HOW TO BECOME A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN NEBRASKA
As a pharmacy technician or pharmacy tech, you’ll be in high demand and have a career in healthcare that pays well. The training and educational requirements are simple, and it does not take long to be qualified to work with and assist pharmacists. [Leer en español]
The job of a pharmacy technician is to work with patients to get their information and fill prescriptions; measure out medications; package and add labels to medications; organize and inventory supplies in a pharmacy; take payments from patients and process claims; take phone calls, and communicate information between pharmacists and patients.
PHARMACY TECH REQUIREMENTS IN NEBRASKA
According to the Nebraska Pharmacists Association (NPA), pharmacy technicians must be certified. There are two options for certification: state certification through the NPA or national certification through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
To become certified, you must pass an exam, but you do not need to have completed any particular post-secondary academic program.
In addition to being certified, you must also be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED to work as a pharmacy tech in the state.
You also have to show that you have not been convicted of drug-related crimes. Registration through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is also required.
POST-SECONDARY PHARMACY TECHNICIAN PROGRAMS
Although Nebraska does not require that you complete a post-secondary pharmacy technician program to become a qualified pharmacy technician, many employers may prefer that you have a certificate or degree. Here are some options for pharmacy technician programs that will help you prepare to take a certification exam:
University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Pharmacy, remote
The University of Nebraska offers a program for becoming certified through the NPA. It costs just $385 and includes self-paced learning. This pharmacy technician program will prepare you to pass the necessary exam for state certification, and the cost includes one certification renewal.
Southeast Community College, Lincoln
You can earn a diploma from Southeast and be prepared to pass national certification exams for pharmacy technology. This program includes 61.5 credit hours over four school quarters or 12 months.
Nebraska Methodist College, Omaha
This program includes a 16-week and an accelerated nine-week option. Both programs include online learning as well as campus classes and on-site pharmacy training. By completing either program, you will be prepared to pass certification examinations.
Penn Foster Career School
Penn Foster offers an affordable, ASHP Accredited online Pharmacy Technician training program. More information.
NEBRASKA PHARMACY TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION
There are two exams that you can take and pass to become certified in Nebraska as a pharmacy technician. One is the PTCB’s Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination.
The other is the NHA’s Examination for Certification as Pharmacy Technician. The former costs $129 to take, while the latter is $117. Once certified, you will need to register through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION BOARD
The PTCB is a national organization that offers certification for pharmacy technicians. To become certified, you must take and pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination. The examination costs $129 and is offered in English and Spanish.
You do not need to have completed any post-secondary education to sit for this exam, but you must have a high school diploma or GED. You also have to show that you have not been convicted of any drug-related crimes.
Once you pass the exam, you will need to register with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
SALARY EXPECTATIONS AND OUTLOOK FOR PHARMACY TECHNICIANS IN NEBRASKA
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a pharmacy tech is $32,700. The average in Nebraska is a little higher at $33,270. The average hourly rate in the state is $16.00. For the top-earning pharmacy technicians in Nebraska, the average salary is over $44,870.
The outlook for pharmacy tech careers is largely positive throughout the U.S. Across the country, job growth is expected to be 12 percent over the next several years. In Nebraska, that growth is expected to be about 11 percent until 2026, with approximately 300 new positions available between now and then.
WORKING AS A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN NEBRASKA
Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies, but where those pharmacies are located varies. Most pharmacy techs work in those that are located in drugstores. Other options include hospitals, nursing homes, online pharmacies, general merchandise stores, and grocery stores. Expect to work full-time with some shifts on weekends or in the evenings.
In Nebraska, as in all states, pharmacies are found all over. The larger cities and their suburbs will have more available jobs, though. In Nebraska, these include Omaha, Lincoln, Bellevue, and Grand Island. Rural areas and smaller cities also need pharmacy techs in their local hospitals and drugstores.
What are the best pharmacy technician schools in Nebraska?
- National American University, Bellevue
- Southeast Community College, Lincoln
- Western Iowa Tech Community College, Sioux City, IA
- Penn Foster Career School, Online
- Ashworth College, Online
How do you become a pharmacy technician in Nebraska?
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a high school diploma or GED
- Gain certification through the Nebraska Pharmacists Association (NPA) or national certification through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pass either the PTCE or the ExCPT exam
How much do pharmacy technicians make in Nebraska?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of Nebraska made an average of $33,270 per year in 2018. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $24,020 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $44,870.