BECOMING A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN ALASKA
People who have strong attention to detail, enjoy healthcare and want to enter a career that helps other people may find their calling as a pharmacy technician.
A Pharmacy technician dispenses prescriptions, manages inventory, and completes other administrative work while assisting pharmacists in hospitals, drugstores, and other health-related settings. Each state has its licensing requirements for pharmacy technicians, and the following information can help you begin your career in Alaska.
The Alaska Board of Pharmacy requires a pharmacy technician to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and have no criminal convictions to register with the Board and begin working. A Pharmacy technician must wear a name tag identifying his role while he works and completes 40 hours of on-the-job training before he is allowed to prepare sterile pharmaceuticals. No additional certification or formal education is required. [Leer en español]
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN PROGRAMS
Some pharmacy technicians choose to attend a formal pharmacy technician training program before beginning their careers. These pharmacy technician programs prepare them for national certification exams, which can lead to higher-paying jobs later in their careers. Various community colleges and technical schools in Alaska provide certificate and associate degree pharmacy technician programs for pharmacy technicians, including these:
- University of Alaska, Anchorage. The University of Alaska sponsors the School of Allied Health, through which students can earn an occupational endorsement certificate. The 16-credit course is offered exclusively online and prepares students for the Pharmacy Technician Certificate Exam if they choose to take it
- Penn Foster. Penn Foster’s online pharmacy technician program can be completed in as few as 9 months. You can enroll in the course whenever you’d like, and online support is always available for students. At the end of your pharmacy tech program, you’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable, real-world experience at a CVS/pharmacy or Walgreens near you as part of our required hands-on training externship.
CERTIFICATION AND LICENSING REQUIREMENTS
To begin working as a pharmacy technician in Alaska, applicants must register with the state Board and show evidence of their high school education. They must renew their licenses every two years and complete continuing education activities to maintain their registration.
While the state of Alaska does not require pharmacy technicians to have national certification, receiving this designation can qualify technicians for higher-paying jobs. To receive national certification, pharmacy technicians must register with the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, and pay a fee of $129.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Board
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) has set the national standard for pharmacy technicians. The PTCB administers a certification exam that tests the knowledge and skills of pharmacy technicians, as well as provides an ongoing program to ensure they maintain their certification. The PTCB also offers continuing education and professional development opportunities for pharmacy technicians.
By becoming certified as a pharmacy technician, you can demonstrate your commitment to the profession and patient safety. Certification is highly valued by employers and can also increase your potential for career advancement. With the right training, commitment to excellence, and the right certification credentials, you can start a successful career in pharmacy technology.
CAREER OUTLOOK AND SALARY EXPECTATIONS
Jobs for pharmacy technicians are growing at an average national rate of 5 percent in the 10 years to 2030, according to the Projections Managing Partnership. In Alaska, the job market is expected to grow by 13 percent during the same period.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that pharmacy technicians in Alaska earn an average annual salary of $46,470.
WORKING AS A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN ALASKA
As a pharmacy technician, you can work in a variety of healthcare settings, such as a local pharmacy, independent or chain drugstores, clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. Many of these facilities are open late or even 24 hours a day, meaning that you may be asked to work nights and weekends. Full-time and part-time work is typically available. Pharmacy technicians should be comfortable standing for long periods and moving heavy boxes of medication. Jobs located in larger cities, such as Anchorage or Fairbanks, typically have the highest salaries to account for the higher cost of living there, though jobs can be found throughout the state.
What Pharmacy Technician Schools are there in Alaska?
- Charter College, Anchorage
- University of Alaska, Anchorage
- Penn Foster Career College, Online
- Ashworth College, Online
- Rasmussen College, Online
How much do Pharmacy Technicians make in Alaska?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of Alaska made an average of $43,150 per year in 2018. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $31,270 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $55,720.
How do I become a pharmacy technician in Alaska?
- You must be 18 years old
- You must have a high school diploma or GED and no criminal convictions
- You must register with the Alaska Board of Pharmacy
- You must wear a name tag identifying your role while completing 40 hours of on-the-job training