How long does it take to become a pharmacy tech? Well, the response will rely on a few variables.

As you stick around, you’ll know how much time you can dedicate to meeting academic and certification essentials. Let’s get started.

Do you desire to move into a medical career quickly? Or do you intend to make a decent living without intensive academic training?

Then, becoming a pharmacy tech can be right for you. Specialists in this field are vital in medical facilities or certified pharmacist offices.

Some of your duties include filling prescriptions, ringing customers, calling insurance companies, and giving vaccines. If you want to join this profession, you may be intrigued by its time dedication.

Yes, becoming an authority in this field takes time, hands-on experience, and diligence.

How Long to Become a Pharmacy Tech

Joining the pharmacy department as a technologist or technician takes little time. Most programs can be concluded within a few months to 1 or 2 years.

While true, certain factors can influence the time it takes to become an expert in this field. One of the main variables is your choice of program.

READ: Pharm Tech Training Cost

There are three joint trainings open for aspiring practitioners. They include on-the-job training in pharmacy, certificate or diploma programs, and associate degrees.

Each of these pharm tech programs has a unique timeframe. Allow us to review them separately for better understanding.

  • On-the-job training at a Pharmacy

Some states don’t require any qualifications to enter this profession. So, securing a job at a certified retail pharmacy can earn you the title of pharmacy technician.

It is believed that you’ll learn the basics of the field working under an accredited pharmacist. The timeframe to finish on-the-job training ranges from 1-2 months, depending on the pharmacy.

  • A Certificate or Diploma Program

You can also begin your career as a pharmacy tech by earning this credential.

The course is certified by ASHP and ACPE. It typically focuses more on skill acquisition and is time-intensive. Additionally, the program includes certification exam preparation.

After completing your certificate or diploma program, some states will require you to obtain a certification or license. While these credentials are optional, they can be equally helpful in your job search.

They will present your industry knowledge and skills to potential employers. Additionally, they will distinguish you from other job seekers in a competitive workforce.

Most pharmacy tech programs can be finished within one year or less. It all depends on your choice of institution and, sometimes, specialty area.

  • Associate degree program

If you desire specialized knowledge and skills, this qualification will be ideal. The program includes general education and coursework such as pharmacy law or pharmacology.

Moreover, it builds its syllabus from certification courses with more advanced pharmacy, tech, and scientific concepts.

Associate degrees in this field can be completed at vocational centers, universities, and community colleges. The program’s length is roughly two years, based on full-time studies.

What about the duration of online pharmacy technician training programs?

Most schools nationwide offer online classes for candidates interested in joining the profession.

If you’re self-motivated or need flexibility in your studies, you’ll find these classes ideal. You’ll be allowed to finish your coursework at your own pace.

Sometimes, you may choose a learning schedule that works well for you.

In the first few weeks of your studies, you’ll cover courses such as medical terminology and managing patient records. Subsequently, you’ll take anatomy and pharmacology.

Then, toward the end of your learning, you’ll offer pharmacology, ethics, and law. Finishing most online programs in the field takes an average of 4–12 months.

While true, there are 12-week pharmacy tech courses. While they may not offer ample time to learn everything, you’ll get the basic competence to begin work.

As with other programs, you’ll be qualified for attestation of competence and a license.

Timeframe for Pharmacy Tech Certification

As stated earlier, some states require technicians in this field to be certified or licensed.

So after finishing your training, you can seek proof of your industry knowledge and skills. There are two certifications open for pharmacy techs.

They include PTCE and ExCPT and are offered by PTCB and NHA.

Before receiving these credentials, certain conditions must be met. These include earning the minimum academic credential, having industry experience, and passing the certification exams.

It will take you several weeks or months to complete the process of receiving certification in this field.

Work Settings for Pharmacy Tech

Most practitioners in this field often work in small chains of drug stores.

However, they can also serve in hospitals, labs, private institutions, mail-order pharmacies, and more. Because the field is a unique trade, they can work in government, community, or academic facilities.

Average Salary of Pharmacy Technicians

As you plan to become an expert in this field, you must learn about the average earnings of these experts.

It will help you make informed decisions regarding your finances. That said, the average pay of pharmacy techs, according to BLS, is around $40,260.

The profession is projected to have increased the number of open positions by 5% from now to 2031. This means work possibilities amount to $43,500.

While valid, certain factors can affect the pay of these experts. These include your work setting, years of experience, educational background, and geographical location.

Required Skills 

You’ll need to acquire unique skills to thrive in the pharmacy sector.

They include strong communication, computer skills, organization, and excellent customer service. You’ll also need proficiency in math and attention to detail.

With these skills, you can communicate effectively with your coworkers, customers, and insurance companies.

Additionally, you can accurately count and measure prescription medication, process bills from insurance firms, ring up customers, and process prescriptions.

Multitasking abilities, getting along with coworkers and customers, and more are additional skills you’ll need to hold. While some work environments may not demand practitioners to have as many skills as possible, having them all is okay.

Becoming a pharmacy tech takes little time, like other healthcare professions. Within a few months to two years, you can join the industry.

We also have fast-track online programs that can be completed within 12 weeks. After that, you obtain a certification or license to work unrestrictedly.

With this, we hope you can make the right choice of program.