Pharmacy Technician Schools in Idaho
October 26, 2010 is national Pharmacy Technician Day — or so declares the website of the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians. Pharmacy technology is a rapidly growing field. In 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the coming decade would see growth of over 30% for pharmacy technicians. Meanwhile the BLS predicted that the position of pharmacy aide — a less skilled trade, with fewer job duties — would see a slight decrease.
Idaho is experiencing that positive change in job growth for pharmacy technicians. In Idaho, new regulations have actually eliminated two former pharmacy positions: clerk and cashier. Non-certified people, for instance, custodians, can be authorized to temporarily enter pharmacist work areas, but, generally speaking, all pharmacy employees must be certified. Idaho pharmacists are allowed to supervise significantly more pharmacy technicians than are their counterparts in many other states (a combined total of six pharmacy technicians and pharmacists-in-training); the flip side of this is that licensure and certification requirements are stringent. In Idaho, pharmacy technicians have many roles. Besides serving as clerks and cashiers, they assist pharmacists — and patients — in variety of capacities.
It’s not actually necessary to take a pharmacy technician course to pass board exams, but it can be extremely helpful and is recommended. Idaho pharmacy technicians may register for an online pharmacy technician training or take classes through Carrington University in Boise. Some pharmacy technician programs do also help students find externships (short internships) this may prove to be a career advantage.
Pharmacy Technician Certification in Idaho
Since 2009 certification has been required for Idaho pharmacy technicians. Either national certification exam (PTCB or ExCPT) is accepted. A pharmacist technician who has been working since before July of 2009 is exempt from some policies unless they change employers, at which time they will need to complete pharmacy technician training.
Among Idaho’s requirements: age and educational level. Generally, a technician must be 18 and have a high school diploma or equivalency, but a high school student working under supervision in a school-to-work program may apply for a waiver. A pharmacy technician training program is recommended for exam preparation as well as for professional development. Pharmacy technician training programs are often short and have the added benefit of career services and job placement assistance. For a young person, this can truly be a fast track to a solid career!
Those pursuing pharmacy technician certification through either national organization should be aware that there are recertification requirements. Both organizations mandate 20 units of continuing education every two years. There are many options available, both credit and noncredit. Continuing education can include a community college/ university study in an approved area like life science or mathematics. A single four hour lab course is worth 15 CEUs by ExCPT standards. The remaining CEUs must come from a different source — and pharmacy law is one required topic. The ExCPT requires that at least one unit be in pharmacy law, while the CBPT requires two. Other topics can include managed health and therapeutic care.
Pharmacy Technician Salary and Job Outlook in Idaho
Pharmacy technician training can be a quick path to a solid career. The average salary in Idaho, according to recent job postings on Indeed.com, is $34,000, though there is considerable variation depending on work setting. Nationally, hospital positions pay better than the more common positions at retail stores. Externships and job placement can be helpful in securing good jobs. Some Idaho universities, for instance, Carrington in Boise, offer multiple programs to better serve student needs. While the pharmacy technician position is a lucrative career, some aim even higher. Anyone considering becoming a pharmacist in the future will be glad to know that pharmacy technician classes can accumulate college credit, and that pharmacy technician associates degrees are transferable to other programs.
When perusing job postings, classifications such as Pharmacy Tech I and Pharmacy Tech II allow a prospective employee to get a sense of what level of training is expected. Saint Alphonsus in Boise is among the employers recently seeking a Pharmacy Tech I employee. They ask for previous experience as well as certification, and the job may be out of reach for the student straight out of school. With time, though, an Idaho pharmacy technician can move up the employment ranks. One more bit of bright news for Idaho’s pharmacy technicians: Idaho enjoys certification recipricocity with a number of states.