Breaking into the field of healthcare isn’t easy – or, it doesn’t seem easy, at least. Starting a career in any area of healthcare or medical care requires an advanced degree and years of education and training. Or does it?
If you’re interested in entering the world of healthcare, it’s actually surprisingly easy. You just have to choose the right career path. And becoming a pharmacy technician is one of the quickest ways to get your start in the healthcare industry.
You can start earning a good salary and gaining crucial experience fast as a pharmacy technician. Pharmacy technicians are needed everywhere pharmacists work, from supermarkets to hospitals. And they can perform some of the most important work in a pharmacy, like verifying prescriptions and counting or prepping medications.
There are two ways you can get the necessary training and education to become a pharmacy technician. You can learn through on-the-job training or formal training at a vocational or community college. And formal training can take as little as 15 weeks, Chron reports1.
If you’re ready to jumpstart your career and become a pharmacy technician, here’s how you can do so in just a few months.
Find Cheap Schooling
The first step in becoming a pharmacy technician is deciding how you’ll get education and experience. There’s a wide range of different ways to do this, and pharmacies often accept graduates from all kinds of different programs.
For example, you can attend a community college or vocational college to get a formal education. This will give you a certificate or associate’s degree in pharmacy technician skills. You can also study on the job at local hospitals or university hospitals to get on-the-job experience. It’s entirely up to you.
And no matter which kind of education – traditional or nontraditional – you choose, you don’t have to spend much. In fact, getting a certificate or degree can cost just a few hundred dollars.
Of course, tuition costs vary depending on the program you choose. According to CostHelper, the average cost of a degree or certificate for a pharmacy technician earned at a community college ranges from $460 to $4,2602. It’s common to pay between $1,750 and $2,880 if you’re an in-state student3.
If you’re interested in a pharmacy technician program at a vocational or technical school, CostHelper reports that tuition ranges greatly: certain programs, like the Penn Foster Career School’s program, cost less than $6004. Some, however, can total more than $10,000.
That’s why it’s so important to search for and compare different pharmacy technician programs. With a little research, you can find a budget-friendly, cheap program that helps you learn for less.
Earn Your Certificate or Diploma in as Little as 15 Weeks
Once you’ve found affordable pharmacy technician programs, it’s time to narrow down your options so you can earn your degree, diploma, or certificate quickly. Becoming a pharmacy technician can take two years – but if you choose the right program, it could take just 15 weeks.
Certain colleges offer quick pharmacy technician programs to help you start working as soon as possible. In just two to four months, you could be starting a new job in a pharmacy.
For example, ECPI offers a Pharmacy Technician Certificate 10-Week Program that takes just over two months to complete5. You’ll learn everything from pharmacy law to pharmacy business management to anatomy and physiology over those 10 weeks. The Ashworth College Pharmacy Technician Program is another option, and it takes just 16 weeks to complete6. This program will prepare you to master the ExCPT Pharmacy Technician Certification exam and get your credentials.
Keep in mind that, depending on where you live and plan on working, you may need additional certifications or licensing exams. Each state has different requirements, and you may have to sit for an exam to get board certified or licensed. Make sure to check with your program or your state to determine what you’ll need.
Start Reaping the Benefits of Working as a Pharmacy Technician
Are you ready to start a new career as a pharmacy technician? It might sound too good to be true, but this is one healthcare job that you can start with little experience and education. And, with the option to earn your diploma, certificate, or degree quickly, it’s a smart choice for anyone interested in healthcare or medicine.
Once you begin studying to become a pharmacy technician, you’ll discover just how many benefits there are to this career. Here are just a few:
- It’s a growing field. Pharmacy technicians are in demand, and the Bureau of Labor expects that demand to increase by 32 percent in the years ahead7. That means this is a career that’s growing and stable.
- You’ll make a difference. Pharmacy technicians help people every day. You’ll be making a difference each time you measure medication or interact with customers.
- You can work in many places. Pharmacy technicians aren’t just needed in local pharmacies. They work in hospitals, senior care facilities, mail-order pharmacies, and even corrections facilities. You can choose what kind of environment works for you.
- It offers many opportunities. If you want a career that gives you the chance to move up, it’s this. Pharmacy technicians can take on bigger roles and more responsibility with experience and additional training.
Ultimately, becoming a pharmacy technician gives you plenty of potential for your future. Whether you want to one day advance your position or explore new places of work, you can do it all. And along the way, working as a pharmacy technician can open many doors.
However, the first step to get started is to find a pharmacy technician program that works for you. There are plenty that allow you to learn at an affordable price. And there are also many that let you finish your studies in 10 weeks, 15 weeks, or longer periods of time. You just have to search to find the best option for your needs.