Online Pharmacy Tech Programs with Financial Aid
Aspiring pharmacy technicians can now take a pharmacy technician program online. This means that they can get an online pharmacy technician degree, making the profession more accessible to all.
This sounds great, but it can be overwhelming when there are so many pharmacy technician programs to choose from. It can also be hard to pick a program with no real guarantee that it’s the best one for you.
Physically attending a pharmacy technician program might be the safer option, but it’s not always the affordable option. It may also not be the fastest route to becoming a certified pharmacy technician.
How Long Is An Online Pharmacy Technician Program?
The length of a pharmacy technician program depends on the type of program you pick. Associate degree programs typically take two years to complete, while certificate programs are around a year long. According to the American Society for Healthcare Pharmacists (ASHP) rules and regulations, accredited programs have to run for at least 15 weeks.
Aspiring pharmacy technicians must carefully consider the best education route for them.
How to Choose an Online Pharmacy Technician Program
Choosing the right pharmacy technician program depends on a lot of factors – and it is not a decision to be made likely. A pharmacy tech program can negatively affect your career path if it’s not the right one for you.
When you’re trying to make a decision, remember the following:
To become a pharmacy technician, you must attend a properly accredited school. Your State Board of Pharmacy might not accept your education if you choose a school or program that isn’t properly accredited. You might also find it hard to get a job because employers won’t recognize your education. Lastly, you may not be able to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam.
You can verify that your chosen school is properly accredited through the ASHP (American Society of Health System Pharmacists). They have a handy directory of accredited programs for pharmacy technicians.
Cost is probably the biggest factor to consider when you’re looking at postsecondary education. These programs can be very expensive for pharmacy technicians, especially if you’re attending a private school.
Whether or not your chosen school is in-state or out-of-state can also affect your tuition fees. Different programs are priced differently at different schools.
Due to the high costs of tuition, it’s important to go somewhere where you can get financial aid. Some nationally accredited schools offer aid through state or federal programs. Most schools have their own internal scholarships.
Check and see which kind of financial aid you’d be eligible for if you chose each school.
State Board of Pharmacy
It’s important to make sure that your State Board of Pharmacy recognizes your education program. In most states, you’re required to be licensed to practice as a pharmacist technician. Depending on the requirements in your state, your certification or certificate might not be accepted. Future pharmacy technicians can avoid this altogether by making sure in the beginning.
You can find this information on your State Board of Pharmacy’s website. You’ll also find information about renewing, fees, and verifying licenses.
Consider how long the school you choose has been in operation. The longer the school has been operating, the stronger the education programs are likely to be. It’s also important to consider their graduation and placement rates. Ideally, you want these rates to be high.
Many online programs for pharmacy technicians require students to take on an externship. This is when pharmacy technician students work a set number of hours in retail and hospital pharmacies. The number of hours working in a pharmacy practice required differs from school to school.
It’s always a good idea to make sure the school you choose helps you with that process. You’ll also want to know the requirements beforehand to see how well they fit in with your schedule.
Type of program
Unlike the typical four-year degree program, online programs for pharmacy technicians come in three types.
The type of program you’re looking at will also factor into your choice. The timeline you have in mind can help you decide which program is best suited to you. Your existing education will also help inform this decision.
This is the path to take if you’re looking to get on the fast track. Certificate programs take nearly a year at most and can be as short as two semesters. This is also a more affordable way to gain the necessary education.
The downside is that there may not be as much practical work before joining the field.
Diplomas take at least one year to earn. While this is still shorter than earning a degree, there is more covered than in a certificate program. There are more opportunities for students to get deeper into their general education coursework. They cover topics like pharmacology and pharmacy principles.
There are more requirements to pass and more opportunities for experiential learning. This option is also more expensive than a certificate program.
This is the most well-rounded option of the three. This is unsurprising because it is the longest program. It is also the most expensive of the program options.
This is the program to choose if you’re keen to advance your career in the future. Pharmacy technicians with an associate’s degree are more appealing to employers. They can also apply this degree to the requirements should they wish to get a Bachelor’s degree.
10 Online Pharmacy Technician Programs with Financial Aid
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best online pharmacy technician programs that offer financial aid.
This is not a comprehensive list and is meant to be a springboard for you. Ideally, one of these programs gives you a clear idea of what you’re looking for.
1. Allen County Community College
Among the two-year associate programs that are offered by this school, there’s a pharmacy technician AAS program.
Students must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for this program. They may also have to take placement tests, like the ACCUPLACER.
Any credits that are earned in this online course can be transferred to four-year universities and colleges.
The school offers a variety of scholarships and other types of financial aid that students can apply for.
2. North Central Missouri College
This public school offers 11 associate programs online, and its pharmacy technician program is one of them. Students require a high school diploma or a GED to be eligible. They may also have to take placement tests, like the ACCUPLACER.
Students can apply the credits they earn at this school towards a four-year college and earn a bachelor’s degree. This school offers asynchronous courses, which is perfect for those who want a flexible schedule.
The school offers several scholarships and resources for other types of financial aid that students can apply for.
3. Spokane Community College
This school offers a pharmacy technician associate program. To qualify, students must have a high school diploma or the equivalent
The school has a flexible format that makes it easy for the busy professional and busy students. They can complete their classes and coursework on their own schedule.
Students can apply the credits they earn at this school towards a four-year college and earn a bachelor’s degree.
