The growing demand of pharmacy technicians in the U.S has led numerous schools and colleges to introduce pharmacy tech programs to facilitate the need. Even though in some states graduates of pharmacy tech may find work with just their certificates, a number of employers and states may ask for schooling from an accredited college. In order to practice as a pharmacy tech, graduates have to acquire a license from the state. The next section provides information about some of the best places for acquiring pharmacy tech education. All of the colleges mentioned below are accredited by the relevant institutions and are considered among the top accredited pharmacy technician schools in the US of A.
Penn Foster Career School – Online
The Penn Foster Career School was established in 1890 in the state of Pennsylvania. The school is licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed Schools. It offers an online pharmacy tech program for aspirants to acquire a diploma in a period of five months. Tuition, if pre-payed in full is $362 (you read that right – it is just $362, really!). The graduates of this school are eligible to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam. Their pharmacy tech workbook is officially endorsed by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the school has been accredited by the following organizations.
1. Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).
2. Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Arkansas State University – Beebe, AK
The Arkansas State University is located in Beebe, Arkansas. The university offers a pharmacy tech program that goes on for one year, or two semesters. Upon completion of their studies, students are awarded a Technical Certificate in Pharmacy Tech Science. The course-work of the program includes computer experience, lab work and classroom lectures. In all, students are required to complete almost 220 hours of education. In order to enroll in the program, the applicants are required to be over 18 years of age and should have a high school diploma or G.E.D certificate. The university also offers students the option of getting an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) degree on completing two additional semesters of specified course-work. Arkansas State University is also accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).
Arizona College – Glendale & Mesa, AZ
The Arizona College was previously known as the Arizona College of Allied Health. The college has two campuses, one in Glendale and the other in Mesa. For pharmacy technology aspirants, it offers a 34 week diploma program for a tuition fee of $15,022. 88% of the students at the Arizona College complete their graduation on time while 71% are employed instantly. The college is not only accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) but also by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Additionally, the Arizona College is a member of the following associations.
1. Arizona State Board of Nursing.
2. Department of Veteran Affairs.
3. Navajo Department of Work-force Development.
American Career College – Orange County, Los Angeles and Ontario
The American Career College in Los Angeles has a 50,000 square ft. facility which is integrated with modern classrooms and state of the art lab equipment. The college offers pharmacy tech applicants a diploma certificate on completion of 740 hours of education. This could be completed in 2 semesters. For convenience purposes, students are allowed to attend classes in day, afternoon or evening. The cost of the program is almost $11,495, but it includes lab fee and the costs of any relevant course material. Besides their detailed course work, students are required to take part in internships and externships at local pharmacies and health care centers to complete the program. For admissions, students are required to have a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate and also additionally required to pass the college’s entrance test. The American Career College is accredited by the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) as well as Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). The college also continues to be a member of the California Association of Private Post Secondary Schools (CAPPS).
Contact: 1.877.832.0790, 1.323.668.7555
Exempla Pharmacy Technician Training Academy – Wheat Ridge, CO
The Exempla Training Academy is one of the cheapest places to acquire pharmacy tech education. The duration of their pharmacy tech program is just 16 weeks at a tuition fee of only $3,000. Students are trained in a real life hospital setting by actual pharmacists. They go to Exempla Lutheran Medical Center for onsite learning. The center is located in Wheat Ridge and could also serve as a potential employer for the graduates. For focused learning, the class size at the college is restricted to 10 students. For admissions, students are not expected to have any prior medical knowledge but it is necessary for them to hold a high school diploma or G.E.D certificate. Most institutes that offer pharmacy tech education in the conditions mentioned above are not accredited by ASHP, however that is not the case with Exempla Training Academy as it is accredited by ASHP.
Fortis College – multiple
The Fortis College has its campuses in 8 different states across the United States. One of the campuses is in Orange Park, Florida. At the college, there are different programs for pharmacy tech aspirants such as a diploma certificate or an Associate of Science degree. The program focuses on preparing students for the PTCE exam. The duration of the course is 45 weeks but could be extended by the individuals. The tuition fee of the Fortis College differs from one location to the other. In Orange Park, the tuition fee for the certification program is $23,450. At completion of the 45 weeks, the graduates would have learned the following.
