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Your Questions Answered: Pharmacy Technician Certificate

The University of Providence’s undergraduate Pharmacy Technician program offers students the opportunity to learn, practice, and apply technical, and administrative skills required of today’s pharmacy techs. Completed in 24-weeks, students graduate with 20 total credits and are eligible to sit for national certification through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.

Explore questions about our Pharmacy Technician Certificate program today.


How long will it take to complete the Pharmacy Technician program?

The program is designed for completion in six-months or 24-weeks. Students who enroll for the fall (August) semester can expect to complete the program by February of following year. Students who enroll in the spring (January) semester can expect to complete the program by July of that same year.


Where are the programs skill lab sites located?

The pharmacy technician program currently has four skill lab locations. Students are required to attend one of these skill lab locations for the duration of the program:


Can I get paid for the internship?

Students enrolled in the Non-Earn Academic Partnership program will not receive payment during the completion of their required internship. Students enrolled in the Earn-While-You-Learn program will receive compensation in accordance with their contract issued through the hiring pharmacy.


Does the pharmacy technician program support internship placements?

Yes. The Program Manager for the pharmacy technician program will place students in their internship spots based on space availability at each training site during the semester. Depending on availability, students may be required to travel outside of designated skill lab areas.


How many classes are in person and how long are they each?

Students in the pharmacy technician program will attend a total of eight, mandatory, in-person skill labs during the first 16-weeks of the first semester. Skill labs are scheduled in advance and are provided to students upon enrollment. Skill labs take place on Saturdays, lasting eight hours each.


What is a hybrid program?

Hybrid learning programs offer a combination of online and in-person curriculum components as part of the program. Students in the pharmacy technician program complete weekly online coursework, attend required weekend skill labs, and complete an eight-week in-person internship.


What can students expect to learn in skill labs?

Pharmacy technician program skill labs provide an in-person opportunity for students to get hands-on practice in skills and concepts learned during online coursework. Pharmacy technician program skill labs are taught by experienced faculty and skill lab coordinators experienced in pharmacy technician practices.


Does the University of Providence offer student support services?

Yes. Students can find up-to-date information, resources, and more on the Academics Homepage of our website. Eligible students can take advantage of student support services such as academic support, tutoring, and more. Students can also take advantage of library resources as well.


Is financial aid available?

Students in the pharmacy technician program are eligible for FAFSA. Currently employed healthcare professionals can have the Healthcare Professional Tuition Incentive applied toward the pharmacy technician program. Providence Caregivers and their dependents can access information on tuition discounts and other education benefits through the Human Resources Caregiver Service Portal.


Who is an ideal candidate for the pharmacy technician program?

Ideal candidates for the pharmacy technician program are those seeking an entry-level position in healthcare. Pharmacy techs work closely with other technicians, pharmacists, and healthcare providers to manage, prepare, and distribute prescription medication to patients. Many pharmacy technicians enter the role as a springboard into other more advanced roles in healthcare.


What can I expect while taking the didactic, online portion of the curriculum?

The online portion of the pharmacy tech curriculum offers students the flexibility of learning course material and concepts on their own time. The pharmacy technician program combines readings, writings, quizzes, tests, and video content to best demonstrate and prepare students for skill lab immersion. Online didactic portions of the program are completed through the online learning platform Moodle.


Is national certification required to become a pharmacy technician?

Certification requirements are determined by state. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board tracks requirements by state for credential and certification requirements. While national certification is not required in every state, a national certification looks favorable on resumes and can be transferable if a technician moves to another state with a requirement. The pharmacy technician program prepares students to sit for national certification as part of the program or as a stand-alone course.


What will a typical day-to-day look like after graduating with this certificate?

Graduates of the program will go on to work as pharmacy technicians in hospitals or retail pharmacy locations. Technicians can expect to preform various technical and administrative tasks in support of the function and operation of the pharmacy and pharmacist, including processing insurance and payment claims, preparing, sorting, packaging, and labeling medications, and more.


Do I need an existing higher education degree to enroll?

No higher education experience or credits are required to enroll in the program.


Will I be able to complete this program as a full-time employee?

The Pharmacy Technician Certificate program is designed to meet the needs of working professionals with flexible online courses and weekend skill labs. Due to coursework requirements and expectations, students are not encouraged to work full-time while enrolled in the Pharmacy Technician program.


Is the pharmacy technician program accredited?

The pharmacy tech program is approved by Montana, Washington, and Oregon State Boards. The program is also a Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Recognized Education/Training program.


How much will I make with a certificate in Pharmacy Tech?

Salaries for pharmacy techs vary by state, employer, experience, and more. Nationally, Certified Pharmacy Technicians make from $31,000 to $48,000. The average salary is $39,117.


What’s the difference between a pharmacy technician and a pharmacist?

Although pharmacists and pharmacy techs work alongside one another in a pharmacy setting, their jobs require different tasks, skill levels, educational requirements, and certifications. Learn more about the difference between a pharmacist and a pharmacy technician.


What is The Earn-While-You-Learn pathway?

The Earn-While-You-Learn pathway is for students hired by a participating pharmacy location PRIOR to the start of the pharmacy technician program. Earn-While-You-Learn students take the same courses and receive the same certificate as non-earn students. Students also receive tuition benefits, an income throughout the program, and post-certification employment through a partnering pharmacy.


Where is the Earn-While-You-Learn pathway offered?

Participating pharmacies are responsible for posting employment opportunities available to Earn-While-You-Learn students. Students can find an up-to-date list of participating pharmacies on the Pharmacy Technician Certificate webpage. Students can apply for jobs directly through Providence.Jobs


What is an employment contract and am I required to sign one?

An employment contract is an employment agreement facilitated between an employer and a student outlining specific conditions of employment upon the students successful completion of the pharmacy technician program. These contracts commonly specify specific conditions such as job title and description, duration of the contract, scheduled pay, and other employment factors. All students must sign an employment contract to participate in the Earn-While-You-Learn pathway.


Do I apply at the University of Providence in Addition to the partnering pharmacy?

Yes. Earn-While-You-Learn students first apply to and are hired by the participating pharmacy. Once hired, the student will apply to the University of Providence’s pharmacy technician program. Students enrolling in the Earn-While-You-Learn pathway can expect to complete the following steps.


Does the Earn-While-You-Learn pathway cover 100% tuition?

Yes. Earn-While-You-Learn students receive 100% tuition coverage as part of the program. Details regarding program costs and tuition coverages should be discussed with the partnering pharmacy.


Do I need prior experience to enroll in the Earn-While-You-Learn pathway?

No. Students are not required to have any healthcare or pharmacy experience. Eligible students must meet the admissions criteria prior to enrollment to be considered for the Earn-While-You-Learn pathway.


If I cannot enroll in or am not accepted into the Earn-While-You-Learn pathway, can I still apply for the Non-Earn Academic Industry Partnership pathway?

Yes. If you cannot enroll due to capacity limitations, you can still apply to the Non-Earn Academic Industry Partnership pathway, which provides the same courses, skill labs, and internship experience.


Will the University of Providence provide assistance with the employment contract?

No. All employment contracts, pay, tuition reimbursement, and other associated contract stipulations are determined and negotiated through the student and the partnering pharmacy. The University of Providence is NOT involved in any negotiation processes between the pharmacy and the student before, during, or after enrollment into the pharmacy technician program.


Where can I find out more information about the pharmacy technician program?

For the most up-to-date information on the Pharmacy Technician Certificate, Earn-While-You-Learn pathway, and Pharmacy Technician Exam-Prep course, visit the pharmacy technician program webpage