DO YOU NEED TO GO TO PHARM TECH SCHOOL?

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Marissa in Sacramento, California

61 months ago

Hi,

I live in California, and I was wondering if it was a requirement to go to school and take classes and get a degree like aa for pharmacy tech. I keep on hearing on here how people just buy these books, study, and then pass the PTCB. If you are certified, can you start looking for jobs, or do you have to go to school?

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Mii in Livingston, California

61 months ago

Marissa in Sacramento, California said: Oh thank you for responding but if you don't mind, let me tell you my situation and I can ask you a few more questions about things I am still unclear about.

I just got my Bachelor's in Economics from Sac state. Will having my Bachelor's degree look good when applying for a pharm tech position?

Second, so are you saying that taking the PTCB is not required by anyone, just having your license, but if you do take the test and pass, then will it look good to employers? What is required for your state license?

Thirdly, I am pretty burnt out on school and my job, I am a server right now and I want to be a pharm tech as soon as possible, so are you saying that schooling is not required as well?

What are my odds of getting a pharmacy tech position with just my Bachelor's degree and passing the PTCB test? I've heard that the pharmacies want people with experience. I have thought about starting out as a clerk as you mentioned to get my foot in the door, but I fear that they will just want to keep me in that position and then I will get stuck, and never move up to pharm tech position.

Thank you so much for your help!

I find it odd that you live in CA and don't know the licensing requirements. You just pay the fees. You need to make sure that you don't have any misdemeanors, felonies, or DUIs. That's it. Having a BA is good. Having a BS and licensed is better. Don't you think you'd need to have experience in the field? Without experience, such as volunteering or an internship/externship, do you think a Pharmacist will hire anyone? Also getting your foot in the door working as a clerk will give you the experience you need to become that Pharmacy Technician.

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Mii in Livingston, California

61 months ago

Mii in Livingston, California said: You need to be licensed to work in a Pharmacy.

It would be a plus if you went to school also.

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trunks9807 in Seattle, Washington

60 months ago

I graduated from UC Davis back in May 2009 with a BS in Biology. I bought some study books and studied a month for the PTCB. I passed the exam and was certified December of 2008. After I graduated, I applied for my licensed.

I've volunteered 3 months at Rite-Aid Pharmacy while I was in school and 3 months in a hospital ER.

With no other experience in pharmacy, I have had no luck at finding a job as a pharmacy technician. Walgreens, Target, Walmart, CVS, and Rite-Aid all turned me down once they realized I had no experience. I even asked to volunteer, with no pay, but no luck. Many said that they reserve the spots for students or Pharmacy students.

I've applied online. The majority of the listings required for at least 1 year of experience. Prison pharmacies even ask for 1 year of experience.

My advice to you is to get a full year of experience while in school, and then worry about the PTCB and the licensing. You would only be wasting your money if you were to pay for the PTCB test, the licensing fees, and fingerprint fees. Or as previous posters have noted, get a job as a clerk, then get licensed!

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aj in San Antonio, Texas

56 months ago

I WORK FOR APHARMACY NOW.I JUST PASSED MY GED AND WANT BECOME A TECHNICIAN WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO. WHAT ARE THE STEPS I HAVE TO TAKE.

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Kyle in Eugene, Oregon

40 months ago

aj in San Antonio, Texas said: I WORK FOR APHARMACY NOW.I JUST PASSED MY GED AND WANT BECOME A TECHNICIAN WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO. WHAT ARE THE STEPS I HAVE TO TAKE.

Well you could stop yelling to start.

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J in Palm Harbor, Florida

36 months ago

No, you absolutely do not need to go to school. I worked as a pharmacy tech when I was in college. The best way to become a pharmacy technician is to sign up for the ptcb and get certified. Getting certified allows you to get licensed. CVS has a great training process where you learn everything you need to know while getting paid. Pharmacy tech school is a scam and a waste of money.

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mynhii in Oakland, California

36 months ago

J in Palm Harbor, Florida said: No, you absolutely do not need to go to school. I worked as a pharmacy tech when I was in college. The best way to become a pharmacy technician is to sign up for the ptcb and get certified. Getting certified allows you to get licensed. CVS has a great training process where you learn everything you need to know while getting paid. Pharmacy tech school is a scam and a waste of money.

How about community colleges or adult schools that offer pharmacy tech training for a reasonable price? Should I take advantage of that? Besides, my health care experience is blank. With this economy, will CVS hire new technician easily?

