Prepare to Earn National Certification and Succeed as a Pharmacy Technician
When you train with The University of Southern Mississippi you can gain the knowledge and skills you need to start a rewarding career as a pharmacy technician. With over 100,000 new pharmacy technician jobs* expected nationwide by 2020, you'll be in demand and a valuable member of the healthcare team.
Choose our training for:
- Online flexibility and comprehensive training – Enjoy the flexibility of studying on your own schedule with the confidence of knowing you're gaining all of the skills you need to succeed.
- National certification preparation – Graduate with the skills you need to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Exam (PTCE) and prove you have the skills employers need.
- Externships with Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy – Our students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through an externship in a Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy store in their local area.
With our online Pharmacy Technician training, you can develop the expertise you need to excel in your new field. Call 601-266-4186 or request free information today for more details!*U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
- What role do pharmacy technicians play?
Pharmacy technicians work in retail or institutional facilities and assist pharmacists in formulating, labeling, and dispensing medications. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 73% of pharmacy technicians work in a retail setting and about 18% work in hospitals.
- What is the job market for a pharmacy technician?
The pharmacy technician field is a part of the growing healthcare industry, and the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics projects:
- A rapidly expanding job market as the field is predicted to grow by 32%, or over 100,000 new jobs, before 2020.
- High demand and good job prospects for pharmacy technicians with formal training or certification.
- A growing number of professionals needed in the field to meet the high demand for prescriptions fueled by an aging population and continued scientific advances.
- How much can I earn as a pharmacy technician?
The U.S. Department of Labor report states that the middle 50% of pharmacy technicians nationwide earn between $23,940 and $35,420 annually. You may also qualify for benefits as a pharmacy technician. The Career Step Pharmacy Technician program prepares students for the national certification exam after graduation, which increases earning potential, marketability, and flexibility.
- Do I need to be certified?
Career Step graduates are prepared for national certification offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Although certification is not required in all states, certified pharmacy technicians enjoy increased pay, greater marketability, and more flexibility to choose from a wider variety of positions or geographies.
To determine whether your state of residency requires national certification, please refer to your state board of pharmacy's website or our State Requirements pdf.
- What are the advantages of training with Career Step?
Career Step has been training quality healthcare professionals for over 20 years and offers a comprehensive training program that prepares students to work as pharmacy technicians. You will study online, on your own schedule and at your own pace, and with Career Step you know you're getting the right education; personal, ongoing support; and the resources and guidance you need to turn your education into a job. You'll simultaneously train to work in both retail and institutional settings and will be prepared to sit for the national certification exam immediately after graduation. Career Step also has externship partnerships with Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy, which provide the opportunity for student to participate in an externship in their local areas.
- What kind of skills or experience do I need to enter the Career Step program?
In order to be admitted, you must be at least 18 years of age and either a) have a high school diploma or a General Education Development Certificate (GED), or b) pass the Career Step Pre-Enrollment Assessment Test. There are no specific skills or experience that are considered prerequisites for entry into the Career Step training program.
- How is the Career Step Pharmacy Technician program structured?
The Career Step program is offered entirely online, providing 24/7 access to all material and allowing you to progress through the curriculum on your own schedule and at your own pace. The program is broken into modules, or course subjects, all of which focus on helping you build the essential knowledge and skills of a pharmacy technician. The final exam of the course is designed to provide an experience similar to that of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Exam, ensuring that you are as prepared as possible to sit for national certification immediately upon graduation. The Career Step Pharmacy Technician program offers you the opportunity to participate in an externship through a Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy in your local area.
- What type of student support does Career Step offer?
Career Step student support includes access to:
- Student Support Instructors and Advisors who have professional experience in the industry and are uniquely qualified to answer questions about both the curriculum and the industry. They provide timely answers to questions about the program material and offer a number of personal consultations throughout the training to help students master important concepts.
- Technical Support Advisors who are knowledgeable, experienced, and available six days a week to help you work through any technical or computer issues encountered within the training program.
- Graduate Support Advisors who help you transition to the workforce after graduation. Your Graduate Advisors will help prepare the best resume, develop solid interview skills, and teach you valuable job search techniques.
Though the course is entirely online, you'll never be on your own. Career Step's student support team is available to offer personal, ongoing support all the way through the training program.
