Pharmacy Technician Schools in Nebraska
Pharmacy technology is, in more than one sense of the word, a growing profession. Fueled by changes in national demographics, jobs in the pharmacy technician field are expected to grow at a much faster than average rate in the coming years. At the same time, there is a growing trend toward setting professional standards higher for the profession. Nebraska is a part of this trend. The state voted in 2007 to require registration for pharmacy technicians.
A pharmacy technician career in Nebraska begins with a solid education. High school level education is a state requirement; other educational requirements are set by individual companies. Math classes are considered fundamental as technicians routinely perform tasks that involve measuring and using proportions. Some pharmacies require algebra skills and even test applicants on their math proficiency. Computing and keyboarding skills are also highly valued. The majority of positions are in retail, so customer service — the ability to soothe weary patients and deliver service with a smile — can help a person go far in the field.
Nebraska has instituted a few new regulations, designed to ensure patient safety. Still, a qualified candidate can find a short path to a satisfying career.
Pharmacy Technician Certification and Registration in Nebraska
Nebraska’s pharmacy technicians are registered through the Nebraska Board of Pharmacy, a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services. The rules for registration are fairly simple: Applicants must be 18, possess a high school diploma or equivalent level of education, and have a background free of drug-related misdemeanor or felony. They must also fill out an application which asks if they have ever had a chemical dependency problem or been the subject of inquiry by a credentialing agency.
Pharmacy technicians must apply for registration within 30 days of commencing employment and then renew biannually. All registrations expire on the same date: the 1st of January on odd numbered years. Although national pharmacy technician certification is not required, it is desired by some employers. The state had 1,097 PTCB-certified CPhTs as of June 30, 2009. Pharmacy technician certification in addition to a formal pharmacy technician education via a certificate, diploma or associate’s program can help a person compete for the most desirable positions.
Anyone who is planning on taking the exam should be aware that pharmaceutical calculations are a big part of the test and are considered by some to be the most difficult part. There are various programs, online and traditional, that can help a person pass the exam and at the same time develop entry level skills. Formal training programs are voluntary, but valued by many employers.
Salary and Job Outlook Data for Pharmacy Techs in Nebraska
Nationwide, the mean salary for a pharmacy technician is $28,940 a year or $13.92 an hour. Income varies, with most positions falling between $9.36 and $19.31 an hour. Retail positions tend to pay slightly less than the industry average, while hospitals often pay much more.
Some companies in Nebraska will train employees for entry level positions. Others, for example, Catholic Health Initiatives in Kearney, prefer candidates who have graduated from an accredited pharmacy technician program. It is usually regarded as easier to break into retail positions. If one wants to move into other areas, it can be good to keep a close watch on job positions that offer the possibility of advancement. One will sometimes see a retail position advertised from a company that also serves assisted living facilities.
The federal government is among the most lucrative employers nationwide, and it does employ many people outside DC. In fact, the government recently placed ads for pharmacy technicians in Omaha. Government positions are competitive, of course, but worth aiming for if one want to be a career pharmacy technician.
Other opportunities for advancement include specialties like nuclear pharmacy. Purdue has announced a certificate program in nuclear pharmacy technology and will be posting details on their site soon.