Pharmacy technicians have a rewarding career in the field of healthcare and prescription medicine. They serve as liaisons between pharmacists, medical doctors, insurance companies, and patients. They support licensed pharmacists in retail, chain, hospital, and mail order pharmacies by processing prescription orders, attending to customer service issues, performing administrative duties, labeling containers, recording drugs, and managing inventory. In a hospital setting, they may prepare mixtures to fight infections and prepare liquid food. Pharmacy technician training programs incorporate classroom, laboratory, and clinical externships to prepare students for success on a national certification exam, required for certification in Washington, and to play a supportive role to pharmacists in various health care settings.
North Seattle College
The established pharmacy technician certificate program at North Seattle College runs for 5 months. Students receive comprehensive training in the classroom and at two different locations that will prepare them to pass the certification exam. Accredited by the Society of Health System Pharmacists, the program has a strong reputation in the healthcare community and a 99.6 percent pass rate. The curriculum features over 432 hours of externship in leading community pharmacies as well as in-depth training in pharmacology, computerized prescription processing, and IV-making. In the recently renovated, fully equipped lab, students have opportunities to develop their skills before participating in the externship. Classes meet 2 days per week – subject to change. The student must complete a total of 49 credits for the certificate. Interested persons must attend an information session, provide evidence of high school completion or GED equivalency, provide college transcripts for Elementary Algebra and English, and submit the completed pharmacy technician application, application fee ($35), and a color photo ID. Upon placement on the approval list, the student must complete the attestation form and a national background check and provide documentation of good physical and mental health and immunization (MMR, DT, Hepatitis B, Varicella, and a current TB skin test). Tuition for the program is $4,000 plus $1,050 for books and supplies.
- Website: https://northseattle.edu/programs/pharmacy-technician
- Address: 9600 College Way North, Seattle, Washington 98103
- Phone: (206) 934-3600
With a combination of chemistry, math, and medicine, the pharmacy technician curriculum at PIMA prepares students to provide medications to patients, count tablets and label containers, mix IV solutions, accept electronic prescriptions from a doctor’s office, enter orders electronically, verify the accuracy of prescriptions, manage stock and inventory, and receive written prescriptions. IV therapy, a valuable skill set for employment in a hospital setting, is included as part of the training to give graduates a competitive advantage. Other areas of study include pharmacy math, pharmacology, pharmacy computer applications, fundamentals of chemistry, pharmacy law and ethics, inventory maintenance, principles of customer service, laboratory skills, CPR and First Aid, and anatomy, physiology, and terminology for a total of 34.5 credits. The nationally accredited program prepares graduates for the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (CPhT) in just 10 months. Tuition costs $12,975 plus $960 for books and supplies.
- Website: http://pmi.edu/programs/certificate/pharmacy-technician
- Address: 9709 Third Avenue N.E., Suite 400, Seattle, WA 98115
- Phone: 800-477-PIMA
The Pharmacy Technician program at Charter College prepares students for an entry-level position as an assistant to a licensed pharmacist. The program curriculum covers basic pharmacy calculations, customer service, law and ethics governing pharmacy practice, drug distribution systems, pharmacy operations, and preparation of sterile dosage forms. A clinical externship at a local establishment provides opportunities for students to develop skills in a real-world setting. Graduates are prepared to pass a national pharmacy technician certification exam that is accredited by the NCAA, which is mandatory for Washington students. Students must pass the exam before the externship. Tuition for the accelerated program is $26,703.
- Website: http://www.chartercollege.edu/programs/healthcare/pharmacy-technician
- Address: 3700 Pacific Highway East, Suite 407, Fife, Washington
- Phone: 253-252-4200
Renton Technical College
Students enrolled in the pharmacy technician program at Renton College develop the skills needed to assist pharmacists in all areas of pharmacy practice. They learn how to maintain records, enter orders into a computerized system, compound medicines for dispensing, calculate dosages, and mix intravenous solutions. The curriculum especially emphasizes detailed information on drugs and pharmacy products. Apart from lectures in the classrooms, students also participate in an externship experience in a retail and hospital pharmacy. Graduates must obtain a state license to practice from the Washington State Board of Pharmacy. The program is open for enrollment in the fall. Applicants must be 18 years or older and a high school graduate – current high students and those with a high school equivalency are also accepted into the program. Since communication is essential, applicants must be fluent in English. A criminal background check, vaccination for MMR, Varicella, TdaP, Hepatitis B, and influenza, TB test, health insurance, and a physician’s evaluation are also necessary for admission. Students must complete 77 credits to graduate from the program with a certificate of completion or 97 credits for the associates of applied science degree. Tuition for Washington residents is $109.75 per credit.
- Website: https://rtc.edu/pharmacy-technician
- Address: 3000 NE 4th St., Renton, WA 98056
- Phone: (425) 235-2352
Edmonds Community College
Edmonds pharmacy technician program helps students develop the skills and knowledge to qualify for an entry-level position in a hospital, retail, or other pharmacy settings. Students must complete a total of 39 credits, after prerequisites, to earn a certificate of completion. The duration for completing the program’s requirements is typically 3 quarters – two-quarters of didactic instruction and one-quarter of educational coursework which runs concurrently with a 264-hour externship. In the third quarter, students must pay for the CPhT national test to be eligible to apply for licensure from the state of Washington. The ExCPT Pharmacy Exam is the alternative to the CPhT exam. Prerequisite courses include Human Body, Introduction to Health Care, Basic Medical Terminology, Basic Life Support, and HIV/AIDS. Prerequisite classes cost a total of $1,746.75 plus books and fees. The required pharmacy courses cost $4,007.25 plus $1,142.45 for books and fees.
- Website: http://www.edcc.edu/programs/ahe/pharmacytech/
- Address: 20000 68th Ave. W Lynnwood, WA 98036
- Phone: 425-640-1459
Clover Park Technical College
Clover Park facilitates both a certificate and degree pharmacy technician program. Graduates have the competencies to execute the duties of a pharmacy technician under the direction of a licensed pharmacist. In the classroom, students learn the basics of customer service, aseptic techniques, pharmacy calculations, processing prescriptions, and human relations. A clinical component of the program prepares students for the role of a pharmacy technician through 32 hours of weekly practice in a community pharmacy. Students must carry health insurance for the duration of the clinical. Before enrolling in the program, a prospective student must have a high school diploma or equivalency, meet the college’s levels for reading, writing, and math, and complete college-level math, computer applications, and medical terminology courses. A comprehensive background check, current immunizations for MMR, Hepatitis B series, Flu, Varicella, Tetanus/Diphtheria, and TB test are required for the clinical externship. Certain criminal convictions will disqualify candidates from admission and state certification. Proof of immunization and American Heart Association CPR for the Healthcare Professional must be submitted on the first day of class. Tuition for the 81-credit certificate program is $17,444.68 including fees, supplies, books, insurance, national exam fee, and state certification.
- Website: http://www.cptc.edu/programs/pharm-tech
- Address: 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood WA 98499-4004
- Phone: 253-589-5800