Bad Pharmacy Tech Schools

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Veronica in Aurora, Illinois

58 months ago

MRxI to Sponsor Pharmacy Careers Information Session at MCC

[Crystal Lake, IL] MRxI will sponsor a Pharmacy Careers information session on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 from 2:00pm until 4:00pm in room B166 at the McHenry County College campus.

If you are seeking in-depth information regarding careers in the pharmacy industry, this information session is just for you. Join us Tuesday December 1, 2009 to discover your path to a new career. This is a free event.

During this afternoon session a pharmacist will speak to students about several careers in the pharmacy industry including pharmaceutical sales, pharmaceutical business, pharmacy retail management, becoming a pharmacist, and becoming a pharmacy technician. Discussion will include what individuals in these careers do, different paths to obtaining these careers, and other frequently asked questions. This session is designed to raise awareness about careers in the pharmacy industry as a whole. Pizza and snacks will be provided.

Please register for this free information session by contacting Ruth at McHenry County College at rkormana@mchenry.edu or Veronica at Veronica@mrxicorp.com

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buffymontana in Raleigh, North Carolina

58 months ago

I teach pharmacy tech course at a local community college and this is my first time teaching. I have to say that I have seen the practice exams and the textbook that is approved is not good enough. The practice exam is more for a pharmacist than a tech. There are questions on the exam that a technician shouldn't have to remember because they are not a pharmacist. I find it disheartening to teach students one thing when the exam is going to have a lot more on it that I never covered. It would be just as easy to buy a tech book and review yourself to take national boards. Also, while I do agree that an associate's degree is unnecessary, I do feel that 2 semesters of class are important. One class should be math and the other should be everything else. I have students in my class that haven't had math in 25 years and have trouble understanding. Math is very important, especially if you work in hospital setting.

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calvofam2 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

58 months ago

ME in Midlothian, Illinois said: DONT GO TO EVEREST COLLEGE IN MERRIONETTE PARK IL EITHER, SO NOT WORTH THE $11,OOO TUITION, AND JOB PLACEMENT...FORGET IT. I HAD TO FIND MY OWN AN THEY TRIED TO ACT LIKE THEY FOUND THE JOB FOR ME. I WAS OUT OF SCHOOL FOR 5 MONTHS B-4 I FOUND A JOB.

you're absutely right i had that happen to me at national school of technology when the school now called everest university went through about 4 teachers poor training in lab it was a terrible unprofessional atmosphere and at the end we al got stuck with a bill so now i am seeking to get in with walgreens are cvs if would have known this i would have never went to this school.what a waste.p.s.

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tjm8021 in Bradenton, Florida

53 months ago

I live in Florida have been a certified pharmacy tech for 4 years. I was hired at Walgreens before I was certified and took their training program. Walgreens even paid for me to take the certification exam. After being a certified pharmacy tech for 4 year I’m just now making $13 an hour. Any school that charges you to become a certified pharmacy tech is pretty much worthless. The hardest thing to learn in a retail pharmacy is how to deal with insurances, and I pretty sure that none of these schools teach that. There is no way I would ever pay a school to only make $13 dollars an hour.

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pharm tech teacher in Richmond, Kentucky

53 months ago

irsmith78 in Spokane, Washington said: I'm glad I took the time to do my research on this. It's great to hear from those in the field who are doing the job. I am getting out of the military in a year and have been looking into ways to expand my options for work when I get out. Reading these forums brought me to the conclusion that the school would be a waste of time and money. I'm pretty confident I can get the certification on my own. I already completed my A+ computer repair certification on my own so self study for the CPhT seems the best way for me. Keep spreading the word. If you can keep people on a better path for success and give them the reality of the job it's a huge help to everyone. Thanks to all for posting their experience :)

Not necessarily. Sure you can get the certification on your own, and with your computer certification, if you had an AAS in pharm tech, you might be like one of my former co-workers who went from "regular" pharm tech to pharmacy-specialist IT tech at $54,000 per year; or perhaps like an automated dispensing system trainer I met, who went from pharmacy tech to a $60,000 per year job training techs on automated systems. Right or wrong, frequently the degree gets you in the door. I once lost out on a job as a birth control counselor---to someone with a history degree, and that was the only difference, according to the hiring person. ANY degree is worth getting, if it's college credit.

