Pharmacy Tech School

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Derek in Shanks, West Virginia

74 months ago

I am about to start a Pharmacy Tech program here at the local tech college. Its an 8 week course and its only $1000. I know everyone keeps saying dont go to school but I feel that I will gain knowledge and experience from this course. Anyway, the instructors keep praising this occupation saying that they are jobs everywhere up here for this and that I will have no problem finding a job. Do you think they are just saying this to get my money. Also, do employers look to see what school you went to for your certification or do they just look to see if your certified. Because I can go to another school for $3500 and it is a nicer school, but this one is shorter and cheaper. Just hoping for some opinions here....??????

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nan in Savannah, Georgia

74 months ago

Derek in Shanks, West Virginia said: I am about to start a Pharmacy Tech program here at the local tech college. Its an 8 week course and its only $1000. I know everyone keeps saying dont go to school but I feel that I will gain knowledge and experience from this course. Anyway, the instructors keep praising this occupation saying that they are jobs everywhere up here for this and that I will have no problem finding a job. Do you think they are just saying this to get my money. Also, do employers look to see what school you went to for your certification or do they just look to see if your certified. Because I can go to another school for $3500 and it is a nicer school, but this one is shorter and cheaper. Just hoping for some opinions here....??????

I'm currently enrolled in a Pharmacy Tech program at my local Community College.
The class and the instructors have been very heplful and you will definilty gain some knowledge. I have a few more weeks left of school and plan to take PTCB. And I just started working at a pharmacy this week. So I say go for it!

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soril in Orlando, Florida

74 months ago

I have been thinking about changing my career path and wondering if I can just self study and take the certification test without enrolling any schools. Do you think it will be possible to try???

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Derek in Shanks, West Virginia

74 months ago

nan in Savannah, Georgia said: I'm currently enrolled in a Pharmacy Tech program at my local Community College.
The class and the instructors have been very heplful and you will definilty gain some knowledge. I have a few more weeks left of school and plan to take PTCB. And I just started working at a pharmacy this week. So I say go for it!

How long have you been in school..??? and when you went to the pharmacy did they ask about experience...??

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nan in Savannah, Georgia

74 months ago

Derek in Shanks, West Virginia said: How long have you been in school..??? and when you went to the pharmacy did they ask about experience...??

I've been in school since May. When I applied for the position I told them that I had no experience but was attending the Pharmacy Tech Program. I was hired that afternoon. I did put a application in at CVS but was never called for a interview.
When you start school I would check with privately owned pharmacies in your area first.

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Gerry in Wayne, New Jersey

74 months ago

Derek in Shanks, West Virginia said: I am about to start a Pharmacy Tech program here at the local tech college. Its an 8 week course and its only $1000. I know everyone keeps saying dont go to school but I feel that I will gain knowledge and experience from this course. Anyway, the instructors keep praising this occupation saying that they are jobs everywhere up here for this and that I will have no problem finding a job. Do you think they are just saying this to get my money. Also, do employers look to see what school you went to for your certification or do they just look to see if your certified. Because I can go to another school for $3500 and it is a nicer school, but this one is shorter and cheaper. Just hoping for some opinions here....??????

Derek, DON'T spend $3,500 on a tech course, I would even question $1,000,but I spent about $650 or so on an on line program and passed my test with flying colors. many people think that a course is a waste of time, but I found it useful. You could by a couple of text books or some cd's for about $70 and study on your own, but, it's always nice to be in a classroom setting. Go for it. The niceness of the school means nothing

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Derek in Moorefield, West Virginia

74 months ago

Gerry in Wayne, New Jersey said: Derek, DON'T spend $3,500 on a tech course, I would even question $1,000,but I spent about $650 or so on an on line program and passed my test with flying colors. many people think that a course is a waste of time, but I found it useful. You could by a couple of text books or some cd's for about $70 and study on your own, but, it's always nice to be in a classroom setting. Go for it. The niceness of the school means nothing

So how are you doing now....are you working as a Pharmacy Tech...???

