How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Colorado

If you’re considering becoming a pharmacy technician, you’re considering a very rewarding career in the healthcare field. You’ll learn to do a variety of important tasks under the direction of a pharmacist to help prepare prescriptions. Daily tasks will include counting, mixing, labeling and recording medications prescribed to customers or patients.

Other names for pharmacy technicians are compounding technicians or pharmacy techs. Once you start working in this field in Colorado, you’ll find that your skills will be in very high demand. [Leer en español]

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Requirements for Becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Colorado

In order to become a pharmacy tech in Colorado, the first thing you’ll need is a high school diploma or GED. From 2020, you are required to obtain Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) certification. You’ll need to be at least 18 years old, of good moral character and be able to pass a criminal background check. You will then be required to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). The PTCB has continuing education requirements.

Pharmacy Tech Educational Programs in Colorado

To obtain the skills you need to start your career, consider some of the many choices of schools where you can obtain training to become a pharmacy tech.  Among the many pharmacy tech education programs in Colorado are the following:

  • Arapahoe Community College. This certificate program consists of two semesters of 15 weeks each. The second semester includes classroom and lab courses followed by an 8-week externship in both community and institutional pharmacy settings.
  • Pike’s Peak Community College. Students can choose between a certificate program and an associate’s degree program. These programs bring together comprehensive training and experience to prepare graduates to excel in the pharmacy tech field.
  • Emily Griffith Technical College.  Located in Denver, this program offers a fast track to a career as a pharmacy tech. It’s a hybrid program consisting of both in-person and online classes followed by an internship in a pharmacy setting.
  • Penn Foster Career School. See also this affordable ASHP Accredited online training program.

Pharmacy Tech Certification and Licensing in Colorado

Since the state doesn’t license pharmacy techs, consider obtaining other credentials. According to the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy, if there are at least three pharmacy techs working in a pharmacy, at least one needs to have the following credentials:

  • Have a degree from an accredited pharmacy tech training program
  • Be certified by a certification board that is nationally recognized and approved by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
  • Have completed at least 500 hours training documented by the pharmacist manager
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Career Outlook and Salary Expectations of Pharmacy Technicians in Colorado

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts above average growth of 12 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than average for all occupations. There will be an increased demand for prescription medications, partly because of higher rates of chronic diseases and an aging population.

The median annual wage was $32,700 as of 2018, which means half of all pharmacy technicians earned more than that and half earned less. The annual mean salary for Colorado pharmacy technicians is $36,880, and the hourly mean is $17.73.

Working as a Pharmacy Tech in Colorado

The skills you’ll acquire as a pharmacy tech allow you to work in a variety of settings. Examples of employment opportunities include pharmacies, hospitals, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Expect to work a variety of hours since most healthcare facilities and some pharmacies are open around the clock, so you may be working days, nights and weekends.

Pharmacy techs may need to pick up some of the work formerly done by pharmacists since pharmacists are also picking up expanded roles by giving flu shots and performing other tasks. The job outlook for pharmacy technicians appears very strong throughout the state of Colorado.

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FAQs

What are best pharmacy technician schools in Colorado?

  1. Pike’s Peak Community College, Colorado Springs
  2. Emily Griffith Technical College, Denver
  3. Front Range Community College, Westminster
  4. Pueblo Community College, Pueblo
  5. Penn Foster Career College, Online

How do you become a pharmacy technician in Colorado?

  1. You must be at least 18 years old
  2. You must have a high school diploma or GED
  3. You must have no criminal convictions
  4. PTCB Certification is required from 2020
  5. Pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

How much do pharmacy technicians make in Colorado?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of Colorado made an average of $36,880 per year in 2018. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $26,690 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $49,120.

