|$ $ Medium: Programs at Community Colleges Can Run $460-$2,60||$ $ $ High: Vocational Programs Can Run $600-$21,900|
The role of the pharmacy technicians is to help pharmacists give medication to patients by labeling bottles and counting tablets, through administrative duties such as answering phones and operating the cash register.
When in hospitals and nursing homes, technicians usually prepare medications based on a patient’s chart.
These medications are later checked by a pharmacist before delivery.
There are no formal federal training guidelines; however, school generally includes approx. 240 hours of combined classroom and clinical work which may be implemented at a community college or vocational school.
Often the community colleges provide a degree or certificates for pharmacy technicians.
Since the funding for community colleges is different for each state, the cost for the same program can vary from $460-$4,260 for residents.
For example, Austin Community College District in Texas offers the program for $1,750 for residents or $3,930 for students from out of the district, and at the same time, North Seattle Community College charges local students $2,880 for the nine-month course.
The prices vary widely for pharmacist technician programs at vocational or technical schools too.
For example, the tuition at the High Tech Institute in Memphis, Tennessee for the pharmacy technician program runs $11,650, while Bryman School in Phoenix costs about $21,900.
At the other end of the line is Penn Foster Career School where the cost is under $600.
What Is Included
An unpaid three-month externship at a pharmacy is the needed portion of the certification program.
- There is no state exam; however, pharmacy technicians apply for a state license through the individual state’s Board of Pharmacy.
- Training on the job is also a possibility; however, employers tend to favor technicians who have completed a training program and have received certification, according to the US Department of Labor.
- The National Pharmacy Technician Certification exam is recommended, even if not required, and is offered for the sum of $129.
- Recertification is required every two years, and there are 15-20 hours of mandatory continuing education.
- The needed books are $50-$100.
- IV certification is an option for pharmacy technicians who are willing to work in hospital settings, and the cost is $500-$600.
- Learning to make a medication from scratch following a recipe created by a pharmacist means a Compounding Certification for about $500-$600.
Many employers are willing to reimburse the cost of the national exam for current employees.
- The training program directory is available through the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
- The employment development departments in most of the states keep an online list of the available pharmacy technician programs.
- Ed-Reference, College Reference Database presents pharmacy technician schools by state.