The pharmacy technician in Florida is an entry-level healthcare worker who helps the pharmacist in various day-to-day duties around the store. Being certified may not be required in all 50 states, yet the recent tendency among businesses has been towards only employing people who carry a certification.

This position is a great one for those who are starting their careers in the medical field, thanks to the skyrocketing demand for their services in Florida. The 2016 Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 12% growth in new positions for pharmacy technicians through 2026.

What does a pharmacy tech do in Florida?

Pharmacy techs in Florida work under the guidance of a pharmacist, and are responsible for performing a range of support functions that assist in keeping the pharmacy working efficiently. Although many managers might require additional responsibilities, the following list highlights the principal function of most pharmacy techs.

Basic pharmacy tech duties

  • Take client and patient calls and questions
  • Initiate and manage patient documents
  • Support pharmacist in filling prescriptions by weighing, packaging and labeling prescribed medicines
  • Handle payments for prescriptions and insurance policy claims
  • Control all inventory in the pharmacy

What is the process to become a pharmacy tech in Florida?

The four-part process for becoming a pharmacy technician in Florida is reflected below.

  1. Determine if you plan to become certified
  2. Once you intend to become certified, enroll in a PTCA-approved training course
  3. Finish the pharmacy technician program and internship training hours, as mandated by state
  4. Pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Examination for official certification

Step 1: Decide if you would like to get certified

The very first thing you will want to do is choose whether or not you plan to get certified. No matter what you decide, you should be mindful that the majority of hiring managers would rather pick people who have gotten their certification.

For anyone who is intent on having a long-lasting career in the pharmacy business, being certified is strongly recommended. If you decide not to get certified, you may ignore the rest of the steps and start looking for a job as soon as you complete high school.

Step 2: Sign-up for a PTAC-approved training course

If you have decided to get your certification, the second step is to register for a pharmacy technician training program that is recognized by the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC). Pharmacy tech schools throughout the nation are governed by the PTAC, who operates in conjunction with both the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) to standardize instruction in the trade all-around the nation.

The need for PTAC accreditation

Accreditation by the PTAC is deemed essential because only students from a course approved by this organization can take either of the national certification exams.

A look at online pharmacy tech programs

A favored alternative option to on-campus instruction, pharmacy tech classes online supply pupils the flexibility to attend class and complete their education based on their personal daily schedules. In instances where a student might not live in close proximity to a campus-based class, these classes are also ideal.

To clear up a common false impression, while online courses let students to complete their academic studies through distance education, the clinical, hands-on part of their education has to be finished at a physical location.

Step 3: Finish the program and complete the required internship hours

Completing the accredited program you chose in the preceding step is going to be your next objective. Although each course is a little different, it is fairly common for students to finish their academic training and internship in as little as one year.

The academic portion of your studies is likely to incorporate all of the concepts and procedural-type stuff that is going to be contained in the certification test. Giving college students hands-on experience in a pharmacy, alternatively, is the focus of the internship part of a course.

Step 4: Pass one of the national certification tests

There are two nationally-accepted pharmacy technician certification tests – the PTCE and ExCPT. You need to complete a course approved by the PTAC in order to be eligible to challenge one of these exams. College students who pass either examination obtain the nationally-acknowledged distinction of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

The following is a short description of both tests.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

Offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, or PTCE as it’s known, is a multiple-choice examination accepted throughout the country. The assessment is provided in a timed structure, and includes 90 multiple-choice problems. A passing mark on the exam gives the student the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) certification.

A candidate has to satisfy the next two prerequisites to take the exam:

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

ExCPT Exam

Administered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA), the ExCPT additionally grants the nationally-recognized title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) to people who receive a passing score. There are 100 multiple-choice problems on this two-hour, 10-minute timed exam.

Eligibility for this exam also relies on the student having either:

  • Graduated from a PTAC-approved pharmacy tech training program, or
  • Obtained equivalent work experience as a pharmacy technician

How much does a pharmacy technician make in Florida?

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

Pharmacy tech compensation in Florida varies a bit from the nation’s average, as is shown in the table below.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.27$14.86$21.98
North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL MSAHourly$11.14$15.88$18.85
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, FL Metropolitan DivisionHourly$10.83$15.88$22.73
Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL Metropolitan DivisionHourly$10.79$15.66$22.03
Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL Metropolitan DivisionHourly$10.74$15.12$19.59
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL MSAHourly$10.68$15.10$18.72
Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL MSAHourly$10.66$14.85$18.41
Jacksonville, FL MSAHourly$10.24$14.65$18.75
Tallahassee, FL MSAHourly$10.64$14.52$18.50
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSAHourly$10.15$14.35$18.68
Gainesville, FL MSAHourly$9.99$14.33$21.36
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL MSAHourly$10.47$14.25$18.58
South Florida BOSHourly$9.80$14.19$18.51
Northwest Florida BOSHourly$9.41$14.01$24.54
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL MSAHourly$10.43$13.98$18.82
Naples-Marco Island, FL MSAHourly$10.13$13.93$18.47
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL MSAHourly$10.12$13.71$18.66
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL MSAHourly$10.17$13.70$18.64
Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL MSAHourly$10.07$13.64$18.01
Punta Gorda, FL MSAHourly$10.34$13.57$18.25
Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach, FL MSAHourly$10.22$13.39$18.11
Northeast Florida BOSHourly$9.91$13.37$20.21
Ocala, FL MSAHourly$10.09$13.37$17.84
Port St. Lucie, FL MSAHourly$9.89$13.35$18.24
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL MSAHourly$9.34$13.10$18.20