Best Pharmacy Technician Online Classes

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Pharmacy Technician Online Classes

Through pharmacy technician training programs, you can gain the necessary skills to start a rewarding career in healthcare without the need to attend a four-year college program.

In this article, we will explore the best online pharmacy tech training programs, including the information on admission requirements, program types, and coursework.

With a pharmacy technician certification or associate’s degree, you can be prepared for a job as a pharmacy technician.

The annual median salary of pharmacy techs in the US is $32,700.

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In some metropolitan areas and states, their salary goes up to $40,000 or higher.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for pharmacy techs is expected to grow by 7% through 2028.

This is faster than the national average.

Article Table of Contents

Top Five Online Pharmacy Technician Associate Programs:

  • North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, ND.
  • State Fair Community College in Sedalia, MO.
  • Casper College in Casper, WY.
  • Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC.
  • Vincennes University in Vincennes, IN.

Top Five Online Pharmacy Technician Certificate Programs:

  • North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, ND.
  • Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, WI.
  • The University of Alaska Anchorage in Anchorage, AK
  • Barton County Community College in Great Bend, KS.
  • Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay, OR.

2020 Best Accredited Online Pharmacy Technician Associate Programs

pharmacy tech programs

North Dakota State College of Science

Wahpeton, ND

NDSCS is a public institution regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

They offer an associate’s degree for pharmacy technicians.

Students learn the management and technical skills necessary to get entry-level positions in pharmacy-related industries.

The program can be completed in a hybrid or face-to-face format.

Students complete at least 68 credits.

Courses include pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacy practice, orientation to pharmacy practice, chemical/physical pharmacy lab.

The program typically lasts for 2 years.

To enroll in the program, students should be at least 18 years old and hold a high school diploma or GED.

Applications should include ACT scores or approved testing results and transcripts from high school.

Program Overview

  • School Status: Public.
  • Program Name: Pharmacy Technician, Associate of Applied Science.
  • Program Length: 2 years.
  • Tuition: $137/credit in-state.
  • Credit Requirements: 68 credits.

Delivery:

  • Instruction Style: Synchronous.
  • Format: In-person or hybrid (online/on-campus).

Admission Requirements:

Standardized Tests: ACT or approved placement exams.

State Fair Community College

Sedalia, MO

SFCC is located in Sedalia, Missouri, and holds regional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.

Students can enroll in an online associate of applied science program.

The program’s focus is on healthcare specialists with an emphasis on pharmacy technicians.

To graduate, students need 61.5 credit hours.

The courses required include microcomputer applications, microbiology, sociology, and human physiology labs.

Some general education courses are also required, such as business communication, public speaking, American government, and US history.

The program follows the Canvas learning systems, so students can complete the coursework fully online and finish clinical hours in approved facilities.

Distance learners can benefit from the school’s career services and academic advising, tutoring services, academic and personal counseling, and full-text library access.

Program Overview

  • School Status: Public.
  • Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Healthcare Specialist With Emphasis in Pharmacy Technician.
  • Program Length: 2 years.
  • Tuition: $170/credit in-state; $230/credit out-of-state.
  • Credit Requirements: 61.5 credits.

Delivery:

Format: Online with in-person clinicals.

Admission Requirements:

Standardized Tests: ACT, ACT Compass, or ACCUPLACER

Casper College

Casper, WY

Casper is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

They offer an online associate of science in pharmacy technology.

Typically, students take 15-17 credits per semester and complete the degree in two years.

Distance learners should complete a minimum of 60 credits to graduate.

Prerequisite courses include pharmacy calculations, medical terminology, pharmacy experimental training, and law and ethics.

Applicants need a high school diploma or GED as well as a minimum of 2.0 high school GPA.

They also must have a “C” or better in particular prerequisite classes.

Before students can take part in clinical experiences, they should pass a drug test and a background check.

