How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Alabama
Are you interested in working under the supervision of a pharmacist, mixing and counting out medication and labeling prescriptions? If so, a career as a pharmacy technician might interest you. A pharmacy technician is also known as a pharmacy tech. Other duties of a pharmacy tech may include answering the phone, entering patient information and prescriptions into the computer and ordering medication.
Alabama Pharmacy Technician Requirements
To work as a pharmacy tech in Alabama, you must have a high school diploma or GED and be at least 17 years old. Training can occur on the job, however pharmacy techs who have completed a post-secondary training program may be more likely to get hired. Post-secondary programs usually can be taken at community colleges and take less than two years to complete. [Leer en español]
You are not required to hold certification to work as a pharmacy tech in the state. But if you choose to become nationally certified, you may have more opportunities for job advancement or earn more money. All pharmacy technicians who work in the state are required to register through the Alabama Board of Pharmacy.
The number of pharmacy technicians in the Yellowhammer State grew from 6550 in 2012 to a projected 7830 in 2022, for an increase of 1280 jobs, in a State population of 4.9 million.
Pharmacy Technician Educational Programs in Alabama
If you are looking for pharmacy technician programs in Alabama, here are a couple of options for you to consider:
- Wallace State Community College. Wallace State offers a short certificate program in Pharmacy Technology. This program consists of 27 credits taken over two semesters. Students will take theory courses and participate in lab activities as well as a clinical internship. This program holds accreditation through the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Before entering the program, students must pass a physical, drug screen and background check and provide proof of insurance and having had the Hepatitis B immunization. Students who complete this program will be prepared to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE).
- Remington College. Remington College has several campuses in the United States, including a location in Mobile, Alabama. At Remington, you have the option of earning a diploma in pharmacy technology or an associate’s degree in pharmacy technology. The diploma program can be taken online in completed in approximately one year. The degree program contains similar coursework to the diploma program, including a 200-hour clinical externship.
- 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. More information here.
For applicants age 17 and over who have current employment within pharmacies, Alabama requires that they register ($60) with the Alabama Board of Pharmacy. Technicians can sit for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Program (which is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCAA), and those who pass the ExCPT Pharmacy Exam will become Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).
In addition, Alabama requires Continuing Education (CE) of 3 hours a year, of which one hour should be “live”, i.e. with the opportunity to interact with the trainer.
Certification and Licensing in Alabama
Pharmacy techs in the state are not required to hold national or state certification, but they are required to register with the Alabama Board of Pharmacy. To do this, you will need to send a letter to the State Board and request registration. This form must be signed and notarized. You will also need to submit proof of identity. The registration fee is $60, and you will also need to have a background check completed, which currently costs $40.
Once you have registered, you must renew that registration every two years. You will also need to complete 3 hours of continued education during this time. Pharmacy technicians in Alabama must display their registration certificate in the pharmacy where they work. They must also always wear a name tag and work under the direction of a licensed pharmacist.
If you wish to get certification, you can apply to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). A high school diploma or GED is required, and you must also pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). The cost of the exam is $129.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations in Alabama
Right now, the growth for this career is stable. The national growth rate for this career is projected at 12 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to the Projections Managing Partnership. The growth rate for this career in the state of Alabama is just slightly below the national average at nine percent.
The latest data supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that Alabama pharmacy technicians make an average of $14.44 an hour, or $30,040 annually. The highest earners in the state, who hold certification and have more experience, can potentially make as much as $39,470 annually.
Working as a Pharmacy Technician in Alabama
As a pharmacy technician in Alabama, you might find work in an independent pharmacy, drugstore, hospital, medical clinic or assisted living facility. You might work part-time or full time. As the population ages and chronic diseases become more common, the need for pharmacy technicians increases. Also, pharmacists are taking on more responsibilities and will require more pharmacy techs to take on some of their workloads.
With a steady growth rate in the state, jobs will be available almost anywhere. However, consider some of the bigger cities like Auburn, Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery and Opelika when looking for work as a pharmacy technician.
What are best pharmacy technician schools in Alabama?
- Wallace State Community College, Hanceville
- Remington College, Mobile
- Jefferson State Community College, Jefferson
- Fortis College, Dothan, Mobile, Montgomery
- Penn Foster, Online
How do you become a pharmacy technician in Alabama?
- You must be at least 17 years old.
- You must have a high school diploma or GED
- You must have no criminal convictions
- Certification is not a requirement
- You must register with the Alabama Board of Pharmacy
How much do Pharmacy Technicians make in Alabama?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of Alabama made an average of $30,040 per year in 2018. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $21,390 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $39,470.
All School Listings
- Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Dothan, AL
- Huntsville, AL
- Mobile, AL
- Montgomery, AL
- Northwest Alabama nonmetropolitan area
200 Vulcan Way, Dothan, Alabama 36303Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program
Fortis College’s Certificate-level Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their Dothan campus in the city of Dothan, AL. This private, for-profit college has roughly 208 students in total, with most students on < 2-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.* The cost of tuition for the Pharmacy Technician program is about $16,142 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $812. Typically, the program is completed in 10 months.
Fortis College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their Mobile campus in the city of Mobile, AL. The majority of of the school’s 359 students are on 2-year programs. Fortis College-Mobile is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.* Tuition fees are usually around $17,255 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $777, depending on the program chosen.
Fortis College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are based at their Montgomery campus in the city of Montgomery, AL. Most of the school’s 363 students are on 2-year programs. Fortis College-Montgomery is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.* Tuition fees are around $19,758 yearly. Books and supplies can cost about $950, as necessitated by the chosen program.
George C Wallace State Community College offers various Certificate Pharmacy Technician program options a Certificate program and a Associate program. All programs are based at their Hanceville campus in the town of Hanceville, AL. This public college has roughly 5,281 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville has institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, while the programs are separately accredited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually about $4,200 and for students from other states in the order of $7,530 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,400, depending on the program chosen. This program is ASHP accredited. The program faculty includes a technician,and a lab/clerical support member. The school offers start dates in mid August. Class scheduling: Full-time day. Acceptance Requirements: HS diploma or GED, transcript, admission testing General Location Training Sites: North/Central Alabama. Academic award: Certificate; A.A.S.. They say: Our program offers students hands-on skills development, coursework in pharmacology and calculations, experience operating software packages, and preparation for certification examination. Financial aid is available to qualified applicants.
828 Downtowner Loop W, Mobile, Alabama 36609Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program
Remington College’s Certificate-level Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their Mobile Campus campus in the city of Mobile, AL. This private, not-for-profit college has round 472 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Remington College-Mobile Campus has institutional accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, and the program is separately accredited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* Fees for tuition are about $15,995 per year. This program has AHSP candidate status.
* 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.