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Pharmacy Technician Training Prices
Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists in all functions of their jobs. They count pills, label bottles, stock shelves, and handle administrative tasks like answering phones and taking payments.
The job outlook is good for pharmacy technicians, according to the United States Department of Labor report, and employment in the field is increasing much faster than the national average.
As a pharmacy tech, you can work in retail or mail order pharmacies, hospitals or nursing homes, among other places. The median wage is more than $13 per hour, although some pharmacy techs make as much as $20 per hour.
About Pharmacy Technician Degrees
There are no federal training guidelines for pharmacy technicians, so the requirements differ from state to state. Some require just a high school diploma while others require a degree or certification, licensing and/or successful completion of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam.
Certification programs are offered by community colleges and vocational schools throughout the country. Programs usually last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years and include a mix of classroom and lab work. They usually include an internship and several months of job training, too. Even if you live in a state that does not require a certification program, completing one makes you a more attractive job candidate.
A comprehensive pharmacy technician certification should teach the names, uses, doses, and side effects of all medications dispensed; pharmacy record keeping; pharmaceutical techniques; and pharmacy law and ethics.
Pharmacy Technician Degree Average Costs
Most pharmacy technician certification programs cost anywhere from $500 to $5,000. Associate's degrees that cost $10,000 to $25,000 are also available in the field. However, unless you're planning to eventually study to become a pharmacist, an associate's degree is probably not necessary.
- Eastern New Mexico University - Roswell charged $678.96 in 2011 for in-state program tuition and $2,561 for out-of-state tuition. Additional program fees totaled $70.40.
- Oakton Community College in Illinois charged $1,178 for in-district tuition and $2,162.40 for out-of-district tuition. The fee for the 12-weeks course covers tuition, the application fee, registration, lab fees, books and the graduation fee.
- California State University, Dominguez Hills charged $999 for its 50-hour course to prep for the PTCB exam. The price includes all materials.
- If you're planning to take the PTCB exam after graduation, budget another $129 for the test fee. You can take the test up to three times. If you fail all three, however, you'll have to petition the board for permission to take the exam again.
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