How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Maryland

If you want to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field in Maryland, consider becoming a pharmacy technician. Also known as a pharmacy tech or compounding technician, this important role allows you to work under the direction of a licensed pharmacist, performing many tasks relating to the preparation of medication. [Leer en español]

Some of the tasks you’ll do include counting, mixing, labeling and recording prescriptions. Careers in the healthcare field in Maryland are always in high demand, and pharmacy technicians are no exception.

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Requirements for Becoming a Pharmacy Technician

In order to become a pharmacy technician in Maryland, you’ll need to be at least 17 years old, have a high school diploma or GED or be currently enrolled in high school with good academic standing. You’ll need to agree to have a criminal background check.

Training is offered in a variety of settings and must include at least 160 hours of hands-on experience in order to register with the state as a pharmacy technician. Training programs must be approved by the Board.

Pharmacy Tech Educational Programs in Maryland

In Maryland, you’ll be able to choose between several approved schools to obtain training to become a pharmacy tech.  The following are a few examples of pharmacy tech programs in the state:

  • Allegany College of Maryland. This one-semester program includes classroom training as well as 180 hours of hands-on training in a retail or institutional pharmacy. The campus is located in Cumberland, MD, and prepares you to start your journey as a pharmacy technician.
  • Frederick Community College. Located in Frederick, MD, this program offers the training required to prepare you to take the National Pharmacy Certification Exam (PTCE) with the Pharmacy Certification Board as well as the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) with the National Health Career Association.
  • Howard Community College. This 300-hour course includes 140 hours of theory training and 160 externship hours. Located in Columbia, MD, this program offers everything you need to learn to be a pharmacy technician and can be completed in five to six months.
  • Penn Foster Career School. Penn Foster offers an affordable, ASHP Accredited online Pharmacy Technician training program. More information.

Pharmacy Tech Certification and Licensing in Maryland

The state of Maryland recognizes national certification. To register as a pharmacy tech in Maryland, you’ll need to provide evidence of certification by a national certification program. If you’re not yet certified, you’ll need to show you’ve completed a Board-approved pharmacy tech training program that includes 160 hours of work experience and evidence of passing a Board-approved exam.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Pharmacy Technicians

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts growth in the pharmacy tech field of 12 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than average for all occupations. An aging population and higher rates of chronic diseases will lead to increased demand for prescription meds.

Nationally, the median annual wage was $32,700 as of 2018, which means approximately half of all pharmacy technicians earned more than that and half earned less. The annual mean salary for Maryland pharmacy technicians is $31,930, and the hourly mean is $15.35 per hour.

Working as a Pharmacy Tech in Maryland

There are many different environments where you’ll be able to work as a pharmacy tech in Maryland. Options of places where your skills will be in demand include hospitals, retail drug stores, pharmacies, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. You may be working days, nights or weekends since most healthcare facilities and some pharmacies are open long hours or around the clock.

The trend is for pharmacists to take on new responsibilities such as giving flu shots, which means pharmacy techs may need to take over some of the work formerly done by pharmacists. The job outlook for pharmacy techs appears to be very strong throughout the state of Maryland.

FAQs

What are best pharmacy technician schools in Maryland?

  1. All-State Career, Baltimore
  2. Fortis Institute, Towson and Landover
  3. College of Southern Maryland, La Plata
  4. Hagerstown Community College, Hagerstown
  5. Hagerstown Community College, Hagerstown
  6. Penn Foster Career School, Online

How do you become a pharmacy technician in Maryland?

  1. You must be at least 17 years old
  2. You must have a high school diploma or GED, or be enrolled in high school
  3. Pass a criminal record check
  4. Pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)
  5. Complete 10 hours of continuing education in the first two years of licensure, and 20 hours thereafter

How much do pharmacy technicians make in Maryland?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of Maryland made an average of $33,880 per year in 2018. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $23,250 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $48,290.

All School Listings

Cumberland, MD-WV Area

Allegany College of Maryland

12401 Willowbrook Rd SE, Cumberland, Maryland 21502-2596Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Allegany College of Maryland’s Certificate Pharmacy Technician program is based at their campus in the city of Cumberland, Maryland. The majority of of the school’s 3,191 students are on 2-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.* Fees for tuition for in-district students are roughly about $3,450 and are $6,240 and $7,440 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while study materials may cost roughly $1,400, although this varies from program to program.

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division Area

College of Southern Maryland

8730 Mitchell Rd, La Plata, Maryland 20646-0910Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at College of Southern Maryland is taught at their campus in La Plata in Charles County. This public college has about 8,781 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. College of Southern Maryland has institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.* Tuition fees for in-district students are likely to be around $3,336 and are $5,756 and $7,439 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while books and supplies may cost about $1,667, as necessitated by the chosen program.

Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Area

Hagerstown Community College

11400 Robinwood Dr, Hagerstown, Maryland 21742-6514Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Hagerstown Community College’s Certificate Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their campus in Hagerstown in Washington County, Maryland. The majority of of the school’s 4,905 students are on 2-year programs. Hagerstown Community College has institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, while the program is separately accredited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* Fees for tuition for in-district students are roughly about $2,986 and are $4,450 and $5,698 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost roughly $1,850, depending on the program chosen. This program is ASHP accredited. Staff on the program includes a technician,a lab/clerical support member, and a pharmacist. The school offers starting dates in August/January. Candidates can expect to attend an interview. Acceptance Requirements: Candidates to earn a Certificate in Pharmacy Technology must complete PHR 101, Introduction to Pharmacy Technology with a grade of ?C? or better. All applicants must also be 18 years of age or older and have a high school diploma or equivalent. General Location Training Sites: Hagerstown, Maryland and surrounding area. Academic award: Certificate. They say: This is the only accredited program in the Tri-state area of Western Maryland. Students get classroom experience in state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratory. Laboratory experience includes practice with pharmacy software and hands-on activities in sterile and non-sterile compounding and prescription preparation. Staff is available to help ensure student success including a full-time coordinator and a tutoring center that is open 7 days a week.

* 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.

Out-of-State Options

Residents of Maryland may also wish to review their options in Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia.