Pharmacy Technician Schools in North Dakota
Pharmacy technician is an evolving industry/career path. North Dakota’s pharmacy technicians are trained professionals who participate in regular continuing education activities to help them stay current with the field. They carry out many of the routine operations of the pharmacy. In fact, there are generally more pharmacy technicians in pharmacies than there are pharmacists! Pharmacy technicians participate in a surprising range of activities: compounding and packaging medications, helping fill prescriptions, and entering health care information in data systems. In retail settings, customer service is often a big part of the job.
Depending on work setting, a North Dakota pharmacist may supervise either three or four pharmacy technicians. This is slightly more than in some other states where training requirements are less. How does one get to be a pharmacy technician in North Dakota? Among the initial requirements is completion of approved pharmacy technician training.
Pharmacy Technician Registration and Certification in North Dakota
Pharmacy technicians are registered by the North Dakota State Board of Pharmacy. To ensure the highest level of practice, North Dakota does require pharmacy technicians to complete an formal education program. There are multiple options. The program must be board-approved, but it can consist of either formal education (a certificate or associates level program) or on-the-job training. Some employers — drug stores, for instance — hire people without pharmacy technician training. More competitive positions often expect people to be trained beforehand, and may also list a wide range of desired qualifications.
There can be advantages to different forms of pharmacy technician education. National certification in North Dakota is voluntary, but some employers do value it. The Pharmacist Technician Certification Board lists a relatively low number of PTCB-certified CPhTs, claiming 447 as of June 2009. Employers such as St Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck do ask for PTCB certification, and so it can be well worth pursuing, especially for pharmacy techs aspiring to work their way up through the ranks. Even some higher paying retail positions — for instance, Altru Specialty Services — cite pharmacy technician certification preferred or required. To prepare for the national certification exams it has been highly recommended that pharmacy technicians complete a pharmacy technician training program. Mountain Community College and North Dakota State College of Science are two institutions accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists offering pharmacy technician training in North Dakota. For those that do not live near one of these schools or need a more convenient option to complete their education, there are a number of online training programs offered in North Dakota and can be found listed below.
For North Dakota residents, certification largely comes down to passing a test and paying a small fee. Certification renewal requirements are similar to the continuing education North Dakota already requires. North Dakota pharmacy technicians are required to complete twenty units of continuing education every two years — the same as the PTCB requirement. There are many options for continuing education, online and traditional.
Pharmacy Technician Salary and Job Outlook in North Dakota
The national mean salary for a pharmacy technician is $28,940, but there is a wide range. Those at the 90th percentile earn about twice as much as those at the 10th percentile. Geography does make some difference. One of the most significant factors, though, is work setting. Most jobs are in retail settings; average salaries in this sector are between $25,000 and $29,000, depending on the type of store. Positions outside of retail generally pay higher wages, but are more competitive.
What jobs can a skilled North Dakota pharmacy technician aspire toward? The US government does employ some pharmacy technicians around the nation in cities such as Fargo. The federal government is among the highest paying employers of pharmacy technicians nationwide. A 2010 Fargo position was listed as $34,907 to $45,376, prorated according to FTE (as it was expected to be less than full-time). The federal government, not surprisingly, asks for a wide range of skills and an excellent background, and invites applicants to send such materials as transcripts and class ranking.
Hospitals are also considered very desirable employers. The National Pharmacist Technician Association reports that technicians sometimes enroll in advanced certification programs like compounding and IV to make themselves more competitive. Such programs simultaneously fulfill CE requirements.
The first step is to find a program that is convenient for you and request information.