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nan in Savannah, Georgia

74 months ago

Derek in Moorefield, West Virginia said: So how are you doing now....are you working as a Pharmacy Tech...???

Yes I'm working as a Pharmacy Tech. The first day they had me watch as they filled prescriptions then allowed me to fill. I'm really enjoying it. And the people that I'm working for are really great.

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Derek in Moorefield, West Virginia

74 months ago

Was it tough getting Licensed....because I keep hearing how people have trouble getting licensed in their state....

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nan in Savannah, Georgia

74 months ago

Derek in Moorefield, West Virginia said: Was it tough getting Licensed....because I keep hearing how people have trouble getting licensed in their state....

In Georgia you don't need a license. I know in some states you do. You would have to check your state and see if they require a license.

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Derek in Moorefield, West Virginia

74 months ago

nan in Savannah, Georgia said: In Georgia you don't need a license. I know in some states you do. You would have to check your state and see if they require a license.

They do. And aparantly it involves 2000 hrs of experience on top of my certification.......

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Cheryl in El Cajon, California

74 months ago

Hi Im planning to take Pharmacy Tech course here in San Diego but the training will take 8 months and i will be spending $12,000 which is way too much i think...can anyone tell me where i can take Pharmacy Tech without spending that much money and time?

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Sharon38 in Fairbanks, Alaska

74 months ago

Im looking into taking a pharmacy tech online course. Has anyone took this class online? if so, Do employers cringe at online learners? I check out PennFoster school online, and I also applied for financial for it too.

Im a military spouse and there is not that many jobs around here, unless your an RN. And we have 2 years till our next duty station, and I would like to learn a different job skill, without years of college and a long waiting list. I use to be a cna for 6 years in a hospital, but my licence expired.

Any input from experience is helpful.........Thanks

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Jessica83 in Summersville, West Virginia

73 months ago

Derek in Moorefield, West Virginia said: They do. And aparantly it involves 2000 hrs of experience on top of my certification.......

You don't have to have both. You can either get paid to work for 2,080 hours and then take your state exam, or you can go to a course and then sit for the national exam. In WV if you have a National License already you don't have to take the state exam, you can just apply for a state license under a sort of "grandfather" clause. They give you a state license because in the most technical of terms you already have a state license. You can also just order a few books and study on your own then go take the national for about $170. You don't have to put out money at all to become licensed in this state if you find the right employer. They will pay all the national exam fees for you. Its really not that hard. I got my national license without even having all 2,080 hours completed. Hope this helps. I will try to answer any questions you have, since I just went through it in WV. Just let me know if you have any other questions.

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Derek in Moorefield, West Virginia

73 months ago

You are right because I just had the exact same thing explained to me a little while ago. If I am nationally certified I am good to go. They did say something that I found odd. Once I pass the PTCB I would need to have 20 hours of a supervised orientation and a signature from a pharmacist saying they provided me with the orientation. Then send both of those in to get registered in WV. Any ideas on how I would talk a Pharmacist into doing that for me ????????

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Andi in Coatesville, Pennsylvania

73 months ago

Why are some PT courses 8 weeks and $1,000 and others are 8 months and $12,000?
How can you become a PT in 8 weeks whereas other courses require 8 months?

My community college offers a PT course for $999 6 hours a week for 8 weeks:

"Prepare to enter the pharmacy field in hospitals and
community pharmacies as an ancillary, working under
the supervision of a registered pharmacist, and to
take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s
PTCB exam. Includes medical terminology, reading
and interpreting prescriptions, and defining drugs by
generic and brand names. Learn dosage calculations,
IV flow rates, drug compounding and dose conversions.
Discusses dispensing of prescriptions, inventory
control, and billing and reimbursement. Offered in
cooperation with Condensed Curriculum International,
Inc. Book and learning materials included. Funding or
loan for tuition may be available; call PA CareerLink at
610-723-1220 or Sallie Mae at 888-272-5543. (8 wks.)"

