Due to increasing healthcare demands the pharmaceutical industry is rapidly growing and changing. In the past, it was not necessary for pharmacy technicians to obtain any type of certification. However, because it is becoming significantly more competitive in obtaining industry related jobs, certification has been one way potential pharmacy techs can stand out from the other job applicants. In addition, many certified pharmacy techs are finding that their jobs are excellent stepping-stones towards becoming a pharmacist.
Pharmacy tech education programs usually require an individual to attend six months to two years of educational training. These programs are offered through a variety of organizations, like vocational schools, community colleges, hospitals, and even the military. A good pharmacy tech educational program will have areas of study that include:
– Medical and Pharmaceutical Terminology
– Pharmacy Record Keeping
– Pharmaceutical Calculations
– Pharmacy Law and Ethics
Individuals in these programs are also required to obtain knowledge about the uses, names, actions, and doses of the many types of medications they will be working with. Several of these training programs also include internships with pharmacies, in order for the students to obtain hands on experience. Upon finishing these programs, students that show proficiency will either receive a certificate of completion or an Associate Degree. One benefit to the programs that allow students to earn a degree is that very often those degree credits can be transferred to a school offering pharmacy degrees.
Obtaining a pharmacy tech certificate not only allows individuals to stand out when it comes to finding a place of employment, many schools will give preferential treatment to those they feel have already proven that they have a commitment to pharmaceutical work. The schools do this for several reasons:
– Individuals who have taken the time to obtain a certificate show a commitment to furthering their education.
– Certified pharmacy technicians are familiar with what it takes to keep a pharmacy running smoothly.
– Due to the rigors of the certification process, pharmacy technicians possess a basic knowledge of medications, their uses, and proper dosing amounts.
Many pharmacy students who have worked as pharmacy technicians also find that it is easier for them to get prime pharmacy internship slots, since they are already familiar with the inner workings of a pharmacy. The same can be said for recent pharmacy school graduates who previously held a pharmacy technician certificate. Many companies view pharmacists, who also took the time to earn a technician certificate, as someone they have to invest less time and money in for training.
Pharmacy techs who spend time obtaining a certificate from a recognized training program have many benefits that a technician who has only received on-the-job training does not have. The training certificate makes it easier for the new technician to get a job in the pharmaceutical field, and it also helps him or her stand out from the other pharmacy school applicants. Overall, many people find that a career as a pharmacy technician is an excellent stepping-stone to furthering their education and becoming a pharmacist.