Bad Pharmacy Tech Schools

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ImaCPhT in Sacramento, California

39 months ago

Mindy in Pleasant Hill, California said: 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?

Yes. You have to have formal training. There are some other schools that only offer the certificate, but you only get the basics of what you are learning. You don't learn anything about what the drugs are for and how they affect the body. In my opinion, I'd rather know, to the full extent, what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. If I didn't want to continue on and get my bachelor's degree, I would have gone to a cheap certificate program that barely got my foot in the door. When you apply for your CA state license, it asks you how you qualify. Either you qualify by getting a degree or by completing 240 of HANDS ON training (your externship) or by passing the PTCB. For me, the PTCB was not hard because Carrington over-prepares you. However, there are questions in the exam that have to do with what drug treats what disease and which drugs are beta-blockers and which ones are anti-cholinergenic. There are a lot of places that will not hire you if you do not have your PTCB certificate. A lot of places also want to see that you have a degree. The places that want you to have a degree and be nationally certified through the PTCB will pay more.

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ImaCPhT in Sacramento, California

39 months ago

weeee in Monrovia, California said: 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.

There are other accredited programs for less, but they are not degree programs. They are only certificate programs. Yes, there are some community colleges that offer the program. Consumnes River College out here in Sacramento offers Pharm Tech. However, you will still have to complete your general ed to receive your degree. Yes, it will be cheaper, but it will also take longer depending on whether or not you have to work and whether or not the classes that you need are available during that particular semester. Trust me, I looked into it and I was not thrilled about the thought of $27,000, but after being laid off for the second time in one year (I was a manager at Office Depot for 6 years, then at Micheals for 1 year), I needed to make a change. I contemplated a nursing program, but like I said, I needed to make a change and waiting for a slot in a nursing program in California takes at least 2 years. There is no guarantee you are getting in because it's a lottery. If you don't get in in 2 years, then you get in by default. Going to a technical school isn't for everyone, but in my case, it was perfect. I got in, did great, got a great job and can move on with my life.

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Mindy in Pleasant Hill, California

39 months ago

Thanks for all the info Ima... I'm a 48 year old stay at home mom, looking for a way to re-enter the work force now that my youngest is getting older. I need to supplement my husband's income, now that we have two kids in college! I was thinking that studying for and passing the test on my own would be the quickest route, however, it seems you are saying that yes, I will find a job with just the certificate and some volunteer experience, but in the end, the pay is higher if I have the classroom training and even better with the degree. I cannot afford the Carrington program, but the community college has a certificate program that offers the externship and is only 6 months and $1200. Unfortunately I missed the cut off for applications for this year. I guess I'll make some calls this coming week to ask what is really expected at the places I'd like to be working at. Thanks again!

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ImaCPhT in Sacramento, California

39 months ago

You are very welcome!

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techteacher in Escondido, California

39 months ago

Regarding pros and cons of school versus on-line versus no school:
If you're dedicated, motivated and diligent about studying and can understand and complete assignments with little or no explanation, a practice PTCB book is OK. If you are rusty on math skills or need extra help to understand calculations (and there are quite a few !) an actual person is helpful...it should be someone familiar with pharmaceutical calculations.... and they should be available at all times when you are actually studying. Nothing is more frustrating than not having anyone to help when you are trying to study... and don't 'get it' This is where the actual classroom situation is most beneficial. You will learn because you will have assignments and regular quizzes to check your understanding. You will be motivated to complete assignments rather than put off opening a book until you're "in the mood". While I would hesitate to spend 15,000 on a course, one that costs 2000 or so is well worth it. Be careful with the on line courses. Most do not offer an externship, or you may be required to pay your own malpractice insurance. A course with an externship is essential. Many of my students have been hired right at their externship sites. Keep in mind that having an actual instructor will offer invaluable insight as to what a pharmacy tech actually needs to know. You cannot learn sterile technique or pronunciation from a book. My classes set up 'mini' pharmacies and practice with mock prescriptions, both retail and hospital IV type settings. As far as hiring, I would hire someone with classroom experience over someone who read a book and thinks they know it all. My advise would be to find a class and sit in for an hour or two to get a feel for the teacher, or speak to several students (not just 1 ) that are in the class.