Program Overview

  • School Status: Public.
  • Program Name: Pharmacy Technician, Associate of Applied Science.
  • Program Length: 2 years.
  • Tuition: $135/credit in-state; $333/credit out-of-state.
  • Credit Requirements: 60 credits.

Delivery:

Format: 100% online.

Admission Requirements:

  • Standardized Tests: ACT for students out of high school for more than two years.
  • GPA: 2.0 minimum.

Central Piedmont Community College

Charlotte, NC

North Carolina, CPCC is located in Matthews, North Carolina.

It is a public institution with regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Learners can earn an associate of applied science in pharmacy technology.

Courses cover hospital pharmacy, sterile products, professional issues, and a survey of medical terminology.

Candidates need at least 74 credits to graduate.

Students should get a “C” or more in required courses to be in good standing.

Those who seek this degree should submit their high school transcripts and a pharmacy technology application form.

Up to 24 students per year can be accepted to the program.

Competitive applicants should have general courses completed, as specified by the CPCC pre-admission guide.

Program Overview

  • School Status: Public.
  • Program Name: Pharmacy Technician, Associate of Applied Science.
  • Program Length: 2 years.
  • Tuition: $77/credit in-state; $271/credit out-of-state.
  • Credit Requirements: 74-75 credits.

Delivery:

  • Instruction Style: Synchronous.
  • Format: Hybrid (online/on-campus).

Vincennes University

Vincennes, IN

VU is a regionally accredited public institution, with accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

It is located in southeast Indiana and offers over 20 online programs, which include a pharmacy technician associate degree.

With this two-year program, learners can acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for entry-level positions at retail and hospital pharmacies.

Candidates should earn a minimum of 60 credits to graduate.

They take courses that cover medical terminology for allied health and pharmacology, dispensing lab, and more.

Applicants should meet certain prerequisites in math and reading.

They should also submit the SAT, ACT, ACCUPLACER, or other scores approved for placement purposes.

Students holding a health pharmacy tech certificate from Indiana University are automatically accepted to the associate program.

Program Overview

  • School Status: Public.
  • Program Name: Associate of Science/Career Tech in Pharmacy Technology.
  • Program Length: 2 years.
  • Tuition: $193/credit in-state; $470/credit out-of-state.
  • Credit Requirements: 60 credits.

Delivery:

Format: Online except for 200 practicum hours.

Admission Requirements:

  • Standardized Tests: ACT, SAT, ACCUPLACER, or another VU-approved exam.
  • GPA: 2.3 minimum.

pharmacy tech training

2020 Best Accredited Online Pharmacy Technician Certificate Programs

North Dakota State College of Science

Wahpeton, ND

The NDSCS is a public institution located in Wahpeton, North Dakota, and regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Through this school, you can earn a pharmacy technician certification through a hybrid format.

Students study record keeping, inventory management, sterile product preparations, and community and institutional practice.

The program lasts for one year and grants 44 credits of coursework and in-person internship lasting for eight weeks.

Courses required for this certification include inventory and records management, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacy law and ethics, anatomical and physiological concepts.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED.

Those under the age of 25 should also submit ACT scores.

To be in good standing, students should complete the course with a “C” or higher.

It’s stated that the job placement rate of graduates from 2018-2019 was 100%.

Program Overview

  • School Status: Public.
  • Program Name: Pharmacy Technician, Certificate.
  • Program Length: 1 year.
  • Tuition: $137/credit.
  • Credit Requirements: 44 credits.

Delivery:

  • Instruction Style: Synchronous.
  • Format: Hybrid (online/on-campus).

Admission Requirements:

Standardized Tests: ACT for applicants under 25 years of age; placement testing results are also accepted.

Lakeshore Technical College

Cleveland, WI

LTC is located in Cleveland, Wisconsin.

It is a public college that holds a pharmacy technician program designed for students who are employed as pharmacy techs or in a closely related area.

Students need to have two or more years of experience before they can apply.

Most of the requirements for this certificate can be completed online.