Is this worth it? Can I actually sit for(and pass) my certification with the short course?

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Jessica83 in Summersville, West Virginia

73 months ago

I would say...yes. You probably could pass after taking an 8 week course. You just have to have the dedication to study hard on your own time as well as in class. It should give you the basics you need to pass the exam. Focus hard on your math. From personal real life working experience, you have to be able to utilize that everyday.

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Jessica83 in Summersville, West Virginia

73 months ago

Just one more thing I want to ask to that previous response. You HAVE to have dedication for the 8-week course to work. It's not going to be easy.

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Jessica83 in Summersville, West Virginia

73 months ago

In response to Derek's post...I have never heard of that. You do have to have a notarized paper from a Pharmacist to get the State License, but as a CPhT you should have no problem getting a job and getting the paper taken care of. If you don't want to commit to employment and are just trying to get your license, then maybe you should ask a local pharmacy if they would be willing to let you job shadow? I am not sure on a good answer for that because I have never heard that one. There are lots of myths you will hear along the way. Your best bet is to go straight to the top with any questions you may have about licensing in WV after passing the National. Try these two websites:

www.wvbop.com/2008forms/PharmacyTechnicianLicense.pdf

and

www.wvbop.com

From what I read on the site just looking into your question, the answer looks like a no. It says you need 20 hours of training if you are trying to transfer a license from another state. If you are coming from another state then you fill out the form and must have 20 hours of training with a PIC in WV. The National license is going to cover you no matter where you go.

In respect ot my previous post I apologize for the typo in one particular word. It should have been add* not the word that ended up there.

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Andi in Coatesville, Pennsylvania

73 months ago

I'm in Pennsylvania, not WV. I'll have to try to search to see if the rules are different here.

I understood your "typo". I've been an self-employed medical transcriptionst for 15 years...typos happen!

Thanks for your help!

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Katherine

73 months ago

nan in Savannah, Georgia said: In Georgia you don't need a license. I know in some states you do. You would have to check your state and see if they require a license.

I'm currently studying for my Associate's Degree to be a Pharmacy Technician and will start my practice in November. Hearing you all talk that way about this career seems so odd to me. I live in Puerto Rico and you need to be a Certified Pharmacy Technician in order to work anywhere. The laws here are very severe and strict in the Pharmaceutical area.

After I gain a year's worth of experience, I do plan to move to Conyers, GA. I was wondering, what kind of documents do you need to work in a pharmacy over there. Here you need tons of them and well, to pass the test of course.

But hearing you all talk about this field makes it seem so easy. The highest degree you can get as a Pharmacy Technician is an Associate's degree. I believe you are better prepared and have a better way to present yourself to an employer that than with just an 8 week certificate. I don't see how you can learn all the neccesary skills and knowledge to work in this field in just 8 weeks. We are working with people's lifes here. It isn't just counting pills and labeling.

I'm more interesting in working in a Walgreens. Even though it's more of a matter of production. Everyone here aspires to work in a Walgreens. I was thinking that after I finish my practice in a community pharmacy to gather the neccesary knowledge for my test and then work in a Walgreens and attempt to find some way to transfer to GA. I can't seem to find information on how to do this as of now, but I would like to know a head of time.

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nan in Riceboro, Georgia

73 months ago

Katherine said: I'm currently studying for my Associate's Degree to be a Pharmacy Technician and will start my practice in November. Hearing you all talk that way about this career seems so odd to me. I live in Puerto Rico and you need to be a Certified Pharmacy Technician in order to work anywhere.

I would never put peoples lives in jeopardy. Everything I'm doing is under supervision of the Pharmacist. I would say that I'm training towards my certification and the course is to prepare me for my certification.

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Sarah in Chicago, Illinois

72 months ago

I'm international medical graduate,Do I need experience of working as pharmacy tech to sit for the exam?
What books should I read?
Please help me?