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pharm tech teacher in Middleport, Ohio

39 months ago

Techteacher said it well. Some classes lend themselves well to on-line teaching, pharm tech courses are generally NOT among them. Some schools are worth much more than $2000 BUT if you pay a lot make sure you are getting academic college credit that will transfer to other programs, at least as electives. I just had a 2008 graduate accepted to pharmacy school. Although she still had to take physics, calculus, etc her pharm tech courses were electives. Also, be aware that when you register for the CPHT exam or apply for a job you must be able to pass a Level III BACKGROUND CHECK (Lev III is the most intense). Do not apply for a job if you have lots of piercings, tattooes, etc---bad impression---and know that you cannot wear jewelry, makeup, or fake nails in an IV room. These things limit your chances. And you don't walk into a job as president of the co.

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ImaCPhT in Sacramento, California

39 months ago

techteacher and pharm tech teacher are absolutely correct! I couldn't have said it any better.

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ImaCPhT in Sacramento, California

39 months ago

weeee in Monrovia, California said: 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.

I also did not have to pay $27k for my degree. I had the majority of my credits transfer over as well as some grants and I tested out of some classes. So, in the end, mine will cost me less than half. I'm looking at around $10-12k.

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DeePharmTec in Chicago, Illinois

35 months ago

Hi everyone,

I need feedback, here is my situation. I am a full-time bookkeeper and I love it but I need supplemental income and decided on Pharmacy Tech. I have my license here in Illinois to train in pharmacy but I don't have much experience. I'd like to apply for on the job training. Has anyone in Chicago done this? Please let me know. What books can I purchase to train for it? What exactly do we need to study concerning technicians?

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cpht in Plainfield, Illinois

35 months ago

cpht in Plainfield, Illinois said: Pharmacy tech prep at Pharmacy Rx

www.wiziq.com/tutor-profile/226711-crystal-zamudio

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Dez-Ari in Peoria, Arizona

34 months ago

Here's what I found out through tons of research. I am currently studying via an online course for the CPhT exam, and this will be a career change for me. First of all - go to www.ptcb.org and read the requirements for sitting for their examination. This is one of only two acceptable certification boards in the US, and most states require the PTCB certification - check your own state pharmacy board to verify. The PTCB DOES NOT endorse any school or course program - you just need to pass their examination. They do, however, have a list of study materials they recommend. Any of these materials can be obtained at online bookstores. Next, call your state's board of pharmacy, or visit their online website, and verify just what your own state's board requires!!! My state, Arizona, requires PTCB certification (via passing the exam), and then you have to apply for a State CPhT license, which is issued upon providing proof of passing the National PTCB exam - a "pass" letter will suffice as proof, because the PTCB can often take several months to send your certification. It may be helpful to note that the person I spoke to at my State Board of Pharmacy told me that they could not recommended any schools either, but that self-study was perfectly acceptable to them as long as you passed the National PTCB exam!!!

My online course is quite inexpensive, basically the cost of the study materials. I did communicate with several for-profit 'schools', but if you read their fine print, you are offered a completion 'diploma', not any sort of certification, and you STILL have to pass the PTCB exam on your own time and with your own money. Nowhere on my state's application for a CPhT license does it ask you "what school or training program did you attend?" It just asks for proof of HS Diploma or GED, no criminal record, and your PTCB proof of passing their exam.

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Dez-Ari in Peoria, Arizona

34 months ago

In addition to what I posted above, here is where I'm at on all of this - I'm halfway through the course, and it is somewhat difficult. I was not taught the metric system in public school so I am having trouble with conversions. Also, I have a pharmacy math tutorial, as I have only used a calculator these past several years, and have forgotten alot of math...also, alot of the material is memorizing, especially the drug names and the sigs. Now for the bad part. I have been following local CPhT job postings for hospital, retail and mail-order pharmacies, and frankly they ALL require at least 1-2 years experience. It's a Catch-22, because you cannot get experience unless you get hired! The 'schools' DO NOT have job placement guarantee - if they say they do make them PROVE IT before you sign any contract. I have tried unsuccessfully to find a "Trainee" position. I did get an interview with a CVS regional training manager (only because I know someone who is a manager at a CVS and he made a few calls for me), but even he told me that they only hire very experienced technicians, that I'd have to start at "the front of store" as a cashier, that they'd loan me as cashier help to the pharmacy on really busy days, and that ultimately I could fill in for tech's on vacation, and then "work my way up" over time. Apparently the pharmacists do not like training anyone, and there are too many certified techs with experience for the jobs to go around anyway. I'm frustrated at this point, but will finish the course and take the exam anyway. Lastly, you have to be agressive because this is all face-to-face "asking to see the store manager" type of job searching. And the hospitals will not let you just come in and apply. You have to do the online app, and hope human resources gives you a call back. And many hospitals will interview you only if you have previous hospital pharmacy experience. Another Catch-22. Before you sign up for any course, read your local pharmacy tech ads!!!!

