Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Find the Right One Near Northport Alabama
Now that you have decided to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Northport AL, you might be pondering just how to select the right college to get your education and training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Many future students begin by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant concerns when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered also. And if you prefer attending classes at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifications and others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online courses.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Pharmacy Tech Career Below
Pharmacy Technician Diplomas and Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially two alternatives to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also require an internship at an accepted Northport AL pharmacy or similar 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 offer a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available
Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs opt to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Also, a number of Northport AL employers will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are two 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 finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which can be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Colleges Online
Before deciding on a pharmacy tech online program, it's necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in an area Northport pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to get some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken over the internet in your Northport AL home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for many students, particularly for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online programs are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online school you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online classes may be the best solution for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
Once you have determined whether you want 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 numerous pharmacist tech schools to choose from in the Northport AL area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Northport residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other issues that you need to take into consideration in order to adequately compare colleges. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Most pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a complete superior education. Online schools may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Northport AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist technician program should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This qualification can be met by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the colleges have a working relationship with Northport AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Northport AL after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a daunting task without any support. Ask if the schools you are considering 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 college has a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Northport AL residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy technician program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Northport AL area, make sure that they are offered. 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, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Find Out More on Becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Northport
Choose the Right Northport Pharmacy Tech School
Finding the ideal pharmacy technician training is an important first step to starting your career in a gratifying profession where assisting customers with their wellness is your mission. In the past, most pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". These days, most employers can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy technician programs include both laboratory and classroom work. As we have covered in this article, it's necessary to select a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. If you make use of our additional tips you will be able to compare programs so that you are certain to make the ideal selection. With the appropriate training and determination you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Northport Alabama.
Northport Pharmacy Technician Certificate Online | Northport Pharmacy Technician Programs