It is possible for the right person to simply apply for a job at a retail pharmacy and receive on the job in some places.
However, there is no denying the fact that qualified techs stand to hold the best positions and earn the most money.
Taking the time to learn the details of the profession and earning a pharmacy technician certification will always make the best jobs available for anyone looking to get into the healthcare services industry.
How to Get a Pharmacy Technician Certificate Though the process differs slightly between the US, the UK and other countries, it is basically the same.
In most cases, in order to become certified (CPhT in the US and GPhC Registered UK), individuals must pass required educational programs and have a certain amount of professional training or externship training.
In the US, 1- and 2 year pharmacy technician programs that prepare students to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam are the most popular, although some students who prefer may take a 2-year college Associates' Degree with emphasis on a career.
In order to earn the title of Certified Pharmacy Technician, students must pass their educational training and participate in the required externships, then pass the certification exam.
Individuals who have one year or more of experience in the field may also take the exam in an effort to become certified, but it is recommended that students have attended a preparatory program for their best chances at becoming certified.
What Are Certificate Programs? Shorter, "certificate" programs (which should not be confused with certification programs, since they are very different) that typically last 2- to 3 months provide a certificate of attendance, but do not include or prepare for taking the certification exam.
These vocational programs generally offer only an overview of the profession and though they can help individuals secure jobs in retail pharmacy locations, they generally do not offer the benefits of more extensive, better-paying jobs outside of a retail environment.
In the UK, it is a legality that individuals, which involves individuals possessing certain educational requirements.
In order to register with the GPhC, pharmacy technicians must obtain either a 3 Level 3 qualifications.
All of these qualifications are available through various educational programs which will prepare students for obtaining their certificates and qualifications.
In the UK, and in many other countries throughout Europe and the rest of the world, non-certified individuals may not work in the pharmacy field, though some areas do permit the title of Pharmacy Dispenser to non-qualified persons.
Jobs and Salaries with a Pharmacy Technician Certificate Whether in the US, the UK or elsewhere, it stands to reason that the most qualified individuals will have access to the best jobs.
Most basic pharmacy technician jobs that are available to certified and uncertified persons are in the retail pharmacy setting, which are also the lowest paying.
These positions usually include basic retail work besides working in the pharmacy, since they are generally not specialized positions.
Additionally, jobs offered by the military tend to pay the highest, but usually require the most certifications in order to be considered for hire.
Salary ranges usually begin at minimum state wage and increase depending on region and experience, with salary ranges starting around $20,000.
CPhTs can earn up to $40,000 or more per year, either in a more advanced retail position or in another, more specialized position such as hospital, inpatient, outpatient or compounding UK, certified, advanced level positions earn as much as £37,000 per year, with ranges beginning between £16,000 and £20,000, the lower rate for that of the Pharmacy Dispenser.
Though it may not be for everyone, obtaining the required pharmacy technician certification or other equivalent certifications is highly recommended.
Doing so keeps the door to better employment opportunities open.
Pharmacy technicians who have their CPhT or are GPhC registered will also have the most interesting, challenging and rewarding positions throughout their career.