All School Listings

Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO Area

Emily Griffith Technical College

1250 Welton Street, Denver, Colorado 80204-2197Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Emily Griffith Technical College can be taken at their campus in the city of Denver. The college has in the order of 2,802 students in total, with the majority of students on < 2-year programs. Emily Griffith Technical College is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, Board of Trustees.* The college’s retention rate for full-time students is over 80%. Fees for tuition are about $7,490 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $655, although this will vary with the program.

Front Range Community College

3645 W 112th Ave, Westminster, Colorado 80031Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Front Range Community College’s Certificate Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their campus in Westminster in Adams County, CO. Most of the school’s 19,619 students are on 2-year programs. Front Range Community College has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, while the program itself is accredited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* Fees for tuition for in-state students are in the order of $3,224 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $12,134 yearly, while study materials may cost about $1,800, depending on the program. This program is ASHP accredited. The school offers start dates in first week of September, third week of January. Candidates can expect to attend an interview. Class scheduling: Daytime, evening full-time, and part-time; evening classes are offered at Front Range Community College. Acceptance Requirements: High school diploma or GED; program application; achieve required scores on state-mandated “ACCUPLACER” assessment test for reading, writing and arithmetic; ability to type 25 wpm; resume; a letter of recommendation; no conviction of a drug-related felony, interview, pass background check, immunizations. General Location Training Sites: Training sites are located throughout the Denver Metro area, Colorado.. Academic award: Certificate. They say: The curriculum was developed by representatives of the pharmacy community. Lab courses offer hands-on experience with state-of-the-art equipment.

Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO Area

National American University-Denver

1325 S. Colorado Boulevard, Suite 100, Denver, Colorado 80222-3308Pharmacy Technician – Associate Program

National American University’s Associate Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their Denver campus in the city of Denver, CO. Most of the school’s 258 students are on 4-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* The cost of tuition is in the order of $12,531 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,350, as necessitated by the chosen program.

Colorado Springs, CO Area

Pikes Peak Community College

5675 S Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906-5498Pharmacy Technician – Associate Program, Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Pikes Peak Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in Colorado Springs in El Paso County. The college has in the region of 14,634 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Pikes Peak Community College has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, while the programs themselves are accredited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually in the order of $3,156 and for students from outside the state in the order of $12,055 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,800, as necessitated by the chosen program. This program is ASHP accredited. The school offers starting dates at the end of August and mid-January. Candidates can expect to attend an interview. Class scheduling: full time, part-time, daytime, online.

Pima Medical Institute-Colorado Springs

3770 Citadel Drive North, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Pima Medical Institute is offered at their Colorado Springs campus in the city of Colorado Springs, Colorado. This private, for-profit college has round 547 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Pima Medical Institute-Colorado Springs is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.* The cost of tuition for the Pharmacy Technician program is broadly in the order of $11,510 yearly, while study materials may cost about $759. Usually, the program is completed in 9 months.

Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO Area

Pima Medical Institute-Denver

7475 Dakin St Suite 100, Denver, Colorado 80221Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Pima Medical Institute can be taken at their Denver campus in Denver in Adams County. The majority of of the school’s 951 students are on 2-year programs. Pima Medical Institute-Denver has institutional accreditation from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.* The cost of tuition for the Pharmacy Technician program is broadly in the order of $11,510 yearly, while study materials may cost about $759. Usually, the program is completed in 9 months.

Pueblo, CO Area

Pueblo Community College

900 West Orman Avenue, Pueblo, Colorado 81004-1499Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Pueblo Community College is offered at their campus in the city of Pueblo. The college has in the region of 6,718 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The school has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be about $3,488 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $12,334 yearly, while study materials may cost about $1,749, depending on the program.

Colorado Springs, CO Area

Remington College-Colorado Springs Campus

6050 Erin Park Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80918-3401Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Remington College’s Certificate-level Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their Colorado Springs Campus campus in the city of Colorado Springs, CO. The majority of of the school’s 7 students are on 2-year programs. The school has institutional accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.*

* 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.

Out-of-State Options

See options in the neighboring states of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.