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Gerry in Wayne, New Jersey

72 months ago

Derek in Moorefield, West Virginia said: Was it tough getting Licensed....because I keep hearing how people have trouble getting licensed in their state....

I am licensed in N.J. All it means is a background check and fingerprints. a month later I received my license fro the board of pharmacy

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Gerry in Wayne, New Jersey

72 months ago

Derek in Moorefield, West Virginia said: Was it tough getting Licensed....because I keep hearing how people have trouble getting licensed in their state....

See above; very easy.

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Meray in San Diego, California

71 months ago

Well i just had my appointment at PIMA, and we went over the financial stuff, and it's going to cost me a little over $10,000. I honestly think that would be too much. Is there any community college school in san diego that might have the pharm tech program available?

Derek in Shanks, West Virginia said: I am about to start a Pharmacy Tech program here at the local tech college. Its an 8 week course and its only $1000. I know everyone keeps saying dont go to school but I feel that I will gain knowledge and experience from this course. Anyway, the instructors keep praising this occupation saying that they are jobs everywhere up here for this and that I will have no problem finding a job. Do you think they are just saying this to get my money. Also, do employers look to see what school you went to for your certification or do they just look to see if your certified. Because I can go to another school for $3500 and it is a nicer school, but this one is shorter and cheaper. Just hoping for some opinions here....??????

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Michael in San Diego, California

71 months ago

Meray in San Diego, California said: Well i just had my appointment at PIMA, and we went over the financial stuff, and it's going to cost me a little over $10,000. I honestly think that would be too much. Is there any community college school in san diego that might have the pharm tech program available?

Hey, there is a pharmarcy tech school offered by San Diego State University extension and it costs a little over 1,000. Please don't
go to PIMA. I'm planning to attend this probably next year. Just type
SDSU EXT on the search engine and find health care programs. Also they
offer this online but it costs a little more than 1,500. Good luck on your search

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Susan in Menifee, California

71 months ago

Meray,
Hope you didn't spent the money. I don't see a big demand for techs. The local Boston Reed has 2, sometimes 3 classes. Each class has at least 20 students. Does anyone really believe that there will be jobs for all those students? I work at a hospital that hasn't had a full time position open in over a year. While you have the chance to make > minimum wage, I would not consider it a career or a profession. If you are using it to get a job through college-that is great. The work is physical and the pay, well my friend makes close to $20 an hour but she's been at the same place for 30 years.
I shudder when I hear people worry about the math. You will be making IV's that require math skills, how can you not know basic math?
CA will let you register with just a pass on the certification test-try that or maybe Boston Reed. The 10 or 20K schools are not better, they just cost more. Call around to pharmacies and ask where they hire from. All the schools do is get you an externship-maybe. You will probably be slave labor.

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Meray in San Diego, California

71 months ago

I haven't spent the money and I don't plan on to either. Well I'm going to look into the SDSU pharm tech available there. I havent found it yet, maybe I was just too lazy. Well thanks for the info, I really appreciate it. I'm not looking at pharm tech as a career, I'm looking at it as something to get me through UCSD while I go there and to also have some years in experience in the pharm field, because i want to be a Pharmacist. I don't understand how people don't pass the math test, I took the test and got a 100% on it!

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Susan in Murrieta, California

71 months ago

Well I am still in Menifee, but looks like site changed me to Murrieta.

Great idea. I know someone whose daughter took the certification test while attending UCR (trans from UCSD). Got a job as a clerk at a local chain pharmacy. Became a tech after certification. Had great grades (4.0 in chem), now has a tech job while a first year pharmacy student at Loma Linda. They love her at her job.

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Meray in El Cajon, California

71 months ago

i finally found it, but im not going to be attending it, because i thiknk you have to be enrolled into the school...so im just going to wait...thank you though...if you have any other information you want to provide me with i would be very happy to accept it :)

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wolf davis in lambertville, New Jersey

71 months ago

So wht do you hafta do to get started in nj?

