Pharmacy technicians conduct much of the daily tasks in community pharmacies. Their core duties include receiving prescription requests (both electronically and in store), fill prescriptions, package and label medications, monitor, order and receive new inventory, compound medications, measure, count and pour medications, verify the information on prescriptions, give customers directions for taking their medications, and processing insurance forms to collect payments. They also gather patient history and update pharmacy records, direct patients to the pharmacist for counsel, and submit the completed prescription request for a pharmacist’s review before dispensing to the customer. The massive growth in health care jobs attract a lot of adults to this rewarding profession. A pharmacy technician must have a genuine concern for others, be attentive to detail, have excellent verbal and written communication, and be active listeners, efficient and organized, and good problem solvers.
Figures from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics list pharmacy technicians among the fastest growing occupations. The majority (about 75 percent) of technicians work in retail pharmacies and 16 percent work in hospitals. Hospital technicians may earn more due to the complexities of the tasks they perform and the hours of operations. Both hospital and retail pharmacies may operate 24 hours a day including weekends and public holidays. Pharmacy technicians may have the option to choose a schedule that best fits their lifestyle.
Columbia Area Career Center
The Online Pharmacy Technician program at Columbia Area Career Center prepares adults for employment in retail and institutional pharmacies. Online delivery of content gives students the flexibility to study as their schedule allows while preparing for a rewarding career as a pharmacy technician. The training will include preparation for the National Certification Exam (PTCE) to become Certified Pharmacy Technicians. At the conclusion of the online requirements, students will complete a virtual pharmacy externship before participating in a pharmacy externship at a community pharmacy such as Walgreens or CVS. The curriculum covers 14 modules and includes 600 hours of training. Courses include Program Orientation, Working at a Pharmacy, Preparing for the Workforce, Computer Fundamentals, Keyboard Kinetics, Medical Word Building, Basic Anatomy, Mastering Medical Language, Pharmacology, Pharmacy Law, Regulations, and Standards, Business of Pharmacy, Simulation Preparation, Pharmacy Calculations, Prescriptions, and Non-sterile Compounding. Practical modules in Community Pharmacy Practice, Institutional Pharmacy Practice, Externship Preparation, Virtual Inventory Management for Technicians, Virtual Medication Safety for Technicians, Virtual Pharmacy Externship for Technicians, Externship, and Final Exam Preparation. There will be assessments built into the training to ensure students understand the concepts before progressing to the next module. The program may be completed in 4 months full-time, but students will have up to 12 months to complete the training. Four-month extensions are available for an additional fee.
- Must be at least 18 years or older
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- No other special skills or prerequisites are required for entry
Tuition for the ASHP accredited, online program is $2,999. It includes 12 months access, ebook library, and unlimited support by phone, chat, and email.
- Website: https://career-center.org/general-info/
- Address: 4203 S. Providence Rd. Columbia, MO 65203
- Phone: 573-214-3803
- Fax: 573-214-3801
State Fair Community College
State Fair Community College offers a stackable pharmacy technician program. There is a Skills Certificate, Professional Certificate, and AAS degree option. The Skills Certificate includes all the preparation required for the PTCE. The Professional Certificate and AAS covers additional coursework that will give graduates a competitive advantage in the job market. The program requirements for each level are outlined below.
Skills Certificate (18 credit hours): Medical Terminology I, Pharmacy Technician I, Pharmacy Technician II, Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians, Practicum for Pharmacy Technicians, and Pharmacology Certification
Professional Certificate (30 credit hours): Intermediate Algebra with Review, Intermediate Algebra, Medical Terminology I, Medical Terminology II, Technology and Health Care, Pharmacy Technician I, Pharmacy Technician II, Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians, Practicum for Pharmacy Technicians, Pharmacology Certification, Professional Practice Experience
AAS in Health Care Specialist with Emphasis in Pharmacy Technician (61.5 credit hours): Public Speaking, Business Communications, US History, American/National Government, Intermediate Algebra with Review, Intermediate Algebra, Human Anatomy with Lab, Human Physiology with Lab, General Sociology, Microbiology, Microcomputer Applications, Medical Terminology I, Medical Terminology II, Technology and Health Care, CPR for Health Care Providers, Pharmacy Technician I, Pharmacy Technician II, Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians, Practicum for Pharmacy Technicians, Pharmacology Certification, Professional Practice Experience, College Skills, Employment Strategies
- Submit a completed application for admission to SFCC
- Provide verification of completing high school or its equivalent
- Submit official placement scores – ACT, ACCUPLACER – completed within the past three years.
- Submit official transcripts from all colleges attended
The base tuition for in-district students is $105 per credit. The approximate cost for yearly tuition is $3,150 plus expenses for books and supplies.
- Website: https://www.sfccmo.edu/academics-programs/areas-of-study/pharmacy-technician/
- Address: 3201 W. 16th Street, Sedalia, Missouri 65301-2188
- Phone: (877) 311-7322