You don’t need to become a pharmacist to work in a pharmacy. In fact, you don’t even need a degree. You can jump straight into the field if you’re willing to get the proper certification.
Nebraska Methodist College will offer its first Pharmacy Technician certificate program beginning this June. Open to anyone over the age of 18, individuals who earn their education through this eight-week course get a glimpse at the incredibly rewarding world of pharmacy.
Here’s why this is a perfect opportunity for recent high school graduates and anyone interested in a career switch.
Safety in Numbers
As a pharmacy technician, you’re uniquely positioned to enjoy perks that not many straight-out-of-high-school jobs would provide, starting with pay and opportunity.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth in the pharmacy tech sector is expected to clock in at 9% by 2024, faster than the average. And pay isn’t too shabby either, with the median in 2014 equating to $14.33 across the country.
That makes this a wonderful job prospect for individuals who want to work full-time or those who are interested in part-time hours as a means of working while in college. For a pay rate that’s probably going to be higher than other campus jobs you’d have available to you, you’ll have the chance to make a real difference in a person’s life, through work that’s anything but mundane.
You Get a Peek at Life as a Pharmacist
If you have even the slightest interest in becoming a pharmacist down the line, then becoming a pharm tech is like getting a front-row seat to what it’s like to actually be in that position.
From your view as a pharmacy technician, you’ll get to see all the things pharmacists do on a daily basis. You’ll interact with them regularly as they fill prescriptions, dole out advice and provide an important care service to everyone who comes in needing assistance.
Many pharmacy technicians have their interests confirmed, discovering that work as a pharmacist is everything they thought it would be. And on the flipside, other individuals who may have been on the fence about applying to pharmacy school determine that, while their current position is enjoyable, life as a pharmacist might not be for them.
Being a pharm tech removes all the question marks, providing you a chance to identify where you belong in your career.
It’s A Great Launching Point to Pharmacy School
Not only are you taking the opportunity to determine if a career in the pharmacy is the best fit for you, you’re also giving colleges an opportunity to determine if you’re the right fit for them!
When you have employment in a pharmacy on your resume, that’s something colleges will look at when deciding whom to accept into pharmacy school. Certification as a pharm tech, plus the months and years you work in that position, conveys your abilities to a certain extent and shows selection committees that you’re committed to the idea of working in a pharmacy.
If you truly feel that a career as a pharmacist is what you’re destined for, then you want to give yourself the best chance possible at living out that opportunity. Getting into the pharmacy quickly is imperative, and becoming a pharm tech is how you do that.
It’s a Great Launching Point to Other Things
Even if you decide that becoming a pharmacist isn’t what you ultimately want, or you know from the start that a pharmacy career isn’t in the cards, it’s not like you’re wasting your time. Background as a pharm tech is an incredible resume builder when you apply for other types of opportunities as well.
Having any kind of healthcare experience, particularly one requiring a certification, sends an awesome signal to whatever college or job you do ultimately apply for, especially if you’re seeking a different degree in the nursing or allied health sectors.
Let’s say you decide that, while you enjoy being a pharm tech, you want to be more involved with medical procedures, so you decide to pursue work as a radiologic technologist. Well, you’ve already been helping people, but your new path just allows you to do that in a different way. A college selection committee sees your dedication to care in all shapes and sizes, and your pharm tech background allows you to transition easily to a new role helping people.
It’s a Rewarding Career All Its Own
Maybe you’re thinking that we’re looking too far into the future. The truth is that becoming a pharmacy technician is a rewarding path on its own.
Whether you work for a year, four years or even make a career out of your position in the pharmacy, the skills you learn and the people you interact with will make your time as a pharm tech immensely fulfilling.
If you want to learn more about the Pharmacy Technician program at Nebraska Methodist College, download our certificate guide today!