1. Handling prescriptions.
2. Keeping a record of inventory.
3. Pharmacy calculations.
4. Drug interactions and their side effects.
5. Legal responsibilities of a pharmacist.
The college has an on-time completion rate of 70% and state placement rate of 60%. The Fortis College is accredited by the following organizations.
1. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).
2. Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
3. Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
4. Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
5. Commission of the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
Chicago Malcolm X College – Chicago, IL
The Chicago Malcolm X College is a member of the City Colleges of Chicago. The institute is among the few in Chicago that offers an Advanced Certificate (AC) in pharmacy technology. The subjects offered at the college prepare students for employment as Pharmacy Techs. The college has state of the art lab facilities that simulate the environment of a real world pharmacy. Students may be required to attend lectures in evenings and weekend rotations. At the end of the program, the college not only helps students to register for the exam administered by PTCB but also assists them in getting a pharmacy tech license and a suitable job. The college charges $72 per credit hour and an additional fee of $900 is charged for books and other course related supplies. For registration in the program, there is a list of requirements that needs to be satisfied. This includes a clear criminal record, a high school diploma, letters of recommendation and passing interviews with the admissions committee. This program at the Malcolm X College is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
Jefferson Community and Technical College – Louisville, KY
The Jefferson Community and Technical College is located in Louisville, Kentucky. It is the largest among the 16 colleges that form the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. It has 6 campuses with over 15,000 students. For pharmacy tech aspirants, the college has initiated a diploma program, which requires students complete 860 hours of education. This includes classroom lectures, lab work and internships. The cost of the program is relatively lower than most of the other colleges and universities as it charges $125 per credit. Additionally, students have to spend $700-800 on books, course materials and lab equipment. For enrollment in the program, all applicants are required to have a high school diploma or G.E.D certificate. Besides high school qualification, applicants are required to pass drug screening tests and background checks. The college is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and also the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP).
Henry Ford Community College – Dearborn, MI
For anyone wanting to pursue pharmacy technology education, the Henry Ford Community College offers great convenience. Students can enroll in the program on either a full time or a part time basis. The pharmacy tech program usually takes one year for completion for full time students and two years for part time students. For this duration of education, the students are promised a diploma certificate. However, if they wish to carry it forward, the college also offers the option of an Associate Degree. This program can even be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s degree program such as PharmD. At the Henry Ford Community College, students are prepared for the national certification exams in state of the art facilities. The tuition fee for the complete diploma program is $3,476 which includes books and other course supplies. However, the college has strict criteria for admissions and applicants will be required to pass an interview conducted by a clinical coordinator. Henry Ford Community College is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and accepts transfer students only from institutes that have the same accreditation.
Sanford Brown Institute – multiple
The Sanford Brown Institute is also one of the institutions accredited by the American Society of Health Systems- Pharmacists (ASHP). It is located in Iselin, New Jersey but also has other campuses across the country. At Sanford Brown, pharmacy tech students are prepared for the professional world with the right technical knowledge and the right attitude. The teaching methodologies include conceptual, as well as practical work. The institute uses state of the art labs to simulate the working environment of a real world pharmacy. Students are taught disciplines related to inventory management, dosage preparation, finance handling and customer services. Upon completion of the program, students are awarded a diploma certificate and are prepared to take the national certification exam. Candidates have the option of taking classes in mornings or evenings. The tuition cost for the complete program is approximately $10,500. This includes books and other course materials. However, getting an admission in the Sanford Brown Institute is not generally easy. The basic requirements from applicants include a high school diploma or a G.E.D certificate. Additionally, they are interviewed to determine if they are the best fit for the college. In some instances, they may even be required to take drug screening tests or provide immunization proofs. The class size at Sanford Brown is generally small and incorporates 15-20 students. This enables the instructors to provide better focus to each student.