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Kay in Chicago, Illinois

34 months ago

I would like to give you advise, volunteer at some of the major hospitals in your area and that way you will be getting the experience you need and you can also add that to your resume. Try the Veterans Hospital or County Hospitals where they need additional help.

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Kay in Chicago, Illinois

34 months ago

Don't be discouraged. Pharmacy tech jobs are expected to grow because of the baby boomers in the next 10 years. Hang in there, this profession is here to stay. But please don't take out a hugh loan unless the credits are transferrable to a university. You may want to become a pharmacist and the time and money you spent will be worth it. The pay rate is unfair because of the stressful work involved. If all technicians went on strike they would truly see the importance and value of pharmacy technicians.

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rs0514 in Sacramento, California

32 months ago

ImaCPhT in Sacramento, California said: There are other accredited programs for less, but they are not degree programs. They are only certificate programs. Yes, there are some community colleges that offer the program. Consumnes River College out here in Sacramento offers Pharm Tech. However, you will still have to complete your general ed to receive your degree. Yes, it will be cheaper, but it will also take longer depending on whether or not you have to work and whether or not the classes that you need are available during that particular semester. Trust me, I looked into it and I was not thrilled about the thought of $27,000, but after being laid off for the second time in one year (I was a manager at Office Depot for 6 years, then at Micheals for 1 year), I needed to make a change. I contemplated a nursing program, but like I said, I needed to make a change and waiting for a slot in a nursing program in California takes at least 2 years. There is no guarantee you are getting in because it's a lottery. If you don't get in in 2 years, then you get in by default. Going to a technical school isn't for everyone, but in my case, it was perfect. I got in, did great, got a great job and can move on with my life.

hi i see that you are very knowledgeable in the pharmacy tech process becoming one etc. and i was wondering if i would be able to contact you to get help

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Erin in Rochester, New York

31 months ago

I'm sorry, but you are so wrong it's laughable.

I start my training in a Target pharmacy on Friday. I'm not certified in anything. I started working at Target in July as a cashier, and I asked the lead pharmacist to train me. I'm in nursing school (RN - graduate in May) and have recently been accepted to a major Big Ten university's bachelor of pharmaceutical sciences program - I eventually want to get a professional degree, not sure what yet. The point is, I would NEVER pay money to become a pharmacy tech.

Your opinion of nurses is insulting and demeaning. It takes a lot of specialized skill and knowledge to be a nurse. That's why you can't to go to a shady, fly-by-night scam school be get your RN. They also ARE NOT lazy and DO NOT "sleep" on the job.

Trade schools prey on the weak and the stupid. They charge outrageous tuition while making false promises to people dumb enough to believe that yes, they too can support a family as a pharmacy tech or medical assistant making $10/hour, paying back their ridiculous student loans. You wonder why these schools advertise during Maury and Jerry Springer?

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Erin in Rochester, New York

31 months ago

P.S., I'm not sure why my computer is saying I live in NY. I live in the Midwest.

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ME in Hayward, California

29 months ago

You sound really dumb and uneducated by making your comment about trade schools preying on their weak. Not all people who goes to trade schools are dumb. I was accepted into UC Berkeley and decided that I did not want to be a stuffy attorney. I went to Carrington College obtained my AA Degree, and got offered a job right out of school at Stanford Hospital as a pharmacy technician, compounding IV's and medications making $35hr full time(w/o overtime)to start. Now, only two years later I'm a pharmacy technician supervisor making $45hr full time(w/o overtime).So lets see I only owe $10,000 in loans and make approx $5-$10/hr less then a pharmacist who owes back $100,000+ in loans. So you do the math and figure out which school is really getting over. It seems to me you being in a top college is obviously doing you no justice.

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mynhii in Oakland, California

29 months ago

ME in Hayward, California said: You sound really dumb and uneducated by making your comment about trade schools preying on their weak. Not all people who goes to trade schools are dumb. I was accepted into UC Berkeley and decided that I did not want to be a stuffy attorney. I went to Carrington College obtained my AA Degree, and got offered a job right out of school at Stanford Hospital as a pharmacy technician, compounding IV's and medications making $35hr full time(w/o overtime)to start. Now, only two years later I'm a pharmacy technician supervisor making $45hr full time(w/o overtime).So lets see I only owe $10,000 in loans and make approx $5-$10/hr less then a pharmacist who owes back $100,000+ in loans. So you do the math and figure out which school is really getting over. It seems to me you being in a top college is obviously doing you no justice.

It is amazing that you were able to find a job immediately.

