BECOMING A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN GEORGIA
Pharmacy technicians, or pharmacy techs, assist licensed pharmacists with filling and dispensing prescriptions. They might also mix and measure medication and count pills. Other tasks may include making labels for prescription bottles, ordering pharmacy supplies, putting out the inventory, and answering the phone.
If this sounds like an appealing job to you, then you might want to consider becoming a pharmacy technician in Georgia. This career is currently experiencing strong growth.
The requirements for working as a pharmacy technician will vary by state. Keep reading to learn what the conditions and your educational options are in Georgia. [Leer en español]
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN REQUIREMENTS FOR GEORGIA
To find work as a pharmacy technician in the state, you must be at least 17 and a high school graduate or have the equivalent of a high school diploma.
You do not have to hold certification to work as a pharmacy technician in Georgia, but you do have to register with the Georgia Board of Pharmacy. Those with certification may find more work opportunities and make more money.
Formal training is not mandatory to work in the state, either. You can be trained on the job since you will be working under the supervision of a pharmacist.
However, if you complete a post-secondary pharmacy technician training program, it may increase your chances of getting hired.
GEORGIA PHARMACY TECHNICIAN PROGRAMS
If you are interested in taking a pharmacy technician program, there are several American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacist (ASHP) accredited programs in Georgia.
Below are a few examples that will give you an idea of what to expect:
Albany Technical College
Albany Tech offers a pharmacy technology diploma as well as a pharmacy technology degree program. Both include clinical experience and prepare students to work as entry-level pharmacy techs.
The degree program is made up of 63 credit hours, and the diploma program consists of 54 credit hours. Both programs can be completed in approximately two years.
Atlanta Technical College
At Atlanta Technical College, students can choose from a technical certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree in pharmacy technology. All three programs are ASHP accredited.
The technical certificate was designed for those who want short-term training. The certificate program can be completed in three semesters and consists of 35 credit hours.
The diploma program includes clinical practice and prepares students for entry-level work as well as to sit for the national certification exam.
This program consists of 56 credit hours taken over four semesters. The associate’s degree program can be completed in five semesters.
This 65-credit hour program focuses on technical skills, pharmaceutical knowledge, and work ethics. Once they have completed the degree program, students will also be eligible to sit for the national certification exam.
Central Georgia Technical College
At Central Georgia Tech, students can earn a diploma in pharmacy technology. Clinical practice is included in this program as well as classroom instruction and laboratory training. Students must be at least 17 to enter this program.
The degree program begins in the fall semester and consists of 56 credit hours. This competitive program is available at the Macon campus.
Penn Foster Career School
Penn Foster offers an online Pharmacy Technician training program that is affordable and flexible. More information.
CERTIFICATION AND LICENSING REQUIREMENTS IN GEORGIA
Pharmacy technicians in Georgia do not have to be certified, but they do have to register with the Georgia Board of Pharmacy before looking for work in the state. You must be at least 17 years of age and either currently in high school or a high school graduate. A GED is also accepted if you don’t have a high school diploma.
To register with the Board, you must turn in a written application in which you request registration. A fee of $100 must be paid with registration. You will also need to pass a background check. If your registration is approved, the Board will post it on their website. Your registration will need to be renewed before June 30th of an odd-numbered year.
Continued education is not required for pharmacy techs in Georgia, but the reciprocation of registration is not accepted by other states. If you are registered elsewhere, you will still need to register with the State Board before working in Georgia.
If you want to become certified, you can apply to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). This credential is available through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). A high school diploma or GED is required for certification. You will also need to take and pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). This exam has a fee of $129.
JOB AND SALARY OUTLOOK
This career is experiencing steady growth. Nationally, pharmacy technicians are predicted to see a 12 percent increase in the job field between the years 2016 and 2026. According to the Projections Managing Partnership, the growth rate in Georgia is slightly higher than the national average, at 15 percent. In 2016, there were 11,860 pharmacy techs employed in the state, and by 2026 that number is expected to increase to 13,670.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that pharmacy technicians in the state make an hourly average of $16.83, or $35,000 annually. Pharmacy technicians who are certified or have more education or experience can make as much as $46,190 a year.
WORKING AS A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN GEORGIA
A Pharmacy technician may work in independent pharmacies, hospitals, chain drugstores, medical clinics, nursing homes, or correctional facility pharmacies. Pharmacy techs work part-time or full-time.
These days, pharmacists are taking on more duties and need more help from pharmacy assistants and techs. You shouldn’t have trouble finding work in the state, but more employment might be available in the cities of Atlanta, Roswell, and Sandy Springs.
What are the best pharmacy technician schools in Georgia?
- Atlanta Technical College, Atlanta
- Altierus Career College, Norcross
- Fortis College, Smyrna
- Columbus Technical College, Columbus
- Ogeechee Technical College, Statesboro
- Lanier Technical College, Gainesville
How do you become a pharmacy technician in Georgia?
- You must be at least 17 years old and have a high school diploma or GED
- Register with the Georgia Board of Pharmacy
- Complete a criminal record check
- Certification is not required
How much do pharmacy technicians make in Georgia?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of Georgia made an average of $35,000 per year in 2020. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $23,370 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $46,190.
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