THE BASICS OF A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN CAREER IN WISCONSIN
In the medical field, pharmacies are essential for getting medicine to patients. With a growing elderly population and increasing medication discoveries, the pharmacy field is sure to continue growing. For this reason, pharmacy technicians are in high demand across the country. This job is suitable for those who have good science, math, and customer service skills. Being able to pay attention to detail is also very important. [Leer en español]
Pharmacy technicians are trained specialists who assist pharmacists with any day-to-day tasks that may occur in a pharmacy. Besides helping fill prescriptions, and helping calculate dosages, pharmacy technicians provide other services such as gathering prescription and insurance information, requesting pharmacist consultations for customers, helping stock medications, organizing medications in storage, and packaging and labeling prescriptions.
Over half of all pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies and retail drugstores. However, some pharmacy techs also work in hospital settings and general merchandise stores. The duties of pharmacy technicians vary in different job settings, depending on how much customer interaction there is and how much medication needs to be processed at a time.
HOW DO YOU BECOME A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN?
Wisconsin doesn’t regulate pharmacy technicians, so you can begin as soon as you turn 18 and have your high school diploma or GED. However, it’s highly recommended that you take a pharmacy technician training program accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) or Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
By training in a formal program, you’ll be prepared to enter the job field quickly. You’ll also have the required training to become licensed in another state if you move. You can also find pharmacy tech training resources on the ASHP website.
Another way to train as a pharmacy technician is through a program offered by an employer. However, training in a program is ultimately better, because pharmacies would like to hire you already trained.
ACCREDITED PHARMACY TECHNICIAN PROGRAMS
These are a few Wisconsin schools that offer pharmacy technician programs and are also accredited:
Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC)
The downtown Milwaukee campus of this technical school offers a 16-week pharmacy technology diploma. Classes begin in August and January, and there is no waiting list to be accepted into the program. Students will be able to successfully take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam at the end of the program.
Located in Madison, this program has been accredited by the ACPE and lasts 18 weeks. The program’s current total cost for non-employee students is $3,400. While training in a pharmacy-specific training center, students receive face-to-face, lab, and experiential training.
Penn Foster Career School
Penn Foster offers an affordable, ASHP Accredited online Pharmacy Technician course and training program. More information.
WISCONSIN REGULATION OF CERTIFIED PHARMACY TECHNICIAN
The state of Wisconsin does not regulate pharmacy technicians or require any type of certification. However, becoming a certified pharmacy technician by a national testing association, such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board which regulates the pharmacy technician certification exam, greatly increases your ability to secure a job and receive competitive wages. Working with medication is a very detailed task, so becoming certified is the best way to ensure you handle medications correctly.
SALARY AND JOB OUTLOOK FOR PHARMACY TECHS
Even though this career does not require post-secondary education in Wisconsin, skilled pharmacy technicians are paid considerably well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook in 2018, Wisconsin pharmacy technicians earned a median income of $15.70 per hour and an annual salary of $32,710.
Pharmacy technician jobs are increasing all over the country, which is also true in Wisconsin, where their employment rate is projected to grow 6.6 percent from 2016-2026.
WHERE SHOULD YOU START YOUR PHARMACY TECHNICIAN CAREER?
If you’re prepared to get started as a pharmacy technician, you might be wondering which places will maximize your earning potential and provide plenty of jobs.
The BLS reports that, in 2018, the Wisconsin cities with the largest number of pharmacy technicians were Milwaukee and Madison. Milwaukee also has one of the highest employment rates for pharmacy techs in the state, along with the northwestern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area.
No matter where you choose to work, your pharmacy technician career should give you many options for employment. People everywhere need medication and specialists provide that medication. Pharmacy technicians won’t be disappearing any time soon.
What are the best pharmacy technician schools in Wisconsin?
- Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee
- Gateway Technical College, Kenosha
- Blackhawk Technical College, Janesville
- Lakeshore Technical College, Cleveland
- Rasmussen College, Green Bay
- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay
How do you become a pharmacy technician in Wisconsin?