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jake in Grand Rapids, Michigan

71 months ago

I was just wondering, do pharm techs normally have to work on weekends (Sundays, particularly)? I'm sure it depends on what type of pharmacy you work at. But what about places like CVS or Walgreen's?

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Elizabeth in Menifee, California

71 months ago

Susan in Murrieta, California said: Well I am still in Menifee, but looks like site changed me to Murrieta.

Great idea. I know someone whose daughter took the certification test while attending UCR (trans from UCSD). Got a job as a clerk at a local chain pharmacy. Became a tech after certification. Had great grades (4.0 in chem), now has a tech job while a first year pharmacy student at Loma Linda. They love her at her job.

Help, I live in Menifee, CA. I went to a school online and graduated. I am looking for work but I have not taken the National Exam. Is this necessary???? What do I have to do to get hired??/ I have called all the pharmacies and they told me that I needed to go to a school that had an externship???

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Susan in Menifee, California

71 months ago

Elizabeth in Menifee, California said: Help, I live in Menifee, CA. I went to a school online and graduated. I am looking for work but I have not taken the National Exam. Is this necessary???? What do I have to do to get hired??/ I have called all the pharmacies and they told me that I needed to go to a school that had an externship???

Dear Elizabeth,
First the job market is really bad. I believe that "graduates" of CA schools require an externship. You can get a license in CA if you pass the National Exam, this does not require the externship. My guess is that the online school was just to prepare you for the exam. Get an exam prep book and practice the tests.
Try for clerk jobs, it might be a way to get in the door while you study for the national exam. Even with the license, jobs are tough to find. Sorry, the market is saturated.

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Susan in Menifee, California

71 months ago

I forgot to add. Check the California State Board of Pharmacy website. It will give you the info for license.

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Elizabeth in Menifee, California

71 months ago

Hi Susan,

I know you are right. I am going to take the national exam. I even hired a math tutor so I can work on the math problems. I am so bad when it comes to math and I am 41 so it has been a loooong time since I have used it. I am applying for other jobs and would love to work in a pharmacy some time. I would love to be a clerk. I am going to call one lead but most likely I am going to have to go into another field until the market picks up. I loved learning about the industry and it seems like a busy job to do.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write back. I truly appreciate it.

Elizabeth

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Clarice in Pelham, New York

71 months ago

what school did you use for online coarses

Gerry in Wayne, New Jersey said: Derek, DON'T spend $3,500 on a tech course, I would even question $1,000,but I spent about $650 or so on an on line program and passed my test with flying colors. many people think that a course is a waste of time, but I found it useful. You could by a couple of text books or some cd's for about $70 and study on your own, but, it's always nice to be in a classroom setting. Go for it. The niceness of the school means nothing

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Lisa in San Bernardino, California

71 months ago

Cheryl in El Cajon, California said: Hi Im planning to take Pharmacy Tech course here in San Diego but the training will take 8 months and i will be spending $12,000 which is way too much i think...can anyone tell me where i can take Pharmacy Tech without spending that much money and time?

There is an ROP program in Vista for alot less $$$$

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Elizabeth in Menifee, California

71 months ago

u.s. career institute. They will let you make monthly payments of $50.00 a month.

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Justine in Athens, Georgia

71 months ago

Well i just recently moved to athens georgia &have no idea what school to enroll in to become a pharmacy tech.
i know the course is 8 months long, but ive been hearing about an 8 WEEK course ?? i called 2 schools already &they told me they havent heard such a thing.

where can i go &take this 8week course?!

im so lost, i dont know where to look.

please, help! =/

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Vye in Jacksonville, Florida

