Becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician – A Basic Guide
The formal professional certification is a testimony of your educational qualifications and experience. By becoming a certified pharmacy technician, you will be able to prove your professionalism and integrity to employers and benefit from this. It is not particularly easy to obtain the credentials, but it is certainly worthwhile. The first thing you have to do in order to become a certified pharmacy technician is to decide which formal examination you will take. You have two main options. You can take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) or the Examination for Certified Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT). These are offered by different organizations, but have similar candidate requirements, tests and fees.
Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for taking the exams. You have to present evidence that you are over 18 years old and have a high school diploma or an equivalent. In addition, you have to prove that you have not been convicted of a felony and especially of a drug and pharmacy related felony. Your state license must be intake.
It is essential for you to prepare well for the examination. You are highly recommended to take a formal training course in advance. This is essential since you will have to answer multiple choice questions in knowledge areas related to the duties of the technician related to the assisting of pharmacists, the knowledge of medications, the maintenance of control systems and the administration of pharmacy practices. You should consider using course materials and taking practice tests to prepare for the testing. Make sure you have arranged everything for the exam day and take the test calmly.
Finally, after becoming a certified pharmacy technician, you have to keep getting recertified. Every 2 years, you have to present documents that you have had 20 hours of continuing education within the past 24 months. Such courses are available from colleges, vocational centers and professional training associations.
Pharmacy Technician Certification – How to Obtain It
There are a number of ways, in which you can increase your chances for finding a better paid job. One of them is to obtain pharmacy technician certification. This independent credential will be a guarantee for your educational qualifications and work experience. There are two professional organizations that offer formal pharmacy technician certification. You can become a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) either through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or through the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT). Both organizations have similar requirements and examinations for candidates.
In order to be allowed to sit the exam, you have to be over 18 years of age and hold a high school diploma, GED or equivalent. You must not have been convicted of a felony or pled guilty of a felony. In addition, you must not have any drug related and pharmacy related convictions of any kind. You have to hold a completely valid license from or have registration with your local State Board of Pharmacy. Applicants that have their license or registration denies, suspended, restricted or revoked will not be allowed to take the exam for obtaining the credentials. Both organizations have similar tests. PTCB has a two-hour exam with 90 multiple choice questions. ICPT, on the other hand, gives you two hours to answer 110 multiple choice questions. The costs of taking the test are also similar. PTCB charges $129, while the ICPT fee is $105.
It is up to you to decide how you will obtain your pharmacy technician certification. The requirements, examinations and charges are similar, so you will need to check which organization has a test center that is closest to you. It is also a good idea to pick an organization in line with the speed with which they schedule testing and process the results.