While completing training and educational programs are often not required by law in order to become a pharmacy technician, they certainly aid in facilitating career growth and employability. Based on an individual's career objectives, eagerness to join the workforce, and expected compensation relative to competency, aspiring pharmacy technicians generally have three options when it comes to educational programs: completing a certification preparatory course, obtaining a diploma for concentrated study as a pharmacy technician, or, achieving their associates degree.

Different Pharmacy Technician Programs

Each of the aforementioned programs of study offer a leg-up to potential job candidates; however, the intensity of study has a direct correlation to the candidate's credibility and earning potential as a future pharmacy technician. Certification courses can generally be completed in six months to a year and are geared specifically towards helping students pass accredited certification exams. Course outlines are generalized and focus more on test-taking than actual practice as a pharmacy technician. Diploma programs offer more intensive study and generally require at least one year to complete. They also assist in preparing for certification exams, but will include more education on technical skills and operations required of pharmacy techs. Associates degree programs are the most thorough of the three educational options, requiring two years for completion. These programs provide groundwork for a more inclusive medical background, requiring additional coursework in chemistry, anatomy, and physiology, in accompaniment with pharmacology, administrative studies, pharmacology law, and specialty skills like compounding. Associates degree programs also frequently require externships, which provide invaluable hands-on experience within working pharmacies alongside other pharmacy technicians and licensed pharmacists. These experiences offer an opportunity to gather recommendations and resume building skills that will act as career catalysts.

Planning for Your Pharmacy Technician Diploma

Whatever your career goals might be within the realm of pharmacy technicians, completing programs of study will demonstrate your commitment, and justly require employers to take you seriously as an applicant by rewarding you with, not only employment, but also a salary that is commensurate with your level of experience. Should you be questioning your level of academic, or potentially, financial commitment to continuing education, then start small. Acquiring you pharmacy technician diploma will open several necessary doors to gain employment that might facilitate further education in the future, potentially with reimbursement opportunities. If you have the time, resources, and career-motivated passion now, then don't delay. Find the program that best suits your long-term goals and get started today.