Depending on the class, lab-focused coursework may have to be completed in-person.

The program grants 17 credits and helps students develop their specialized skills, understand technician theory better, and prepare for the national examination.

Courses required for the course include medical terminology, health insurance and reimbursement, and parenteral for working pharmacy technicians.

The program can be finished in two semesters.

Program Overview

  • School Status: Public.
  • Program Name: Employed Pharmacy Technician, Certificate.
  • Program Length: 1 year or less.
  • Tuition: $137/credit in-state; $205/credit out-of-state.
  • Credit Requirements: 17 credits.

Delivery:

Format: Hybrid (online/on-campus).

Admission Requirements:

Work Experience: Two years preferred.

University of Alaska Anchorage

Anchorage, AK

UAA is a public school regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

The university provides a pharmacy technology occupational endorsement certificate with 16 credits which can be earned online.

After completing the program, students can take the national pharmacy tech certification board exam.

Students can complete six pharmacy tech courses through the Blackboard learning system.

The program is taught through asynchronous format, including such classes as techniques of pharmacy practice, pharmacology for technicians, topics in pharmacy, pharmacy calculations, etc.

Enrolling students can start the program in the spring or fall semester.

Studying full-time, students can complete the program in two semesters.

To enroll, they need a high school diploma or GED.

Students should be proficient in math, English, computer technology, and typing.

Program Overview

  • School Status: Public.
  • Program Name: Pharmacy Technology, Occupational Endorsement Certificate
  • Program Length: 1 year or less.
  • Tuition: $223/credit in-state; $789/credit out-of-state.
  • Credit Requirements: 16 credits.

Delivery:

  • Instruction Style: Asynchronous.
  • Format: 100% online.

Barton County Community College

Great Bend, KS

BCC is a public school located in Great Bend, Kansas.

It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Distance learning students can earn a pharmacy tech certificate.

To graduate, learners need 29 credits and can complete the program within two semesters.

Courses required by the program include pharmacy operations, pharmacy calculations, customer service, pharmacy technician topics.

After students complete the program, they can take the pharmacy tech certification board examination or the certification of pharmacy technicians exam.

All the coursework can be completed online, however, students are required to participate in an in-person internship at a designated site.

Remote students receive 24/7 tech supports, counseling, and tutoring services.

Program Overview

  • School Status: Public.
  • Program Name: Pharmacy Technician, Certificate.
  • Program Length: 2 semesters.
  • Tuition: $150/credit.
  • Credit Requirements: 29 credits.

Delivery:

Format: Online plus an in-person internship.

Southwestern Oregon Community College

Coos Bay, OR

SWOCC is located in Coos Bay, Oregon.

It is a public school that offers a certificate of completion, a pharmacy technician program.

The school is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Students gain the necessary skills to assist pharmacists in retail and hospital pharmacy settings.

The major coursework can be completed entirely online.

Courses required for the certificate include pharmacology, body structures, and functions, human relations in organizations, pharmacy records management.

To graduate, students should earn a minimum of 51 credits with a 2.0 or higher GPA.

To enroll, students take exams in writing, reading, and math.

Besides, they need to pass a drug test and criminal background check.

Program Overview

  • School Status: Public.
  • Program Name: Pharmacy Technician, Certificate of Completion.
  • Program Length: 3 semesters.
  • Tuition: $96/credit.
  • Credit Requirements: 51 credits.

Delivery:

Format: 100% online.

Admission Requirements:

Standardized Tests: Entry placement exams.

pharmacy technician training

Online Pharmacy Technician Training Program Overview

In the pharmacy tech associate degree and certificate programs, students gain the skills necessary to assist pharmacists when filling prescriptions.

They also learn the composition and uses of common medications.

Besides, students learn the legal and ethical considerations of dispensing drugs, appropriate behavior, and pharmacy practice calculations.

Students graduating from pharmacy tech training programs can dispense medications working under the supervision of a pharmacist in a pharmacy setting.

