Pharmacy Technician Training FAQs
Pharmacy Technician Training FAQs
For Training Partners of National Collegiate Partners
- Are there any college course prerequisites? What skills are needed?
No, there are no course prerequisites. Each school may have courses that they recommend as complementary to the program; however, there are no required prerequisites.
Potential applicants should have knowledge of basic algebra, have the ability to type 25-30 words per minute, have basic computer skills and have the ability to commit to a rigorous course and study schedule.
- How long will the program take to complete?
The Pharmacy Technician Program is a 14 week program of instruction that prepares individuals for entry-level jobs as a Pharmacy Technician in retail and institutional settings. There are 84 hours of classroom study with an additional 120-hour internship. Most students complete the program in less than 6 months.
- What fees and costs should I anticipate?
The cost of the Pharmacy Technician program is runs from $4,295 to $4,995, depending on the university location. Included in that amount are as follows:
- Tuition and fees
- Background Check
- Textbooks and materials
Costs that are NOT included in the cost of the program are as follows:
- Registration as a Pharmacy Technician Trainee (ranges from $30 to $99, depending on the state)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam ($129)
- Is there any financial aid available?
As this program does not award college credits, typical financial aid such as the Pell Grant or a Stafford loan are not applicable. However, every state has a workforce connection office (e.g. Texas Workforce Commission) which may have funds available for career training. Credit unions and banks are a source for receiving career training loans. Active military, veterans and their immediate family members may be eligible for certain programs as well. For more details on financial aid, please contact National Collegiate Partners at 888-824-6667. View this PDF for further financial aid information.
- Is there a payment plan available?
Yes. Payment plans vary with down payment amount required and number of months to pay of the balance of tuition, and are interest-free. Most programs require at least $1000 down payment to begin the payment plan process. For more information speak to a counselor.
- What methods of payment are accepted?
Payments are processed through the partner colleges and universities. Please check with the program office of the university or college to determine acceptable methods of payment. Most program offices accept cash, checks, credit cards, money orders, and cashier checks. Information about payment can also be found in the information brochures on this website.
- Do I have to enroll in a college or university to participate in the program? Can I get college credit for this program?
All of NCP’s partners make this program available through their continuing education departments, and have a much simpler application process than a full college application. College credits are not awarded for the program. Upon completion of the program, the university or college will award a Certificate of Completion.
- Why is there a background check?
Applicants who have been convicted of any felony or drug-related crime will not be admitted to the program due to state pharmacy board requirements. Background checks are run to assure that applicants are eligible to be registered with the State Board of Pharmacy.
- What subjects are covered in the courses?
- Pharmacy laws and ethics
- Drug classifications and basic pharmacology
- Pharmaceutical measurements and calculations
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medical Terminology
- Community and Hospital Pharmacy Practice
- Compounding and Sterile IV Products
- Employment Strategies
- Review for the PTCB Exam
Students will learn to prepare prescription orders under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, perform applicable pharmacy calculations, and comply with federal and state regulatory agency laws and regulations. Upon completion of this program students will be able to perform all the duties required in any pharmacy practice setting, and are fully prepared to sit for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Exam.
- Where can I learn more about the certification exam and requirements for keeping certification current?
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is the entity that provides certification for students who complete this program. Most state boards of pharmacy require technicians to be certified by the PTCB within a certain period of time after registering to work as a pharmacy technician. We encourage students to apply for and take the exam immediately following the internship. To learn more about the certification exam and requirements for keeping your certification current throughout your career, visit www.ptcb.org.
- Do I have to make arrangements for the internship?
No, the program includes placement in a pharmacy for the 120-hour internship. Students must complete the internship in 8 weeks. Instructors or other program personnel make site visits during the internship to monitor student progress.
- What percentage of program participants pass the certification exam?
85% of those who tested for Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) passed the certifying exam. According to the PTCB, our students tested 13% higher than the National Average of 72%.
- How many times can I re-take the certification exam?
You can re-take the certification exam up to three times. If you fail the three re-takes, you will have to petition the PTCB to be allowed to re-take the exam again. You must wait 60 days to re-test after the first two exam failures; for the third re-take you must wait six months.
- What schools are accepting applications?
A list of courses, locations and start dates can be found on our website (www.ncpcareerservices.com) under the Upcoming Courses tab.
- When is the deadline for applications?
The deadline for applications is usually two weeks before a course begins. However, based on seating availability, applications may be accepted right up until the first day of class. If you miss the deadline, please call National Collegiate Partners at 888-824-6667 to determine whether applications are still being accepted for a particular course.
- When does the program start?
Our partners offer this program at various times and locations. For a complete listing of courses, locations and start dates please visit our website (www.ncpcareerservices.com) under the Upcoming Courses tab.
- Is the number of participants in the program limited?
The program is usually limited to twelve participants per enrollment period.
- Do I have to have a college degree to apply for the program?
No, a college degree is not required to participate in the program.
- Can any of the courses be taken on-line?
No, all courses in this program are offered in a classroom setting. National Collegiate Partners is pleased to offer excellent teacher/student ratios that provide for high quality courses and opportunities for one-on-one support for students.
- Are the courses offered in the evening or on the weekend?
Yes, all of the classes in the program are offered in the evening and/or on the weekend.
- If I have a job at a pharmacy, can that count as my internship?
No, program participants are not paid for their work during internships, unless they are hired during the internship as a Pharmacy Technician. If you are hired while participating in the program internship, hours may be accepted under certain circumstances. Speak with a counselor for additional information.
- What is the job outlook for Pharmacy Technicians?
According to the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-2011 edition (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos325.htm), “Employment of pharmacy technicians and aides is expected to increase by 25 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.” Graduates may find employment with local community pharmacies, hospitals, retail pharmacies, mail-order drug companies and insurance companies.
- What is a typical salary for a Pharmacy Technician?
Hourly rates of pay vary according to location. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-2011 Edition
(http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos325.htm), the median hourly wage of pharmacy technicians in May 2008 was $13.32. Of pharmacy technicians surveyed, the middle 50% earned between $10.95 and $15.88. The lowest 10% earned less than $9.27, and the highest 10% earned more than $18.98.