As one of the fastest growing professions in the marketplace, the pharmacy technician position offers excellent opportunities for those looking to enter the medical field. The pharmacy technician salary, job outlook and educational requirements all encourage individuals of varied backgrounds to apply.
So, what are the educational requirements needed to achieve a pharmacy technician salary? First, let it be said that nationally, there are no training standards in place for the pharmacy technician. However, employers typically look for applicants who do have some sort of formalized training, extra certification or experience in the field. While it does vary from state to state, most states do require a high school diploma or GED. Most pharmacy techs will receive most of their training on the job in about 3 months to a year.
To be most prepared for a career in this growing field and to increase your starting pharmacy technician salary, formal technician education programs are available through community colleges, vocational schools, junior colleges, hospitals and the military. These programs can take anywhere from 6 months to two years to complete, but include classroom as well as lab work. They cover subject areas such as medical and pharmacy terminology, pharmacy calculations and record keeping, pharmaceutical techniques and laws and ethics applicable to the pharmacy industry. A technician will also be instructed in the names, dosages, actions and uses of the medications they dispense.
Training programs often times include internships that will give the student the hands on experience they need to acquire a job with higher starting pharmacy technician salary. Upon completion of a program, the student receives a diploma, a certificate or an associate’s degree, depending on the program they enrolled in to.
The cost of formal training to become a pharmacy technician typically costs under $5000 from community colleges while other private schools and programs can cost more. Financial aid is usually available or student loans can be applied for. The growth expectation of this position is high and students who are formally trained and have intern experience can expect a large field of positions from which to choose in the coming decade.