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a high school diploma or GED
- Wisconsin does not regulate pharmacy technicians
How much do pharmacy technicians make in Wisconsin?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of Wisconsin made an average of $32,750 per year in 2018. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $22,520 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $44,590.
ALL SCHOOL LISTINGS
- Eastern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
- Eau Claire, WI
- Green Bay, WI
- Janesville, WI
- Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metropolitan Division
- Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metropolitan Division Area
Gateway Technical College
3520 30th Ave, Kenosha, Wisconsin 53144-1690Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program
The Certificate program at Gateway Technical College is taught at their campus in Kenosha in Kenosha County. This public college has in the order of 8,268 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Gateway Technical College has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, and the program itself is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* Fees for tuition for in-state students are in the order of $3,889 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $5,722 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,575, depending on the program. This program has AHSP candidate status.
Eastern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area Area
Lakeshore Technical College
Lakeshore Technical College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in Cleveland in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. Most of the school’s 2,930 students are on 2-year programs.
Lakeshore Technical College has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, and the programs themselves are accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* Fees for tuition for in-state students are in the order of $3,868 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $5,701 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,575, depending on the program. This program is ASHP accredited.
The program staff includes a technician, a lab/clerical support member, and a pharmacist. The school offers start dates in August and January. Candidates can expect to attend an interview.
Class scheduling: full-time, part-time, daytime.
Acceptance Requirements: HS diploma or GED, application & fee, entrance assessment scores, transcripts, background check, program advising session, health/TB/tetanus form, a signature page from student handbook, functional abilities statement of understanding form.
General Location Training Sites: throughout Wisconsin. Academic award: Diploma. Also available: Certificate for Working Technicians and a Pharmacy Services Management Associate Degree.
They say: Lakeshore Technical College (LTC) in Cleveland, Wisconsin provides a Pharmacy Technician program in cooperation with 9 other Wisconsin technical colleges.
The shared program which originates at LTC is televised via live interactive television to campuses in FVTC Appleton, MPTC Fond-du-Lac, MSTC Stevens Point, NATC Rhinelander, NTC Wausau, NWTC Green Bay, SWTC Fennimore, WCTC Pewaukee, and WTC LaCrosse.
Laboratory experience is provided at clinical sites. Facilitators at each campus provide services for students. An online platform provides students easy access to course material, staff/faculty, as well as, prompt feedback on assignments.
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI Area
Milwaukee Area Technical College
700 W State St, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233-1443Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program
Milwaukee Area Technical College’s Certificate program is based at their campus in the city of Milwaukee. The majority of the school’s 17,961 students are on 2-year programs. Milwaukee Area Technical College has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, and the program is separately accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be in the order of $4,153 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $5,986 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,575, depending on the program. This program is ASHP accredited. Staff on the program includes 2 technicians, a lab/clerical support member, and 2 pharmacists. The school offers starting dates in January and August.
Class scheduling: Some Flexibility with General Education Courses.
Acceptance Requirements: High school diploma or GED, placement testing in reading, math, and sentence skills.
General Location Training Sites: Milwaukee and surrounding areas. Academic award: Technical Diploma.
They say: Since 1981, MATC has offered a two-semester pharmacy technician program providing hands-on skill development and knowledge needed to obtain employment in a variety of practice settings. During clinical courses, the student acquires experience in both community and institutional pharmacy. Coursework and experiential training fully prepare the student for the voluntary National certification exam. MATC provides comprehensive student services including financial aid, student employment, academic support, multicultural support, and support services for veterans, bilingual students, and students with disabilities.
Milwaukee Career College
3077 N Mayfair Rd Ste 300, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53222Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program
Milwaukee Career College’s Certificate Pharmacy Technician program is based at their campus in Milwaukee in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. The majority of the school’s 88 students are on 2-year programs. The school has institutional accreditation from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.* tuition fees are about $11,800 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $900, although this varies from program to program.
Green Bay, WI Area
Rasmussen College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their Wisconsin campus in the city of Green Bay.
The college has in region of 1,506 students in total, with most students on 4-year programs. Rasmussen College-Wisconsin is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* The cost of tuition is in the order of $10,764 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,350, 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 college or university before application.