HOW TO BECOME A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN PENNSYLVANIA
If you’re interested in a rewarding career in the healthcare field or pharmacy technician career field consider becoming a pharmacy technician. Other names for this profession include compounding technician or pharmacy tech. It involves doing a variety of important tasks under the direction of a pharmacist, relating to the preparation of prescriptions. [Leer en español]
Daily tasks will include recording, labeling, mixing, and counting medications prescribed to patients or customers. If you pursue this career choice in Pennsylvania, you’ll find that your skills will be in very high demand.
REQUIREMENTS FOR BECOMING A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN PENNSYLVANIA
To become a pharmacy tech in Pennsylvania, you need to be at least 18 years old. You should have a high school diploma or GED and be able to pass a criminal background check.
You aren’t required to complete a formal training program in this state, and you’re also not required to obtain certification. Many pharmacies provide training on the job; however, completing formal training or passing a national certification exam may make you more attractive to potential employers.
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN SCHOOLS IN PENNSYLVANIA
Completing formal training to become a pharmacy technician can help you to be thoroughly prepared to fill this role. Pharmacy technician programs in Pennsylvania include the following:
Community College of Allegheny
This college offers a certificate program consisting of classroom sessions and an externship in a pharmacy environment. Completion of 40 credits is required to earn your certificate.
Bidwell Training Center
Located in Pittsburg, PA, Bidwell Training Center offers a 10-month program that includes classroom and lab training as well as hands-on experience during a field externship.
Laurel Business Institute
This program is located in Uniontown, PA, and includes thorough classroom and practical training. Also included is 150 hours of internship experience to build a bridge from school to work.
Penn Foster Career School
Penn Foster offers an affordable, ASHP Accredited online Pharmacy Technician training program. More information.
PHARMACY TECH CERTIFICATION AND LICENSING IN PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania doesn’t require licensing or registration of pharmacy technicians. You’ll work under the direct supervision of a pharmacist. The pharmacist is responsible for providing a written protocol that specifies what duties pharmacy technicians may perform.
While passing a national certification exam isn’t required in Pennsylvania, it can help make you more marketable to potential employers. The Pharmacy Tech Certification Exam (PTCE) is offered through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.
It’s a two-hour multiple-choice exam that can demonstrate you have the knowledge needed to work as a pharmacy technician. A certified pharmacy technician must renew their certification every two years.
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION BOARD
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is a national organization that administers the PTCE. To be eligible to take the PTCE, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Pass a criminal background check
- Not have been convicted of any felony or misdemeanor related to controlled substances within the past five years
- You must also either have completed a formal training program or have at least one year of relevant work experience.
Once you pass the PTCE, you’ll need to renew your certification every two years by completing 20 hours of continuing education and paying a $40 renewal fee.
CAREER OUTLOOK AND SALARY EXPECTATIONS OF PHARMACY TECHNICIANS
In the state of Pennsylvania, the career outlook for pharmacy technicians is very good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts faster-than-average growth for all occupations at a rate of approximately 8 percent between 2020 and 2030. The demand for prescription meds continues to increase, partly due to growing rates of chronic diseases and an aging population.
The median annual salary for pharmacy technicians was $36,740 as of 2020, which means half of all pharmacy technicians earned less than that and half earned more. The annual mean salary for Pennsylvania pharmacy technicians is $36,290 and the hourly mean is $17.45.
WORKING AS A PHARMACY TECH IN PENNSYLVANIA
Once you’ve obtained the skills you need to be a pharmacy tech, you’ll find job opportunities in several different settings. Some of the places you may work include retail drugstores, pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. Since a large number of healthcare facilities are open around the clock, there’s a good chance you’ll be working a variety of hours including days, nights, and weekends.
The roles of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians continue to evolve. Pharmacists are picking up expanded roles that include new responsibilities such as giving flu shots. Because of this, pharmacy techs may need to take on some of the work formerly done by pharmacists. Throughout Pennsylvania, the job outlook for pharmacy technicians appears very encouraging.
What are the best pharmacy technician schools in Pennsylvania?
- Pennco Tech, Bristol, PA, and Blackwood, NJ
- Lansdale School of Business, North Wales
- Pennsylvania Institute of Technology, Media
- Community College of Allegheny County, Pittsburg
- Community College of Beaver County, Monaca
How do you become a pharmacy technician in Pennsylvania?
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a high school diploma or GED
- Pass a criminal record check
- No certification or formal training is required in Pennsylvania
How much do pharmacy technicians make in Pennsylvania?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of Pennsylvania made an average of $36,290 per year in 2020. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $23,170 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $46,470.
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