It is no secret that the United States Healthcare Field is full of career opportunities that aren’t going anywhere. A lot of these careers require several years of schooling that some individuals can’t commit to. However, a career as a pharmacy technician is an excellent way to get into healthcare. In weighing the benefits of becoming a pharmacy technician it can be helpful to understand why you should become certified in order to advance in your new career. So, let's look at some of the ways in which it is beneficial for you to become certified.
A certification makes you more desirable for employment opportunities.
While some employers will search for candidates with previous experience, many are happy to hire candidates with little to no experience if they have earned credentials from a recognized industry organization such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Both of these certifications are nationally recognized and quite similar to one another. Earning credentials as a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) can aid you in becoming a desirable candidate in a hospital or retail pharmacy.
Opportunities for different areas of interest.
If you meet the certain requirements for your state and are certified, you can search for a job as a pharmacy technician in several different areas including retail, hospital, mail order, or specialty pharmacies. Other opportunities would include chemo data entry specialists, med history technicians, immunization technicians, buyers or inventory specialists, lead technicians, pharmacy technician supervisors, or even pharmacy technician managers. In addition, a certification allows you to expand your knowledge. You can become an advanced pharmacy technician (CPhT-Adv) or even Compounded Sterile Preparation Technician (CSPT).
A certification increases your pay rate.
As the need for pharmacists to perform more patient care activities increases, so does the need for pharmacy technicians to expand their roles in everyday pharmacy operations. Pharmacy technician roles continue to increase and in turn, so do the wages for a pharmacy technician. According to the Bureau Labor of Statistics, as of May 2020 pharmacy technicians were earning between $35,100 and $50,430 annually, based on their experience and location. At KLR Pharmacy Technician Training School we typically see our graduates get entry level jobs in retail and hospital pharmacies starting between $13-$17 per hour, which doesn’t include the great benefits that most employers offer, like paid time off (PTO), health and life insurance, and retirement benefits.
Face it, eventually you’ll be required to have it anyway.
Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming all require a pharmacy technician to be certified. In states that do not require certification, such as Indiana, you will find that employers still tend to prefer this prior to hiring a candidate and when they do not, they will require the certification to be obtained within a year of employment. However, in the state of Indiana (and many other states) it is important to know that in order to sit for the PTCB or NHA exam, you must complete a board approved training program.
Your certification says, “I care.”
Acquiring credentials as a CPhT demonstrates to employers your commitment to the healthcare field. Your certification points out that you have spent a significant amount of time learning the basics, proving that this career is worth your time and energy and that you aren’t afraid to put the effort in. It also shows employers that they are hiring an individual who not only wants to be in this field, but who plans to spend a significant amount of time in this field.
As you can see, the benefits are exceptional and you can absolutely grow in your career by becoming certified, which is the first step! While some programs require a 12-18 month time commitment, KLR Pharmacy Technician Training School offers a fully online 8 week program in which you finish both certified and licensed.