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starving tech in Hesperia, California

36 months ago

mynhii in Oakland, California said: How about community colleges or adult schools that offer pharmacy tech training for a reasonable price? Should I take advantage of that? Besides, my health care experience is blank. With this economy, will CVS hire new technician easily?

wouldn't be worth it,there is no reasonable price for being a tech, even free training is worth it. cvs will hire if you work fast and off the clock.(two favorite qualitys of pharmacy)

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mynhii in Oakland, California

36 months ago

starving tech in Hesperia, California said: wouldn't be worth it,there is no reasonable price for being a tech, even free training is worth it. cvs will hire if you work fast and off the clock.(two favorite qualitys of pharmacy)

Suppose what you're saying is true, I still need a certification to be considered, don't I? CVS won't care if potential employees have pharmacy certification?

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starving tech in Hesperia, California

36 months ago

mynhii in Oakland, California said: Suppose what you're saying is true, I still need a certification to be considered, don't I? CVS won't care if potential employees have pharmacy certification?

you technically dont have to be certified to be a tech in california, cvs will pay for you to become certified if you were to get a job with them; then afterwards give you a pat on the back and tell you to work faster.

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mynhii in Oakland, California

36 months ago

starving tech in Hesperia, California said: you technically dont have to be certified to be a tech in california, cvs will pay for you to become certified if you were to get a job with them; then afterwards give you a pat on the back and tell you to work faster.

According to what you say, CVS will pay for me to become certified IF I could get a job with them. Perhaps I'm naive, but I don't understand how I am able to get in their system unless I know someone. Otherwise, if I have the knowledge that they want a technician to have, isn't it easier for me to be considered for the job?

How did you have your job anyway? Can you please share with me what to say on the application that CVS may like? Thank you.

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ssgt in Clovis, New Mexico

33 months ago

Marissa in Sacramento, California said: Hi,

I live in California, and I was wondering if it was a requirement to go to school and take classes and get a degree like aa for pharmacy tech. I keep on hearing on here how people just buy these books, study, and then pass the PTCB. If you are certified, can you start looking for jobs, or do you have to go to school?

Both of my daughters have worked as Pharm Techs. Neither went to school. As far as state certification goes their are study guides you can buy, which my daughters did, and both got certified first try. The oldest doaughter is due to graduate Pharm. D. school in May.

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anon in Rosemead, California

32 months ago

Just sign up to take the test. I studied one night and took the test the next morning with no background in pharmacy.

Pharmacy tech schools are in truth just shams. Don't pay thousands of dollars to get a tech license. The test is straight forward. Just get a book from the book store and read it.

Here's my advice.
80% of the test is simple conversions. If you know how to do simple math than you'll pass. 20% of the test is on drugs and stupid laws. You only need a 60% to pass the test so theoretically if you just do your math right you'll pass.

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tonne in Houston, Texas

31 months ago

You do not need to go to Pharmacy Teach school. While it may be helpful in preparing you for working in both retail and hospital pharmacy, it can be expensive and time consuming. I went to Remington college which is a fantastic school here in Houston, but the program took almost a year to complete and of course $11,550 in 2004. But nowadays people just go to the library, borrow the books and take the exam. When you are looking for a job employers don't even notice, it's almost like your academic experience, money, and time spent is irrelevant. So i wouldn't recommend you go to school for it. Just get the book, study it and take the exam. Good luck

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zmb in Bronx, New York

30 months ago

im 21 yrs of age and have a ged ,i wud like to work as a pharm tech but never been to college or trade school after highschool, wat options do i have??

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trunks8604 in Albany, New York

30 months ago

you don't really need to go to school to be a technician. Buy the study material. Register with the Board to take the exam. Pass the test. The hardest part is to find a job without experience. Know people. Everything else you will learn once you start working.

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LB in Evanston, Illinois

30 months ago

Download the prescription trivia app on your android to help learn prescription medication names.

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Coco in Tucson, Arizona

26 months ago

Im working for the pharmacy care center it's actually a call center aka a non dispensing pharmacy we do refills and status calls, simple stuff like that. I've never worked at an actual dispensing pharmacy and I don't want to take a pharmacy tech program because of the costs. Im studying on my own to pass the PTCE Is this possible? Is there a high chance I'll pass with no schooling or hands on training?

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Ngoc Phuong in Houston, Texas

26 months ago

GiLL in Stockton, California said: Even i have a same question .. someone please help us and which one will be better to pass to get job in california PTCB or ExCPT?