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ImaCPhT in Sacramento, California

29 months ago

ME in Hayward, California said: You sound really dumb and uneducated by making your comment about trade schools preying on their weak. Not all people who goes to trade schools are dumb. I was accepted into UC Berkeley and decided that I did not want to be a stuffy attorney. I went to Carrington College obtained my AA Degree, and got offered a job right out of school at Stanford Hospital as a pharmacy technician, compounding IV's and medications making $35hr full time(w/o overtime)to start. Now, only two years later I'm a pharmacy technician supervisor making $45hr full time(w/o overtime).So lets see I only owe $10,000 in loans and make approx $5-$10/hr less then a pharmacist who owes back $100,000+ in loans. So you do the math and figure out which school is really getting over. It seems to me you being in a top college is obviously doing you no justice.

I agree with you 100%. I was accepted to many good universities as well. It's just a personal choice. I was also hired by the hospital I externed at right after school and it's the best decision I've ever made...and I also went to Carrington and earned my AA and was hired full time with overtime and full benefits.

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mel2010 in Seattle, Washington

26 months ago

I desperately need some guidance!!!!!
I have searched jobs as a pharmacy technician here in Washington state, but ever single one of those jobs requires experience, certification, or education. I can't get experience as a pharmacy technician without first having a job as one. So here is what I have planned:
****I am going to take some core classes at a community college in Washington, this will take about a year. After those classes are complete, I can apply to the main program however only 9 students are accepted into the program a year! I'm not sure why.
****What I wanna do is get into the program, get a job as a pharmacy technician and use the money to continue going to school. I don't want to be a financial burden to my parents anymore (I am 20). Can someone PLEASE tell me if a $15.00-$21.00 job as a pharmacy technician is enough to pay for college? Is this a plan for failure? PLEASE HELP!

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starving in Yorba Linda, California

26 months ago

mel2010 in Seattle, Washington said: I desperately need some guidance!!!!!
I have searched jobs as a pharmacy technician here in Washington state, but ever single one of those jobs requires experience, certification, or education. I can't get experience as a pharmacy technician without first having a job as one. So here is what I have planned:
****I am going to take some core classes at a community college in Washington, this will take about a year. After those classes are complete, I can apply to the main program however only 9 students are accepted into the program a year! I'm not sure why.
****What I wanna do is get into the program, get a job as a pharmacy technician and use the money to continue going to school. I don't want to be a financial burden to my parents anymore (I am 20). Can someone PLEASE tell me if a $15.00-$21.00 job as a pharmacy technician is enough to pay for college? Is this a plan for failure? PLEASE HELP!
here in California where there is a higher min wage you can expect to be paid 9-12, Idk where you will find a 15-21 job not even hospitals will start you off at that.

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mel2010 in Seattle, Washington

26 months ago

starving in Yorba Linda, California said: here in California where there is a higher min wage you can expect to be paid 9-12, Idk where you will find a 15-21 job not even hospitals will start you off at that.

In Washington State. I got those number from open jobs as a pharmacy technician around where I live.

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mel2010 in Seattle, Washington

26 months ago

hoapres in San Mateo, California said: I am skeptical.

Let's see.

You have a chance to go to UC Berkeley Law and decide to go to Carrington College.

Stanford Hospital does not pay pharmacy techs $35 an hour and the pharmacists don't just make an additional $5 to $10 an hour.

Erase the stars between each number
fortress.wa.gov/esd/worksource/ShowJobDetail.aspx?JobID=2*2*5*1*5*8*7&SearchID=4*0*2*0*3*4*0*1*3&Sort=Title&Direction=DESC&PageSize=25&PageIndex=6&RecordCount=3*8*7&Sender=Employment

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mel2010 in Seattle, Washington

26 months ago

hoapres in San Mateo, California said: I am reluctant to make the following claim but suspect your plan is a failure. Talk to local hospitals to see what entry level pharmacy technicans are getting paid and also talk to the community college faculty. Pharmacy is a field that is glutted with new graduates that can't find jobs.

I have looked at jobs around where I live. I didn't make up those numbers. If you erase the stars between the numbers in the link below, u can see.

fortress.wa.gov/esd/worksource/ShowJobDetail.aspx?JobID=2*2*5*1*5*8*7&SearchID=4*0*2*0*3*4*0*1*3&Sort=Title&Direction=DESC&PageSize=25&PageIndex=6&RecordCount=3*8*7&Sender=Employment

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mimahb01 in Los Angeles, California

26 months ago

Well i am really having a hard time deciding if to go to a pharmacy technician course in Cal State Dominguez Hills Community College. Is a really short 50 hour course that meets twice a week and for three hours, its a course that prepares you for the PTCB test and provide hands on training. Furthermore; it is just asking for $1000 for the course that includes books yet sounds to good and too short to full fill a whole course. Will it be a waste of time and money to rely on that certification program and just go to those other school like UEI etc??????