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pharm tech teacher in Richmond, Kentucky

53 months ago

tjm8021 in Bradenton, Florida said: I live in Florida have been a certified pharmacy tech for 4 years. I was hired at Walgreens before I was certified and took their training program. Walgreens even paid for me to take the certification exam. After being a certified pharmacy tech for 4 year I’m just now making $13 an hour. Any school that charges you to become a certified pharmacy tech is pretty much worthless. The hardest thing to learn in a retail pharmacy is how to deal with insurances, and I pretty sure that none of these schools teach that. There is no way I would ever pay a school to only make $13 dollars an hour.

In my program I teach how to deal with insurance; the students have a textbook devoted specifically to this. We teach other things that training programs and non-academic schools don't, and my grads do make better money, but I have to agree: techs are woefully underpaid.

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ReginaM in Los Angeles, California

53 months ago

Anna in Fort Knox, Kentucky said: No, not at all, I just got a job at walgreens and they didn't care I had a diploma, they didn't even look at it when I brought it in. Plus even if your certified or went to school walgreens puts you through their training program. Just get a job at walgreens, they'll even pay for your PTCB exam and to test preperation with you, and when you pass, they give you a raise.

I was told here in Los Angeles that if you want to work at Walgreen's you have to have a PTech license. But I got some very encouraging info,they are always hiring and yes you do have to go through their training,that only makes sense. I like the fact that they sponsor you for the PTCB. I got my license in Jan and I'm still looking for a job. I have to go to a local store for the assesment. What should I know to prepare?

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skm1030 in Independence, Missouri

53 months ago

I am currently a student at Vatterott College in KC Missouri, having completed my diploma, now working towards my AOS for Pharmacy Technician. Looking back I would have not spent $30,000.00 for a degree in which I will only find a position making any where from $9.00 to $13.00 an hour. I have to much time and money invested now to quit. As for the school, two out of the six classes we were left without a teacher or had a teacher run in that was also teaching another class. One teacher is exceptional and if it were not for her experience and caring of her students I would not have recieved much instruction. The school runs the Pharmacy Technician program on the premises that one day in the near future many states will require a Pharmacy Technician to be trained and certified. However, after some searching I have yet to find a state that requires a diploma or AOS to become a Pharmacy Technician. Anyone know of a state with such requirements?

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Pharm tech teacher in Springfield, Kentucky

53 months ago

Reading some of these posts from a few months , I would not hire some of these people for any job in pharmacy because they cannot communicate via written language (and yes, there are definite exceptions). Before you talk about what a great job you should have, take a look at what you're offering. Most college grads in any field know that they will not go in and be president of the company, you still have to prove yourself. Well-trained, educated techs are starting at the same pay that uneducated techs who've been on the job 15yrs or more are making. In one sense, education "buys" experience for you. ASHP (if you don't know what that acronym stands for, you should not be working in pharmacy till you're trained) has set a national initiative requiring that by 2015 ALL techs entering the field will have to be graduates of an accredited institution before sitting for the CPHT exam. This might make it into law by then, it might not, but it's the wave of the future. One older post said techs "just do the grunt work for the pharmacist". Duh! That's what most "technician" jobs are in any field. Want pharmacist pay? Make As in organic chemistry, anatomy, physiology, physics, calculus, stats.....take the PCAT...spend 2-3yrs undergrad plus 4yrs in pharmacy school, at SUBSTANTIALLY more than you pay for any tech school....THEN you can whine if someone wants you to "grunt work". But don't bother trying this if you cannot construct a correctly spelled and grammatically written sentence. You have to start at the bottom and work your way up, but a good tech school will give you a jump-start. And yes, hospitals (and places that are neither hospitals, LT care, nor retail) do pay more. Higher level of skill needed. Y'all are scaring me about what's available for a place that needs techs (my grads get jobs immediately).

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Bree in Michigan City, Indiana

53 months ago

ME in Midlothian, Illinois said: DONT GO TO EVEREST COLLEGE IN MERRIONETTE PARK IL EITHER, SO NOT WORTH THE $11,OOO TUITION, AND JOB PLACEMENT...FORGET IT. I HAD TO FIND MY OWN AN THEY TRIED TO ACT LIKE THEY FOUND THE JOB FOR ME. I WAS OUT OF SCHOOL FOR 5 MONTHS B-4 I FOUND A JOB.

Yes, i went there about 5 years ago when it was Olympia college, and they set me up for externship at a nuclear pharmacy. well i found out my husband and i were expecting so i could no longer work there and when i called to get another externship, no one ever called me back, NEVER! I called about 5-6 times every month for 6 months and then i just gave up. Waste of money, waste of time.

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Bree in Michigan City, Indiana

53 months ago

Well said!

