Is pharmacy for me? Is being a pharmacy technician easy?

A career in pharmacy gives you the opportunity to be a part of one of the fastest growing fields in health care. Pharmacy technicians work closely with pharmacists to help ensure that patients have the medications they need. Even though careers in pharmacy are rewarding, pharmacy is not easy work.  Many pharmacy technicians spend a majority of the work day on their feet. Pharmacy technicians may be asked to work a variety of shifts, including weekends and holidays.

What do pharmacy technicians do?

Pharmacy Technicians assist the pharmacist in serving patients, maintain medication and inventory control systems and participate in the administration and management of pharmacy practice.

Where do pharmacy technicians work?

Pharmacy technicians are employed in hospital pharmacies, retail pharmacies, home health care pharmacies, long term care pharmacies, clinic pharmacies, mail-order prescription pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies.

What is the job outlook for pharmacy technicians?

“Employment of pharmacy technicians is expected to increase by 20% from 2012 to 2022, which is much faster than the average for all occupations”. “Good job opportunities are expected for full-time and part-time work, especially for technicians with formal training or previous experience.” For more on employment for Pharmacy Technicians go to: http://www.bls.gov

What is a certified pharmacy technician?

Becoming a certified pharmacy technician involves passing a certification exam that shows you have the knowledge needed to perform the duties of a pharmacy technician. Currently, national certification of pharmacy technicians is offered through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) (www.ptcb.org). Becoming certified is voluntary in North Carolina; however, some employers require this certification.

Why should I get an AAS degree in Pharmacy Technology? Isn’t certification enough?

The North Carolina Board of Pharmacy recognizes graduates with an AAS Degree in Pharmacy Technology as Validating Technicians.  Validating Technicians will have an expanded role in pharmacy practice in North Carolina and will be allowed to validate certain stocking and unit-dose packaging functions of other pharmacy technicians in the institutional pharmacy setting.

How long should it take to complete the degree program?

The program requires two years (five semesters) to complete the AAS degree or 3 semesters for the diploma.

How much does the program cost?

The cost of the AAS degree program averages between $7,000 to $10,000 depending on general education classes.. This includes tuition, textbooks, uniforms, physical examination, criminal background check, drug screen and specific vaccinations.  In addition, the student must provide proof of health and accident insurance.

How much do pharmacy technicians make?

Pharmacy technicians earned an average annual wage of $30,430 in 2012, according to the BLS.  The best-paid earned $42,400, while the lowest-paid earned $20,580. The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $29,320 in May 2012.

Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening information.

Criminal Background Check and Drug screen: All accepted students are required to undergo a criminal background check and drug screen. Procedural information concerning these requirements will be provided upon acceptance.

Note: Criminal background checks (CBCs) and drug screens are required by clinical agencies/healthcare systems. If a student is refused access to clinical experiences because of a positive CBC or drug screen, the student will be unable to complete the clinical component of the course. Inability to complete the clinical requirements will result in a failure to progress in the program.

Under North Carolina law some people with criminal backgrounds may be eligible for an expunction to remove charges or convictions from their record. If you would like to know whether or not you are eligible, contact Single Stop at 704.330.2722 ext.: 6435 or email singlestop@cpcc.edu to schedule a legal consultation. To learn more about expunctions, explore the NC Justice Center’s guide.

Support Systems and Community Resources:

Single Stop