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. Pharmacy techs dispense prescriptions, manage inventory and complete other administrative work while assisting pharmacists in hospitals, drugstores and other health-related settings. Each state has its own licensing requirements for pharmacy technicians, and the following information can help you begin your career in Alaska.
The Alaska Board of Pharmacy requires pharmacy technicians to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED and no criminal convictions in order to register with the Board and begin working. Technicians must wear a name tag identifying their role while they work and complete 40 hours of on-the-job training before they are allowed to prepare sterile pharmaceuticals. No additional certification or formal education is required. [Leer en español]
Pharmacy Technician Training Programs
Some pharmacy technicians choose to attend a formal training program prior to beginning their careers. These 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 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 technology course 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. The program will also help you arrange an externship with a local CVS or Walgreens pharmacy.
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.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
Jobs for pharmacy technicians are growing at an average national rate of 12 percent in the 10 years to 2026, according to the Projections Managing Partnership. In Alaska, the job market is expected to grow by 8 percent during the same time period.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that pharmacy technicians in Alaska earn an average annual salary of $43,150.
Working as a Pharmacy Technician in Alaska
As a pharmacy technician, you can work in a variety of healthcare settings, such as 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 of time 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.
All School Listings
Charter College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their Anchorage campus in the city of Anchorage. The college has about 2,191 students in total, with most students on 4-year programs. Charter College-Anchorage is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.* Fees for tuition are about $19,882 per year.
3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99508
Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program
The University of Alaska Anchorage’s Certificate-level Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their campus in the city of Anchorage. This is a full, 4-year public college with 17,363 students, of which 94% are undergraduates. The school has institutional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.* The cost of tuition for in-state students is about $5,147 and for students from other states in the order of $15,206 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,273, depending on the program chosen.
* Accredition status and tuition fees are correct at the time of last update and are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with college or university prior to application.