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ruthncls in Springfield, Missouri

53 months ago

I am a Registered Medical Assistant, a graduate of one of those for-profit schools, and have yet to find a job in that field. I'm thinking of becoming certified as a Pharmacy Tech, but hate to spend more on schooling. Can I really just get a book and study for the test?
I have applied to Walgreen's several times and have never been called back. Last week I sent my resume to their district headquarters.

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Bree in Michigan City, Indiana

53 months ago

Yes, you could just get the books and study yourself but the only problem is that the exam covers both hospital and retail pharmacy settings. It is better, in my opinion, to take the course so you are aware of everything that will be on the exam.

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pt houston in Houston, Texas

51 months ago

ruthncls in Springfield, Missouri said: I am a Registered Medical Assistant, a graduate of one of those for-profit schools, and have yet to find a job in that field. I'm thinking of becoming certified as a Pharmacy Tech, but hate to spend more on schooling. Can I really just get a book and study for the test?
I have applied to Walgreen's several times and have never been called back. Last week I sent my resume to their district headquarters.

Attend pharmacy technician school at a community college and be sure that when you finish the program you will have a IV certification so that you can work at hospital and that you will do a round a clinics.
Hospitals and home care tend to hire students that have worked for them for clinics. You may want to check out www.otc.edu/ school.

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Pharm tech teacher in Bardstown, Kentucky

51 months ago

In some states you can just buy the book and study for the test; in others you must be certified and/or a graduate of an ACCREDITED program. When researching programs look for those that are ASHP-accredited, whether they are independent, private, college, non-college, profit/non profit. It is that accreditation that assures you a quality education because to remain accredited a program MUST meet certain quality standards.
There is a nationwide initiative from ASHP that by 2015 ALL pharmacy techs (whether all entering the field or all everywhere) must be graduates of an accredited program before sitting for the exam. Any college degree in anything helps give you a leg up on the competition; it shows you're willing to put some effort into improving yourself. Communication skills, written and verbal, are vital. Bi-lingual helps, too.

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Babygurl in Houston, Texas

50 months ago

Do not go to college of the mainland and take the pharm tech program it's a waste of time and blow off to the max don't do it
study on your own and u will be ok but do not go there

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Miss B in Chicago, Illinois

50 months ago

keeping quiet in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: I agree to a certain point.. it is a waste of money, but i think going to a 4 year college is a huge waste of money! everyone who goes to a 4 year college can't find jobs!.. unless you want to be a nurse and stick hep and aids patients with needles.. wow 4 years of schooling to wind up with a disease?!.. not everyone is cut out for school.. i know i'm not!.. i get bored too easily and then i slack off.. i want a challenge and that's why i chose pharmacy tech.. if you work at cvs, rite aid, etc.. you won't make much.. you need to get in at a hospital, where you'll be making anywheres from $16-$20/hour, if not more.. trade schools are better than colleges.. and it's less stressful too!

This is so true I work in a major hospital and the Pharm/Techs make $20.00
to $22.00 an hour with weekend and night differentials.

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tigger451 in Raleigh, North Carolina

50 months ago

14.00 hour :(

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Sanaajeet in Burnaby, British Columbia

47 months ago

This has been an interesting read! I got onto this site because I am trying to decide if I want to go back to pharmacy after not having worked in it for three years but after doing reading on the subject, I think maybe not. I went to Vancouver Community College (which is a good school with a good reputation) back in the early 90's and worked full time for superstore for the better part of two decades and was burned out from dealing with crappy management. A note of caution to retail techs that I can offer from my own experience is that you should use the proper precautions when making compounds. Be aware of the symbols on the bottle - wear gloves, goggles, and a lab coat that is used for compounding only. The stores should have hoods but they do not because that is too expensive. I even got discliplined for wearing a mask and gloves because "none of the other technicians did." I developed thyroid problems after long term repeated exposure (15 years) to the compounding chemicals so be careful - these ingredients are not salt and pepper. I also worked at shoppers drug mart with techs who had no formal schooling and they were excellent - they could type prescriptions at the window and knew the ins and outs of compounding.

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Pharm tech teacher in Springfield, Kentucky

47 months ago

Anyone familiar with the concept of attending college to learn something? It isn't all about a job, you know. As to 4 year colleges being a waste of time: it's like a sewer, you get out of it what you put into it. Some people are not suited for education. Given that pharmacy requires some basic educational skills, I sure hope those not suited for advanced education are fixing hair or something, not preparing medications.

