Stephen Hawking once said, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” This quote is particularly relevant to those who aspire to become Pharmacy Technician in California. Pharmacy technicians are healthcare professionals who work under the supervision of licensed pharmacists to dispense medications and provide customer service to patients. In California, the demand for pharmacy technicians is expected to grow by 7.5% between 2020 and 2030 (1). This article will provide 15 powerful steps to become a pharmacy technician in California.
Interested in pursuing a career as a Pharmacy Technician? Discover the essential steps in our detailed article on How to become a Pharmacy Technician.
Step 1: Meet the Minimum Requirements
To become a pharmacy technician in California, you must meet the minimum requirements set by the California State Board of Pharmacy (2).
These requirements include:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent
- Pass a criminal background check
- Submit an application and fee to the California State Board of Pharmacy
Step 2: Complete a Pharmacy Technician Training Program
To work as a pharmacy technician in California, you must complete a pharmacy technician training program that is approved by the California State Board of Pharmacy (3). These programs can be found at community colleges, vocational schools, and online institutions. The program must be at least 240 hours long and cover topics such as pharmacy law, medication safety, and drug interactions.
Step 3: Obtain CPR Certification
Pharmacy technicians in California are required to have CPR certification (4). This certification can be obtained through the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, or other approved providers.
Step 4: Apply for a Pharmacy Technician License
After completing a pharmacy technician training program and obtaining CPR certification, you can apply for a pharmacy technician license from the California State Board of Pharmacy. You will need to submit an application, fee, and proof of completion of a training program and CPR certification.
Step 5: Pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam
Although it is not required by the state of California, many employers prefer pharmacy technicians who have passed the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). The PTCE is administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and tests knowledge and skills related to pharmacy technician practice.
Step 6: Gain Work Experience
Many employers prefer pharmacy technicians who have work experience in a pharmacy setting. You can gain work experience by completing an externship as part of your pharmacy technician training program, volunteering at a pharmacy, or working as a pharmacy clerk.
Step 7: Apply for Pharmacy Technician Jobs
Once you have completed a pharmacy technician training program, obtained CPR certification, and obtained a pharmacy technician license, you can start applying for pharmacy technician jobs. You can search for pharmacy technician jobs on job search websites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn.
Step 8: Prepare for Job Interviews
To increase your chances of getting hired as a pharmacy technician, you should prepare for job interviews (5). This includes researching the company, practicing common interview questions, and dressing professionally.
Step 9: Develop Soft Skills
In addition to technical skills, pharmacy technicians should have strong soft skills such as communication, customer service, and attention to detail. You can develop these skills by taking courses, attending workshops, and practicing in a pharmacy setting.
Step 10: Stay Up-to-Date with Continuing Education
Pharmacy technicians in California are required to complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years. This continuing education can be completed through approved providers such as the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
Step 11: Join Professional Organizations
Joining professional organizations such as the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) and the National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA) can provide networking opportunities, continuing education, and access to job postings .
Step 12: Consider Further Education
Pharmacy technicians who want to advance their careers can consider further education such as a pharmacy technician associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy . These degrees can lead to higher-paying jobs and more opportunities for advancement.
Step 13: Understand the Pros and Cons of Being a Pharmacy Technician
Before pursuing a career as a pharmacy technician, it is important to understand the pros and cons of the job. Some pros include job stability, good pay, and opportunities for advancement. Some cons include long hours, repetitive tasks, and exposure to hazardous materials.
Step 14: Research Salary and Job Outlook
The median annual salary for pharmacy technicians in California is $39,010 . The job outlook for pharmacy technicians in California is positive, with a projected 7.5% growth rate between 2020 and 2030.
Step 15: Network with Other Pharmacy Technicians
Networking with other pharmacy technicians can provide valuable insights into the job, tips for success, and potential job opportunities . You can network with other pharmacy technicians through professional organizations, social media, and job fairs.
Pros and Cons of Being a Pharmacy Technician in California
|Job stability||Long hours|
|Good pay||Repetitive tasks|
|Opportunities for advancement||Exposure to hazardous materials|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a pharmacy technician?
A pharmacy technician is a healthcare professional who works under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist to help prepare and distribute prescription medications to customers and health professionals.
What are the required skills to become a pharmacy technician in California?
Pharmacy technicians should have excellent people and organizational skills, be detail-oriented, and have a strong understanding of medical terminology and pharmaceutical calculations.
What are the licensure requirements for pharmacy technicians in California?
In California, pharmacy technicians are required to register with the California State Board of Pharmacy and obtain a license before they can work as a pharmacy technician.
What is the job growth outlook for pharmacy technicians in California?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California has the second-highest employment level of pharmacy technicians in May 2020.
How do I become a pharmacy technician in California?
To become a pharmacy technician in California, you can enroll in a Pharmacy Technology program that can prepare you for the job. However, certification is not required to work as a pharmacy technician in California.
How often do certified pharmacy technicians in California need to be recertified?
Certified pharmacy technicians in California must be recertified every two years.
What are the education programs and coursework required to become a pharmacy technician in California?
Pharmacy Technology programs can prepare you to become a pharmacy technician in California. The coursework may include medical terminology, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacy law and ethics, and pharmacology.
Note: Be careful when searching for information on how to become a pharmacy technician in California, as some websites may provide inaccurate or outdated information. It is always best to refer to official sources such as the California State Board of Pharmacy or accredited schools that offer Pharmacy Technology programs.