NPC offers a one-semester, eight-credit course that, upon completion, allows you to start working as a Pharmacy Technician. As a technician, you'll work under a pharmacist's supervision and will be tasked with supplying medicines to patients (prescription and over-the-counter), assembling medicines for prescriptions, providing information to patients and healthcare professionals, as well as managing medicine supply areas.
NPC's Pharmacy Technician course provides you with the broad range of knowledge necessary for employment — including an introduction to medical and pharmaceutical terminology, basic anatomy as related to the pharmacology of medications and studies in pharmaceutical calculations.
Upon completion, you'll have the knowledge required to pass the national certification exam offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PCTB). Certification gives you that helpful edge when seeking employment in this area and allows you to work in other states should you re-locate.
Labs and Classrooms
Class lectures are conducted at some NPC facilities.
- Successful completion of the course requires a 128-hour paid or unpaid externship. NPC helps set up and supervises the externships at partnering facilities.
Pharmacy Technician studies have been designed for students with basic keyboarding skills of approximately 25 words per minute. Students must also have satisfactory placement scores on reading and math tests, must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or equivalent and current Healthcare Provider CPR and First Aid (EMT 104 or equivalent) certification.
Externship Requirements: Prior to starting the clinical externship, students must have a DPS Level I Fingerprint Clearance Card and Pharmacy Technician Trainee license from the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy. Proof of legal U.S. residency is required to obtain trainee license.
Pharmacy technicians work primarily in pharmacies, including those found in grocery and drug stores. Some technicians work in hospitals or other healthcare facilities. Pharmacy technicians spend most of the work day on their feet.
Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 9 percent through 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Several factors will lead to increased demand for prescription medications: the population is aging, and older people typically use more prescription medicines than younger people. Higher rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes among all age groups, also will lead to increased demand for prescription medications. Advances in pharmaceutical research will allow for more prescription medications to be used to fight diseases.
In non-metropolitan northern Arizona, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the mean annual salary for Pharmacy Technicians as $37,280. (May 2017) SOC 29-2052
Potential Job Titles
Pharmacy technician, pharmacy aide
Provides instruction required to pass the national examination of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).