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SamWanker in Los Altos, California

25 months ago

I've briefly researched this plus talk to some people working in some pharmaceuticals. In California, you can never work with drugs if you aren't certified by our state. To be certified, you must pass the State exam. But before you can take the State exam, you must have completed the required school and lab hours backed by school certificates and transcripts. Yes, some people earn $10 to $12/hr working in a Pharmaceutical but not as a pharmacy tech. Those who earn less than $15 are aids or (as I read on previous notes) pharm slaves. Yes you can still work in a pharmaceuticals without experience or certificates but you can never work with medicines. You will be only be labeled as regular worker at the lowest level. So I guess, going to school and slashing some cash to get a diploma is applicable to where I live just because you will go nowhere without it.
Again, this only applies to all California residences as I didn't researched with other states. My statement may or may not apply to other states.

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lilfergy in Lebanon, Kentucky

24 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.

I am moving to springfield in a few weeks and have been pondering retraining for a new trade. I would like to know where to go to and who to talk about this. Please let me know. Thanks!

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lilfergy in Lebanon, Kentucky

24 months ago

lilfergy in Lebanon, Kentucky said: I am moving to springfield in a few weeks and have been pondering retraining for a new trade. I would like to know where to go to and who to talk about this. Please let me know. Thanks!

I am currently in Bowling Green not lebanon.

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laffingdukk in Chico, California

22 months ago

pharmacy slave in Cleveland, Ohio said: Hmm, hate to disagree with you Quiet, but I am afraid I must!
Maybe it depends on what part of the country you live in, but from those I have talked to myself, no techs are making that kind of money. In fact, one that I work with stated she was only making something in the 10.00 range and that was in a hospital pharmacy. Yes, she is certified.

There is more to college than being a nurse after all. Those trade schools only offer certificates for one job alone. A college degree can open far more doors. Yes, it is difficult sometimes, but if you are going to be spending that kind of money and putting that much effort into it, it would be great if there was a job worth having on the other side wouldn't it? Those trade schools churn out graduates by the dozen, they are cheaper than a 4 yr college and can be completed in 8 or 9 months. But therin lies the problem doesn't it? Too many graduates, not enough jobs. That's why they can pay so little, those grads are desperate for jobs! And who can blame them? Even in today's job market, I think that college grads have a much better chance of finding a job worthy of them. Trade school grads have to compete with all the others out there doing the same, and sadly, have to settle for minimum wage to do it.

Here's hoping you are working at a hospital making that kind of money Quiet. None of the techs I know do.

I think it does matter which state you work in. In CA they can make anywhere from 9-20 an hour. in my town, which is economically depressed (it's not chico like it says btw its 70 miles northwest...the median salary is 13. and wages here SUCK

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laffingdukk in Chico, California

22 months ago

thx for reading my question..sorry about the length. all comments are welcome if helpful :-)
I am curious why you say you "must" go to a school that is accredited by the ASHP. I am in a huge dilemma which direction to take. (I am in CA) My basic constraints are time (i only have a few months to educate myself) and money (i make 600 mo unemployment). The reasons aren't relevant to this so I'll spare you.
Here's the background of my question as briefly as I can manage
I'm looking into becoming a pharm tech. I have 5 years of retail supervisory experience, I have 15 yrs mental health exp and 15 yrs caregiving experience (both of the previous were concurrent!) U can read a sig, I am extremely familiar with many classes of medications, espec Sch 2 and psychotropics..but also many others. I haven't worked with meds in about 6 years though, so I do know new ones are on the mkt all the time.

So California says you can get licensed 3 ways. 1.military.2.complete training course that meets one of a few criteria I won't list (ASHP is one of these) 3. Be certified by the PCTB

I am very intelligent, and I have some background. If I buy course materials myself, and procure my own externship (assuming this can be done..I haven't checked), What can a school offer me that I can't do myself? Are there labs? Do you learn compounding and IV mixing, or is that more the domain of the pharmacist?
I want to be as specialized as possible, although I do know it is a retail job in many ways.
I have an opportunity to pay a cheap program that will provide me some structure, and they may be somewhat of a diploma mill, but if I learn the materials is it sufficient? I don't want to fail, but I do have constraints

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laffingdukk in Chico, California

22 months ago

Jasmine in West Covina, California said:

you are in CA. they require employers to pay unemployment insurance tax. they can't get out of it. furthermore, one of the only ways to GET unemployment is to get fired or laid off. you are off base in your perceptions.

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laffingdukk in Chico, California

22 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.

I am curious why you say you "must" go to a school that is accredited by the ASHP. I am in a huge dilemma which direction to take. (I am in CA) My basic constraints are time (i only have a few months to educate myself) and money (i make 600 mo unemployment). The reasons aren't relevant to this so I'll spare you.
Here's the background of my question as briefly as I can manage
I'm looking into becoming a pharm tech. I have 5 years of retail supervisory experience, I have 15 yrs mental health exp and 15 yrs caregiving experience (both of the previous were concurrent!) U can read a sig, I am extremely familiar with many classes of medications, espec Sch 2 and psychotropics..but also many others. I haven't worked with meds in about 6 years though, so I do know new ones are on the mkt all the time.

So California says you can get licensed 3 ways. 1.military.2.complete training course that meets one of a few criteria I won't list (ASHP is one of these) 3. Be certified by the PCTB

I am very intelligent, and I have some background. If I buy course materials myself, and procure my own externship (assuming this can be done..I haven't checked), What can a school offer me that I can't do myself? Are there labs? Do you learn compounding and IV mixing, or is that more the domain of the pharmacist?
I want to be as specialized as possible, although I do know it is a retail job in many ways.
I have an opportunity to pay a cheap program that will provide me some structure, and they may be somewhat of a diploma mi

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Pharm tech teacher in Lexington, Kentucky

22 months ago

A school can give you a college degree. An ashp-accredited school has proven that it meets standards set by the primary national standards org in pharmacy. Earning that is more rigorous for the school. Your writing speaks well for you. But---"only" $30/hr???? As a college prof i am not there yet, you might need to adjust your expectations. Consider a 2 yr RN degree, pays better. If Ca does not require you be a grad of an accredited program, a quickie course might work. Be aware: the tech exam covers retail and hospital, incluDing aseptic technique. Hospitals pay more and the work is generally more varied and challenging, but aome people prefer retail. Good luck.

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ImaCPhT in Roseville, California

22 months ago

laffingdukk in Chico, California said: I think it does matter which state you work in. In CA they can make anywhere from 9-20 an hour. in my town, which is economically depressed (it's not chico like it says btw its 70 miles northwest...the median salary is 13. and wages here SUCK

I'm in Sacramento, CA in a hospital pharmacy and our techs start out around $25/hr...

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Michael Vescelli in Cibolo, Texas

22 months ago

I live in Atlanta Georgia and I have talked to many pharmacists and pharmacy techs. Every single one of them said that schooling is needed and that there are not many accredited pharmacy's that will offer training to be a pharmacy tech. Now-a-days people want certified people not just on the job trained. Best to go to an accredited school that is nationally accredited, take your PTCE and make a very good grade.

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laffingdukk in Chico, California

22 months ago

Pharm tech teacher in Lexington, Kentucky said: A school can give you a college degree. An ashp-accredited school has proven that it meets standards set by the primary national standards org in pharmacy. Earning that is more rigorous for the school. Your writing speaks well for you. But---"only" $30/ hr ???? As a college prof i am not there yet, you might need to adjust your expectations. Consider a 2 yr RN degree, pays better. If Ca does not require you be a grad of an accredited program, a quickie course might work. Be aware: the tech exam covers retail and hospital , incluDing aseptic technique. Hospitals pay more and the work is generally more varied and challenging, but aome people prefer retail. Good luck.

that "$30" hour quote is from the message I originally replied to, LOL. Hell no I don't expect to make that much...I would be happy at half that to start.

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Kay in Chicago, Illinois

22 months ago

The very best thing to do is to become a certified pharmacy technician regardless if you attend a school or study at home.

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Kay in Chicago, Illinois

20 months ago

The class in Chicago is only 9 weeks one day a week, books included. Every one of our students who take the certification test pass it. We focus only on what is on the test. These two books have exactly what is on the test and nothing else. We are proud of our success rate. The students that pass the test tell us that 70% of the test is in the first book, with identical questions. Way to go Chicago!!!!!!

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Jeff in Fort Worth, Texas

19 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.

Don't forget Cal pays more and has higher min wage. I live in Texas and we have a larger healthcare care system and tech get around $11/h.

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t in Bakersfield, California

17 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 just applied at walgreens, i want to become a pharmacy technition. Did you apply online and they called you or did you do something else?

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babytaz in Jacksonville, Florida

16 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.

The school that I attended attempted to teach a little on the subject of insurance, but as they stated all places have so many different insurance programs and such it is very hard to teach one thing. I have a cert. and graduated the course, and just recently found me a job. Here in Florida you must be a licensed pharm tech to get a job and also they require you to have the national certification as well. My school paid for both of these for me. For the $14,000 that I have paid for the course and I know that it is accredited, its well worth it for me. I am looking to get my associate only because I need it to get into Pharmacy School. even though there is alot more involved to get there, I dont feel as if I wasted my time or money going to school.

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babytaz in Jacksonville, Florida

16 months ago

Jasmine in West Covina, California said: 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.

Wow, I am sorry that you feel as if you wasted your time, or that the place you work at is such a bad place, but as for me- it is what you make it. granted when I graduated I knew that I would not be making 17 and hour, but I also knew I wasnt going to stay at the bottom. Maybe the person in charge of training didnt want to train, but that wouldnt have stopped me from putting my hands in everything I wanted to know. I think of my self as a go getter a doer and with 15 years management experience in fast food, there is now that I will let someone dictate to me what I can and cant learn just because they have had bad experiences.
Your actions speaks volumes and when you think someone isnt watching they usually are.
Dont let someone bad vibes control you. I have to say I look forward to my job--its a job!!!! and its bringing in more than I would have without it.

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babytaz in Jacksonville, Florida

16 months ago

Jasmine in West Covina, California said: 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.

maybe the employees that you are referring to havent done anything to warrant getting more..raises are just given they are earned. you dont know what is in their background or history with that company---and 14 is a good place to start and stay for some of us!!

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blessed inspite of in Jacksonville, Florida

16 months ago

ok, let me just say this. I have went to school and have graduated. I have taken the PTCB exam and scored exceptionally well, first time around before I even finished school. I have been registered in my state. because I did all of these things, I have been sought after by a lot of businesses, and I can say that I am working 2 jobs now. compared to where i was a year ago its a blessing. I paid for my education and I wouldnt change anything that I did. I am looking to get my AA however, and dont know if I just need to get the basic courses since I already have my diploma or redo everything. Eventually I would need to get this anyway because I was interested in getting into Pharm D school.
can someone please shed some light on this for me.... PLEASE educated responses. I will not justify my actions or reasons just bwcause you dont like your job.

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ImaCPhT in Phoenix, Arizona

16 months ago

Good for you! I haven't yet decided for sure, but I am going back to school as well to become either a pharmacist or a physician assistant. Since you are already working as a tech, that will help with your resume and transcript for entering pharmacy school. You don't need an AA/AS degree...at all. The only reason I have one is because the tech school I went to only offered degrees. You do, however, need to pursue a BS/BA and then apply to pharmacy school. It will depend on what school you plan on going to, but you will need to complete all your chemistry classes (Intro, bio chem, organic chem, etc.) as well as physics and calculus I & II. It's a long road that is full of prerequisites, but in the end it's worth it.

I do enjoy my position as a tech, but as I've stated before, after working in an inpatient pharmacy, you get to see the clinical aspect of pharmacy and it's so interesting. Unfortunately, as techs, we only get to really do the hands-on, monotonous things. I have more confidence in myself and feel that I can now pursue an even higher education.

blessed inspite of in Jacksonville, Florida said: ok, let me just say this. I have went to school and have graduated. I have taken the PTCB exam and scored exceptionally well, first time around before I even finished school. I have been registered in my state. because I did all of these things, I have been sought after by a lot of businesses, and I can say that I am working 2 jobs now. compared to where i was a year ago its a blessing. I paid for my education and I wouldnt change anything that I did. I am looking to get my AA however, and dont know if I just need to get the basic courses since I already have my diploma or redo everything. Eventually I would need to get this anyway because I was interested in getting into Pharm D school.
can someone please shed some light on this for me.... PLEASE educated responses. I will not justify my actions or reasons just bwcause you dont like your job.

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Abi in San Jose, California

14 months ago

I need help! I want to be a pharmacy tech but dont know how to start. I get confused with which school to go and if I do really need to go to school. And I dont want to pay so much for school too. I read comments that some didnt even went to school. But then how do I get my self certified right? I just dont have the right people to talk to so hopefully someone would reply and give me some advice. Thanks!

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Joey in Medford, Massachusetts

14 months ago

Hello I’m Joey and I wanted to make a post sense many of the post here are years old and I believe an updated post in necessary.