The school offers several scholarships and resources for other types of financial aid through its foundation. Eligible students can apply for any scholarship.
4. University of Alaska Anchorage
The University of Alaska Anchorage has an online program. The Pharmacy Technology Occupation Endorsement Certificate can only be done online.
This pharmacy technician program is taught by highly experienced pharmacy technicians and pharmacists. This program can be completed in as little as two semesters.
Students must maintain at least a “C” grade and complete all 16 credits. They don’t need to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) to receive their certification.
This online program curriculum includes mixing medications, medication preparation, and patient confidentiality. The school offers a variety of scholarships and other types of financial aid. Students must qualify for specific scholarships.
5. Rasmussen University – Florida
Rasmussen University offers a Pharmacy Technician Certificate both online and on campus. Joining this program gives the student access to a virtual lab, experienced faculty, library resources, and more. It’s the full in-person experience moved online!
When students graduate from this program, they will be eligible to write their PTCE and become certified.
This online program curriculum includes virtual practicals combined with skill-based courses. The school offers a few scholarships that students must qualify for.
6. State Fair Community College
This public college has an online pharmacy technician certificate program as a part of its 12 online certificate programs.
This online program curriculum includes advanced knowledge and coursework that is relevant to the pharmacy industry. Students are also able to change their coursework and choose concentrations and electives.
The school gives students access to fellowships, scholarships, and other financial awards as long as they’re eligible. An impressive 91% of all enrolled students are awarded aid packages.
7. North Dakota State College of Science
This school offers a pharmacy technician certificate for aspiring pharmacy technicians. The students get access to lectures, coursework, and advanced knowledge.
They have the choice of studying full-time or part-time, as well as the opportunity to take part in research projects and internships. On-the-job training as part of the course is also on the table.
The school gives students access to scholarships and other financial awards as long as they’re eligible. Reportedly, 89% of all enrolled students receive some type of aid. This includes external funds and federal financial aid.
8. Barton County Community College
This school offers 13 online certificate programs, including a pharmacy technician certificate program. Students can opt to take this course full-time or part-time. They can also modify their course with the help of their student advisor to suit their needs.
The coursework in the curriculum is relevant to the field and is supposed to prepare the students for the demands of pharmacy. Students also have the chance to take part in research and learn through work experience.
The school gives students access to scholarships, fellowships, and other financial awards as long as they’re eligible. They say that 96% of all enrolled students receive some type of financial aid.
9. Vincennes University
This school offers both online and hybrid options for its associate program in pharmacy technology. While they can do their coursework online, students should expect to do their clinical practices physically.
This program is geared towards preparing students for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam. They have to maintain at least a “C” grade in all of their courses. They are also expected to turn in a criminal history report and pass a 10-panel drug test. Students must also have a CPR certification.
The school gives students access to four internal scholarships. They also have access to federal aid and other financial awards as long as they’re eligible. They say that 89% of all first-time, full-time students receive some type of financial aid.
10. Lakeshore Technical College
This school offers an associate degree in pharmacy services management. Aspiring pharmacy technicians who are interested in this program have to complete an application. They also have to submit official transcripts and a background check. There will also be a student success questionnaire.
The coursework in the curriculum includes vital courses such as pharmacy law, pharmacy business applications, and the fundamentals of reading prescriptions. In the final semester, students are given the chance to apply what they’re learned in a pharmaceutical setting.
The school gives students access to Lakeshore Technical College Foundation scholarships. They also offer other scholarship opportunities through clubs, organizations, and employers. There is federal aid on offer.
Which Courses Do You Take in Online Pharmacy Technician Programs?
The exact curriculum you’ll have at your school of choice will differ from other schools. You’re required to cover the same information even if they have different titles.
Here are some of the courses you might come across while studying in your pharmacy technician program:
Anatomy and physiology
This course covers the human body, physiology, and anatomy. Students will become acquainted with the different organs, systems, medical terminology, and functions.
This course covers pharmacy operations and the more administrative side of things. Students will learn about things like rules and regulations as well as pricing and inventory management.
In this course, the students discover how to make the calculations necessary to dispense medications. These calculations are also important so that they know how to dose correctly. They’ll learn about percentages, ratios, dilutions, proportions, and concentrations.
In this course, students will learn about compound medication and mixing. They will also learn about medication preparation and medication safety.
In this course, the students start to become familiar with different drugs. They learn how drugs treat diseases, interact with other drugs, and how they affect the human body.
Benefits of Online Pharmacy Technician Programs
Choosing to do a pharmacy tech program online can be nerve-wracking. Even though it’s not conventional, it’s fast becoming the norm. More and more people work and learn from home because of the benefits.
Online courses are much more affordable than attending classes on campus. This can make this a better option than a conventional pharmacy technician program.
A pharmacy technician online program is convenient because you can do it from anywhere in the world. There are no extra transport or housing costs. And it gives students the flexibility to work around their schedules and even have jobs.
Length of program
Online programs tend to be shorter and allow students to start their chosen careers sooner.
Do I need to have a license to be a pharmacy technician?
There are a few states that are an exception, but nearly all states require one to be a licensed and/or certified pharmacy technician before one can practice.
If you dream of being a pharmacy technician, you can work towards your dream from home. You can also do it affordably without disrupting your life and routine too much. Online programs are a great way to quickly work your way toward your pharmacy technician career.
Aside from already being much more affordable than on-campus school, there are still scholarships and other forms of financial aid.