Pharmacy Technician Schools in Connecticut
Pharmacy technicians are at the front line of patient care. They are often the ones greeting patients at the prescription window of the hospital or retail pharmacy. In addition, they assist pharmacists with many routine responsibilities, including taking written prescriptions, counting out tablets, labeling bottles, and stocking sterile products.
The pharmacy technician industry is an exciting career opportunity for recent high school graduates who want a swift transition into the workforce as well as for adult workers who desire a career with long term potential.
How to become a pharmacy technician in Connecticut? The process involves some combination of education and on the job training. A pharmacy technician training course is required in CT, though it may be in-process at the time of hiring. While some employers may train potential hires, a pre-employment pharmacy technician training course increases the likelihood of finding employment. Some pharmacy technician courses in Connecticut take as little as ten weeks. Others last longer and involve multiple externships in the field.
Pharmacy technician training programs generally ask that applicants have basic competence in math and English skills. The college will likely ask prospective students to take a math placement test and demonstrate twelfth grade math skills or a readiness for college algebra.
Pharmacy Technician Registration and Training in CT
The State of Connecticut requires pharmacy technician registration, but does not mandate national pharmacy technician certification nor the passing of national pharmacy technician certification exams. However, doing so may confer some advantages. In some cases, having registered pharmacy technician status qualifies a person to be the 3rd technician on a shift (under supervision of a single pharmacist) in cases where there could otherwise be only two. Pharmacy technician certification is also a way of showing potential employers that one has the confidence, skills and training to meet national standards. Waterbury Hospital is among the employers seeking pharmacy technicians with pharmacy technician certification as well as previous work experience. (Omnicare, meanwhile, lists pharmacy technician certification as a requirement only in states where it is mandatory.)
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board is an organization which grants national certification; their certifying exam is an option many Connecticut residents pursue when working in this field. In fact, the PTCB website lists 1,984 Connecticut CPhTs certified through their agency.
Many colleges do offer exam preparation in conjunction with basic training. Manchester Community College and Middlesex Community College are among the Connecticut schools offering courses through their community or continuing education programs. Typical pharmacy technician training classwork includes field-specific nomenclature and instruction in the reading of prescriptions. Since math skills are important for job success, students who have not enrolled in college level algebra classes may be required by the school to take a math placement exam.
Pharmacy Technician Salary and Job Outlook in Connecticut
Across the nation, there is a bright job outlook for pharmacy technicians. The BLS projects that the pharmacy technician profession would grow by an impressive 31%, while less skilled pharmacy aide positions would decline by about 6%. Even in this shaky economy, pharmacy technology is an area where skills are likely to translate into monetary reward.
A representative of Quinebaug Valley Community College notes that higher education increases one’s chances of securing a good position. 71% of the graduates of Quinebaug’s program find jobs in the pharmacies of retail establishments. Nationwide, retail establishments are the largest hirers of pharmacy technicians, accounting for 75% of positions. Hospitals are also major employers. St Vincent’s Medical Center and Middlesex Hospital are among the facilities where Connecticut technicians may find employment
Prospective pharmacy technicians should be aware that hospital positions pay better than retail positions, but are generally harder to come by. Successful job experience will help a person move up in the ranks. Overall, salaries are good for a field with such a short education time. Prospective technicians will be glad to know that Indeed.com lists an average salary of $36,000 for current job postings in the state of Connecticut.