On-The-Job Training as a Pharmacy Technician

Being a pharmacy technician is a challenging but rewarding endeavor. You can earn a good living, work flexible yet predictable hours in a pharmacy, and help people stay healthy by dispensing medications, working with their insurance companies to ensure the medication can be paid for, and being on the lookout for common drug interactions. You also get to greet and speak with the patients, easing any anxiety they may have about the medication or how to pay for it. However, as with most programs, there are requirements of education and examination before you can become a pharmacy technician.

Training Programs

Each state's pharmacy tech certification is different, but all of them require some sort of training. You can find pharmacy tech schools in every jurisdiction, and the accredited ones will all provide you with the classes and hours that fulfill your state's particular certification requirements. Unaccredited or provisionally accredited schools are a bigger risk, but many of them perform just as well at fulfilling your state's certification requirements. It just takes some research to find out which ones are worth the cost.

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Certification Requirements

Each state has its own specific requirements for certification, but you can be nationally certified, which allows you to become certified in different states much more easily. Most jurisdictions, including certification at the national level, requires pharmacy techs to pass the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam, or MJPE, work for a certain number of hours under the guidance of a Physician in Charge, and pay a small administrative fee.

Pharmacy Tech Exam

The MJPE consists of questions that are geared toward federal and state-specific pharmacy requirements. Currently, 43 states and DC require pharmacy techs to pass the exam. The exam is written and administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, or NABP. The test focuses not only on good pharmaceutical practices, but also licensure, certification, and other administrative issues, as well as regulatory structure and laws governing the distribution of medications at a pharmacy.

Being a pharmacy tech is one of the more rewarding careers you can have while not spending a decade or more training for it. In many cases, you can become a fully licensed pharmacy technician in under two years, and start earning money and helping people right away. For more information, contact accredited schools or training programs in your area to find out how you can become a pharmacy technologist.

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