After obtaining your pharmacy technician diploma, certificate or degree, probably the next big step to do is get your Walgreens pharmacy technician license. The need to get a pharmacy technician license or registration is particular to the state in which you work in. There are no federal laws existing as of now that mandates for pharmacy techs to get certified first before being able to practice. Therefore, many states still accept pharmacy techs even without a license. But then again, becoming a licensed pharmacy technician will help you climb your ladder of career.
There are two possible ways to earn a license in this profession. You can either take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) or work for more than 500 hours as a pharmacy technician associate. The PTCE is given by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and board passers become a nationally recognized certified pharmacy technician. In the latter option, you may opt to work as a pharmacy technician associate at retail establishments such as CVS/Pharmacy, Walgreens, Target, Rite-Aid, etc. Usually, these establishments have their own house examinations that when you pass you become a registered pharmacy technician of your respective state. Obtaining a license this way differs lightly from state to state as each state Board of Pharmacy have self-regulated forms and procedures to fill up in order to apply for the license.
Acquiring a license has its advantages for the pharmacy technician. Being a licensed pharmacist allows employers to instantly determine your value and qualifications and this increases your bargaining strength. Having this credential will also open you to higher pay as well as greater career opportunities. As said earlier, many establishments do not require licensed pharmacy technicians. However, while there are employers that accept pharmacy techs that aren’t registered, many prestigious hospitals, large pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies need licensed pharmacy technicians since they impose strict rules to maintain their reputation in providing high quality health care services.
The license itself must be renewed every two years by way of continuing education. A licensed pharmacy technician must complete 20 hours’ worth of continuing education through attending national meetings, conferences, seminars, workshops and other college programs related to pharmacy. Also, at least 1 hour must be relevant to the study of pharmacy laws. These continuing education units can be secured by obtaining certificates of completion that show the date and number of hours earned. These papers are proof and should be kept until the day of renewal. Continuing education may also be done by on-the-job training that is certified by a licensed pharmacist.