Pharmacy Technician Schools & Career Information

pharmacy technician schools online

The employees at a local pharmacy are helping people stay well every day. From easing the symptoms of the common cold to providing relief to those suffering with very particular and painful maladies, pharmacy technicians ensure that individuals receive the medication they need in the exact dosages required for safe healing. When just a few little pills can literally be a matter of life and death, pharmacy technicians are the professionals who health beneficiaries trust to get all the details right. 

The every-day actions of a pharmacy technician can be incredibly important, and with online schooling, you may be able to discover what it takes to pursue a career in this field safely and effectively. What's more, many students choose online courses for flexible scheduling and for the ability to learn at their own pace.

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Are Online Pharmacy Technician Programs for You?

Here are some things to consider when choosing an online pharmacy technician program:

  • Many pharmacy technicians learn through on-the-job training programs, which can vary in terms of length and content. However, some also complete postsecondary education programs specific to the field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics[i].
  • If you are interested in a postsecondary education, it may benefit you to find pharmacy technician programs that are accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists.
  • Some states regulate pharmacy technicians. Check your state's regulations by referring to its Board of Pharmacy. Regulation may mandate that candidates have a high school diploma, pass an exam, undergo continuing education or more.
  • Some states also require certification, which is offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the National Healthcareer Association.
  • Before signing up for online courses, explore whether particular programs prepare you to achieve these certifications. Moreover, check with any potential employers to inquire about particular on-the-job training practices.

Pharmacy Technician Career Paths and Potential Salaries

There are many career paths you may choose to pursue after attending online courses in a pharmacy technician program. For some, work in a pharmacy may be used as a stepping stone to other areas in health care. For others, the training they received may be beneficial to pursuing assistantships. Study which options may be available using statistics compiled by the BLS.

Pharmacy Technicians[i]

Pharmacy technicians play an assisting role to a licensed pharmacist. They are charged with taking information from customers or health professionals to fill prescriptions, measuring medications, organizing inventories and many other things. Their work is constantly monitored by a learned professional.

  • See the BLS for median annual salary information
  • Job growth through 2022: 20 percent (faster than average)
  • Entry-level education: High school diploma or equivalent

Medical Assistants[ii]

Medical assistants often perform clinical as well as administrative tasks for other health care professionals. They may monitor vital signs, organize records, help with patient examinations, prepare blood and other medical samples for tests and more. Their duties often depend on their place of work and what their employers request.

  • See the BLS for median annual salary information
  • Job growth through 2022: 29 percent (much faster than average)
  • Entry-level education: Postsecondary non-degree award

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians[iii]

These professionals organize and manage health information data. They often catalog patient health information on paper and electronically for use by health professionals, insurance agencies and for the patients themselves. They maintain records so that they are accurate, accessible, secure and meet the high quality necessary for effective health care delivery.

  • See the BLS for median annual salary information
  • Job growth through 2022: 13 percent (average)
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree