HOW TO BECOME A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN WEST VIRGINIA
Pharmacy technicians are healthcare professionals who are supervised by licensed pharmacists. Pharmacy techs assist patients in getting their prescriptions filled by entering information into the computer, counting out pills and compounding medications that need to be mixed, printing prescription labels, and dispensing medicines to patients. They may also take inventory, take payments for medication, and answer phones. [Leer en español]
Each state sets guidelines for pharmacy technicians who work there. West Virginia pharmacy techs are required to register with the state Board and become certified. Read below to find out how you can meet these requirements.
WEST VIRGINIA PHARMACY TECHNICIAN REQUIREMENTS
Pharmacy technicians in West Virginia must first register through the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy. However, before they can register, they must become certified. Certification is available by taking the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, given by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), and the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Those interested in registering must be 18 or older and have a diploma from high school or a GED. You must complete a Board-approved pharmacy tech training program and apply for registration through the Board. An application fee will apply. The license for registered pharmacy techs must be renewed yearly by July 1st.
If you don’t have certification, you can still register as a pharmacy technician trainee. You can work as a pharmacy tech in training for a total of two years or 2,080 hours. Pharmacy techs in training can be younger than 18. However, they must complete a formal training program that is provided through an academic institution or a pharmacy. Additionally, they must complete 20 hours of training with the pharmacist in charge where they will be working.
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN SCHOOLS IN WEST VIRGINIA
Prospective West Virginia pharmacy technicians must complete a training program before they can work in that role. Programs that have been accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHSP) are recommended because these programs are designed to help students pass the national certification exams. The following pharmacy technician programs are available in West Virginia:
- West Virginia Junior College. West Virginia Junior College has campuses located in Bridgeport, Charleston, and Morgantown. This program is Board-approved. Some of the courses taught include Inventory Management, Sterile Compounding Procedures, and Management of Pharmacy Software. An externship is included in this program, allowing students to work in a pharmacy before graduation. This program prepares students to take the national certification exam.
- Martinsburg College. Located in Martinsburg, WV, the goal of the program at Martinsburg College is to teach students pharmacological concepts and processes and pharmacy practices. This program consists of 18 credit hours, and graduates earn a pharmacy technician certificate. Students will learn pharmacology, medical terminology, pharmacy law, and more.
- Mountwest Community and Technical College. Mountwest Community and Technical College are located in Huntington. This program is ASHSP-accredited. There are 61 credit hours required to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in this program. Students will learn how to prepare prescriptions, pour, measure, and mix medications, assist the pharmacist in filling prescriptions, and more. This program includes an internship.
- Penn Foster Career School. Penn Foster offers an affordable, ASHP Accredited online Pharmacy Technician training program. More information.
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION BOARD (PTCB)
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) offers the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians. This exam is designed to assess the knowledge and skills required of pharmacy technicians. It covers topics such as drug classifications, pharmacology, dosage calculations, record keeping, inventory control, and more. To be eligible to take the exam, applicants must be 18 or older and have completed a high school diploma or GED. Applicants must also have completed a Board-approved pharmacy technician program. The certification is valid for two years and must be renewed by July 1st of each year.
The PTCB Exam consists of 90 multiple-choice questions that must be completed in 2 hours. The exam fee is $129 and the renewal fee is $49.
SALARY AND CAREER OUTLOOK IN WEST VIRGINIA
From 2020 to 2030, the number of pharmacy technician jobs is expected to increase by 5 percent nationally. In West Virginia, these jobs are expected to increase by 10 percent with approximately 260 new positions being created.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides data that show pharmacy technicians in West Virginia earn an average of $14.08 hourly or $29,280 annually. The more years of experience you have, the more you may be able to earn above the average salary. Top earners in the state can earn as much as $45,550 annually.
WHERE TO WORK AS A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN WEST VIRGINIA
Pharmacy technicians work in drugstores or other retail pharmacies, independent pharmacies, mail-order pharmacies, hospitals, and nursing homes. Pharmacy techs may work either part-time or full-time. You should be prepared to stand for many hours and have good manual dexterity and communication skills. A certified pharmacy technician may work in any pharmacy setting in the state, such as a retail pharmacy, hospital, or mail-order pharmacy.
There are pharmacies located throughout West Virginia, so work should be available almost anywhere in the state. Furthermore, West Virginia is second among the states for the highest concentration of pharmacy tech jobs. You may want to start your job search in some of the larger cities like Charleston, Huntington, and Morgantown.
What are the best pharmacy technician schools in West Virginia?
- Ross Medical Education Center, Charleston
- Mountwest Community and Technical College, Huntington
- West Virginia Junior College, Morgantown
- Penn Foster Career School, Online
- Ashworth College, Online
How do you become a pharmacy technician in West Virginia?
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a high school diploma or GED
- Pass a criminal record check
- Complete a Board-approved pharmacy tech training program
- Pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) or ExCPT exam and apply for certification
- Register with the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy
How much do pharmacy technicians make in West Virginia?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of West Virginia made an average of $29,280 per year in 2020. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $22,970 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $45,550.