70 months ago

I am have been working in the pharmacy tech field since 2001, certified through the national PTCB since 2002. state license in 2 states (TN , MS and worked in FL) all together I paid $0 to obtain it all! I have worked in retail and mail order pharmacies. for those of you that are paying 3,000 and 12,000 or even 1,000. you are wasting your money and time. Walgreens pays and also give you study session for you to pass the PTCB exam. they will hire you with out being Certified then bump up your pay once you get your certificate. i hate to see many people go to those career colleges for NOTHING! Ireally love my job however it is not in high demand right now, the pay is not very much unless you have yrs of experience and hospital are the highest paid (about 16 hr or more depending on your location) Please do not be fooled! if you have the time and opportunity please take up classes for sonography/x ray tech or better off Assoc of Nursing that's where the big buck and high demanding employment ops are...Hope this helped someone!

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susan in Murrieta, California

70 months ago

LISTEN TO VYE!!
It is ridiculous to spend a ton of money so that you can get a piece of paper that lets you look for a low paying physical job. I have met students who "bought" the illusion of high paying job with great future, and best of all....you get to wear a White jacket.

I did notice one local hospital (Loma Linda) did want their applicants to be graduates of a program. I doubt this would apply to "grandfathered" techs.

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cheryl in Los Angeles, California

70 months ago

Katherine said: I'm currently studying for my Associate's Degree to be a Pharmacy Technician and will start my practice in November. Hearing you all talk that way about this career seems so odd to me. I live in Puerto Rico and you need to be a Certified Pharmacy Technician in order to work anywhere. The laws here are very severe and strict in the Pharmaceutical area.
We are working with people's lifes here. It isn't just counting pills and labeling.

Actually, for a tech it is pretty much counting pills and labeling. The pharmacist is responsible for everything that goes out of the pharmacy -not the tech. The technician really doesn't do much more than type prescriptions, answer phone, count pills/label, cash register and check in stock. You have no legal liabilities and don't deal with anyone's life. You legally can't answer patient questions on medicine or even give advice. I don't know how they work in Puerto
Rico, but in the USA a pharmacy technician does not have a "practice"
they always work under the immediate and direct supervision of a pharmacist. A degree is not required, on the job training is the best. You should know these things before attempting to work in the USA.

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Erin in Winter Park, Florida

66 months ago

I have recently become a certified pharmacy technician. I would like to work for Walgreens mail order pharmacy in Orlando, FL but am having a difficult time finding out how to apply for this position. If anyone out there knows how to get ahold of Walgreens mail order I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

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john in Los Angeles, California

65 months ago

Fear not folks! You don't have to spend thousand of dollars to bunk yourself in a class. All you need to do is buy some books, have adequate material and you're set. The PTCB test isn't so bad... If you want to pass it with flying colors, focus on calculation, inventory,little bit of brand to generic and you're set!

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Den E. in Moreno Valley, California

65 months ago

Hi John,

Can you recommend me books and other materials to read? I would try my luck on buying the book and self study, then take the PTCB test.

Thanks.

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Plies in Alexandria, Virginia

65 months ago

I used Mosby's review for the PTCB certification Examination and i Just wrote and passed and passed the exam about 5 hours ago in Virginia.

I have a question though, does anyone know in VA if i need a training course before i can get the certificate because I just read the book and took the exam.

and now i think i need to prove that i completed a Pharm tech training program along with the passing letter to get the certificate.

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James in Kingwood, Texas

65 months ago

Hey, I am not certified but I want to move back to the Boston area. Where can I go to school there and how good are my chances for finding pharm tech work in a hospital? I would prefer that over working in retail.

Thanks I am really trying hard to get this done....

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Jess in Lawrence, Kansas

65 months ago

Im a freshman in college and I plan on trying to get into pharmacy school in a couple of years. I know it would look good on my application to show that I have worked at pharmacy/had some experience in the pharmacy department. I feel like pharmacies won't hire you unless you're a certified tech or already admitted into pharmacy school. Are there any pharmacies that will train you to work for them? or internships that don't require you to be in pharmacy school already? websites would be helpful!

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