The pharmacy technician in Alabama is a beginning medical field worker who aids the pharmacist in multiple daily tasks in the store. Certification may not be mandatory in all 50 states, yet the current trend among hiring managers has been towards just employing people who carry a professional credential.

The demand for pharmacy technicians in Alabama is projected to increase dramatically in the next few years, so it’s a good option for those who are starting their careers. The 2016 Occupational Outlook Handbook released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 12% surge in new positions for pharmacy technicians by 2026.

What does a pharmacy technician do in Alabama?

Pharmacy technicians in Alabama work under the supervision of a pharmacist, and are given the task of performing a variety of supporting tasks that help to keep the drug store running smoothly. The subsequent list reflects the typical assignments that pharmacies place on their techs.

Common pharmacy tech duties

  • Take care of customer and patient calls and inquiries
  • Establish and manage patient documents
  • Assist pharmacist in satisfying prescriptions by measuring, packaging and labeling prescription drugs
  • Process payments for prescription medications and insurance coverage claims
  • Handle all inventory in the local drugstore

How to become a pharmacy technician in Alabama.

The four-part process for becoming a pharmacy technician in Alabama is shown below.

  1. Determine if you plan to become certified
  2. If you decide to get certified, register for a PTCA-authorized training course
  3. Finish the pharmacy tech class and internship training hours, as required by state
  4. Take and pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Examination for certification

Step 1: Determine if you want to become certified

The very first thing you will have to do is decide if you would like to get certified. It is not mandatory to have a certification in order to work in every part of the United States, but a growing number of organizations around the land are opting to only work with certified candidates.

With this being the situation, it is strongly suggested that you get a professional certification if you’re set on launching a career in pharmacy. If you choose not to become certified, you should skip the remaining steps and begin searching for a job when you complete high school.

Step 2: Choose a program accredited by PTAC and sign-up for training

The second step in becoming a certified pharmacy technician is to register for training courses that are accredited by the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC). Pharmacy tech programs around the nation are regulated by the PTAC, who works in conjunction with both the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) to standardize education in the industry all-around the nation.

What is PTAC accreditation?

Considering that only trainees who complete a training program approved by the PTAC are immediately able to challenge either of the national certification exams, it’s crucial that you complete a program that’s accredited by this organization.

Pharmacy tech classes online

As is true with nearly all distance education options, online pharmacy tech programs are a preferred alternative for pupils who are juggling several obligations. These courses can also be great for students who do not live close to a school that provides pharmacy tech training.

Be conscious, however, that online classes still ask pupils to finish their internship hours at a physical location associated with the school.

Step 3: Fulfill all required hands-on training hours and graduate from the program

Graduating from the approved course you decided on in the previous step is your next objective. Even though each program is slightly different, it is quite typical for students to finish their classroom training and internship in as little as a year.

The majority of training programs devote the academic portion of their syllabus to the material that is included in the national certification tests. Giving college students hands-on training in a real pharmacy, on the other hand, is the focus of the internship part of a program.

Step 4: Pass one of the national certification exams

To earn a nationally-accepted pharmacy technician certification, you will need to pass either the PTCE or ExCPT exam. You must finish a program accredited by the PTAC to be qualified to take one of these tests. You will acquire the national credential of CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) by passing either test.

Both of these exams are broken down in more detail here.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

One of the two nationwide exams is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), which is a multiple-choice assessment administered throughout the nation. The one-hour, 50-minute assessment is made of 90 multiple-choice questions. After passing the test, the individual obtains the CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) certification.

Becoming eligible to challenge the examination requires the individual being able to meet one of the next two prerequisites:

  • Finished a PTAC-accredited pharmacy tech training course, or
  • Acquired comparable work experience as a pharmacy tech

ExCPT Exam

The other major national certification assessment is the ExCPT, which is provided by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). This multiple-choice assessment features 100 multiple-choice problems, provided in a two-hour, 10-minute format.

To be eligible to challenge this examination, individuals need to satisfy the following criteria:

  • Graduated from a PTAC-approved pharmacy technician course, or
  • Obtained comparable work experience as a pharmacy tech

What is the typical pharmacy technician salary in Alabama?

The median annual pharmacy technician salary was $31,750 in May 2017 per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pharmacy tech salary in Alabama may differ to some extent from the nation’s median, as is displayed in the table below.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.27$14.86$21.98
Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL MSAHourly$9.90$14.21$18.26
Montgomery, AL MSAHourly$10.31$14.04$19.06
Columbus, GA-AL MSAHourly$9.19$13.96$19.63
Northwest Alabama BOSHourly$10.56$13.61$18.36
Southeast Alabama BOSHourly$9.22$13.45$19.64
Mobile, AL MSAHourly$10.27$13.26$17.68
Huntsville, AL MSAHourly$9.76$13.20$18.49
Gadsden, AL MSAHourly$8.98$13.08$18.32
Birmingham-Hoover, AL MSAHourly$9.77$12.95$17.86
Auburn-Opelika, AL MSAHourly$9.95$12.86$17.66
Tuscaloosa, AL MSAHourly$8.89$12.69$19.58
Northeast Alabama BOSHourly$9.45$12.64$16.86
Dothan, AL MSAHourly$9.19$12.05$16.18
Decatur, AL MSAHourly$9.20$12.02$16.30
Southwest Alabama BOSHourly$8.59$11.30$15.08
Anniston-Oxford, AL MSAHourly$8.10$11.17$17.21