Do You Need a Degree to Become a Pharmacy Technician?

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Do You Need a College Degree to Become a Pharmacy Technician?

You do NOT need a college degree to become a Pharmacy Technician. In fact, most states allow individuals to begin working as pharmacy technicians as soon as they pass a certification exam or complete a pharmacy technician training program.

 

In Florida, pharmacy technicians must pass and Complete the Florida Board of Pharmacy-approved training program such as the Pharmacy Technician Program offered by Florida Career College. FCC's Pharmacy Technician Program is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. That said, to enroll in the Pharmacy Technician Program, you must have a high school diploma prior to enrollment.

What Do Pharmacy Technicians Do?

Pharmacy Technicians work alongside pharmacists, fulfilling prescriptions and assisting with the clerical work that helps a pharmacy run more efficiently. Pharmacy technicians prepare medications, collect patient information, manage inventory, process insurance claims, and communicate with doctors and insurance companies to ensure patient prescriptions are prepared on time. Their work is directly overseen by a pharmacist who has the in-depth training to understand the effects and possible side effects of medications and the laws governing pharmacy operations.

 

The medical field continues to grow and evolve daily. As more patients have access to quality healthcare and more doctors prescribe medications, there has never been a better time to start a career in the medical field. If you are interested in working in a pharmacy but have been nervous about the amount of schooling necessary, read on to see what the requirements are to become a pharmacy technician.

Do You Need a High School Diploma to Become a Pharmacy Technician?

Yes, a high school diploma or equivalent is necessary to become a pharmacy technician. Many pharmacy technician training programs will not enroll students without a high school diploma.

 

If you have not earned a high school diploma yet, and are over the age of 18, there are options available to help. At Florida Career College, you must have your high school diploma before enrolling in the Pharmacy Technician Program.

 

If you are currently in high school and interested in working in a pharmacy, you may consider taking extra courses in chemistry, biology, and mathematics as this knowledge may benefit you in a pharmacy setting.

What Are the Education Requirements to Become a Pharmacy Technician?

A high school diploma is the minimum educational requirement to become a pharmacy technician, but most states also require an additional step to become a pharmacy technician. That additional training could be attained by graduating from a Pharmacy Technician Program, such as the Pharmacy Technician Program offered by Florida Career College. This program offers students one of the quickest ways to qualify for an entry-level position as a pharmacy technician. Our program takes less than a year to complete and provides students with the fundamental knowledge and skills they need to begin a new career.

 

The Pharmacy Technician training program at Florida Career College includes courses on:

  • Introduction to Allied Health
  • Foundation of Pharmaceutical care
  • Pharmaceutical Calculations
  • Advanced Pharmacy Practices
  • Medication Therapy
  • Externship

 

Students who complete a certificate program can further build their resume by taking the national certification exam, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. This exam proves your competency to work in any state.

Do You Need Training To Become a Pharmacy Technician?

There is no national requirement for training for pharmacy technicians. Some states, like Alaska, Kentucky, and Arkansas, allow pharmacy technicians to work without proof of formal training or certification, though they must be registered with the state as they are responsible for handling controlled substances.

 

Most states require pharmacy technicians to be certified or show proof of completing a training course. A good training course will prepare you for certification that will be accepted no matter what state you move to.

 

The Florida State Board of Pharmacy requires pharmacy technicians to complete an accredited training program to qualify for licensure to work within the state. Some employer-based training programs may also be acceptable. This training requirement is statutorily mandated for all pharmacy technicians.

What Skills Do You Need to Succeed as a Pharmacy Technician?

Every career requires a set of skills. Some skills are technical skills that can be picked up through training. Other skills are considered soft skills that depend on a person’s personality and work ethic. Though soft skills may come naturally to some people, they, too, can be learned through patience and practice.

 

Some of the technical skills pharmacy technicians will need to have the following:

 

  • Ability to perform basic calculations and counting
  • Knowledge of compounding medications
  • Knowledge of state and federal pharmaceutical laws
  • Ability to work with insurance companies
  • Computer skills
  • Knowledge of sterilization procedures

 

The soft skills a pharmacy technician will need are:

 

  • Customer service: Pharmacy technicians in a retail environment act as the liaison between the pharmacist and the patient, answering basic questions and filling prescriptions. This requires a great deal of patience as you come face-to-face with customers.
  • Attention to detail: Filling prescriptions and handling medications require careful accuracy to ensure patients have the dose they need and nothing they don’t.
  • Dependable: Pharmacy technicians often work normal business hours, and patients rely on them to be there to fill their prescriptions and answer their questions. This position is a good fit for anyone who likes the comfort of stability.
  • Levelheaded: If you have ever sat in a long line at a retail pharmacy, you know that pharmacies can sometimes get very busy. This, however, is no excuse for making mistakes. A good pharmacy technician must be able to problem solve and handle stress in a calm manner.

How To Become a Pharmacy Technician?

Becoming a pharmacy technician may be easier than you expect. It can be done in less than a year in just four simple steps:

 

Step 1: Earn your high school diploma. A high school diploma is the minimum education requirement to become a pharmacy technician.

Step 2: Complete a training program. Most states require pharmacy technicians to be certified through a national exam. The best way to quickly obtain the knowledge needed to pass the exam is through a hands-on, accredited training program.

Step 3: Become licensed. Even states that don’t require certification will require pharmacy technicians to be licensed to handle controlled substances.

Step 4: Apply for positions.

 

Learn more about How to Become a Pharmacy Technician.

Enroll in FCC's Pharmacy Technician Program

There’s no excuse to wait any longer to begin training for a career you can be proud of. If you dream of working alongside a pharmacist as a pharmacy technician, Florida Career College has all the support and resources to make starting a career in this field possible.

 

Our Pharmacy Technician training program offers students all the fundamental knowledge and experience necessary to prepare for an entry-level position as a pharmacy technician in as few as ten months. Give us a call to enroll in our Pharmacy Technician Program.