- How long does it take to finish the course?
The Career Step Pharmacy Technician training program is 285 completion hours. Since the program is completely self-paced and the online training format allows you the flexibility to study as much or as little as your schedule allows, the time it takes you to complete the course will vary from other students. Some students are able to complete their training program in as little as 2 or 3 months (working on the course full-time, 8 hours a day 5 days a week) and others, who are more limited in the time they can devote to the course, take longer (for example, students who can devote about 15 hours a week may finish in about 5 months).
Every student who enrolls in a Career Step training program receives an initial 6-month period of enrollment. Though the program is designed to be completed in 3 months of full-time study, you'll have a full 6 months to complete your training. If you need extra time to complete the course after your initial 6-month enrollment, 3-month extensions are available for purchase.
- Is an externship included in the Career Step program?
Career Step has partnered with Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy to offer externships to our students in their local areas. After students reach a certain point in the training program, they will be eligible for an externship, which are subject to local availability. Students can begin their externships prior to graduation, providing the opportunity for them to cement the skills they're learning in the course and smoothing the transition from classroom to workplace.
- How do I find work after graduation?
Career Step offers personalized, post-graduation resources for your job search, including:
- Externship opportunity with Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy (available before graduation)
- Personal consultation with a Graduate Advisor
- Personalized interview tutorials and training
- Individual resume and cover letter review, tips, and advice
- Access to Career Step's help hotline for six months after graduation
These resources offer the personalized help you need after graduation to transition to the workplace. With this individualized help and attention, the majority of our graduates are hired within a few months of graduation.
Before you graduate from the program, you will also complete a module that includes an extensive discussion on finding work after graduation and the requirements of each state. For more information on the requirements of each state, please view our State Requirements pdf.
- What materials and computer specifications are required to complete the course?
Your enrollment includes everything you will need to train for a successful pharmacy technician career. Your enrollment includes:
- Access to expert-created curriculum
- 6-volume text companion series of textbooks
- One-on-one help from student and technical support
- A Pocket Guide for Technicians brand name to generic name drug reference book
- Valuable graduate resources
Since the course is completely online, your computer will play an important role in your learning experience. We recommend the following minimum computer system specifications:
- Active internet connection (High speed/Broadband connection recommended)
- 800 X 600 minimum resolution (1024 X 768 or higher recommended)
- Sound card and speakers (Earphones recommended)
- Available USB port
- Adobe Flash Player (ver. 10 or higher)
- Windows Media Player (ver. 10 or higher) or Quicktime Player (ver. 7 or higher)
- PDF reader
- Internet Explorer 7.x/8.x/9.x
- Firefox 3.x
- Safari 4.x or greater (Mac only)
- Microsoft Windows (XP®, Vista®, 7 with latest service pack)
- Mac OS X (10.4.11 or greater)
Note: Mobile browsing devices are not currently supported. However, Career Step is investigating the implementation of mobile device support, and these specifications will be updated once a decision has been reached.
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- "I researched schools for two years before signing up for the Medical Billing and Coding course with Career Step. I wanted to make sure I received training from a school that would set me apart from other candidates. . . . I have noticed that recruiters are highly impressed with my skills, and even though I recently graduated, I have several job opportunities in the works! . . . Thank you Career Step!" Read More Reviews »
- "I love Career Step! When I enrolled, I thought that this was going to be a hard, lonely road. I was wrong. When I enrolled, I joined a team and gained a family. I was never alone. If I needed help or had a question, all I had to do was email student support or post on the forum. Everybody was so friendly and knowledgeable. They always gave you the feeling that they were only there for one reason—to see you succeed." Read More Reviews »
- "We've hired a number of Career Step graduates, and we've been very happy with the quality of the work that they've done at our organization. We love the way that the program tests and evaluates them along the process, and it's really helped us select those who are really shining stars." Read More Reviews »
- "I never thought an online teaching program would work for me, but . . . it taught me the discipline needed to be successful in the industry. I am looking forward to working in this field very much. Thank you!" Read More Reviews »
- "Career Step has provided me with a wonderful opportunity to start a new career. Thanks to the intense course, I feel confident in starting my new career. . . . I know I would not be able to do this work if your course had not been so complete." Read More Reviews »