How To Become A Pharmacy Technician In Utah

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How To Become A Pharmacy Technician In Utah

College is a great time to start a new career. Save money on  college  and learn valuable job skills, all while earning a paycheck! Taken from actual classes, this how-to guide will help show you how to become a pharmacy technician.Becoming a pharmacy technician is a great career move for anyone interested in the medical field. Now you can learn how to become a pharmacy technician with our complete guide!

How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

Step 1:Complete a postsecondary education program (Optional)The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) is the accrediting body for pharmacy technician programs. ASHP-certified programs are available at many community colleges and vocational schools. Most certificate programs can be completed within a year or less, while associate degree programs typically take two years to complete. Coursework covers technical and practical training in the following areas:

How to Become a Pharmacy Technician - The Money Alert
  • Pharmacy law
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacy ethics
  • Anatomy
  • Healthcare systems
  • Physiology
  • Medical terminology
  • Pharmaceutical calculations

Step 2:Complete pharmacy technician on-the-job trainingMost programs allow students to gain clinical experience during their training. Depending on state laws, students may also choose to gain on-the-job training without enrolling in a postsecondary education program. Clinical experience may take the form of a structured training program at a retail drugstore that has partnered with the school. Another option is to complete hands-on training at an approved pharmacy or medical center.

Step 3:Become a certified pharmacy technicianSome states require pharmacy technicians to become certified. Even in states where certification is not required, most employers will only hire pharmacy techs who are certified by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).Step 4Become a specialized pharmacy technicianSome pharmacy technicians choose to work exclusively for a retail drugstore chain and will complete specialized training to serve as a general pharmacy technician, community pharmacy technician or central pharmacy operations technician, or in a similar role.Step 5Maintain the pharmacy technician certificationPharmacy techs need to pass a recertification exam, administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or National Healthcare Association (NHA) every two years. You need to complete at least 20 hours of continuing education before sitting for the exam. Approved continuing education activities can include seminars, workshops, conferences, college courses, and service to the credentialing agencies. As a technician you will have to document your continuing education and submit it online for verification. There’s also a biennial fee associated with recertification.

pharmacy technician salary

Becoming a pharmacy technician can be a gateway to a career as a pharmacist, nursing assistant or other medical professional. Demand for pharmacy technicians is expected to remain high for the next decade, making this career path potentially rewarding for those who wish to work in a pharmacy setting.

The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians in 2020 was $35,100, although this varies by state. The bottom 10% of earners make less than $25,400 per year, while the highest 10% earn more than $50,430.

Pharmacy technicians in California, Alaska, Washington, District of Columbia, and Oregon are the highest earners, on average. The BLS reports that the highest-paying positions are available with outpatient care centers, the federal government, and colleges and universities. Pharmacy techs that work in food and beverage stores and health and personal care stores typically make lower annual wages.

Pharmacy Technician Requirements in Utah

The state of Utah requires a license to work as a pharmacy technician with the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.

To apply for a license with the state, you must fully complete and submit the Application for Licensure – Pharmacy Technician, along with the required application fee of $100. In addition to the fee, you must also submit the following:

  • If you have completed on-the-job training: Affidavit of Supervising Pharmacist Responsible for Practical Training Program form or, if you completed a formal training program: Affidavit of the Official Representative of the Formal Education Program form
  • If you have a license in another state and have worked over 1,000 hours: Request for Verification of License form
  • A copy of your national certificate from the NHA or the PTCB
  • A completed Pharmacy Technician Law and Rule Examination form
  • Three fingerprint cards (only if you do not submit your fingerprints electronically using the state’s equipment)
Here's How Much Money Pharmacy Technicians Make In Every State

Registrations must be renewed every odd-numbered year by September 30th and can be completed online. The cost of renewal is $47.

Many pharmacy technician programs last less than a year and result in a certificate. To ensure that you’ll receive quality education, it’s recommended that you enroll in a school accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) or the Accreditation Counsel for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Many schools also offer the option to complete your associate’s degree. This can be a great foundation for further education.

Here are a couple schools with pharmacy technician programs in Utah:

  • Salt Lake Community College. This ASHP-ACPE accredited school offers a pharmacy technician certificate program that can be completed in one year. The program is a total of three consecutive semesters including an externship.
  • University of Utah. At this school, you can earn a pharmacy technician certificate at your pace, 100 percent online. The program is accredited by ASHP-ACPE and consists of 400 hours online study combined with 200 hours of outpatient pharmacy work.
  • Penn Foster Career School. Penn Foster offers an affordable, ASHP Accredited online Pharmacy Technician training program. More information.

