If you plan on becoming a pharmacy technician, perhaps the most important decision that you will make is selecting the right training program among the many pharmacy technician schools that are available. There are dozens to choose from, depending upon the area that you live in.
The most important criteria for selecting a school is choosing a program that is accredited by a nationally recognized agency, like the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).
While some states only require students to attend the state board approved programs, if you move, you will find it is better to have attended a school with national recognition. Some online programs offer “fly by night” certifications online.
Many of these certification programs are not accredited, or accredited by agencies that are not nationally or even regionally recognized. Avoid these type of programs at all costs, because they will “cost” you a job, and perhaps your reputation!
Where to Find Reputable Pharmacy Technician Schools
There are many reputable pharmacy programs, both online and in a traditional setting. You can use the ASHP pharmacy technician training program directory to investigate an institution and determine whether it is properly accredited.
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) also provides a link to Pharmacy Organizations. These are agencies that work diligently to provide standards for pharmacy technician certification and education.
By accessing any of these organizations, you can find links to appropriate pharmacy tech education programs that are appropriately accredited.
Here are some great examples of nationally accredited programs and schools offering pharmacy technician training programs:
- IBMC College – PTCB Certification Program, Associate of Occupational Studies Degree, prepares students for a pharmacy technician career path in as little as 19 months.
- Kaplan College – Pharmacy Technician Diploma, provides an externship for students at an approved institution allowing a student interaction with healthcare professionals and valuable experience necessary to acquire a job in the field.
- Foothill College – Provides a pharmacy technician program approved by the ASHP. Provides two separate programs, a 9-month program or an expanded 2-year program that leads to an Associate in Science Degree in Pharmacy Technician for individuals that want to advance their careers in the health sciences.
- Ultimate Medical Academy – Recognized by the NHA. Provides training to take the CPhT certification. Provides diploma and an Associate Degree program in health sciences that concentrates in pharmacy technician training for interested students.
- PIMA Medical Institute – Offers training as a pharmacy technician, and IV training. The course takes approximately 10 months to complete. Classes vary by state.
Many local colleges and universities also offer pharmacy technician training programs, as do some local pharmacies. Remember to ask about the accreditation of the program prior to signing up.
When taking classes for credit, many will offer financial aid particularly if the program is accredited by a national agency.
If you’re interested in a program in your area, check with the ASHP. Double-check to find out if the program is approved or not. This will help you in the decision-making process.
You’ll want to find the best pharmacy technician school for you to meet your needs and also ensure that you open the door to the widest possible selection of job opportunities following graduation.