BECOMING A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN MINNESOTA
Working as a pharmacy technician may be right for you if you’re interested in the healthcare industry but want to avoid long years of medical school.
As a pharmacy technician, you will support a licensed pharmacist by dispensing and sometimes mixing prescriptions, managing inventory, and assisting with administrative tasks. Every state has its own licensing and education requirements, and this guide will give you an overview of Minnesota’s rules. [Leer en español]
Aspiring pharmacy technicians in Minnesota must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. They must also register with the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy and complete an approved training program, such as a technical or vocational school course or a qualifying employer-based program.
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN TRAINING PROGRAMS
Pharmacy technician programs can last anywhere from around six months to two years, depending on whether you are receiving a certificate or an associate’s degree. Technical schools and community colleges throughout the state offer relevant courses. Be sure to search pharmacy technician programs that are Board-approved to ensure that you’ll qualify to take any licensing exams. You may want to consider the following schools:
Hennepin Technical College
Hennepin’s pharmacy technician program consists of 34 credits and results in an associate’s degree. Courses include law and ethics, terminology, pharmacy practice, and chemistry in addition to two externships.
Hibbing Community College
Hibbing Community College’s associate’s degree program takes two years to complete and includes psychology, computer, and communication courses in addition to pharmacy-specific courses.
Rasmussen offers a nine-month certificate program that includes a virtual or on-location practicum to let students use their knowledge in real-world settings. Students can complete the program online or on campus and transfer their credits to an associate’s degree program if desired.
Penn Foster Career School
Penn Foster offers an affordable, ASHP Accredited online Pharmacy Technician training program. More information.
CERTIFIED PHARMACY TECHNICIAN
Pharmacy technician licensure in Minnesota expires each year. As a licensed pharmacy technician, to renew your license, you must complete an employer-based, 480-hour training program or successfully completion of a Board-approved training program. While national certification is not required, obtaining your Certified Pharmacy Technician designation can be beneficial to your career.
National certification allows you to take on additional work responsibilities and may qualify you for higher-paying jobs in the field.
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION BOARD
You must have a high school diploma or GED, register with the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam and pay a fee of $129 to receive your certification.
To keep it current, pharmacy technicians must renew their certification every two years and complete approved technician continuing education requirements.
CAREER GROWTH AND SALARY ESTIMATES
Jobs for pharmacy technicians in Minnesota are expected to grow by 10.2 percent in the 10 years to 2026, according to the Projections Managing Partnership. This is slightly lower than the national growth rate for this field of 12 percent during the same period.
Salaries for pharmacy technicians in Minnesota typically average $37,670 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, though Certified Pharmacy Technicians typically receive higher compensation.
WORKING AS A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN MINNESOTA
Depending on your professional interests, you can work in a hospital, nursing home, chain, independent drugstore, or clinic, among other healthcare facility options. Note that because many of these places are open late at night and on weekends, you may be asked to maintain a nontraditional schedule.
Pharmacy technicians must typically be comfortable standing for long periods and moving equipment and inventory as well.
Minnesota, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and other large cities typically have the highest concentration of pharmacy technician jobs available, and these jobs offer higher salaries to compensate for the cost of living in an urban area. If you would prefer to work elsewhere, most communities will have relevant jobs available.
What are the best pharmacy technician schools in Minnesota?
- Saint Paul College, St. Paul
- Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minneapolis
- Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn Park
- Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Rochester
- Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Granite Falls
- South Central College, North Mankato
How do you become a pharmacy technician in Minnesota?
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a high school diploma or GED
- Apply for registration as a Pharmacy Technician
- Complete an on-the-job program that includes at least 240 hours of theoretical and practical instruction within the first 18 months of receiving your license, or
- Complete an approved vocational training program
How much do pharmacy technicians make in Minnesota?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of Minnesota made an average of $37,670 per year in 2018. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $26,170 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $51,020.