My name is Ngoc Phuong I am having prepare for test PTCB next some . I am very thank you ,Please sent to me some questions of test .thank you so much

ngoc phuong

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Paige in Davis, California

25 months ago

ssgt in Clovis, New Mexico said: Both of my daughters have worked as Pharm Techs. Neither went to school. As far as state certification goes their are study guides you can buy, which my daughters did, and both got certified first try. The oldest doaughter is due to graduate Pharm. D. school in May.

I think the point is as to whether or not getting state certified on top of having a BS or BA in Biology or any of the biological sciences is any kind of groundbreaker in terms of getting the JOB over people with only a high school diploma who passed the certification test and got the same license. And being New Mexico, I think the answer seems to be that New Mexico employers ALWAYS prefer the work experience over the Bachelor's or higher degree. And these days there's NOTHING anywhere where there would be no competition from people with less education but more work experience or who "knew the Pharmacist" sort of thing.

I mean I'm getting the feeling that with a bachelor's in Biology, a math teaching license from New York and a law degree, substitute teaching might be the only thing I'll ever be able to GET even in the parts of New Mexico where you'd think other people with bachelor's degrees or higher wouldn't WANT to live or even set foot in. Things are so competitive these days that I think that even a 10-week temporary teaching stint in Mescalero or Alamogordo will be hella competitive.

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Benjamin Clifford in Seattle, Washington

24 months ago

In California, yes you need formal training whether be at an accredited school or on the job (if you are fortunate enough to land a job and get training for free) as long as it is board approved. Certification is optional, but employers may lean towards candidates who have certification.

This link has detailed info on the process www.pharmacytraining.org/pharmacy-technician-training-in-california/

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Becca in Modesto, California

19 months ago

I have been working in Target pharmacy as a clerk for about 7 months now. I am familiar with the top 200, pharmacy procedures, some of the laws,Pharmacy workflow, general billing (insurance),Their computer system, NDC changes,staging, taking precriptions, answering the phones ect. Essentially I can do most of the basic things techs do short of actually filling prescriptions, because I am not certified. I am technically just a cashier, but I do a hell of a lot more than just play with the register. High school graduate and currently in first year of college.My pharmacy manager has already offered to put aside time for me to type, and if I need a reference I can use him as well.

-Can I simply study for the national exam, pass it, and be licenced nationally?
-Do I need to go to a tech school to take the national exam?(They are really expensive!)
and finally If I do the above, and become nationally certified, will I be eligible to apply for a california license as well?

I have looked at the national website and it is somewhat confusing. A clear answer would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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recode in San Francisco, California

15 months ago

Becca in Modesto, California said: I have been working in Target pharmacy as a clerk for about 7 months now. I am familiar with the top 200, pharmacy procedures, some of the laws,Pharmacy workflow, general billing ( insurance ),Their computer system, NDC changes,staging, taking precriptions, answering the phones ect. Essentially I can do most of the basic things techs do short of actually filling prescriptions, because I am not certified. I am technically just a cashier , but I do a hell of a lot more than just play with the register. High school graduate and currently in first year of college .My pharmacy manager has already offered to put aside time for me to type, and if I need a reference I can use him as well.

-Can I simply study for the national exam, pass it, and be licenced nationally?
-Do I need to go to a tech school to take the national exam?(They are really expensive!)
and finally If I do the above, and become nationally certified, will I be eligible to apply for a california license as well?

I have looked at the national website and it is somewhat confusing. A clear answer would be appreciated.

Thanks!

You an take the national exam, if I am not mistaken, California only accepts PTCB certification. You are licensed by the state you apply in, there is no national license. You do not need to go to tech school to take the exam, but that is going to be changing in a few months, so take it while you can. Having the national certification meets one of the requirements for applying as a pharm tech on the application. Hope this helps

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SJS in Salem, Oregon

4 months ago

Marissa in Sacramento, California said: Hi,

I live in California, and I was wondering if it was a requirement to go to school and take classes and get a degree like aa for pharmacy tech. I keep on hearing on here how people just buy these books, study, and then pass the PTCB. If you are certified, can you start looking for jobs, or do you have to go to school?

Do not waste your time going to school, unless you just want to get higher education. I have been in pharmacy for over 8 years and got all on the job training. The certification test has books & cds you can study from, but it's also a lot of common sense from being in the workplace too. I guess certain places may want schooling, but I have yet to see that as a requirement. It may help with a hospital job as the school most likely shows you compounding and how to prepare IV's. I had a co-worker who went to school and after he found out I hadn't, he was a little pissed, because he thought it would get him a better job (we worked at WalMart pharmacy) it was the only place that would hire him...he has a clean record and good work history too.

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