HOW TO BECOME A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN PUERTO RICO
A career in the pharmacy can be a great way to get into the healthcare industry, enjoy job security and a good salary, and be able to work with and help people every day on the job. Compared to other healthcare careers, working as a pharmacy technician does not require a lot of education or training.
With a year or two of training and education, you will be prepared to work under the supervision of a pharmacist. A pharmacy technician is responsible for assisting in filling prescriptions, talking to patients and answering questions, taking phone calls, inventorying and organizing medications, and taking payments from patients.
REQUIREMENTS IN PUERTO RICO FOR PHARMACY TECHNICIANS
The Puerto Rico Board of Pharmacy licenses pharmacists and technicians. While there are no specific training or education requirements for becoming a pharmacy technician, you will need to become certified either through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
To be prepared to pass the necessary exam for certification you will need to complete a training or education program. Whichever one you choose, it should provide the information needed to pass the exam as well as hands-on training to prepare you to work in a pharmacy.
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN SCHOOLS IN PUERTO RICO
You can complete training to become a pharmacy technician in Puerto Rico by working with a licensed pharmacist. An academic program is not required but is an alternative to training. The pharmacy technician programs you complete should prepare you to work in a pharmacy with both coursework and hands-on training. Here are some pharmacy technician programs available in Puerto Rico
- National University College, Multiple. Students can complete the pharmacy technician program in two years or less to earn an Associate in Applied Science degree. You will complete 76 credits of coursework, including three credits in an internship. The school has more than one campus offering this pharmacy technician program, with locations in Bayamon, Arecibo, Rio Grande, Caguas, and Ponce.
- The Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, Multiple. Inter-American University also has several campuses to choose from their pharmacy technician programs. These include Aguadilla, San Juan, Guayama and Ponce. Their pharmacy technician programs confer an Associate of Applied Science degree, which takes about two years to complete.
- Penn Foster Career School. If you prefer the flexibility of an online program, Penn Foster offers an affordable Pharmacy Technician training program that will help you prepare for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) and the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT). Penn Foster will cover the cost for you to prepare and take the PTCE offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Pharmacy Technician graduates receive a voucher for the official PTCE practice test (a $29 value) and are sponsored to take the PTCE (a $129 value). More information.
CERTIFICATION IN PUERTO RICO
To be eligible to work as a pharmacy technician you will need to earn certification. Many candidates choose to take the PTCB’s Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination, which costs $129. Alternatively, you can take the NHA’s Examination for Certification as a Pharmacy Technician, which comes with a fee of $117. Once you have passed an exam and achieved certification, you will probably find it easy to land a job with a pharmacist.
CAREER OUTLOOK AND SALARIES FOR PHARMACY TECHS IN PUERTO RICO
The average annual salary for a pharmacy technician is $36,740 in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unfortunately, you can probably expect to earn less in this job in Puerto Rico than in the states. This is because of austerity laws in place on the island that have reduced salaries for many jobs.
Across the U.S., the growth rate in pharmacy technician jobs is an impressive 5 percent. In Puerto Rico, growth is an astonishing 32 percent. Between 2020 and 2030 there are expected to be over 7,190 new positions available for pharmacy techs on the island.
WORKING AS A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN PUERTO RICO
With such great demand for qualified techs, you should not have any trouble finding a job in Puerto Rico. Pharmacy techs are needed in all pharmacies, including those in hospitals, drugstores, grocery stores, and nursing homes. More jobs are available in bigger population areas like San Juan, Bayamon, Carolina, Ponce, Caguas, Guaynabo, and Arecibo.