Browsing Tag

getting a job

Career

Becoming a Pharmacy Technician: What to Know

July 12, 2021

Pharmacy technicians help a pharmacy run smoothly. They support the pharmacist, customers and medical professionals by dispensing medication. If this career path piques your interest, there are many different paths you can take to become a pharmacy technician. It all depends on whether you need to take pharmacy technician classes to get licensed or registered and certified in your state. Follow these steps to determine the path that’s right for you.

What are the regulations in your state?

Each state has different regulations about who can work as a pharmacy technician. The  Pharmacy Technician Certification Board provides an at-a-glance look at state requirements. You can easily see if your state requires certification, licensing or registration, or both. This is an excellent first step to help you plan your timeline.

Next, you will want to take a closer look at your state’s requirements. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy can give you more specific information about your state’s requirements. This resource can help you make sure you have all the current information you need to become a pharmacy technician in your state.

No Regulations

There are currently only five states that have no requirements besides a high school diploma or GED. These states do not require technicians to register with the State Board of Pharmacy. If you choose this route, most of your learning will come from on-the-job training. After at least 500 hours of work experience as a pharmacy technician, you will be eligible for certification through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

National Certification

Two dozen states require pharmacy technician certification. Some of them require it in order for pharmacy technicians to become licensed or registered. Others just require it to get a job as a pharmacy technician and perform specific duties.

Before you take the exam, you have to finish a PTCB-recognized training program or have 500 hours of work experience as a pharmacy technician. However, you can apply to take the test if you are within sixty days of finishing your program. Your certification will be granted once you provide proof of completion. This could be a copy of your certificate with your name, completion date, and the title of the program you finished. It could also be an official letter from the training program with the same information.

The pharmacy technician certification exam takes about two hours to complete. It currently costs $129 to take the PTCB certification exam, but make sure you check their website for changes. Once you pay the required amount, PTCB will email you to let you know if you are authorized to schedule your exam. Some employers may even pay for employees to take the certification exam.

Licensing or Registration

Almost half of all states require licensing or registration in addition to national certification. Pharmacy technician classes can prepare you for both.

The registration process may look a bit different in each state, but you can probably expect an application, an application fee, and proof that you’ve completed the training that your state mandates. Check the State Board of Pharmacy for specific requirements.

If you decide to take pharmacy technician classes, or if your state requires them, the time requirements can vary. Programs can range from a few months to two years. Programs may offer a certificate, diploma, or degree.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists requires accredited programs to include a minimum of 600 hours of instruction over at least 15 weeks. Longer programs may offer you an associate degree and extensive hands-on training in the field.

The length of the program is just one factor to consider. You will want to make sure the program you choose can meet your other needs.

  • Does it meet your state’s requirements?
  • Can it help you achieve your personal career goals?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Will the school help you find a job after graduation?

Other Considerations

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacists are taking on more patient care roles, like giving flu shots. This means pharmacy technicians are also being asked to play a greater role in pharmacy operations.

Even if your state does not require licensing, registration, or certification right now, requirements are getting stronger all the time and could change in your state. Employers may also prefer to hire pharmacy technicians who have completed a program and obtained certification.

Look for a school that offers flexible, accelerated programs to meet state requirements and give you an edge in the pharmacy technician field. You will leave with an associate degree and preparation for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE).

You can complete an accredited training program and become a licensed pharmacy technician in less than two years. Find out what your state requires and choose the right path for you.

Career Student Life Transition

10 Powerful Tips For Graduates Entering The Workforce During COVID-19

April 29, 2021

Across many industries, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused uncertainty, affecting employment and experience opportunities for new graduates entering the workforce. As one example, a growing number of candidates are now interviewed virtually, impacting the opportunity to build relationships with the people involved in recruiting.

On the extreme side of things, many of today’s recent graduates will also be required to start their professional careers from home. Here are some insights for successfully entering the workforce during COVID-19. 

#1: Don’t Stop Learning 

Graduating from college doesn’t mean you are done with learning. While the knowledge and certificate or degree you acquired are valuable possessions, they are not the only things that lead to success. Beyond academic knowledge, there are a lot of things left to be learned that will put you ahead of others in finding, achieving, and being successful in your work life.

#2: Look For Internships First 

Though it is good to have aspirations for high-paying jobs, it’ hard to go from graduate into lucrative roles without taking a few other steps first. The number of open vacancies for recent graduates is now limited than in the past. Businesses are still trying to figure out how COVID has impacted their company and the industry in general, and they aren’t willing to make financial commitments or take the same risks they did in the past. If entry-level positions are slim, check out internships. One could even land you a full-time position once it’s completed!

#3: Start Building A Portfolio 

A portfolio is documentary evidence of what you are capable of doing. When other candidates compete for the same jobs with traditional resumes and cover letters, having a portfolio will help to differentiate you as a valuable resource. When desirable opportunities are not available, consider starting private projects related to the types of jobs you’ll love to be doing in the future. Or, consider volunteering in similar roles to show your strengths.

#4: Commit To Proactive Networking 

Being proactive about networking will put you ahead of other people that are usually waiting in a reactionary mode. You might have heard that your net worth is directly related to your network.  And, most people are holding back interacting with others because of the pandemic….now is the time to stand-out and shine when others are waiting! If your LinkedIn profile isn’t already in top shape, spend some time to do and use it as one of your greatest networking tools.

#5: Embrace A Relentless Drive

For you to move from being a graduate into the world of work, you need a relentless drive. More than anything else, this characteristic will empower you to withstand inevitable obstacles you may discover along the way. And, you can share those learning experiences with potential employers. A strong work ethic can land you just about any job, regardless of experience.

#6: Be Adaptable To Change 

When you are entering the workforce as a graduate, you are bound to experience a lot of opportunities that don’t match your expectations. At that moment, your best bet is to be open and adaptable to change. All employers want people who can adapt and change course during challenging times. This goes along with your drive. Work hard and be relentless!

#7: Try New Things 

Both in terms of learning and networking, you must commit to trying new things. Another way to look at this is that you have to embrace going outside of your comfort zone. The world works differently because of COVID-19 and you need to learn how to adapt. This might mean taking the time to learn how to use the new software the company is using for all of its virtual meetings. Or, figuring out the ins and outs of a project management tool that seems confusing now, but will be instrumental in organizing your team’s projects down the line.

#8: Define Your Meaning of Success

The big question is this – what does career success mean to you? Once you clearly identify what success means to you, convey that to others in a way that relates to your personal values, vision, and life purpose. Once this is communicated clearly, others can understand how they can help you achieve this, and how it fits with their goals for recruiting the right talent.

#9: Set Measurable Goals 

Having a goal is important. But if you don’t have a way to measure progress towards accomplishment of your goals, achieving them is difficult. As important as it is to set goals, measuring progress, and modifying your strategy when needed, are also important. Don’t aim unrealistically high nor sell yourself short and aim too low.

#10: Find Your Internal Motivation 

Motivation is the fuel that drives people to accomplish their goals. Without it, life will seem like a challenge. However, people need to find what drives them and satisfies their sense of self-worth and purpose. External sources can motivate you to achieve some things for a little while; however, they’re limited in helping you attain long-term, sustained success.

Spend time gaining self-awareness about your strengths, your goals, your measures of success, and what can get in the way of attaining these things.  Once you understand yourself better, you’ll know what you need for continuous growth, and which career roles will be best for you.