The pharmacy tech in Colorado is a beginning medical worker who aids the pharmacist in a number of daily duties in the store. Although it is possible for men and women who have graduated from high school to learn this career by means of on-the-job training, most organizations choose to hire candidates who have completed a 12-month pharmacy tech certification course.

This position is a great one for individuals who are launching their careers in healthcare, due to the skyrocketing need for their abilities in Colorado. In fact, based on the newest data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there should be a 12% increase in pharmacy tech employment through the next 10 years.

What does a pharmacy tech do in Colorado?

Pharmacy techs in Colorado are employed under the guidance of a pharmacist, and are given the task of carrying out a range of support duties that help in keeping the pharmacy working efficiently. The subsequent list shows the standard assignments that pharmacies place on their techs.

Pharmacy technician responsibilities

  • Take care of customer or patient calls and concerns
  • Create and manage patient medical records
  • Assist pharmacist in satisfying prescriptions by measuring, packaging and labeling prescribed medicines
  • Process payments for prescription medications and insurance claims
  • Handle all inventory in the pharmacy

What are the steps to become a pharmacy tech in Colorado?

The four steps to becoming a pharmacy tech in Colorado are shown below.

  1. Determine if you plan to get certified
  2. If you intend to become certified, enroll in a PTCA-authorized program
  3. Complete the pharmacy technician program and hands-on training hours, as mandated by state
  4. Take and pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Exam for certification

Step 1: Determine if you plan to become certified

Choosing whether or not you plan to get certified is the first step you’ll have to take. Holding a certification is not a compulsory condition for employment in all 50 states, but it does supply quite a few benefits and advantages.

For any individual who is interested in seeking a long-lasting career in the pharmacy business, being certified is strongly recommended. The other steps in this guide only matter should you decide to get certified.

Step 2: Find a program accredited by PTAC and register for classes

If you have chosen to get your professional certification, the second step is to enroll in a pharmacy technician training program that is recognized by the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC). The PTAC is a nationally-recognized organization that coordinates pharmacy technician education across the country with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

The importance of PTAC accreditation

It’s positively essential that you complete a training program accredited by the PTAC, given that only those students who have completed an accredited training program are eligible to sit for either of the national certification exams.

A look at online pharmacy tech programs

A desirable alternative option to campus-based instruction, online pharmacy tech programs offer students the freedom to go to class and complete their studies based on their own schedules. For people who do not live near a school that offers the training they want, online programs are also an attractive option.

To clear up a common false impression, even though online classes allow students to finish their academic studies via online learning, the clinical, hands-on section of their training must be finished at a physical location.

Step 3: Graduate from the program and complete the requisite internship hours

Once you have located an accredited course that satisfies your goals, the next thing is to finish it. Although every course is slightly different, it’s fairly typical for students to finish their classroom education and internship in as little as a year.

The academic part of your coursework is likely to incorporate all of the principles and procedural-type stuff that is going to be contained in the certification examination. Giving students hands-on experience in a real pharmacy, alternatively, is the focus of the internship part of a program.

Step 4: Pass the PTCE or ExCPT Certification Exam

There are two nationally-accepted pharmacy tech certification examinations – the PTCE and ExCPT. Eligibility to sit for either of these assessments calls for you to first graduate from a PTAC-accredited training course. College students who pass either examination earn the nationally-accepted distinction of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

Next is a short description of the two examinations.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), and is a multiple-choice exam. The PTCE is composed of 90 questions given in a one-hour, 50-minute timed format. After passing the test, the individual gets the CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) certification.

Becoming eligible to take the test requires the student having the ability to satisfy either of the following two prerequisites:

  • Finished a PTAC-accredited pharmacy technician training program, or
  • Acquired comparable work experience as a pharmacy technician

ExCPT Exam

The ExCPT Exam is sponsored by the National Healthcare Association (NHA), and also grants the title of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). Test takers get two hours and 10 minutes to complete 100 multiple-choice problems.

You have to have the ability to satisfy one of the following requirements so that you can can challenge the test:

  • Completed a PTAC-approved pharmacy technician program, or
  • Gained comparable work experience as a pharmacy tech

How much does a pharmacy technician make in Colorado?

As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a pharmacy tech in the U.S. was $31,750 as of May 2017.

Pharmacy tech compensation in Colorado differs a bit from the nation’s average, as is displayed in the table below.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.27$14.86$21.98
Yearly$21,370 $30,920 $45,710
Yearly$24,550 $34,620 $47,130
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO MSAHourly$12.19$17.13$23.10
Yearly$25,350 $35,640 $48,040
Northcentral Colorado BOSHourly$12.59$17.00$27.31
Yearly$26,180 $35,360 $56,810
Colorado Springs, CO MSAHourly$11.99$16.52$21.76
Yearly$24,940 $34,350 $45,270
West Colorado BOSHourly$11.58$16.24$20.44
Yearly$24,080 $33,780 $42,510
Boulder, CO MSAHourly$12.08$16.19$22.80
Yearly$25,130 $33,670 $47,420
Fort Collins-Loveland, CO MSAHourly$10.88$16.04$20.55
Yearly$22,620 $33,360 $42,750
Greeley, CO MSAHourly$11.40$15.61$19.40
Yearly$23,700 $32,460 $40,340
Pueblo, CO MSAHourly$10.73$15.30$20.88
Yearly$22,310 $31,820 $43,430
Grand Junction, CO MSAHourly$11.37$15.17$21.17
Yearly$23,650 $31,560 $44,040
East and South Colorado BOSHourly$9.39$13.97$18.83
Yearly$19,540 $29,070 $39,170