BECOMING A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN LOUISIANA
If you pay attention to detail and like working at a job where you can help other people, then a career as a pharmacy technician may suit you. Some tasks that pharmacy techs do include printing prescription labels, counting pills, measuring and mixing medication, dispensing prescriptions, and performing administrative work under the supervision of a pharmacist. [Leer en español]
The career of a pharmacy technician is regulated at a state level, meaning each state sets its requirements for the job. Most states require that pharmacy technicians are registered in the state where they work. To find out the requirements for Louisiana, keep reading below.
LICENSURE AND CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR PHARMACY TECHNICIANS IN LOUISIANA
Louisiana is a little more complicated in its requirements to become a pharmacy technician than other states. Most states require licensure through registration, and some don’t even need that. Certification and training are usually optional.
However, in Louisiana, you must first register as a pharmacy technician candidate. While you are a pharmacy technician candidate, you can work in a pharmacy and perform some tasks while you are training to become a pharmacy technician. The candidate registration expires after two years. Once you have completed all the training requirements, you can apply to become a pharmacy technician.
The requirements are as follows:
• Be at least 18 years old
• Apply and pay the $25 application fee
• Provide proof of your enrollment in an accredited pharmacy technician training program that has been approved by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy
• Complete a criminal background check
• Take and pass either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE) given by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board or the Examination for Certification as Pharmacy Technician (ExCPT) offered by the National Health career Association (NHA).
After you have completed these requirements, you can apply for your pharmacy technician certificate in the state of Louisiana. The application fee for this is currently $100. This certificate must be renewed annually before June 30th of each year. The renewal fee is $50, and 10 hours of continued education must be completed before renewal as well.
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN SCHOOLS IN LOUISIANA
In most states, training is optional, but it is mandatory in Louisiana. If you want to earn your pharmacy tech certificate in the state, you must attend any of the pharmacy technician schools in Louisiana which the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) has accredited. There are more than half a dozen accredited pharmacy technician programs in the state, including the following:
Ayers Career College
This program consists of 49 credit hours that can be taken in 36 weeks (less than one year). Classes meet Monday through Thursday during the day. Students will get instruction in a classroom setting as well as hands-on training in mock clinics. An externship is also included. Students completing the program will receive a diploma and be prepared to take the PTCE.
Delgado Community College
The program at Delgado is a 12-month curriculum, and students receive both classroom and clinical instruction. Students will learn by using PioneerRx Software, so they can simulate working in an actual pharmacy. Students will be prepared to take the PTCE when they have completed this program.
Nursing Assistant Network Association
Located in New Orleans, this school offers a program that can be completed in seven and a half months. Students receive a general overview of pharmacology and learn the skills needed to work in a pharmacy setting. Classes can be taken Monday through Thursday, and day and evening classes are available. Students will be able to sit for the PTCE and to work as entry-level pharmacy techs once they have completed the program.
Penn Foster Career School
Penn Foster offers an affordable, ASHP Accredited online Pharmacy Technician training program. More information.
CAREER OUTLOOK AND SALARY EXPECTATIONS
Currently, pharmacy technician jobs are increasing at a national average rate of 12 percent. According to the Projections Managing Partnership, the job market is expected to increase by almost 14 percent in the state of Louisiana between 2016 and 2026.
Louisiana pharmacy techs are also well-paid. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that pharmacy techs in the Creole State make an average salary of $32,700 annually or $15.72 hourly. The highest-paid earners in the state can make as much as $44,201 per year.
WORKING AS A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN LOUISIANA
Pharmacy technicians can work in almost any healthcare setting, including independent and chain pharmacies, hospitals, medical clinics, and nursing homes. Pharmacy technicians usually work full-time, but some work part-time.
Most pharmacies are open on the weekends, and some are even open 24 hours; therefore, some pharmacy techs might work on nights and weekends. If you are interested in working as a pharmacy technician, then you should also be prepared to stand for several hours and lift heavy loads.
Jobs are available throughout the state, but you are most likely to find work in some of the bigger cities such as Baton Rouge, Covington, Lafayette, Metairie, New Orleans, Shreveport, and Slidell. The highest-paying cities in the state include Baton Rouge, Covington, and Hammond.
LOUISIANA UNIVERSITIES AND PHARM TECH PROGRAMS
The Louisiana University
The Louisiana State University (LSU-Alexandria) has a Certificate program for Pharmacy Technology with a 41-credit-hour curriculum designed to provide for the development of skills and knowledge to function as a pharmacy technician.
The Unitech Training Academy
The Unitech Training Academy offers a Pharmacy Training Preparedness program at all of their Alexandria, Lake Charles, West Monroe, Lafayette, and other campuses.
The Northshore Technical Community College
the Northshore Technical Community College has a pharm tech Certificate program in Bogalusa that enables students to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) that is administered by the Board.
Delgado Community College-New Orleans
Delgado Community College-New Orleans also offers a Certificate program worth looking into. This program is a 12-month curriculum, and students receive both classroom and clinical instruction. Students will learn by using PioneerRx Software, so they can simulate working in an actual pharmacy. Students will be prepared to take the PTCE when they have completed this program.
What are the best pharmacy technician schools in Louisiana?
- Delgado Community College, New Orleans
- Northshore Technical Community College, Lacombe
- Fortis College, Baton Rouge
- Baton Rouge Community College, Baton Rouge
- Bossier Parish Community College, Bossier City
- Remington College, Shreveport
How do you become a pharmacy technician in Louisiana?
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a high school diploma or GED
- Pass a criminal record check
- Complete 600 hours of practical experience with a licensed pharmacist
- Pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)
- Apply for Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Certification
How much do pharmacy technicians make in Louisiana?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of Louisiana made an average of $32,700 per year in 2018. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $23,220 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $44,210.