How to Become a Pharmacy Tech with Corporate Chain Pharmacy Retailers

There are different paths you can take to become a pharmacy technician. At minimum, many people are able to start in this career with just a high school diploma. In other cases, completing a training program and/or certification is required or helps you stand out as a job candidate.

Some of the big chain pharmacy retailers provide training that teaches you about the role and then gives you hands-on experience in one of their pharmacies. Pharmacies that provide this kind of training include CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid. This type of training can provide a great way to get started in a rewarding career as a pharmacy technician.

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CVS Pharmacy

CVS employs 60,000 pharmacy technicians across its many stores. Beyond its retail stores, CVS can open the door to different pharmacy tech specialties, such as an Omnicare Long-Term Care Pharmacy Technician working with assisted living facilities and other long-term care settings, or a pharmacy technician in sterile compounding at an infusion location.

CVS provides on-the-job training to help you learn how to be a pharmacy technician. This retailer is willing to take trainees with no previous experience in this position and to offer cross-training to prepare them for the role. CVS doesn’t share much more about its training program publically, so you could contact CVS to learn more.

If applicable to your situation, CVS also offers its Mock Training Center within the Davies Career and Technical High School in Lincoln, RI. This site mimics a real CVS pharmacy to provide hands-on training. Then, students are placed within real CVS stores to gain real-life training.

Walgreens Pharmacy

Walgreens is another corporate pharmacy retailer that hires pharmacy technicians in addition to training them. Walgreens has its Walgreens University to provide certain medical training. This program includes pharmacy technician training that leads to Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) certification. This was the first program to receive American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) accreditation.

Walgreens University provides training to prepare you to work in a Walgreens pharmacy, and you may receive college credit as well. Through the program, Walgreens encourages prospective pharmacy techs to get the PTCB certification. The company takes on the cost of the exam as well as providing review classes and study materials. After you become a pharmacy technician, Walgreens also provides online continuing education courses that are recognized by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Contact Walgreens to find out more about its training programs.

Rite Aid Pharmacy

Rite Aid Pharmacy also hires pharmacy technicians. It provides a Technician Certification Program to its associates, helping you progress into the pharmacy tech role. You complete this free program during your work hours.

The Rite Aid pharmacy tech training program includes extensive education through computer-based courses, workbook exercises, classes with an instructor and hands-on experience. It’s an accredited training program that results in a Rite Aid Certified Technician Certificate. You can learn more by contacting the program.

Alternative Options

Also, CareerStep Online Training Solutions includes an externship with CVS or Walgreens within its accredited pharmacy technician training program. The online program provides education on the pharmacy technician role, while the included externship provides hands-on experience in Walgreens or CVS.

Gaining education and hands-on training through one of the major pharmacy retailers can provide a great way to become a pharmacy technician. These programs give you real-life experience, prepare you for exams and give you a foot in the door to these employers. You can take your training and work in the pharmacy of one of these retailers or use it to branch out into other pharmacy technician specialties.