a. What is a Pharmacy Technician?
A Pharmacy Technician is a healthcare professional who works under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist to assist with medication dispensing, customer service, and administrative tasks. Their daily responsibilities include measuring and preparing medications, maintaining medication inventory, and interacting with patients and healthcare providers. Pharmacy Technicians play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of pharmacies and the safe and accurate distribution of prescription medications to patients.
Looking for a step-by-step guide? Learn How to become a Pharmacy Technician and embark on a fulfilling healthcare profession.
b. Why become a Pharmacy Technician?
Pursuing a career as a Pharmacy Technician in Colorado offers numerous benefits, such as:
- Job Security: The demand for Pharmacy Technicians is on the rise, with a projected growth rate of 4% from 2019 to 2029[^1^].
- Competitive Pay: Pharmacy Technicians in Colorado earn an average annual salary of $36,710[^2^].
- Flexible Work Settings: Pharmacy Technicians can work in various settings, including retail pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and mail-order pharmacies.
- Opportunities for Advancement: With experience and additional education, Pharmacy Technicians can advance to supervisory roles or transition into related fields such as pharmaceutical sales or healthcare administration.
c. The Job Outlook for Pharmacy Technicians in Colorado
The demand for Pharmacy Technicians in Colorado is expected to grow in the coming years due to the increasing demand for prescription medications, advances in pharmaceutical research, and the aging population. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 4% growth rate for Pharmacy Technicians nationwide between 2019 and 2029[^1^]. This growth rate, combined with the competitive pay and diverse work settings, makes becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Colorado an attractive career option.
d. Pharmacy Technician in Colorado at a Glance
|Job title||Pharmacy Technician|
|Education requirements||High school diploma or equivalent, and completion of a pharmacy technician training program approved by the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy|
|Licensure requirements||Passing the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)|
|Average salary||$42,000 per year|
|Job outlook||Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 13% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations|
|Job opportunities||Many job opportunities available in hospitals, retail pharmacies, and long-term care facilities|
|Benefits||Flexible work hours, good health insurance, and retirement plans|
2. Requirements to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Colorado
a. Education Requirements
To become a Pharmacy Technician in Colorado, you must complete a training program accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) or another recognized accrediting body. These programs can be found at community colleges, vocational schools, or online institutions and typically take between 6 months and 2 years to complete. Coursework includes topics such as pharmacy law and ethics, pharmacology, medication preparation, and pharmacy calculations.
b. Licensure Requirements
Pharmacy Technicians in Colorado must obtain a license from the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy. To be eligible for licensure, applicants must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Have completed an accredited Pharmacy Technician training program
- Pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) or the ExCPT
c. Other Requirements
In addition to the education and licensure requirements, Pharmacy Technicians in Colorado must also:
- Complete a criminal background check
- Maintain their Pharmacy Technician license by renewing it every 2 years
- Complete continuing education requirements as mandated by the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy
3. How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Colorado
Step 1: Complete a Pharmacy Technician Training Program
The first step to becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Colorado is to complete an accredited training program. These programs provide the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the field and prepare students for the certification exam.
There are many pharmacy technician training programs available in Colorado. These programs typically last one year and include classroom instruction and hands-on training. Some of the programs that are approved by the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy include:
- Pharmacy Technician Program at Front Range Community College
- Pharmacy Technician Program at Colorado Northwestern Community College
- Pharmacy Technician Program at Arapahoe Community College
Step 2: Pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam
To become a licensed Pharmacy Technician in Colorado, you must pass either the PTCE or the ExCPT. These exams test your knowledge of pharmacy practices, medication preparation, and pharmacy law and ethics. Preparing for and passing the certification exam demonstrates your commitment to the profession and your competence as a Pharmacy Technician.
The PTCE is a multiple-choice exam that tests your knowledge of pharmacy terminology, pharmacy law, and pharmacy procedures. You can register for the PTCE on the PTCB website. The cost of the exam is $129.
Step 3: Apply for a Pharmacy Technician License in Colorado
Once you have passed the certification exam, you can apply for a Pharmacy Technician license through the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy. The application process includes submitting official transcripts from your training program, passing a criminal background check, and paying the required fees.
a. Resources for Becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Colorado
- Colorado State Board of Pharmacy: The Board provides information on licensing requirements, approved training programs, and continuing education requirements for Pharmacy Technicians in Colorado.
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB): The PTCB administers the PTCE and provides resources for exam preparation and continuing education.
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA): The NHA administers the ExCPT and offers resources for exam preparation and continuing education.
5. Bonus Section:
a. How Long Does it Take to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Colorado?
The time it takes to become a Pharmacy Technician in Colorado varies depending on the individual and the training program. Most programs take between 6 months and 2 years to complete, followed by studying for and passing the certification exam. After obtaining certification, the licensing process typically takes a few weeks to a few months.
b. What is the Salary Range for Pharmacy Technicians in Colorado?
Thesalary range for Pharmacy Technicians in Colorado varies based on factors such as experience, education, and work setting. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for Pharmacy Technicians in Colorado is $36,710[^2^]. Entry-level technicians can expect to earn around $28,000 per year, while experienced technicians can earn upwards of $45,000 or more^3^.
|Experience Level||Annual Salary Range|
|Entry-Level||$28,000 – $34,000|
|Mid-Level||$34,000 – $45,000|
|Experienced||$45,000 and up|
In conclusion, becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Colorado offers a rewarding and stable career with competitive pay and opportunities for growth. By completing an accredited training program, passing the certification exam, and obtaining a license from the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy, you can embark on a fulfilling career in the healthcare field.
[^1^]: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Occupational Outlook Handbook, Pharmacy Technicians. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm
[^2^]: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, Pharmacy Technicians in Colorado. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292052.htm#st