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Jasmine in West Covina, California

46 months ago

Do not and I mean DO NOT waste your money to attend the Pharm Tech program at UEI, in El Monte, CA. And the rep, DAVID is a punk. They all lie, me and a few friends and relatives finished the class. They put us in volunteer places that do not hire, they put me in a Chinese Speaking pharmacy where I only speak English and they wouldn't show you crap! When we have no jobs, no one freaking call to check up on us. The teacher at UEI was a male, and he was a dumb arse. He can't teach. He had no college degree. How stupid is that?

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Jasmine in West Covina, California

46 months ago

ruthncls in Springfield, Missouri said: I am a Registered Medical Assistant, a graduate of one of those for-profit schools, and have yet to find a job in that field. I'm thinking of becoming certified as a Pharmacy Tech, but hate to spend more on schooling. Can I really just get a book and study for the test?
I have applied to Walgreen's several times and have never been called back. Last week I sent my resume to their district headquarters.

Trust me do not go into pharm techs. I knew an employee at CVS who is certified and has 4 yrs of exp...and still trying to make 14/hr. & she is the lead tech. They online hire ppl with 4 plus years exp and they pay you 12/hr.Not worth the time. I know at least 10 ppl who wasted money on the licenses and ended up either unemployed or working at a waitress or something else.

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Jasmine in West Covina, California

46 months ago

Jan in Chicago in Towson, Maryland said: I thought we could list schools that we've been to that are not worth it, so that other people thinking about going to pharm tech schools can make informed decisions.

I'll start with the one I went to. It's called Pharmacy Technician Training School (yeah, real classy name) and it's located on 4710 W. Irving Park Rd. in Chicago.

REPLY: wow you only paid $900, I wasted over $15,000 to attend the most stupid United Education Institute in El Monte, CA. The instructor was the dumbest male teacher ever. He had no college degree, and he claimed he had 10yrs of exp as a Pharm Tech, yet he knew nothing about it. He sucked at Math, and he misspelled a lot of things. He promised everyone a good job placement, yet when we finished, he was no where to be found. He never replied to his phone calls, and when I looked for him at the school he would hide hide his face. The staffs there were unprofessional, and his students were very immature.

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Pharm tech teacher in Springfield, Kentucky

46 months ago

Did you think about pursuing a legal angle on this? I hate to encourage lawsuits, but that is ridiculous at that price. Idiots like that give the good schools a bad name, too.

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Jasmine in West Covina, California

46 months ago

Pharm tech teacher in Springfield, Kentucky said: Did you think about pursuing a legal angle on this? I hate to encourage lawsuits, but that is ridiculous at that price. Idiots like that give the good schools a bad name, too.

Yes I would love to do a lawsuit on them. but knowing that they have the money and corporations it would be just me against them. I would then be wasting more money and time on this pathetic stuff when I could be working. So when my friends ask me about pharm tech school that I went to, I told them not to waste money on it. Just get the license for themselves for free...or go to a community college for an AA which is much more worth while. If I knew about the license thingy way before hand, I wouldn't put myself in more debts. I could use that money to buy myself a new car which I totally need. SO SAD!And the teacher there, instead of lecturing he would be sleeping in his class. He let ppl sign off when they can't attend class so he could be nominated for top teacher, and he would have affair with another female teacher from another class. I brought the issue up to the Dean, and all he did was "you need to mind your own business". .Do you have proof? OMG i just wanted to beat him up.

Not all the Pharm Tech professors were uneducated and perverted like him though, there were a few that were highly educated and were really smart, but they ended up quitting because they couldn't stand the dramas there. It was so unprofessional to the point that his students wrote "Bi""ch" on her pictures and crossed out her pics on bulleton board, because she was Asian, and they were all Hispanics. (Not all Hispanics were like that, just his students). Since I am Hispanic myself.

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Pharm tech teacher in Springfield, Kentucky

46 months ago

What a horrible experience! Yes, sometimes you just have to move on with your life. Really, though, not all tech programs are like that. If I behaved the least bit unprofessionally (which I would not), my Dean would be all over me and I'd be unemployed. We have high standards here, probably because it is a college (4yr), not one of those non-academic programs. Someone called me yesterday about getting into my program. She went to a school like yours and none of the credits will transfer, so she will have to start over. What I CAN and will do for her is let her take bypass exams for any classes she feels she can do already.

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paul rio in Bensalem, Pennsylvania

46 months ago

I finished a pharm tech course @ bucks co. community college this august. It was a 10 week course. The price was circa $1300. I imagine that some could auto didactically prepare for certification, but I needed some inspiration.

