Pharmacy technician training can be administered on-the-job, in a community college, vocational school, or a technical college, and even through online training programs. Regardless of what educational avenue you take, most training programs are geared towards helping people pass the pharmacy technician certification exam, learning the essentials of pharmacology, and teaching trainees to provide customer service within the statutes of the law. Training programs can take as little as six months, or as long as 2 years, depending on the intensity of the curriculum.

Training Options: Certificate, Diploma or Degree?

When selecting your method of training, it is important to note your personal learning preferences, your level of interest and long-term objectives in pharmacy work, and, the pros and cons of various pharmacy tech training programs and their correlation to future success. For example, self-motivated individuals looking to gain certification quickly, and who require flexibility in scheduling, will likely choose to train online. Meanwhile, if you prefer a classroom setting and the regimen of a set schedule, attending a more formal institution might better suit you. These schools also tend to have a more thorough curriculum, and facilitate the option of more specialized certifications in addition to diploma and degree programs that can lead to increased employability and pay. On the other hand, if you are a hands-on learner, with acumen for studying in the field, training in a pharmacy might suit you and your budget best. What is more, pharmacies that take on trainees will often offer certification reimbursement and other continuing education opportunities and incentives to promising candidates.

Pharmacy Technician Basic Training

At the core of any worthwhile training program for pharmacy technicians, you will find the same key elements. A strong base in anatomy, medical terminology, and pharmacology are paramount to refining the skills and understanding of dosage calculation, preparation and compounding of medications, and drug reactions. This technical knowledge, paired with a thorough comprehension of documentation and record keeping, interpreting prescriptions, and medical law, culminate in a pharmacy technician who is fit for the challenges of their chosen occupation.

Pharmacy Technician Advanced Training

For those looking to receive specialized training or pursue licensure as a pharmacist, advanced training, certifications and degrees, are encouraged. Specialization is often a profitable option for pharmacy techs working in hospital settings, learning to work exclusively with IV's, chemotherapy medications, or radiological fluids, to name a few. If becoming a pharmacy technician is a stepping-stone to becoming a licensed pharmacist, then the depth of training and level of dedication can play an integral role when seeking admission into advanced degree programs.