About the Program
This program will help to prepare you to take the first step in your career as a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) by preparing you for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) or the NHA Exam for Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) and requiring you to complete an externship in your field of study.
The externship component of this program will provide you with practical training in community and institutional pharmacy practice. The goal of the externship is to help you become a competent pharmacy technician by developing the essential skill sets through hands-on experience under the direct supervision of a registered pharmacist. The externship consists of 160 hours of clinical experience in a community pharmacy and can be completed in 8 to 12 weeks.
Career Growth & Opportunity
Most pharmacy technicians are paid hourly wages ranging from about $10/hour to $22/hour, depending on education, experience, employer, and certification level. As a full-time pharmacy technician, that adds up to between $21,000 and $46,000 a year. Pharmacy technicians who work in hospitals, as opposed to other locations – retail, for example – may also get additional benefits on top of their salary.
Many pharmacy technicians will start out on a part-time basis and may work in that role for a few years before advancing to full-time role. From there, pharmacy technicians can move up to become senior technicians.
For the most part, pharmacy technicians will either work for hospitals or retail pharmacies, and they’ll work under the supervision of licensed pharmacists. It’s a job that requires precision and extreme care, as technicians will often be asked to handle sensitive materials such as drugs and chemicals. Expect to be on your feet much of the day, especially during busy hours.
Most retail technicians will work 40-hour weeks, but some weekend work may be required as well. In a hospital environment, there’s a little more variation in work hours, as technicians will occasionally work night shifts and longer hours. Many pharmacy technicians will also be expected to work on an on-call basis, meaning they’ll be asked to work on short notice if necessary.