Q:

What kind of education is required to become a pharmacy technician?

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Quick Answer

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the minimum education required to become a pharmacy technician is a high school diploma. A post secondary education in pharmacy technology can also be obtained, but most pharmacy technicians can learn the duties of their job through hands on training.

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What kind of education is required to become a pharmacy technician?
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Full Answer

However, the exact regulations and requirements for pharmacy technicians can vary depending on state law. There are some states that require certification for pharmacy technicians before they can become employed, or soon after a person is hired. These certification programs are located throughout the United States and are accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists. In order to become an accredited program, the program must include 600 hours of instruction spread out over a 15 week period.

Once a program is completed, a certification exam may also be required depending on state laws. Two organizations provide the certification necessary for state law: the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the National Healthcareer Association. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board requires only a high school diploma and successful completion of an exam. The National Healthcareer Association requires a high school diploma, completion of a training program or at least one year of on the job experience. There are some employers that will pay for pharmacy technicians to take any necessary certification exams.

If state law does not require certification, prospective pharmacy technicians do have a few different options when considering higher education options in the field. The two main options are attending either a vocational school or community college in order to obtain a certificate or associate's degree in pharmacy technology. The certificate program can be completed in in approximately on year while an associate's degree generally requires two years of study. Either of these programs may include clinical experience, allowing students to learn hands on experience.

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