START YOUR PHARMACY TECHNICIAN CAREER IN UTAH
Now is a great time to begin your career as a pharmacy technician. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for pharmacy technicians is growing faster than average. If you have customer service skills, math and science skills, and a good eye for detail, this could be the career for you. [Leer en español]
Pharmacy technicians perform a wide range of functions to aid licensed pharmacists in pharmacy settings. Their main responsibilities include preparing medications and serving customers. These professionals are trained to dispense, measure, and package prescriptions, which must be reviewed by a pharmacist. They also answer phone calls and ask pharmacists to help customers with questions and concerns.
The BLS reports that 52 percent of pharmacy technicians work in traditional pharmacy and drugstore settings. Sixteen percent work in hospital settings, and 18 percent work in general merchandise store settings.
YOUR ROUTE TO BECOMING A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN
Your first step to becoming a pharmacy tech is to earn a high school diploma or GED equivalent. You also need to be at least 18 years old before you can begin your career. Next, you’ll need to train to learn everything you need to pass a national exam. Some pharmacy technicians train on the job with an employer, but many enroll in a pharmacy technician training program.
After completing your training, you’ll need to complete a national pharmacy technician exam. This is a requirement when you apply for your Utah license, which is the final step to becoming a pharmacy technician in the state.
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN PROGRAMS
Many pharmacy technician programs last less than a year and result in a certificate. To ensure that you’ll receive a quality education, it’s recommended that you enroll in a school accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) or the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
Many schools also offer the option to complete your associate’s degree. This can be a great foundation for further education.
Here are a couple of schools with pharmacy technician programs in Utah:
Salt Lake Community College
This ASHP-ACPE accredited school offers a pharmacy technician certificate program that can be completed in one year. The program is a total of three consecutive semesters including an externship.
University of Utah
At this school, you can earn a pharmacy technician certificate at your pace, 100 percent online. The program is accredited by ASHP-ACPE and consists of 400 hours of online study combined with 200 hours of outpatient pharmacy work.
Penn Foster Career School
Penn Foster offers an affordable, ASHP Accredited online Pharmacy Technician training program. More information.
UTAH PHARMACY TECHNICIAN LICENSING
It’s required that all pharmacy technicians in Utah be licensed by the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL). The pharmacy technician trainee license is the first step, and you must complete a criminal background check and drug screening before you can apply.
Once you’ve finished your training program and passed the national exam, you can apply for your full pharmacy technician license. You will need to provide proof of work experience or an externship while applying for the license. You must have your fingerprints taken and prove that you passed one of two exams:
- National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE) administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
- Exam for Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) administered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
A certified pharmacy technician (CPhT) designation from either organization is also acceptable.
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION BOARD (PTCB)
The PTCB is a national organization that provides certification for pharmacy technicians. To become certified, you must pass their exam, which is called the PTCE. The PTCE covers topics such as:
- Medication safety
- Pharmacy law and ethics
- Patient rights
- Communication and customer service skills
This exam is taken on a computer at a testing center. You can register for the PTCE online through the PTCB website.
EMPLOYMENT LEVELS AND EARNING POTENTIAL
The job outlook for pharmacy techs in Utah looks exceptionally promising. The Projections Managing Partnership has estimated a 30.4 increase in pharmacy tech employment from 2016-2026. That’s an extremely fast growth rate compared to that of the entire U.S.: 12 percent. It’s also expected that the state will see an average of 480 pharmacy tech job openings per year.
Utah pharmacy technicians are paid well, too. In 2020, the BLS reported a median income of $17.97 per hour for these specialists within Utah. That’s about two dollars higher than the median income for pharmacy technicians across the country.
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN JOBS?
By far, Salt Lake City is a promising option for new pharmacy technicians in Utah. In 2020, 4,360 pharmacy technicians worked in Utah, however, Salt Lake City was paid the highest in the state, with a median income of $18.46 per hour. The Ogden-Clearfield area is another good choice. This area pays well, with a median income of $17.94 per hour, and has the highest pharmacy tech employment levels per 1,000 jobs in the state.
Whether you begin your career in Salt Lake City, the Ogden-Clearfield area, or anywhere else in Utah, you’ll likely find plenty of pharmacy technician opportunities. The population that needs medication continues to grow, and new medications continue to hit the market with advances in technology. A pharmacy tech career path is an investment in a stable future.
What are the best pharmacy technician schools in Utah?
- Mountainland Technical College, Lehi
- Davis Technical College, Kaysville
- Ogden-Weber Technical College, Ogden
- Bridgerland Technical College, Logan
- Dixie Technical College, Saint George
How do you become a pharmacy technician in Utah?
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a high school diploma or GED
- Pass a criminal record check
- Pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) or ExCPT exam, training either on the job or in a college training program
- Apply for a Utah pharmacy technician license
How much do pharmacy technicians make in Utah?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of Utah made an average of $37,390 per year in 2020. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $29,280 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $47,460.
ALL SCHOOL LISTINGS
- Eastern Utah nonmetropolitan area
- Logan, UT-ID
- Ogden-Clearfield, UT
- Provo-Orem, UT
- Salt Lake City, UT
- St. George, UT
- West Central Utah nonmetropolitan area
Logan, UT-ID Area
Bridgerland Applied Technology College
1301 North 600 West, Logan, Utah 84321Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program
Bridgerland Applied Technology College’s Certificate-level Pharmacy Technician program is based at its campus in the city of Logan, UT. The college has in the order of 593 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education.* tuition fees are generally about $3,833 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,430, depending on the program.
Salt Lake City, UT Area
Ogden-Clearfield, UT Area
Davis Applied Technology College
550 E 300 S, Kaysville, Utah 84037-2699Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program
The Certificate program at Davis Applied Technology College can be taken at their campus in Kaysville in Davis County, Utah. The majority of the school’s 2,769 students are on 2-year programs. The school has institutional accreditation from the Council on Occupational Education.* tuition fees are about $4,260 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,522, although this varies from program to program.
St. George, UT Area
Dixie Applied Technology College
1506 S. Silicon Way, Saint George, Utah 84770Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program
The Certificate program at Dixie Applied Technology College is taught at their campus in the city of Saint George. The college has in the order of 165 students in total, with the majority of students on < 2-year programs. Dixie Applied Technology College has institutional accreditation from the Council on Occupational Education.* Tuition fees for the Medical Assisting program are, as a rough guide, about $1,827 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $404. Program completion is normally 12 months.
Granite Technical Institute
2500 S. State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84115Pharmacy Technician – Program
The program is taught at their location in Salt Lake City. The program is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* This program has AHSP candidate status.
Ogden-Clearfield, UT Area
Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College
200 N Washington Blvd, Ogden, Utah 84404-4089Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program
The Certificate program at Ogden can be taken at their Weber Applied Technology College campus in the city of Ogden, UT. The college has in the order of 2,625 students in total, with most of the students on 2-year programs. The cost of tuition is likely to be in the order of $4,091 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,539, as necessitated by the chosen program.
Eastern Utah nonmetropolitan area Area
Uintah Basin Applied Technology College
1100 E Lagoon St 124-5, Roosevelt, Utah 84066Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program
The Certificate program at Uintah Basin Applied Technology College can be taken at their campus in the town of Roosevelt. Most of the school’s 1,238 students are on short programs of under two years. Uintah Basin Applied Technology College has institutional accreditation from the Council on Occupational Education.* tuition fees are about $1,480 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $863, depending on the program.
* Accreditation status and tuition fees are correct at the time of the last update and are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with the college or university before applying.
Residents of Utah may also wish to review their options in Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming.