It usually takes about two years to become a pharmacy technician The first year is spent completing a pharmacy technician program, and the second year is spent working under a licensed pharmacist to gain experience.
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Becoming a pharmacy technician generally takes less time than becoming a registered pharmacist. Most pharmacy technician training programs can be completed in about six months, although some may take up to a year. Once you have completed your training, you will need to pass a national certification exam in order to become licensed.
How Long Does It Take To Be A Pharmacy Technician?
Although certification is not required in all states, many employers prefer to hire certified pharmacy technicians To become certified, individuals must complete an accredited pharmacy technician program and pass a national certification exam. The length of time it takes to become a pharmacy technician depends on the type of training you receive. Most pharmacy technician programs can be completed in less than one year.
An Associate’s Degree in Pharmacy Technology takes, on average, two years to complete. The coursework for this degree includes general education classes as well as classes specific to pharmacy technicians. Students in this program learn about the different types of drugs, how they are dispensed, and the laws and ethics governing the pharmacy industry. After completing an Associate’s Degree in Pharmacy Technology, graduates are eligible to take the pharmacy technician certification exam (PTCE) and become certified pharmacy technicians.
Certification is not required to work as a pharmacy technician, but many employers prefer or require technicians to be certified. Certification demonstrates to employers and patients that a technician has the knowledge and skills needed to perform the job at a high level. There are two main types of certification for pharmacy technicians:
The first type of certification is offered by professional organizations such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). To earn certification from one of these organizations, candidates must pass an exam. The PTCB exam covers topics such as medication safety, pharmacy law, and pharmacology. The NHA exam covers topics such as patient confidentiality, pharmacy calculations, and medical terminology.
The second type of certification is offered by state boards of pharmacy. While requirements vary by state, most states require technicians to complete an accredited training program and pass an exam. Some states also require technicians to be registered with the state board of pharmacy. For more information on state-specific requirements, contact your state board of pharmacy.
The Bottom Line
It takes about two years to complete a pharmacy technician program, and you’ll need to pass a national exam to get certified. Once you have your certification, you can start working as a pharmacy technician. Some states have additional requirements, such as completing a background check, so be sure to check with your state’s Board of Pharmacy before you start working.