However, in some states, pharmacy techs are also required to pass a certification exam.

Pharmacy techs who are looking to becoming a pharmacist should complete a four-year bachelor’s degree program followed by a 3-4-year graduate program.

Common Pharmacy Technician Courses

Introduction to Pharmacy

This course explains the difference between the roles of a pharmacist and a pharmacy technician.

It also covers the responsibilities of a pharmacy tech in hospital and retail settings, and the healthcare system.

Students learn to interpret pharmacy orders.

The course covers such topics as quality assurance, ethics, drug delivery system, medical terminology.

Pharmacy Practice

In this course, students learn how to process prescriptions, evaluate insurance coverage, apply relevant regulations and laws, and dispense medications under supervision.

The coursework can include drug labeling, professional behavior, controlled substance procedures, dispensing procedures.

Pharmacy Calculations

In this class, students learn various measurement systems related to pharmacy practice.

They learn to calculate medical dosages to prepare medication orders.

This includes powdered medications and pediatric dosages.

Pharmacology

This course covers the effects and properties of pharmacologic agents in major categories of drugs.

Students learn how to categorize major drugs according to the therapeutic categories.

They also study how to identify their generic names, side effects, and indications.

Specific topics include respiratory drugs, hormones, gastrointestinal agents, and nutritional products.

Pharmacy Clinical

In a pharmacy tech program, students usually have some opportunities to work in a pharmacy supervised by a pharmacist.

Students can use their knowledge and receive on-site experience.

They can practice interacting with patients, dispensing medications, and operating computer systems in a pharmacy.

Online Pharmacy Technician Program Admission Requirements

High School Diploma or GED Certificate

Before taking a college-level certificate or degree, applicants should obtain a high school diploma or GED.

Test Scores

For some programs, applicants should submit their ACT or SAT scores (or similar).

You should check this with the school you’re enrolling in.

Transcripts

Often programs require you to submit official transcripts from high school or colleges you attended.

Some may also require prerequisite courses, such as English composition or algebra, and a certain GPA number (usually ranging between 2.0 and 2.8.

Drug Screening

For some programs, applicants should submit a negative drug test result, which is usually a requirement for working in medical facilities or pharmacies.

Background Check

For some programs, applicants should also pass a background check and have no past felony convictions.

pharmacy tech training online

Pharmacy Technician Career Paths

A pharmacy technician is generally an entry-level position.

However, some can move into management or supervisory roles as they gain experience.

In some states, pharmacy techs should be licensed or certified.

The certification exam is offered by the Pharmacy Technical Certification Board and the National Healthcareer Association.

Those looking for career advancement by becoming pharmacists should obtain a bachelor’s degree and enroll in graduate school.

Pharmacists usually need a doctor of pharmacy four-year professional degree.

They should also obtain licensure, which is granted after passing two certification exams.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a pharmacy tech make with an associate degree?

Pharmacy techs make between $23,000 and $48,000 per year.

The national median salary is $32,700.

With an associate degree, one can obtain a better paying job compared to only holding a certificate.

Can you become a pharmacist with an associate degree?

To become a pharmacist, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree and a doctor of pharmacy.

Both degrees (studying full-time) can take 4-6 years.

An associate degree can be a stepping stone to a pharmacist’s career.

Is pharmacy tech a good career?

The demand for pharmacy techs is high.

According to the BLS, the employment rate will increase faster than the national average.

They note that pharmacy techs can take more responsibilities soon as pharmacists become more involved in patient care.

Is pharmacy technician a stressful job?

A job in a busy pharmacy can be stressful.

Pharmacy techs should negotiate with insurance companies and healthcare providers on behalf of patients and customers.

They also interact with patients concerning their medical needs, which takes patience and professionalism.

Can you become a pharmacy tech without going to school?

Pharmacy techs can learn on-the-job if they have a high school diploma or GED.

However, a certification may be required by a state.

For this, you may have to enroll in a postgraduate program and pass the exam.

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