With the need for prescription medications growing each year, the demand for pharmacy technicians is expected to increase rapidly through 2016. The Pharmacy Technician program prepares students to work under supervision of a licensed pharmacist carrying out duties such as assisting patients, filling prescriptions, and keeping pharmacy records.
This 72-hour program consists of:
- Medical terminology specific to the pharmacy
- Dosage calculations and conversions
- Dispensing of prescriptions
- Drug compounding
- Inventory control
- Billing and reimbursement
The classroom portion will be followed by a 120-hour clinical at one of our partnering Allina pharmacies.
Successful completion will allow students to enter into a career as a pharmacy technician, and take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Pharmacy Technician exam.
To be successful as a pharmacy technician, an individual must enjoy working with people, be attentive to detail, and be well-organized. Pharmacy technicians work alongside pharmacists. They are often employed at hospitals, retail/community pharmacies, in-patient and out-patient hospital pharmacies, long-term care facilities, and other businesses that sell drugs. Pharmacy Technicians also work in healthcare call centers assisting customers or entering data for prescriptions. Pharmacy technicians should be willing to spend a lot of time standing and may be required to work evenings and weekends. Many technicians and aides work part-time.
Admissions Requirements or Prerequisites
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must have high school diploma or GED
- Must complete Accuplacer test for Reading with a score of 233 or higher and Math with a score of 250 or higher before being allowed to register for this class. See the following link for more information on the Accuplacer test: https://www.dctc.edu/support-services/accuplacer/
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some Q&A’s for Pharmacy Technician job seekers.
Q: Why do pharmacy technician programs differ and what do I need to do to work as a Pharmacy Technician in Minnesota?
A: In order to work as a pharmacy technician in MN, the state says you must be 18 and have a HS diploma or GED. Each state has its own requirements.
When you look for a job, many employers will be looking for certification as a CPhT. The DCTC course will issue a “certificate” that you completed the course, and will prepare you for an entry level position and the certification exam. Certification is achieved by passing a national examination conducted through a professional organization, The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Today, there are no specific education requirements for taking this exam. Even if you complete a two year course, you will still need to pass this national certification exam to be certified. Your certification, CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) is good for 2 years and you will be required to do 20 units of continuing education. The certification of CPhT is good in all states. See www.ptcb.org for more information.
Once you are employed in MN as a pharmacy technician, the state of MN requires that you register with the MN State Board of Pharmacy. In addition to completing continuing education, new technicians registered after January 1, 2013 must have also completed, or will complete an “educational component”.
The “education component” can be achieved any of these 4 ways:
- Military or public health training,
- an ASHP approved program – will have internship components and is a minimum of 600 hours,
- a MN Board of Pharmacy approved program – will have an internship component,
- or an employer based training program (minimum of 240 hours)
The DCTC course now qualifies as the “education component” with the recent addition of the 120-hour internship component approved by the MN Board of Pharmacy.
Q: Do you have to be certified to get a job as a pharmacy technician?
A: Not necessarily. Certification may or may not be a requirement by the employer. The vast majority of employers want you to be certified either before you are hired or within “x” months of being hired. Being certified should increase your chances of getting a job and may result in a higher wage.
Note: Currently, the state of MN has no requirement that you be certified.
Q: Do you need to register with the state and have an “education component”?
A: Yes. Any new pharmacy technicians, registered with the state after January 2013 must have completed or will complete an “education component”.