What Classes Do I Need to Become a Pharmacy Technician?
Thinking about becoming a pharmacy technician? Demand for healthcare is growing each year. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that demand for pharmacy technicians will grow by 12% over the 2016-2026 period, an addition of up to 47,600 new jobs.[i]
Becoming a pharmacy technician can also be fulfilling. By helping pharmacists fill prescriptions and manage inventory, you can play a role in helping support your customers’ health.
Pharmacy Technician Training
To become a pharmacy technician, you’ll need training. This training can or in a formal pharmacy technician diploma program.
At Altierus Career College, we offer a diploma program that blends classroom instruction, laboratory training, and hands-on workplace experience, along with industry certification preparation—all designed to make you more competitive in the career market after graduation.
In our training program, you’ll learn to:
- Keep your working area and compounds (personalized medications) clean and sterile;
- Interpret pharmacist and doctor instructions;
- Calculate how much medication to dispense to meet doctors’ orders and patients’ needs (for example, a small child or adult with a disability may need a liquid antibiotic, not capsules);
- Perform quality control on medications and compounds;
- Provide quality customer service, with respect for patients’ data privacy and their well-being.
You can complete our program in as few as 8 months of full-time study.
Classes You’ll Take
Courses in our Pharmacy Technician training program teach technical skills along with ethics and the business side of pharmacy operation. Some of the key courses include:
Pharmacology: This course teaches the basics of how medications interact with human anatomy and physiology to treat diseases and their symptoms.
Pharmacy Law and Administration: Understand the roles and responsibilities of the pharmacy team. This includes your specific duties when it comes to dispensing or storing medications, as well as patient privacy and safety.
Medical Calculations and Sterile (or Non-Sterile) Compounding: Learn practical skills for determining the number of tablets or amount of liquid to administer to patients and get hands-on skills for compounding.
Pharmacy Operations in Hospital and Retail Settings: Pharmacy technicians don’t just work at the local Walgreens or CVS. You may have the opportunity to pursue roles within hospital pharmacies as well. This course explains the processes and procedures for running efficient and safe pharmacies in either setting.
Clinical Externship: Finally, all our students take on a blend of observation and hands-on instruction in a working pharmacy. Under supervision, you’ll watch and complete tasks that cover all aspects of the pharmacy technician role—a great way to prepare for your career search!
In most states, pharmacy technicians don’t need outside certification to work. However, holding certification may make you more attractive as a candidate when you begin your career search.
At Altierus Career College, we provide test preparation support and pay exam fees for a certification option of your choice:
- PTCB: Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Exam
- ExCPT: Exam for Certification Pharmacy Technician
Between our hands-on classes and certification preparation, our Pharmacy Technician program offers the support you need to get started on an exciting new career path.
Want more information about how Altierus Career College can help you train for pharmacy technician career opportunities? Contact us today!
[i] Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Pharmacy Technicians,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm (visited July 24, 2018).