The road to Dr. of Pharm. is long & expensive. I am considering attending
a state university to earn a B.S. degree, possibly in liberal arts w/ a minor in
chemistry. I currently have over 60 credits so I may be 50% complete. Would this be a wise strategy and help to find employment as a pharm tech? In other words, is there value in being a well educated pharm tech? Or is the compensation not
sufficient? R.S.V.P.

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FrannyF in Vancouver, Washington

46 months ago

Ok....I have read alot of posts on here and I am really confused. I am currently on unemployment,seeking employment and not having much luck at all. I worked for a retail giant for 8yrs as a cashier. Since I am not having much luck finding a job I have enrolled in the 2yr Associate in Applied Science Degree for Pharmacy Technician Leadership program at my local 2yr college. I have only almost completed my first quarter, but am very happy with what I have learned and experienced thus far. Do all Pharmacy Technicians make lousy money? Are they all literally slaves to the Pharmacists? Is the 2yr college degree totally a waste because I will make a lousy wage no matter what? I have not read very many posts from people that are pharmacy technicians who make good money and are happy. Is there anyone out there that thinks a 2yr degree is worth it? I do have to say that I agree with the Pharmacy Technician Teacher in Springfield, Kentucky, a college education is important and I firmly believe that with education you get out of it what you put into it. I love college and learning! I'm just am a little bewildered due to all the negative posts about the Pharmacy Technician career field. Anyone out there have a 2yr Pharmacy Technician Leadership degree, that is happy with their career and wage?

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FrannyF in Vancouver, Washington

46 months ago

Pharm tech teacher in Springfield, Kentucky said: Did you think about pursuing a legal angle on this? I hate to encourage lawsuits, but that is ridiculous at that price. Idiots like that give the good schools a bad name, too.

I have read several of your posts and I appreciate your "Telling it, as it is." approach. Please give me some feed back on my post from earlier, you seem very knowledgeable and intelligent :)

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Kay in Chicago, Illinois

46 months ago

There is value in becoming a certified pharmacy technician.

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FrannyF in Vancouver, Washington

45 months ago

Tell me your story Kay you replied that there is value in becoming a certified Pharmacy Technician. Tell me all about it, as I have read SO MUCH NEGATIVE posts on the Pharmacy Technician profession. What kind of school/college did you attend? Was it a 2yr community college certificate program or a vocational diploma type of program? My college offers a certificate/diploma program but I want the degree. I must say after reading all the negative posts on here, I am wondering if I would get the same job whether I take the certificate or get the degree. My thought is surely the degree has got to be better. What is your thought on that? It will take me a little over 2yrs to complete the whole program for the degree. The degree involves a series of rigorous classes aside from the actual Pharmacy Technician program that include math, English, management classes (leadership part of the program) along with Medical Terminology 1&2, this of course is just to name a few, it is quite a load! How long have you been a Pharmacy Technician? I think you are maybe 1 out of a very small handful of people who has had something positive to say about the pharmacy technician field.

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Jasmine in West Covina, California

45 months ago

Kay in Chicago, Illinois said: There is value in becoming a certified pharmacy technician.

...There is no value to it...i am a certified pharmacy Technician with 4 years of pharmacy experience. I work with people who are certified with 15 plus years exp and the pharmacy wouldn't move them up from customer service just because they didn't want to train. And for what they get pay is 10/hr in 10 yrs of exp with certified. I got paid 14/hr bcuz im certified and also with years of data entry experience.
I have friends who worked or quit Walgreen, they are certified with 5 plus years experience and still get pay on 15/hr...where as CVS start you out at 9/hr if you start at their pharmacy even with 1 year of exp elsewhere and are certified.

You need to elaborate on how being certified give u value. The test was a simple thing to do, anyone can pass the test. I passed it in 1 setting w/o even review any materials, and my test was regarding hospital setting when I have never worked at any hospital before.

If it's a Pharmacist Degree I wouldn't argue, but A technician license and a certified test, even a average joe with no high school background can pass that. And i have met many.

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Jasmine in West Covina, California

45 months ago

FrannyF in Vancouver, Washington said: Ok....I have read alot of posts on here and I am really confused. I am currently on unemployment..."

I am sorry to be the one giving you the bad news. But to be honest with you, I myself had wasted 15,000 for a Tech program. Considering I have a Bachelor in Biology, since I didn't want to be working at labs for the rest of my life and want to experience the pharmacy field because going to the Pharmacist program...well you need Pharmacist rec letters anyways if u want to go into the program.
Anyways, I have 4 yrs of exp and Certified Tech and B.S and only make 14/hr. That's a lousy salary and it's embarrassing. And I worked for long term care, because working for retail they offer you $8 starting until 3 months then if they want to keep you they pay u 12/hr for tech who start at their compnay regardless of the exp or educational background you hold. I worked with many tech who spend 20 years of their lives slaving for the measy 12/hr or less and couldn't handle the stress so they ended up taking up loans to go into nursing programs.

