My Career Step: David Wedding
- Complete retraining and find a new job.
- Prepare for a career expecting long-term growth.
Benefits of His Career Step Education
- Comprehensive preparation for the PTCB Exam.
- Support that helped him understand the areas he struggled with.
Deciding on a Pharmacy Technician Career
I had been unemployed for quite some time, and I qualified for retraining funding. The retraining program gave me $2,500 to put toward training, and as part of the process I was required to do a market study of careers I was interested in. I looked into becoming a pharmacy technician because of previous experience I had in the medical field and was impressed with the outstanding long range growth expected over the next ten years. I also liked that the pharmacy tech was an integral part of the pharmacy team. A good pharmacy technician frees up the pharmacist to counsel patients (which, now that I’m working, makes me feel that I am helping patients to a more fulfilling life). So I decided to pursue this vocation, and I chose to take the Career Step program through the University of New Mexico’s Continuing Education Department because it was an online training course and the reasonable cost.
Completing the Training Program and Externship
It took me approximately 8 months to complete the program. For part of the time, I was unemployed and was able to study for 5 to 6 hours a day. Then I found temporary work and my study time dwindled to 2 to 3 hours a day. I found it more difficult to study while working, and this was definitely a factor in my not completing the program within the allotted 6-month time frame.
However, I enjoyed the sense of accomplishment I got whenever I finished a module and passed it. I also found that the instructors were very helpful when I was on the pharmacy math module. Between the instructors and my classmates on the forums, everyone was very helpful and very willing to help me understand the parts I was struggling with.
I did a Walgreens 180 hour externship. I found that my training did help a lot in doing my externship, and I feel that the externship helped me land my first job because it gave me some experience to put on my resume. I was also able to pass the final exam the first time as well as the PTCE the first time with a great score. I even found the PTCE easier than the Career Step final exam.
Finding a Pharmacy Technician Job
My job search was honestly very frustrating. It took me 6 months of pounding the pavement to finally land a job, and I was applying for 5-6 jobs a week 6 months. Out of all those applications I only got 2 interviews. The position I finally got I found in the want ads in the local paper. It is a small independent pharmacy and the pharmacist was willing to give me a chance.
Even though it took a while to find a job, I feel that my Career Step training was invaluable to becoming a pharmacy technician. I cannot fathom trying to become one with just on-the-job training. I felt the training was very complete and very thorough, and I would definitely recommend Career Step to others because I think they have developed a first rate curriculum for pharmacy tech students. Their training more than prepares you to be able to confidently sit for the PTCE. I also like the self directed approach to the training. I am older and it was quite a few years since I was in school so it helped me a lot to be able to complete the training online.