Years ago when a lot of these post was made pharmacy tech did not make good money, but in today’s world that has changed in many ways.

First you must understand what a pharmacy technician can do in the world of pharmacy. Many high level positions are usually not posted on websites. The hospitals and specialized pharmacy that have them will usually hire from within the organization first. Remember that your starting pay will depend on many factors.
1. Education: what type of education do you have?
Bachelor, Associate, Diploma or Certification.
2. Skills: What area of the pharmacy field did you work in?
3. Certification/Registration
4. Size of Organization: The bigger a company is the more services they provide.
5. Years in Field
6. Last rate of pay: what did you make in your last position?

A. Let’s talk about education first. The higher your education is the more money you can ask for. A hospital or specialized pharmacies know that a person with a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacology is not going to take $12 hours starting pay and is unlikely to take anything less they $20 for a starting salary. Higher education does give you a bigger advantage.

B. Skills are what you have experience doing in the pharmacy field? What area did you work in?
I will list them.

1. OPC (Operational Pharmacy Computer where medication is stored) Scan labels and grab meds from OPC, Omni cell or Fridge and give to Omni cell Tech.
2. Omni Cell Machine Tech Gather meds and bring to floor to stock machines.
3. O.R. (Operating Room) Pharmacy Tech: Prepare meds for surgery patients. Set up surgery kits.
4. Data Entry: Enter Inpatients med labels into computer system and check for errors and pass on to Pharmacist for final review, then send to area
5. Insurance Pharmacy Tech: Deals with insurance problems
6. Code Cart: Setup surgery cart with tubi

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Joey in Medford, Massachusetts

14 months ago

7. Dialysis Tech: Prepares large volume electrolyte solution for Dialysis patients

High Risk/High level positions
8. Experimental Pharmacy: Work with Pharmacist in new drug trials from Pharmaceuticals Companies.
9. Inventory Tech: Order all medical supplies and medications for the pharmacy Deal with Medical suppliers and other departments that works with pharmacy. Ex: Nursing, Flu meds
10. Allergy Pharmacy Tech: Works with Allergy department to prepare allergy medications
11. Compounding Tech: Compound powders and pills into oral or topical medications
12. Vault: Count and dispense Narcotics to other pharmacy areas (Must be certified)
13. Nuclear Pharmacy Tech: Prepare and dispends nuclear meds
14. (SPD) Sterile Product Department: Prepare Intravenous and Compounding admixes for inpatient pharmacy. Antibiotic, Chemotherapy, Experimental, Oral meds, Eye drops, Topical meds and O.R. meds.

This is just a list there are many more area to work in.

C. Certification/Registration
Are you certified and/or Registered in your state.
Remember some states it’s not mandatory to have either or both. Check with your State board of Pharmacy. If it’s not mandatory in your state you should still try and get one or both.

D. Size of Organization. A bigger organization can offer more money than a smaller one can.
This do mainly that a bigger let’s say hospital provides more services and needs people with more skills and makes more money by doing this.

E. Year in the Field. This is important to some degree. If you worked in the OPC area for 5 years and then applied for a position in the same area you do have some bargaining power and can ask for more money, but if you applied for a position in a different area say Inventory management. You may, one not be hired in this area as you don’t have experience, but if you are you might have to take a pay cut.

F. Rate of pay. What did you make in your last position? This is one of those things that have a greatest im

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Joey in Medford, Massachusetts

14 months ago

Example: You just started as a Pharmacy Tech in the O.R. pharmacy at $13 hourly let’s not take anything else into thought. After 4 year you’re making $16 hourly. Now you see a job post at a bigger hospital and you apply. You now have 4 years of experience this means the employers need less training for you and last supervision for you. Both save the employers money. Many employers have set amounts to hire people based on years of experience. You’ve seems a post pay grade 5 etc… This means the employer has a set pay range for this position depending on the years of experience. So you made $16 an hour and you asked for $18 with this new employer and the employer hired you right-a-way. Then you find out this:

Grade 5 with one experience: $ 15 to $16.49 hour
Grade 5 with two experience: $ 16.50 to $17.99 hour
Grade 5 with three experience: $ 18 to $18.99 hour
Grade 5 with four experience: $ 19 to $19.50 hour

Remember that this is not set in stone and an employer can give you less then stated, if you stated a pay amount first. This is why many employers will ask what amount of pay you’re looking for first. The smart thing to do is ask the person what the pay rate is for a tech with your skills.

Also remember that many organizations, to work in some area you need to be a certified pharmacy tech. If you are not, you cannot work in these areas (areas that are considered high risk or handling Narcotics).

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