- 1). Complete your high school education or obtain an equivalency degree.
- 2). Register with an educational institution which certifies pharmacy technicians. The time it takes to complete this education can range from six months for certificate courses up to two years for an associate's degree. Pennsylvania colleges and technical schools offering programs for pharmacy technicians include DPT Business School, which has two Philadelphia campuses; Laurel Technical Institute in Meadville and Sharon; Everest Institute in Pittsburgh; and the Sanford-Brown Institute in Monroeville and Trevose.
- 3). Obtain third-party certification as a pharmacy technician from either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT). These boards administer examinations which test an applicant's knowledge of math and science as applied in pharmacies. Certifications from these tests last for two years; PTCB requires certified pharmacy technicians to take 20 hours of continuing education during that time to remain certified.
- 4). Apply for pharmacy technician job openings. Seventy-five percent of pharmacy technicians work in retail pharmacies; the remainder work for hospitals, mail-order pharmacies, pharmaceutical wholesalers, assisted-living facilities or government facilities. Besides searching the usual places for jobs such as online and print classifieds and the phone book, also contact chambers of commerce for additional help finding businesses.
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