How to Become a Pharmacy Techician in Colorado
Find Schools and Training Programs
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]
REQUIREMENTS FOR BECOMING A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN COLORADO
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 TECHNICIAN PROGRAMS 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. Program costs and settings vary. 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 of training documented by the pharmacist manager
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations of Pharmacy Technicians in Colorado
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts above-average growth of 21 percent between 2020 and 2030, 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 $36,740 as of 2020, which means half of all pharmacy technicians earned more than that and half earned less. The annual mean salary for Colorado pharmacy technicians is $37,390, and the hourly mean is $17.97.
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.
What are the best pharmacy technician schools in Colorado?
- Pike’s Peak Community College, Colorado Springs
- Emily Griffith Technical College, Denver
- Front Range Community College, Westminster
- Pueblo Community College, Pueblo
- Penn Foster Career College, Online
How do you become a pharmacy technician in Colorado?
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a high school diploma or GED
- You must have no criminal convictions
- PTCB Certification is required from 2020
- 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.