pharmacy technician is a person who works in a pharmacy and is responsible for the daily operations of the pharmacy. This includes tasks such as counting pills, measuring out medications, and preparing prescriptions for customers. In order to be a pharmacy technician, you need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. You also need to complete an accredited pharmacy technician program and pass a national certification exam.

The duties of a pharmacy technician

A pharmacy technician is a member of the healthcare team who works under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist in a retail or hospital setting. The pharmacy technician’s duties include:

-Receiving and verifying prescriptions from patients and/or doctors
-Calling insurance companies to verify coverage
-Preparing medications for dispensing
-Measuring, compounding, and labeling medications
-Maintaining records
-Answering questions from patients and doctors

The pharmacy technician workforce is expected to grow by 32% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. The growing demand for prescription medications will lead to more demand for technicians in both retail and hospital settings.

The training and education of a pharmacy technician

In order to become a pharmacy technician, one must complete an accredited pharmacy technician program and pass a national certification exam. Some states have additional requirements, such as a background check and/or on-the-job training.

While it is not required to have a formal education to become a pharmacy technician, most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed an accredited program. Pharmacy technicians who have completed a formal education program generally have a better understanding of the duties and responsibilities of the job, and are better prepared to take the national certification exam.

The training and education of a pharmacy technician typically takes between six months and two years to complete, depending on the type of program. Programs can be completed at community colleges, technical schools, or online pharmacies.

The certification of a pharmacy technician

There are different ways of becoming a certified pharmacy technician. You can either attend a certified pharmacy technician program at a community college or vocational school, or you can become certified through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Although certification is not required in all states, most employers prefer to hire candidates who are certified. The PTCB offers two levels of certification: the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) and the Certified Compounded Sterile Preparation Technician (CSPT).

The benefits of being certified

There are many benefits to becoming a certified pharmacy technician. Perhaps the most important is the fact that certification can lead to better job opportunities and higher wages. In addition, certified technicians may be eligible for more responsibility and greater advancement potential. And, since employers often prefer to hire certified technicians, becoming certified can give you a competitive edge when you are looking for a new position.

The requirements for certification

There are voluntary and mandatory requirements for certification. In order to sit for the certification exam, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent and complete a pharmacy technician training program or have at least 1 year of experience working as a pharmacy technician. Pharmacy technicians who are certified must renew their certification every 2 years.

Some states have additional requirements for pharmacy technicians. For example, Florida requires pharmacy technicians to complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education every 2 years and to pass an annual competency exam. You can check with your state’s board of pharmacy for specific requirements in your area.

How to become certified

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcare Association (NHA) are two organizations that provide certification for pharmacy technicians. To become certified, you must pass an exam. The PTCB offers the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) certification, while the NHA offers the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant with a focus in pharmacy technology (CMAA).

You can become certified by taking an accredited pharmacy technician program, which will prepare you to take either the PTCB or NHA exam. Alternatively, some states allow you to challenge the exam without completing an accredited program. Check with your state’s Board of Pharmacy to see if this is an option in your state. Once you are certified, you will need to recertify every two years to maintain your certification.

The importance of continuing education

While certification is not always required to work as a pharmacy technician, most employers prefer to hire individuals who have completed a nationally recognized program and obtained certification. In addition, many states have enacted legislation that requires pharmacy technicians to obtain certification in order to be licensed to practice.

Even if certification is not required in your state, it is still a good idea to pursue voluntary certification. The process of becoming certified demonstrates your commitment to the profession and showcases your dedication to providing quality patient care. In addition, many employers are willing to reimburse employees who wish to obtain certification.

Continuing education is also important for pharmacy technicians. Although you are not required to complete continuing education credits (CECs) to maintain your certification, most employers encourage technicians to stay up-to-date on the latest pharmacy news and developments. In some cases, employers may even require their technicians to complete CECs on an annual basis.

Conclusion

Yes, in most states you need to be certified to work as a pharmacy technician. Certification ensures that you have the knowledge and skills needed to perform the job safely and effectively. In some states, certification is not required but it is still recommended.

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