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A Complete Online Study Guide for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam
Becoming a pharmacy technician is a simpler path than most students think. While many students are convinced that becoming certified involves months of schooling -currently this is NOT the case.
To become a certified pharmacy technician an individual must:
1. Register with the PTCB or ExCPT to take a certification exam. Most states require the PTCB, but the ExCPT is accepted in many states.
2. Study the required material to pass the PTCB or ExCPT examination. (Note: Studying for the exam can be a part of a lengthy/costly college course, but is not required – a simple online video course will be sufficient )
3. Pass your exam!
4. Register with your respective State Board of Pharmacy. We provide the web URL for all 50 State Boards of Pharmacy to make registering easy!
This course is designed to help students learn the concepts needed to become a certified pharmacy technician (C. Ph.T). Many different topics are covered in the course, including pharmacy law, common abbreviations, commonly used calculations, and many other skills used by pharmacy technicians in their day to day tasks. Utilizing the advantages of a self-paced course, student will be able to prepare to take the certification exam needed to work as a pharmacy technician.
Included in this course are how-to videos, drugs lists, commonly seen abbreviations, pharmaceutical calculations, sample test questions, and other resources useful in a successful pharmacy career.
This course will require additional time and repetition to reinforce skills learned within the included materials. Students are encouraged to take a slow and steady pace in this course – it is designed as a 6-week course but may be longer or shorter depending on the rate of learning by the student.
The role of a pharmacy technician is often confused with the role of a pharmacist. While the two roles work closely with one another – and some duties even overlap – these are two distinct jobs.
Vitally, pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of pharmacists. The role is similar to that of an assistant.
In this article, we’ll cover the duties of a pharmacy technician, as well as how to become one, and what salary you can expect to earn.
The daily duties of a pharmacy technician can be broken down into three main categories.
Customer Service Duties
Prescription Fulfillment and Processing
A number of factors affect how much pharmacy technicians are paid across the US. Generally speaking, salaries can vary depending on:
The overall median salary of pharmacy techs is $33,950, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This means that about half of pharmacy technicians earn more than this number, and half earn less.
Some of the highest-paid pharmacy technicians work in hospitals, whether state, local, or private — the median annual salary for those with hospital jobs is $38,310.
The highest-paid pharmacy techs in the United States are located on the West Coast. More specifically, the people with the highest salaries live in either Washington or California.
According to the BLS, the average hourly wage for pharmacy techs is $16.32, and the top 10% of earners in this field make at least $49,130.
Pharmacy technician employers may include:
Retail pharmacies supply prescription and non-prescription medication – as well as other goods – to the public.
Compounding pharmacies typically make drugs prescribed by doctors that are not commercially available.
In hospital settings, pharmacy techs help to fill orders for patients and ensure they are delivered to the right places.
Nursing Homes and Extended Care
Pharmacy techs in nursing homes and extended care environments support pharmacists to ensure patients get the medication they need.
There are currently more than 600 pharmacy technicians serving in the US army, where they help to mix and fill prescriptions, maintain records, and carry out administrative duties.
Mail Order Pharmacies
At a mail order pharmacy, pharmacy technicians are more able to focus on the medical and administrative side of their roles, as customer service largely takes place over the phone and online.
As a pharmacy technician, your job concerns public health and wellbeing. As a result, you’ll be required to hold certain qualifications or experience to find work in the field.
Pharmacy Technician Education Requirements
Most pharmacy technicians undergo between one and two years of training in order to be prepared to sit for and pass a certification exam that will allow them to work in their chosen fields (more on this below). Eligibility requirements must also be met in order to take an exam.
Pharmacy techs can learn from online courses or offline career-focused training schools, externships, and on-the-job training.
While different states/employers have different education requirements for their pharmacy technicians, it is generally not necessary to obtain an associate degree to work in the field. That said, earning one can help you become a more competitive candidate and command a higher salary.
Most pharmacy tech education programs cover:
Soft Skills and Personality Traits
Many of the people you’ll communicate with in your role as pharmacy technician will be unwell or vulnerable. Given that, it’s extra important to consider whether you’ll be able to provide warm, considerate, and empathetic care in response to difficult circumstances or challenging behaviors.
The people who will find the role of pharmacy tech most rewarding tend to be compassionate by nature and have a strong desire to help others.
You will also need strong communication and organizational skills – given the importance of keeping accurate records of stock – and the regular tasks of speaking with customers, doctors’ offices, and pharmacists.
Depending on your state or employer, you may need to pass a standardized certification test from one of two different certifying institutions. These include:
There’s rarely been a better time to start on the path to becoming a pharmacy technician. Due to the increasing number of elderly people in the US population and rising levels of Americans taking prescription drugs, people with these skills have never been more in demand.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 7% job growth for pharmacy technicians through 2028, which is higher than overall job growth in the US.
When you pursue a career as a pharmacy tech with UMA, you’re opening the door to a growing occupation within the healthcare field. Enjoy plenty of advancement and learning opportunities, as well as the chance to help people every day as a pharmacy technician.
|Module 1||1. Introduction|
|Module 2||2. Pharmacy Abbreviations|
|Unit 1||Pharmacy Abbreviations|
|Module 3||3. Medications|
|Unit 1||1. Top 200 Drugs Introduction|
|Unit 2||2. Drug Nomenclature Part 1,2 and 3|
|Unit 3||3. Drug Recalls|
|Unit 4||4. National Drug Code Numbers|
|Unit 5||5. Medications Wrap-Up|
|Module 4||4. Pharmacy Math|
|Unit 1||1. General Math Review|
|Unit 2||2. Lab Essentials|
|Unit 3||3. Volumes and Measures|
|Unit 4||4. Conversion|
|Unit 5||5. Roman Numerals|
|Unit 6||6. IV Calculations|
|Unit 7||7. Pediatric Dosages|
|Unit 8||8. Temperature Conversions|
|Unit 9||9. Ratio and Proportion|
|Unit 10||10. Alligation|
|Module 5||5. Pharmacy Law|
|Unit 1||1. Pharmacy Law|
|Unit 2||2. Common Pharmacy Acts and Laws|
|Unit 3||3. New Drug Application|
|Module 6||6. Conclusion|
|Unit 1||1. Landing A Job|
|Unit 2||2. Summary|
|Module 7||7. PTCB Updated Exam|
|Unit 1||1. Reimbursement Plans|
|Unit 2||2. Therapeutic Equivalence|
|Unit 3||3. Transfer of Controlled Substances|
|Unit 4||4. Drug Interactions|
|Unit 5||5. Restricted Drug Programs|
|Unit 6||6. Common Safety Strategies|
|Unit 7||7. Hazardous Materials|
|Unit 8||8. Beyond Use Dating|