How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Massachusetts
If you decide to pursue a career as a pharmacy technician, your job duties are going to vary depending on where you work. However, there are certain duties you will have no matter where you’re employed. [Leer en español]
A large part of your daily tasks will involve receiving and confirming prescription orders. This may be over the phone, by fax or through email. You also will need to verify insurance coverage before someone picks up their medication. Other job duties will entail preparing and filling medication, talking to customers and answering their questions, managing inventory, handling organization tasks and a few specialized roles, including compounding products.
Pharmacy Technician Requirements in Massachusetts
Due to the nature of the job, the Massachusetts’ Board of Registration in Pharmacy has a list of requirements that you must meet to become a pharmacy technician. You must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED (or be in a program that will reward such a degree) and have completed either a Board-approved program or spent at least 500 hours employed as a pharmacy tech trainee. Additionally, you cannot have a drug-related felony conviction on your record.
Once you are licensed, you will be able to work in a variety of environments under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist.
Schools in Massachusetts for Pharmacy Technicians
To become a pharmacy tech in Massachusetts, you must have passed either a Board-approved examination offered by an employer or a Board-approved exam that will include either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) national certification exam or the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technician (ExCPT).
These are several of the education options for becoming a pharmacy technician in Massachusetts:
- Health Care Training Services, Fall River: Health Care Training Services offers a 42-hour course. The completion of this program will allow students to work in many settings, including retail and institutional pharmacies, such as hospitals.
- Bunker Hill Community, Boston: In this 16-credit course at Bunker Hill Community, students will learn through classroom teaching and practical experience in a pharmacy setting. Students will learn about pharmacy operations, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacology and pharmacy law.
- Massasoit Community College, Brockton or Canton: Massasoit Community College offers a 120-hour certificate program for those who are interested in pursuing a career as a pharmacy tech.
- Penn Foster Career School. Penn Foster offers an affordable, ASHP Accredited online Pharmacy Technician training program. More information.
Massachusetts Career Outlook and Average Salaries
In Massachusetts, the healthcare industry has a large hiring base. Pharmacy technician jobs are continuing to rise, projected to grow at a rate of 12 percent over the next several years. An increase in the demand for prescription medication has led to more demand for pharmaceutical services.
Your salary is going to be dependent on where you work, your education, your certifications and the number of years you have worked in the profession. However, in Massachusetts, you can expect a pharmacy technician to make an annual average of $36,896, with the range falling between $33,275 and $41,161 per year.
Finding Work as Pharmacy Tech in Massachusetts
In today’s job market, you can find a variety of work environments for pharmacy techs. Some jobs involve working closely with patients, while others involve never seeing the patient at all. You could find work in a retail pharmacy, a compounding pharmacy, a hospital, a nursing home, an assisted living center or even at a mail order pharmacy.
Your personal preferences will have a large impact on where you decide to look for a job. Someone who is great with customer service might excel in a retail or clinical pharmacy. Someone who is good with IV admixture may find that a hospital is a more suitable setting.
There are plenty of places to find work in the state, but you will find that the best places for finding employment are in the largest cities and their suburbs. In Massachusetts, this includes Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Lowell and Cambridge. With the increasing demand for prescription medication, you should be able to find fulfilling work as a licensed pharmacy technician, even in the more rural areas.
What are best pharmacy technician schools in Massachusetts?
- Quinsigamond Community College, Worcester
- Bristol Community College, Fall River
- Access Careers, Islandia, NY
- Penn Foster Career School, Online
- Ashworth College, Online
How do you become a pharmacy technician in Massachusetts?
- You must be at least 17 years old
- You must have a high school diploma or GED, or be enrolled in high school
- Pass a criminal record check
- Complete a Board-approved program or spend at least 500 hours employed as a pharmacy tech trainee
- Apply to the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy
How much do pharmacy technicians make in Massachusetts?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of Massachusetts made an average of $37,110 per year in 2018. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $25,100 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $50,610.
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Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program
The Certificate program at Bristol Community College is imparted at their campus in Fall River in Bristol County, Massachusetts. Most of the school’s 9,335 students are on 2-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.* Fees for tuition for in-state students are around $4,178 and for out-of-state students likely to be about $9,122 yearly, while study materials may cost about $1,000, depending on the program.
* 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.