Jobs in the medical profession are growing at a faster rate than in any other occupational field. Pharmacy technicians are one group of healthcare professionals expected to see continued demand. You can now meet this vital need from the comfort of your own home.
1. Find an accredited school that offers pharmacy technician certification online
The whole point of doing this online is flexibility, right? You want to work around your schedule at your own pace. Maybe you need to. However, you also want to make sure the time you’re putting in is going to be worth it. The experience and education you get should actually help you further your career.
Here are some points to consider as you shop around for the right program:
- Will you get through the program and into the field in a reasonable amount of time?
- Will you leave with the skills you need to get hired after graduation?
- Does it provide enough hands-on experience to prepare you for your job?
- Does the program truly allow you the flexibility you need to be successful?
- Will it get you ready for certification?
- Will this school help you find your first pharmacy technician job after graduation?
What else is important to you as you find the right fit?
2. Find out the admission requirements
Starting a new career can be daunting. Knowing where to start can help. You can become a pharmacy technician. You just need a good plan.
Most programs require:
- A high school diploma or equivalent
- Verbal and written English proficiency
- Being above a certain age
- An admissions interview
- A background check
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t meet some of these requirements right now. There are steps you can take to get there. Talk to an admissions representative to learn where you need to begin.
3. Make sure the financial aid options meet your needs
Money doesn’t have to be a barrier to your future as a pharmacy technician. You might be surprised at the number of resources that are available to you. It’s worth it to take a little time to make some inquiries. Schools want to help you succeed. They are happy to work with you to find the options that are right for you.
Here are some of the possibilities:
- Federal Pell Grants
- UMA Academic Success Grant
- Federal Student Loans Programs
- Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
- Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
- Direct PLUS Loan
- Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans (CSDDV)
The list above is not exhaustive.
Please note that these options vary depending on what state you’re in as well as other factors. It’s essential to work with a financial aid professional at your school to find the best resources for you.
4. Learn about the course offerings
Once you’ve made sure you are eligible for a program, it is a good idea to take a look ahead at what it will be like.
The typical courses included in a pharmacy technician program will teach you about:
- Medical terminology
- Dosage calculation
- Insurance claims preparation
- Other necessary topics
In addition to the theoretical and practical skills you’ll need, a good program will also help you develop your soft skills. These are skills that will help you in any career. Skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication should automatically be built into your program.
Some programs take as little as eighteen months and offer hands-on experience and certification preparation. You’ll have to check if your state requires certification for pharmacy technicians. Even if it doesn’t, completing a program and getting your associate degree will give you the edge over other new pharmacy technicians.
5. I Finished My Program. Now What?
Congratulations! You are now officially a pharmacy technician!
A good school won’t just throw you to the wolves once you get to this point. You might decide you’d like to continue your education. If your school does not provide the additional study options you are looking for, they should at least be able to point you in the right direction and help you get the ball rolling.
If you are ready to dive into the job hunt, check if your school offers career assistance. It can be nerve-wracking to enter a new career, and you shouldn’t have to do it alone. Your school’s career services team may offer resume and job interview help. Not to mention, schools often have connections with employers. They may be able to help you find the job placement that is just right for you.
Many students are working and raising children. Others cannot go off to school full-time for any number of reasons. Schools and training programs are changing to meet the demand for the flexible, online programming that so many people need.
Your future career may be right at your fingertips!
Article Submitted By Community Writer