Earn Your Pharmacy Technician Certification, via Online Training Programs!
One way to have job security in the health care field without having to spend years becoming a medical doctor is to become a pharmacy technician. Pharmacy Technician training programs are available at numerous online schools and offer programs that may be completed in about a year.
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To actually become a full fledged pharmacist, on the other hand, requires a 6 year degree, an internship and a state license. You may want to go this route eventually, but in the meantime you will be able to have a degree and a salary averaging about $26,000 with just the technician program.
The wages for a pharmacist average $70,000 or more, depending on the location, and experience. Most pharmacies cannot afford to offer more than one or possibly two jobs. The pharmacy tech works under the direction of the pharmacist, assisting with patients, checking medications on the prescription database, filing with the insurance, and helping to measure out and package medications. Today, medicines are cross referenced to make sure a person is not taking another medication that would react with the new medicine and to make sure the patient has not filled the medication at another pharmacy.
Many pharmacies have prescriptions coming in from multiple sources: the doctor or hospital can call in the prescription; patients can call in renewals, bring new prescriptions to the counter; and many pharmacies also have "drive thru" prescription windows to save customers the necessity of coming into the store and spreading germs from some ailment that they may have. Thus, at any given time, the pharmacist could have multiple prescriptions waiting to be filled. One person cannot do it all. The pharmacy technician can do a lot of the preliminary work of cross reference, insurance filing, bottle preparation, and customer service while the pharmacist actually fills the prescription itself.
The salary for the job of pharmacy technician is not high, at least initially. A person with experience can count on earning more. Additionally, those with careers in a hospital pharmacy or a major corporation, might see their salary enhanced with health insurance, paid vacation, and a retirement package.
You don't need a prior college degree to become a pharmacy technician, but you do need a high school diploma. In most cases the program takes about a year to complete and can be done entirely online. Before you can receive your certificate, you have to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certified Board exam. However, taking your program online will save the costs of room and board and may even be less for tuition. If you want to continue on and become the lead pharmacist yourself, you will be qualified for a job that may ultimately provide a resource for you to continue your education.