In the pharmacy environment it's not friendly, the co-workers all are to themselves. They all want to be kissing butts to the managers, and ppl are siding and blaming on each other bcuz they don't want to get in trouble. It's the worst workplace i've worked at. I have relatives who are pharmacists and decided to get out and do something else. I worked with pharmacists that walked out of the pharmacy after 3 days working. I worked with pharmacists who need 2 jobs to be able to handle their income. It's not as good as it sounds. Even Pharmacists are unemployed let alone Pharm Techs. As you have read, non of us Pharm Tech are happy with the environment or the pay, and we work our butts off. And pharmacies don't belive in giving you unemployment, so they would fire you and find any ways they can to stop you from getting that.

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Jasmine in West Covina, California

45 months ago

tjm8021 in Bradenton, Florida said: I live in Florida have been a certified pharmacy tech for 4 years. I was hired at Walgreens before I was certified and took their training program. Walgreens even paid for me to take the certification exam. After being a certified pharmacy tech for 4 year I’m just now making $13 an hour. Any school that charges you to become a certified pharmacy tech is pretty much worthless. The hardest thing to learn in a retail pharmacy is how to deal with insurances, and I pretty sure that none of these schools teach that. There is no way I would ever pay a school to only make $13 dollars an hour.

I absolutely agree with you. When I entered the program, they all say that "starting salary is at lest 17/hr"...yea more like 7/hr if you are lucky to get the job. And most of the trade school, they have instructor who don't even hold a AA degree...where I went to school they hire teachers with only a G.E.D., and I hold a Bachelor in Bioloy at a University, so you know when the teacher was teaching the class, he didn't do the math right and said some stuff wrong couldn't tell the diff between how our organs function, I corrected him, and his mediocre students laughed at me because they think I was a no brainer like them. Until later on somewhere in our practice tests, the answer popped up proven that I was right. The instructor played it off. And no one really cares about certified or not, unless u work at the hospitals, but getting a job at a hospital isn't easy if you have no connections, because all they way is someone who had hospital experience at least 1 year. My worst decision in life was getting my tech license for 15k. So pathetic.

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Beth in Nixa, Missouri

45 months ago

tigger451 in Raleigh, North Carolina said: 14.00 hour :(

I would be THRILLED beyond belief if I were making $14/hr!! ESPECIALLY in this economy!

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Jasmine in West Covina, California

45 months ago

Beth in Nixa, Missouri said: I would be THRILLED beyond belief if I were making $14/hr!! ESPECIALLY in this economy!

Yes 14/hr for a starter is good salary. What about employees who work there for 10 years and still get pay 14/hr? Would you be thrilled then? How about standing up the whole day running around, sweating, things are being thrown at you. Carry heavy stuffs that your back hurts, and don't get to come home until 2 in the morning, and have to work all weekends. Can't even get a day off to take your kid to a doctor. Would you be willing to stay and work for that measly money? I wouldn't think so.

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Pharm tech teacher in Springfield, Kentucky

45 months ago

Jasmine,
You live in California. From folks who came here from Calif, and friends who moved there, there's a world of difference in the cost of living. Around here $14/hr is pretty good, especially to enter the field. $14/hr probably does not go far in Calif from what I hear of housing prices. Very few houses in this area list for more than $175,000 (for the really nice ones).
As to your working environment: no place is perfect, but it sounds like you are in a viper's nest. All pharmacies (most, in fact) are not like that, the people are friendly and get along as well as in any other place of employment. You are fortunate to have other job options vis a vis your degree. Where I worked everyone, including techs, gets good benefits and an extra 5days off at Christmas.

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tosincute in Chicago, Illinois

45 months ago

Kay in Chicago, Illinois said: There is value in becoming a certified pharmacy technician.

Pls Kay,i want to know how u became certified i.e the school u went to for the program or did u do a self study at home or an online school?

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ImaCPhT in Sacramento, California

44 months ago

Pharm tech teacher in Saint Catharine, Kentucky said: Lisa,
Don't know what school in Ky you went to, but St. Catharine is the ONLY one in Ky that is accredited by ASHP. This is something it's good to research before you pay tuition. Sounds like you picked the wrong school. We try hard to make sure our students get a thorough undertstanding of the field, and all of them find jobs easily. Good luck.

