How Long Will it Take to Get My Pharmacy Tech Certification?
As most people know, a health care related career is some of the most important work a person can do. Whether a doctor, a nurse, or a pharmacist or pharmacy technician, health care workers strive to keep people healthy. And what could be more important than that?
For those looking into a health care career, the position of Pharmacy Technician may appeal to you. Depending on the workplace, a Pharmacy Technician has a variety of duties and responsibilities, from counting out pills to corresponding with customers, and each duty is important. Even routine tasks, such as labeling bottles, can be of life-or-death importance-- as, of course, it's imperative that patients are given the correct medications in the correct doses.
The hourly earnings of a Pharmacy Technician also vary from workplace to workplace. Pharmacy Techs who earn the most generally work in hospitals, where they earn an average of $13 hourly. The lowest-earning Pharmacy Technicians work in health or personal care stores, with about a $10.50 hourly wage. Obviously, where you choose to work as a Pharmacy Technician matters. And because hospitals and other highly specialized locations pay best, they also look for the best Technicians-- that is, Pharmacy Techs with certification.
Training to Be a Pharmacy Technician
While some smaller drug stores, etc., simply provide on-the-job training to untrained Pharmacy Technicians, most higher-paying locations look for Pharmacy Technicians with formal training and certification. To obtain this, most aspiring Pharmacy Techs attend online or classroom training courses. When choosing a Pharmacy Tech course, there are several things to keep in mind, such as length of course, depth of subject matter, and quality of the course (accreditation).
How Long Will it Take?
Most Pharmacy Technician training courses run from about six months to a year, depending on the course. In that time, you will learn the skills required to operate a pharmacy, follow correct pharmaceutical procedures, provide the correct drug dosages, and assist the pharmacist in administrative tasks. This course also helps to prepare you for your PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board) exam or ExCPT (Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians).
While there are very few current federal and state laws governing the need for Pharmacy Tech certification, having a PTCB or ExCPT certification is becoming the standard. Passing one or more of these examinations is of key importance.
What if I Need to Finish Faster?
If you don't have the six months to a year it takes to complete a Pharmacy Tech training course, there are several options available. As the certification is more important to potential employers than the formal training, you can choose to focus your time on studying for the test. You can do this either by studying the test materials, or taking one of the variety of short "crash course" cramming sessions offered by some schools. Most of these courses are from a few hours to several days, and are designed to give you all the information you need to pass you PTCB or ExCPT exams.
Situated approximately 20 miles north of Dallas on U.S. 75, Plano, which lies for the most part in Collin County, has more than 274,000 residents. A suburb of Dallas, the city has garnered numerous community accolades in recent years and is considered a prime location for singles or families relocating to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
In 2006 CNN's Money Magazine named Plano the 11th best place to live in the United States after citing it in 2005 as the best place to live in the Western U.S. In 2008, Forbes selected the city, along with Highland Park and University Park as the "Top Suburbs to Live Well" in the DFW.
Exceptional Ease of Access to the Greater Metroplex
Because Plano is a member of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system, commuting into the city is made much easier. The DART system operates light rail, commuter rail, and buses and maintains high-occupancy vehicle lanes in Dallas and 12 of its suburbs. With 45 miles of track, DART is the largest light rail operator in Texas, and has an average daily ridership of 57,000.
Plano is also served by major roadways: U.S. Highway 75 to the east, the Dallas North Tollway to the west, the President George Bush Turnpike to the south, and SH 121 (a toll road) to the north. Preston Road (State Highway 289) also routes through Plano.
Stable Local Economy with Strong Corporate Presence
Many business have located their corporate headquarters in the city including HP Enterprise Services, Frito-Lay, Dr. Pepper, JCPenney, Cinemark Theatres, Ericsson Inc., Siemens PLM Software, and Rent-A-Center. An estimated 80% of the visitors to Plano are there for business purposes and the city owns and operates a medium-sized convention center.
Thanks to a targeted effort on the part of the city, a significant amount of retail presence has been cultivated in the downtown area, anchored by the Shops at Legacy in Legacy Town Center. The multi-use development includes shops, restaurants, apartments, a full-service hotel, and entertainment venues all in a community setting.
Superior Schools and Access to Higher Education
The Plano Independent School district includes 70 campuses with an enrollment of 55,193 making the locale especially attractive for families. The Collin County Community College district has two campuses and there are 16 private schools available locally. Southern Methodist University maintains a campus in Plano with academic programs in business, engineering, education, and computer training (as well as a slate of continuing education courses.)
In the broader Metroplex region, graduating seniors can choose to attend Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of Dallas in Irving, and a host of smaller and specialized institutions.
Climate Conducive to Outdoor Activity Most of the Year
North Texas has a humid, subtropical climate, characterized by warm spring and fall seasons with temperature extremes in July and August and again in January and February. A series of days of 100 degrees and more is common in August, with at least one ice storm visiting the area in late January or early February. The wettest month of the year is May.
Plano has four full-time recreation centers: Carpenter, Liberty, Oak Point, and Tom Muehlenbeck. All offer weight rooms, walking tracks, and gymnasiums, as well as class and meeting rooms. The city sponsors adult sports leagues for flag football, softball, and baseball. Year round swimming is available at Oak Point, Tom Muehlenbeck, the Plano Aquatic Center, and Rowlinson Natatorium.
The Plano Parks Foundation hosts events like its annual Arbor Day run while the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve has facilities for off-road cycling, hiking, walking, jogging, and other outdoor activities. A playground and restroom facilities are available and there are three pavilions that may be reserved for gatherings.
Complete Package for Successful Relocation
When the factors of:
- local economic strength,
- a good educational foundation,
- pleasant climate,
- and exceptional public facilities
... are factored into the resiliency with which North Texas has endured both the economic recession and the collapse of the real estate market, Plano's attractiveness as a place for singles and families to relocate can hardly be questioned.
A community that began in the 1840s with a sawmill, a gristmill, a store, and a few struggling settlers has evolved into one of the most economically stable suburbs of Dallas. Careful local planning and the prudent use of tax dollars and resources have allowed Plano to develop into a thriving small city where life is complimented, not dominated, by its larger urban neighbors. Few North Texas towns offer as much in terms of amenities and opportunity; altogether a solid and superior relocation choice.