Pharmacy Tech School
How to Find the Right One Near Montgomery Alabama
Having decided to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Montgomery AL, you may be thinking about just how to select the ideal college to receive your education and training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Many potential students begin by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical factors when deciding on a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. You may also want to research several accredited online pharmacy tech programs as an option to attending classes on campus. We will cover these qualifiers and some others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Pharmacy Tech Career Below
Pharmacy Tech Diplomas and Degrees
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 options to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an approved Montgomery AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally involves about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, a number of Montgomery AL employers will only hire a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requirements are that the applicant be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is required every two years by both programs, which may be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Online Colleges
Prior to deciding on a pharmacist technician online school, it's important to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is commonly satisfied in a local Montgomery pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy tech in order to obtain some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Montgomery AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials may be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online program you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online classes might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
After you have determined whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy technician schools to choose from in the Montgomery AL area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Montgomery residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are many other factors that you need to take into consideration so that you may properly compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a complete superior education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Make sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program together with the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Montgomery AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech school needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This qualification may be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which may be satisfied with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the colleges have a working relationship with Montgomery AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Finding that initial position in Montgomery AL after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult undertaking without any support. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Montgomery AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist tech school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Montgomery AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Find Out More on Becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Montgomery
Enroll in the Best Montgomery Pharmacy Tech School
Receiving the ideal pharmacy tech training is an important first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where helping people with their health is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacy technicians were taught "on the job". Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy technician colleges incorporate both clinical and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it's necessary to enroll in a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our other tips you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the proper education and dedication you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Montgomery Alabama.
Montgomery Pharmacy Technician Certificate Online | Montgomery Pharmacy Technician Programs