Pharmacy Technician Schools Chicago, IL

Prospective pharmacy technicians in Illinois don’t need to graduate from the training program or pass a certificate exam. However, technicians must register through the Department of Professional Regulation -as a prerequisite to employment- and renew the license annually. While the state does not mandate training or certification, many employers require Chicago Pharmacy Technicians to provide proof of training. Training programs at community colleges, vocational schools, private programs and the military equip graduates with the knowledge and skills to succeed on the job. The following is a summary of the best Pharmacy Technology classes in Chicago, IL.

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Coyne College

Coyne College’s pharmacy technician program leads to a Pharmacy Technician Diploma. It requires completion of 51 quarter credit hours. The training will include classroom theory and practical learning in a real-world environment. Core requirements include Medical Terminology, Laws, Ethics and Principles of Pharmacy Practice, Hospital Pharmacy Practice, Billing, Records, and Inventory Management, Anatomy and Pathophysiology, Essential Workplace Skills, Written Communication for Allied Health, Pharmaceutical Calculations, and Pharmacy Externship – Retail or Hospital Based. Faculty will emphasize product knowledge and detailed information regarding common drugs. Graduates of the program are proficient at computer order entry, record keeping, mixing intravenous solutions and pharmaceutical calculations. Classes meet Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm for 36 weeks. Students will be expected to complete an additional 6 weeks of hands-on practice during the pharmacy technician externship. The externship covers 160 contact hours.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be 17 years or older
  • Be a high school graduate or have equivalent
  • Meet the entrance exam requirements – waived for applicants with satisfactory SAT or ACT scores
  • Submit a completed application and registration fee
  • Complete the enrollment agreement
  • Provide proof of eligibility to work in the United States
  • Gain licensure approval from the State of Illinois before beginning the externship
  • Pass a criminal background check

Tuition is $14,956 not including books and other expenses. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

Malcolm X College

Malcolm X College offers an Advanced Certificate in pharmacy technology. The 37-credit hour curriculum covers several modules including Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology, Pharmacology Allied Health, Basic Science for Allied Health Personnel, Intro to Pharmacy Technology, Pharmaceutical Calculations, Prescription Professing, Pharmacy Communication, Introduction to Pharmacy Law, and Pharmacy Operations. Required work-based courses include Clinical Practicum I and Clinical Practicum II. The program is accredited by the American Society of Health- System Pharmacists. It is designed to be completed in three semesters.

Admission criteria:

  • Submit a special application for entry to the program
  • Have no conviction of felony crime
  • Provide official high school transcripts or GED certificate
  • Provide official results of the College placement exam – must indicate college-level scores in Mathematics, English and Reading Comprehension
  • Complete the prerequisite courses with a grade C or better – Anatomy and Physiology
  • Submit three letters of recommendation
  • Attend an interview with members of the admissions committee
  • Complete the immunization, drug screening, background check, physical, and TB test requirements

Tuition for the program is $4,754 and does not include the cost for textbooks, lab fee and other related costs.

South Suburban College

Students enrolled in the pharmacy technician program at South Suburban College will acquire the skills to assist pharmacists in the preparation and dispensing of medication. The ASHP/ACPE-accredited certificate program prepares students for national certification in just 16 weeks – one semester. Instruction will cover medication order processing, aseptic IV preparation, inventory management, updating pharmacy database, compounding, and packaging and labelling medications. It will also include pharmacy math, pharmacy law, pharmacy operations, and pharmacology. Students will also be expected to complete 150 to 300 supervised hours in various pharmacy settings. The externships are scheduled in the daytime hours. Students must arrange transport to and from the clinical sites. At the program’s conclusion, they will be able to explain pharmacy terminology, understand the laws concerning pharmacy practice, participate in purchasing and inventory control, interpret medication orders and prescriptions, read and interpret prescriptions, and prepare medications for dispensing. Graduates will receive a Basic Certificate and will be eligible to take the PTCB exam. They have the option to enrolling the Full Certificate program or obtain an Associate Degree in General Studies. The program is offered on a full-time and part-time schedule. New programs begin each semester.

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Admission criteria:

  • Submit an application for admission to SCC
  • Request high school transcripts to be sent to the Office of Admissions
  • Submit an application to the Pharmacy Technician program
  • Meet with the program coordinator
  • Take the school’s placement test
  • Submit a copy of the student’s current health care insurance
  • Gain licensure approval from the State of Illinois before beginning the externship
  • Complete a criminal background investigation
  • Complete a drug screen
  • Have current CPR certification

Tuition costs $6,068 for in-state students who complete the program in the normal time. Books and supplies will cost an additional $2,400.

College of Lake County

The PTCB recognized pharmacy technician program at the College of Lake County equips students with the knowledge and skills to receive and fill prescriptions under the supervision of a licensed physician. The program is targeted to adults interested in becoming a certified pharmacy technician, pre-pharmacy students, and professionals with a health care background who want to strengthen their skills. The program is offered in a hybrid format. A total of 81 hours is completed in the classroom and 24 hours are completed online. Course topics include pharmacology, pharmacy law and ethics, pharmacy terminology, reading and interpreting prescriptions, inventory control, billing and insurance, and packaging and labeling medications.

Admission criteria:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have adequate knowledge of 9th and 10th math
  • Be proficient in English – both verbal and written communication
  • Have no prior criminal record
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Demonstrate satisfactory hand to eye coordination and finger agility

Tuition for the program is $1,499. Books and supplies are not included in the cost. The program is eligible for funding through the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WICA).

Prairie State College

Prairie State College’s Pharmacy Technician healthcare vocational certificate program includes intensive preparation for a career in the pharmacy field. The curriculum covers 50 hours of coursework in IV flow rates, dosage calculations, defining drugs by generic and brand name, drug compounding, reading and interpreting prescriptions, inventory control, dispensing of prescriptions, dose conversions, and billing and reimbursement. Graduates may be eligible to sit for the PTCB exam.

Admission criteria:

  • Submit an enrollment application online
  • Attend an orientation session
  • Take the placement test or submit SAT or ACT scores
  • Send official high school transcripts or HSE to the Enrollment Services Office
  • Register and pay for the course

Tuition costs $174 per credit hour. The Pharmacy Technician Program is approved for WIOA funding for eligible individuals.

Chicago State University

The online pharmacy technician program at Chicago State University prepares adults for an entry-level position in the pharmacy field. The program will explore the many career setting where pharmacy technicians work as well as laws and regulations that govern practice. Communication, customer service, and preparation for certification are also essential aspects of the program. The syllabus will cover What Is a Pharmacy Technician, Pharmacology, Pharmacy Laws and Regulations, Pharmacy Operations, Pharmacy Terminology, Anti-Infectives, Anatomy and Physiology, Pharmacy Math, Communication, and the Future of Pharmacy Technicians. Students will receive access to the course for six weeks. The curriculum covers 24-course hours.

Admission criteria:

  • There are no prerequisites for admission
  • Students must have a computer and reliable internet connection

The program costs $115 for six weeks’ access.