Why Opt for an Online Pharmacy Tech School?
Pharmacy technicians assist when pharmacists dispense prescription medication to health professionals or customers. Several online programs help students become professional pharmacy technicians who are fundamental to assist with the majority of quality operational procedures in pharmacies.
Once students pass an online course, they become eligible to sit for the National Board Exam, with options to test with either the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) or Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
Pharmacy Technician Program
Several schools offer a pharmacy technician online program. Pharmacy technician training prepares a student for an accredited pharmacy technician career.
Curriculums, once completed, enable an eligible student to sit for either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE) through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board or the ExCPT through the National Healthcareer Association.
Schools and Courses
We aim to provide students with a list of online school options to consider to make informed choices about how best to pursue their chosen career path as a pharmacy tech. Our list containing five different schools from around the U.S. will give potential applicants a clear view of the options available to make more informed decisions.
1. Ashworth College (Georgia)
Ashworth‘s online Pharmacy Technician Program teaches a student the fundamentals required to be a pharmacy tech, building the skills needed to forge a successful career.
Flexible courses that cover pharmacology, pharmaceutical calculations, and more prepare the student to sit for the NHA’s ExCPT Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam or the PTCB’s Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. Ashworth also offers the student an externship with either of their partners, Walgreens and CVS/Pharmacy.
Ashworth’s Pharmacy Technician Certificate program provides a student with knowledge of the skills companies expect from their pharmacy technicians. These include terminology, laws, standards and the history of the pharmaceutical profession.
In addition, drug classification, conversion calculations, and medicinal purposes and differentiation also form part of the curriculum. Finally, students will experience an externship for valuable first-hand experience of operations within a pharmacy.
After completion of the Ashworth Pharmacy Technician program, a student will be adept at outlining typical pharmacy tech responsibilities and have a firm knowledge of the professional and personal ethics required to succeed in interaction with pharmacists and customers while displaying a professional appearance and skill set.
The student will demonstrate all techniques and procedures required as standards for pharmacy technicians, including medication transcriptions and record keeping, patient profiling, metric to apothecary conversions, drug dispensation, aseptic operations, and record keeping.
Graduates will readily describe the responsibilities and roles of pharmacy technicians and pharmacists, knowing the differences and being familiar with the state and federal regulations, all major drug classifications and indications, dosing recommendations, therapeutic effects, administering routes, action mechanisms and side effects.
Registration and tuition fees
Ashworth covers everything required to complete a student’s pharmacy technician course in the tuition fee, including all study materials, mentoring, local pharmacy technician externship, and ExCPT or PTCE exam fees. Various payment options are available, with a single full registration and tuition payment costing $1,199.
2. Penn Foster (Pennysylvania)
Penn Foster offers a healthcare career with its online Pharmacy Technician Career Diploma. Students will learn the management skills, strategies and procedures required to sit for PTCE and ExCPT certification exams.
The Penn Foster online Pharmacy Technician Career Diploma covers various topics, including managing patient records, medical terminology, and pharmacist assistance requirements.
Penn Foster allows a student to study at their own pace, with the average norm requiring only a few dedicated hours of study weekly. The online pharmacy technician program offers 12 courses with 49.4 Continuing Education Credits, and there are a total of 30 examinations.
Courses include pharmacy technician orientation, pharmacy sterile and non-sterile compounding, career readiness, maths calculations, pharmacology drug class and body systems, parts 1 and 2, pharmacy practice law and regulations, pharmacy management and operations, etc. The estimated average time to complete the course is eight months.
Registration and tuition fees
The Penn Foster Pharmacy Technician Career Diploma has several available payment options, with the $999 ‘pay in full’ option offering the course at the lowest cost. Applicants should register online.
3. Ultimate Medical Academy (Florida)
UMA in Florida offers students an online Pharmacy Technician Associate Degree. A student will receive pharmacy tech training suitable to pursue an entry-level professional role. The course prepares eligible students to sit for the PTCE and includes 180 hours of on-site experience training to conclude the program.
Students can study on a schedule of their choosing while learning theoretical and practical skills necessary for their field of study. The pharmacy technician classes also include critical thinking, communication with customers, and problem-solving lessons.
UMA’s online Pharmacy Technician Associate Degree is worth 61.5 credits if all courses, including the elective ones, are taken. It takes approximately 18 months to complete, with the core courses counting for 37.5 credits.
The core courses are Pharmacy Technician Fundamentals & Computer Applications, Pharmacology and Sterile Products & HIV/AIDS, Anatomy & Physiology and Pathophysiology I and II, Drug/Dosage Interaction and Pharmacy Law & Ethics, and Community & Institutional Pharmacy.
General education courses count for 15 credits and include English Composition, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, College Math, General Biology, and Sociology.
The elective courses count for nine credits. Students can choose between Accounting for Managers, Introduction to Healthcare Computer Information Systems, Interpersonal Professional Communications, Local, National & International Events, Psychology, Working with People, Patient Relations, Ecology and Diversity in the Workplace.
The online program also includes a certification review and an on-site externship, which are part of the allocated core course credits.
Registration and tuition fees
Prospective students should contact the UMA online admissions department to clarify the tuition fees to study to become certified pharmacy technicians. Alternatively, they can contact UMA by filling in the online ‘Request Info‘ form in the student portal or call +18 4486 77561 for assistance.