Utah Pharmacy Technician Licensing

It’s required that all pharmacy technicians in Utah be licensed with the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL). You must have your fingerprints taken and prove that you passed one of two exams:

  • National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE) administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
  • Exam for Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) administered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Employment Levels and Earning Potential

The job outlook for pharmacy techs in Utah looks exceptionally promising. The Projections Managing Partnership has estimated a 30.4 increase in pharmacy tech employment from 2016-2026. That’s an extremely fast growth rate compared to that of the entire U.S.: 12 percent. It’s also expected that the state will see an average of 480 pharmacy tech job openings per year.

Utah pharmacy technicians are paid well, too. In 2018, the BLS reported a median income of $17.66 per hour for these specialists within Utah. That’s about two dollars higher than the median income for pharmacy technicians across the country.

What Is A Pharmacy Technician? 5 Key Job Functions

Where Should You Work?

By far, Salt Lake City is a promising option for new pharmacy technicians in Utah. In 2018, 2,020 pharmacy technicians worked in this city. They were also paid the highest in the state, with a median income of $17.98 per hour. The Ogden-Clearfield area is another good choice. This area pays well, with a median income of $17.76 per hour, and has the highest pharmacy tech employment levels per 1,000 jobs in the state.

Whether you begin your career in Salt Lake City, the Ogden-Clearfield area or anywhere else in Utah, it’s likely that you’ll find plenty of pharmacy technician opportunities. The population that needs medication continues to grow, and new medications continue to hit the market with advances in technology. A pharmacy tech career path is an investment in a stable future.

Basic Pharmacy Technician Requirements in Utah

The following are the minimum requirements to register as a pharmacy technician trainee:

  • No age requirements
  • Must have earned national certification from either the NHA or the PTCB
  • Must have completed one of the following:
    • A Board-approved pharmacy technician program from a licensed pharmacist
    • A Board-approved a formal educational program
    • Worked for at least 1,000 hours within the previous year as a licensed tech in another state requiring licensing

Training Requirements

The state of Utah requires completion of a Board-approved training program that includes at least 180 hours of hands-on experience in a pharmacy with a licensed pharmacist. All training must be done at an approved formal education program, with an approved licensed Utah pharmacy or by working a minimum of 1,000 hours over the past year as a licensed pharmacy tech in a state that required licensing of its techs.

If you choose to attend a formal training program, be sure to select one that is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs that are accredited by the ASHP have shown that they meet the recommended requirements to help enable you to pass one of the national exams.

Continuing education (CE) of at least 20 hours over a two-year period is required by all pharmacy technicians. Out of the 20 hours, a minimum of one hour must be in ethics and law. Another eight hours is required to be in live format. These CE hours must be approved by the Accreditation Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE).

Pharmacy Technician - MTECH

Is training required for Pharmacy Technicians in Utah?

Yes, pharmacy technicians are required to undergo training. It can either be an on-the-job training or a formal training program. A notification form must be submitted for approval BEFORE the start of the training for on-the-job-training. You can download the form here. And for formal training programs, it is required that the program is approved by the Utah Board of Pharmacy. But there is an exemption for those who have worked 1,000 hours as a licensed pharmacy in another state that requires licensure for pharmacy technicians in the past year.

What should I do to become a License Pharmacy Technician?

  • You must submit a form “Affidavit of Supervising Pharmacist Responsible for Practical Training Program” for on-the-job training. But if you have completed a formal training, an official transcript must be submitted directly from the approved formal training program or in a sealed envelope with the school stamp. The seal must be on the envelope flap.
  • You must have the current PTCB or ExPCT certificate.
  • A completed take-home “Pharmacy Technician Law and Rule Examination” must be submitted attached to the application.
  • The completed application form must be submitted in-person to the Division of Occupational Licensing (DOPL). The office is located at 160 E. 300 S., Main Lobby, Salt Lake City. You must complete an electronic fingerprinting using the DOPLs equipment or submit 3 fingerprinting cards using the form FD-258 by mail. This will be used by the DOPL to search BCI and the FBI.
  • A written application requesting registration as a pharmacy technician must be submitted to the Utah State Board of Pharmacy. The form may be downloaded here.
  • Must pay the application fee of $100, non-refundable.

Are Pharmacy Technicians required to have a Continuing Education or CE?  

Yes, Registered Pharmacy Technicians are required to complete 20 contact hours every renewal period. One hour of which must be allocated in laws and ethics and a minimum of 8 hours must be live. Take note that those with current ExCPT or PTCB certification are equivalent to CE requirements.

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