Reasons to become a Pharmaceutical Technician

December 9, 2015

Reasons to become a Pharmaceutical Technician

Today’s healthcare field requires advanced knowledge and skills. One of the leading areas in healthcare today is Pharmaceutical Technician.  According to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), employment of Pharmacy Technicians is expected to increase by 20% from 2012 to 2022 (Bureau of Labor and Statistics). According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, pharmacy technicians with formal education or training, and national certification will be specifically sought after to meet these demands.

Employment opportunities for Pharmacy Technicians exist in practically every area of the healthcare field. In medical offices, you will find Dispensing Pharmacy Technicians. In Hospitals, you will find Clinical Pharmacy Technicians. In infusion centers (home health) you will find Infusion Pharmacy Technicians. Compound pharmacies employ Compounding Pharmacy Technicians. And of course, you find Pharmacy Technicians in outpatient Pharmacies. Additionally, non-traditional positions for Pharmacy Technicians include Pharmacy Technician Supervisors, Managed Care Pharmacy Liaisons, and Marketing.

What skills are needed?  To be marketable in the healthcare industry, you will need an in-depth knowledge of pharmacy law. You will also need to be familiar with about 700 drugs and understand how these drugs work on different parts of the anatomy.  You will need skills in the preparation of medication including intravenous medications, oral medications, and topical medications.  Knowledge and skills in pharmacy billing and reimbursement are required in all areas of this industry. Flexibility and exceptional customer service skills are a must. Being bilingual is always a plus.  The main concern of every medical facility and pharmacy is medication error.  A well-trained pharmacy technician is critical in the prevention of medication mishaps.

Career College of Northern Nevada understands the importance of preparing students for this essential area of the healthcare field.  CCNN’s program is accredited by the American Society for Health-Systems Pharmacist (ASHP) and follows strict standards ensuring the success of each graduate. The Pharmaceutical Technician program at CCNN is approved by the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy by being accredited by ASHP.  In addition, CCNN’s Pharmaceutical Technician program is a Licensed Training Facility for the National Pharmacy Technician Association.  Finally, CCNN prepares each student to sit for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam graduating as a Certified Pharmacy Technician.

So what do all these accolades mean to a student? Attending an accredited program ensures quality in education, guaranteeing the knowledge and skills needed for this field.  Every student enrolled in the Pharmaceutical Technician program is registered with the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy as a Pharmacy Technician in Training. Students sit for certifications in Compounding and Sterile Products through NPTA.  These certifications are recognized by the Accrediting Counsel for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and in addition to increasing employment opportunities, they are viable professional continuing education credits. Students successfully completing this program and earning all certifications will more than exceed requirements to work as a Pharmacy Technician in any state.

What is required to work as a Pharmacy Technician in Nevada?  Every Pharmacy Technician in Nevada must be licensed through the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy. Upon successful completion of CCNN’s training program, a certification of completion is submitted to the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy moving the student from a Pharmacy Technician in Training to a Registered Pharmacy Technician.

Is national certification needed to work as a Pharmacy Technician in Nevada?  While national Pharmacy Technician certification is not required in Nevada, many pharmacies, such as the VA Hospital, will only hire Certified Pharmacy Technicians.  Other employers will require certification shortly after being hired.  For Nevada, 70% of career Pharmacy Technicians have passed the PTCB exam according to the PTCB progress report for 2014.  CCNN’s Pharmaceutical Technician training program maintains a 100% pass rate with every graduate sitting for the exam since the program began in 2008.

Career College of Northern Nevada’s Pharmacy Technician training program is 15 months in length including 375 hours of externship.  Externships are performed in two different practice settings. Students sit for the PTCB national exam the week before their externship.

Nevada State Board of Pharmacy:


Pharmacy Technician Certification Board:

Pharmacy Technician Certification Board 2014 Progress Report:

Accredited Council for Pharmacy Education

National Pharmacy Technician Association

American Society for Health-Systems Pharmacist

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