Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Coolidge Arizona
Now that you have decided to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Coolidge AZ, you may be thinking about just how to choose the right program to receive your education and training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? When checking out pharmacy technician programs, many potential students begin by targeting the ones that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While tuition and location are critical concerns when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are equally important if not more so as location and cost. You may also choose to look into a few accredited online pharmacy tech programs as an option to attending classes on campus. We will address these qualifiers and others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's take a look at the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online classes.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Pharmacy Tech Career Below
Pharmacy Technician Training Programs
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally two options to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at an approved Coolidge AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certification Choices
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to become certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Coolidge AZ employers will only employ a tech 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 completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every two years by both programs, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Online Classes
Before deciding on a pharmacy technician online training program, it's important to understand that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is typically fulfilled in a local Coolidge pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy technician so as to receive some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your Coolidge AZ home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, particularly for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online programs are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials can be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online school you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online training might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
After you have determined whether you want to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy technician colleges to select from in the Coolidge AZ area and throughout the United States, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Coolidge home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other factors that you need to consider in order to effectively compare programs. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? Many pharmacy tech programs and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a complete quality education. Online colleges may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Be sure to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And many Coolidge AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many employers prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician program needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This qualification can be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Coolidge AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial job in Coolidge AZ after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some assistance. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Coolidge AZ home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy technician school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Coolidge AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Learn More on How to Become a Pharmacy Tech in Coolidge
Choose the Best Coolidge Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the ideal pharmacy tech training is an important first step to beginning your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting customers with their health is your objective. In the past, most pharmacist techs were taught "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy technician colleges include both classroom and clinical training. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to select a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you make use of our additional tips you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the right choice. With the appropriate education and dedication you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Coolidge Arizona.
Coolidge Pharmacy Technician Classes | Coolidge Pharmacy Tech Schools