Hi. I am a recent A.S. graduate from Carrington College California, formerly Western Career College in Citrus Heights, California. I have been reading about everyone complaining about how much school costs, how no one wants to have student loans and how easy it is to get hired as a Pharmacy Tech. Now, maybe it is because the majority of you are not from California, but out here, to be hired as a Pharmacy Technician, you MUST attend an ASHP accredited school. There are only a handful of them around out here and all the employers insist on the student having hands-on training/experience BEFORE they become a regular employee.

"Pharm tech teacher" is right...about everything. You DO get what you pay for. I was not thrilled about paying $27,000 for school, but guess what? I payed attention, did what was asked of me, graduated 1st in my class as a mentor AND had perfect attendance. I took the PTCB exam and scored very high. Some places look at the fact that you took the CPhT exam and others do not. As for pay scales, you get paid less to work in retail pharmacies such as Walgreens. It is still a retail environment not matter how you slice it. I saw a few people complaining about how you only get paid $10/hour as a tech and let me assure you, you are wrong...unless you live in the middle of nowhere. In California, a tech at a retail pharmacy can look to make between $15-17/hour. If you get into a hospital pharmacy like me, then you will make between $21-23/hour to start.

Stop complaining about the cost. Education is priceless.

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cherokeequeen74 in Fayetteville, Arkansas

44 months ago

i worked at walmart in springdale arkansas and only made minimum wage.

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Pharm tech teacher in Springfield, Kentucky

44 months ago

Thank you, ImaCPhT! Everyone please note something about IMACPhT's letter: the grammar, punctuation, and spelling are 100% correct. Why does that matter? When my Dean and I met with ALL the pharmacy leaders in Louisville several of them said they could teach a tech the hands-on work, but techs needed to come to them already knowing HOW TO COMMUNICATE effectively. That's why it matters. And what you wear communicates, too: eg, if you go to a job interview in jeans and with tattooes and a lip piercing, don't expect to be hired for a high-class job. Count on working in the stockroom. Might seem shallow, but it's the way of the world.

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ImaCPhT in Sacramento, California

44 months ago

really confused in Chicago, Illinois said: I was recently laid off from a major hospital. I worked as a patient ecsort and wanted 2 try somthing different. I was leaning toward Pharm Tech or Bookeeping/Accounting.U guys have really dampered my mood, for Pharm Tech. Maybe I should try Bookeeping /Accounting.

Don't be discouraged. It is a fine job. Like I previously stated, as long as you put in the time and effort, it WILL be rewarded. Talk to actual pharmacy technicians and get their perspective on the position. That is the best way to see if it is a good for you.

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ImaCPhT in Sacramento, California

44 months ago

Pharm tech teacher in Springfield, Kentucky said: Thank you, ImaCPhT! Everyone please note something about IMACPhT's letter: the grammar, punctuation, and spelling are 100% correct. Why does that matter? When my Dean and I met with ALL the pharmacy leaders in Louisville several of them said they could teach a tech the hands-on work, but techs needed to come to them already knowing HOW TO COMMUNICATE effectively. That's why it matters. And what you wear communicates, too: eg, if you go to a job interview in jeans and with tattooes and a lip piercing, don't expect to be hired for a high-class job. Count on working in the stockroom. Might seem shallow, but it's the way of the world.

You are welcome! I just wanted to give some of my own input on the subject since it seems that this particular thread has discouraged quite a few people.

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ImaCPhT in Sacramento, California

44 months ago

tosincute in Chicago, Illinois said: Pls Kay,i want to know how u became certified i.e the school u went to for the program or did u do a self study at home or an online school?

I'm not Kay, but to become certified, you don't necessarily have to attend a program. You just have to pass the test. However, if you don't attend a program, there is a chance that you will get looked over for the better tech positions because you don't have the experience. Most programs will have you complete an externship in which you will gain the experience needed to succeed in a pharmacy environment.

I honestly wouldn't trust any online or self study program only because they might not be accredited and may not have the most updated information. The accredited schools will be up to par on all implemented policies and procedures. Students have to continually succeed for a school to be accredited.

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ImaCPhT in Sacramento, California

44 months ago

paul rio in Bensalem, Pennsylvania said: I finished a pharm tech course @ bucks co. community college this august. It was a 10 week course. The price was circa $1300. I imagine that some could auto didactically prepare for certification, but I needed some inspiration.

The road to Dr. of Pharm. is long & expensive. I am considering attending
a state university to earn a B.S. degree, possibly in liberal arts w/ a minor in
chemistry. I currently have over 60 credits so I may be 50% complete. Would this be a wise strategy and help to find employment as a pharm tech? In other words, is there value in being a well educated pharm tech? Or is the compensation not
sufficient? R.S.V.P.

