How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Nebraska
As 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 Programs for Pharmacy Technology
Although Nebraska does not require that you complete a post-secondary program in order to become a qualified pharmacy technician, many employers may prefer that you have a certificate or degree. Here are some options for 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. The 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. Completing either program, you will be prepared to pass certification examinations.
- Penn Foster Career School. Penn Foster offers an affordable online Pharmacy Technician training program. More information.
Getting Certified in Nebraska
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.
Salary Expectations and Outlook for Pharmacy Techs 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, the 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.
All School Listings
301 South 68th Street Place, Lincoln, Nebraska 68510-2449
Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program
The Certificate program at Southeast Community College Area is imparted at their campus in the city of Lincoln. The college has in the order of 9,751 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Southeast Community College Area has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, and the program is separately accredited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* Tuition fees for in-state students are generally around $2,554 and for out-of-state students approximately $3,139 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,350, although this will depend on the program. This program is ASHP accredited. Staff on the program includes a technician.The school offers start dates in July or January. Class scheduling: full-time day or afternoon. Acceptance Requirements: No drug or alcohol related offenses, HS diploma or GED equivalency, admission testing (or other test scores in lieu of testing), transcripts, and a completed health statement. General Location Training Sites: Lincoln, NE and the surrounding areas. They say: The Program offers individualized advising, hands on skill development, computer experience, assistance with state registration, and preparation for certification examination.