4. Piedmont Community College (North Carolina)
Piedmont offers students a ProTrain synchronous online program that prepares them to be qualified pharmacy technicians ready to assist with all pharmacy operational procedures. Once a student graduates from the 128-hour course, eligibility to sit for the National Board Exam through either the NHA or PTCB to qualify as a certified pharmacy technician follows.
Students must search for ProTrain, and not Piedmont Community College when seeking a PTCB training program, as ProTrain is the recognized instruction agency for PTCB courses.
Piedmont covers topics in its pharmacy technician training programs, including understanding pharmacy practice, identifying and understanding the regulatory agencies and laws that affect pharmacy practice and recognizing and processing drug orders in retail and institutional environments.
Further topics include describing the process for bringing new drugs to market through the NDA process, the naming of drug products and the patent process and understanding the use of the patient profile and hospital charts in drug use.
Many more topics are covered, including patient monitoring, ordering, maintaining, and controlling pharmacy inventory, including the disposition of expired or recalled medications, identifying and understanding the differences required in handling controlled substances and their drug orders, and discussing pharmacokinetics and factors that can affect drug kinetics.
The list is ongoing. Demonstrating proficiency in pharmacy calculations, demonstrating sterile product compounding and aseptic techniques, discussing pharmacology and the concept of pharmacological classes of medications, and demonstrating the ability to engage in the administrative duties of the pharmacy all have an essential role.
Identifying and understanding how pharmacy technicians support the pharmacist in performing their duties and demonstrating knowledge and learning skills necessary to pass the PTCB exam or the ExCPT exam all play their part in ensuring the student knows what’s expected.
Registration and tuition fees
Registration for the Piedmont Community College course costs $321, including a textbook mailed to students a week before the indicated course start date. $125 is payable for the NHA exam, and an optional $30 N.C. Board of Pharmacy listing fee. A high school diploma or equivalent qualification is a prerequisite for course enrolment.
Students who purchase the NHA Online Study Guide and Practice Test, available for exam preparations, will pay an additional $75.
Caswell or Person Counties residents in North Carolina will qualify for scholarships, with $100 paid towards the registration fees of residents from those areas. After successful registration, applicable students will receive further emailed applications and information.
5. U.S. Career Institute (Colorado)
According to U.S. Career Institute, their online pharmacy technician training course will help students gain the valuable skills to become pharmacy technician professionals in drug stores, hospitals, or retail or mail-order pharmacies. U.S. Career Institute also prepares its students for the Pharmacy Technician Certification exam.
The online pharmacy technician course has no class schedules and allows students to work at a pace that suits their needs. Tuition includes learning materials, career support and access to instructors, with a mobile-friendly portal available to students.
U.S. Career Institute’s Pharmacy Technician course teaches students written and oral medical and pharmaceutical terminology while including basic human anatomy and physiology. The course also introduces students to dosage calculations and maths functions.
Subjects include Roles of a Pharmacy Technician, Terminology and Body Systems, Pharmacy Operations and Drug Resources, Dosage Forms, Prescriptions, and Medication Orders, Drug Actions and Interactions, Managing Inventory and Financial Management, Vaccines, Analgesics, Vitamins, Respiratory Agents, and Pharmacy Calculations and Compounding.
Pharmacy technician course graduates are eligible for an unpaid optional 80-hour Walgreens externship if they meet the qualifying criteria. This resource affords graduates the chance to get invaluable hands-on experience.
Registration and tuition fees
U.S. Career Institute promises affordability and flexibility with its pharmacy technician programs, offering low monthly payment options and PTCE or ExCPT exam fees of up to $129 as part of a student’s tuition. The most economical registration and tuition option available to students is a once-off full payment of $979, but term options are also available.
Join the thousands who have trained with U.S. Career Institute. Get started on your online pharmacy technician program today and be ready to work in as little as four months!
Why Become a Pharmacy Technician?
Pharmaceutical sector advancements have led to an increased pharmacy technician role in the healthcare sector. With a high school diploma or equivalent, applicants can qualify in under a year, depending on the time they can spend studying. As noted above, studying is also affordable.
Professional certification through the NHA or PTCB means a graduate could earn up to $38,270 annually, based on official May 2021 figures. Career prospects are good, with an average of 43,500 pharmacy tech vacancies projected yearly for the next eight years.
Advancement is possible through further study, and the personal rewards of working in healthcare are limitless. Overall, there don’t seem to be many drawbacks to seeking qualification as a pharmacy technician.
Can I study to be a pharmacy technician online?
Yes, you can. Pharmacy technician qualifications teach you the knowledge and skills needed to dispense medication and deal with customers. There are a host of online schools that offer accredited courses.
Is the pharmacy tech exam difficult?
The PTCB exam can be hard, and being properly prepared is key. Studying and revising before your exam will influence your final score.
What is a passing score on the PTCB exam?
You require 650 out of 900 to pass the exam.
Is there a free online pharmacy tech school?
Yes, there is a free online pharmacy tech school. Alison offers a free online pharmacy technician course that will teach you everything you need to know to start working as a pharmacy technician. The course is self-paced and covers topics such as pharmacology, dosage calculations, medication administration, and more.
See also: Online Doctor of Pharmacy programs