If you are considering becoming a PharmD, I would suggest becoming a tech first so you can see what Pharmacists do on a daily basis. Pharmacy school is very expensive. Granted, I'm in California, but out here and others I have seen that are not in California, range from about $30,000-50,000 per year. Most pharmacy schools are also between 3-6 years long. I'll let you do the math. Don't think of the cost because once you start working, you will be making plenty of money to pay back your student loans.

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ImaCPhT in Sacramento, California

44 months ago

Pharm tech teacher in Springfield, Kentucky said: What a horrible experience! Yes, sometimes you just have to move on with your life. Really, though, not all tech programs are like that. If I behaved the least bit unprofessionally (which I would not), my Dean would be all over me and I'd be unemployed. We have high standards here, probably because it is a college (4yr), not one of those non-academic programs. Someone called me yesterday about getting into my program. She went to a school like yours and none of the credits will transfer, so she will have to start over. What I CAN and will do for her is let her take bypass exams for any classes she feels she can do already.

I was lucky enough that my college credits transferred to Carrington College California, however, I understand that some of my general education classes I took while at CCC, might not transfer. I took a lot of classes at my local community college and because they transferred to CCC, I had to do less work to get my A.S. degree. On the upside, because I took them at a community college, as I continue my education, I might only have to retake my ethics course.

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weeee in Monrovia, California

44 months ago

ImaCPhT in Sacramento, California said: Hi. I am a recent A.S. graduate from Carrington College California, formerly Western Career College in Citrus Heights, California. I have been reading about everyone complaining about how much school costs, how no one wants to have student loans and how easy it is to get hired as a Pharmacy Tech. Now, maybe it is because the majority of you are not from California, but out here, to be hired as a Pharmacy Technician, you MUST attend an ASHP accredited school. There are only a handful of them around out here and all the employers insist on the student having hands-on training/experience BEFORE they become a regular employee.

"Pharm tech teacher" is right...about everything. You DO get what you pay for. I was not thrilled about paying $27,000 for school, but guess what? I payed attention, did what was asked of me, graduated 1st in my class as a mentor AND had perfect attendance. I took the PTCB exam and scored very high. Some places look at the fact that you took the CPhT exam and others do not. As for pay scales, you get paid less to work in retail pharmacies such as Walgreens. It is still a retail environment not matter how you slice it. I saw a few people complaining about how you only get paid $10/hour as a tech and let me assure you, you are wrong...unless you live in the middle of nowhere. In California, a tech at a retail pharmacy can look to make between $15-17/hour. If you get into a hospital pharmacy like me, then you will make between $21-23/hour to start.

Stop complaining about the cost. Education is priceless.

$27000 for pharm tech education is a total rip off.
it's true that a formal education will strengthen your application, but $27000 for a dead-end job is irrational. you may be able to become slightly more specialized, but you aren't going anywhere. you'll be stuck as "pharmacy technician" with a maximum pay of around $30/hour.

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weeee in Monrovia, California

44 months ago

i hear other accredited programs going for around $10000 or less, and much less at community colleges. if you were willing to pay $27000 for this, why not just choose nursing instead? all you need is an associate's, and you get a higher starting salary as well as more advancement and employment opportunities.
the average salary of all pharm techs is what? around $37,000 per year in california? the average salary for registered nurses is $85,000 per year. specialized nurses, anesthesiology nurses to be specific, make over $150000 per year. i forget the exact number but they're in the neighborhood.
$27000 for pharm tech education? think again. you did not get what you paid for.

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Mindy in Pleasant Hill, California

44 months ago

Sounds like in CA it's the certification/license + either the formal training from a school OR hands on experience through volunteering. I have Carrington close to me but it cost $27,000, and laso a community college that offers a certificate program for $1200-it takes 24 weeks-4 days a week for 4 hours.

ImaPhT are you saying in your experience you have found you cannot get hired as a tech without formal training? Will passing the test with a good score + training by volunteering work to get hired in a hospital setting?

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ImaCPhT in Sacramento, California

44 months ago

weeee in Monrovia, California said: $27000 for pharm tech education is a total rip off.
it's true that a formal education will strengthen your application, but $27000 for a dead-end job is irrational. you may be able to become slightly more specialized, but you aren't going anywhere. you'll be stuck as "pharmacy technician" with a maximum pay of around $30/hour.

Last time I checked, $30/hour isn't dead end. $10/hour is.

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