Working at drug stores of just about all types, pharmacy techs in Indiana work under the supervision of the pharmacist to assure that prescriptions for medications are filled and customers are served. Holding a certification isn’t required in all 50 states, yet the recent trend among hiring managers has been towards only hiring people who have a professional certification.

This role is an attractive one for those who are starting their careers in healthcare, due to the increasing need for their skills in Indiana. As a matter of fact, based on the latest numbers available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 12% rise in pharmacy technician jobs during the next decade.

What do pharmacy technicians do in Indiana?

The primary responsibilities of the pharmacy tech in Indiana revolve around the functions which help the pharmacy provide services to its clients and manage its inventory. Although many employers can require even more duties, the following checklist shows the principal function of the majority of pharmacy techs.

Pharmacy technician job duties

  • Manage client and patient telephone calls and questions
  • Initiate and manage patient records
  • Assist pharmacist in satisfying prescriptions by measuring, packaging and labeling medications
  • Handle payments for prescription medications and insurance policy claims
  • Control all inventory in the local pharmacy

The steps to becoming a pharmacy technician in Indiana

The process to become a pharmacy technician in Indiana may be summed-up in the next four steps.

  1. Decide if you plan to get certified
  2. Once you choose to become certified, sign up for a PTCA-authorized program
  3. Complete the pharmacy technician school and internship training hours, as required by state
  4. Take and pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Examination for official certification

Step 1: Determine whether you would like to become certified

The very first thing you will need to do is choose whether or not you plan to get certified. Holding a certification is not a compulsory requirement for employment in all 50 states, but it does offer a number of added benefits and advantages.

For any individual who is seriously interested in seeking a long-term career in the pharmacy industry, being certified is strongly recommended. If you decide not to become certified, you may skip the rest of the steps and begin looking for a position as soon as you graduate from high school.

Step 2: Register for classes approved by the PTAC

The next step in becoming a certified pharmacy technician is to sign-up for training courses that are accredited by the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC). The PTAC is a nationally-recognized body that coordinates pharmacy tech coursework throughout the nation with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

What’s PTAC accreditation?

Accreditation by the PTAC is regarded as imperative since only graduates from a course recognized by this organization may take either of the national certification exams.

Pharmacy tech classes online

As is true with the majority of distance learning options, online pharmacy tech programs are a desirable option for college students who are balancing different obligations. These classes can also be perfect for those who don’t live near a school that provides pharmacy tech education.

Be conscious, however, that online courses still call for students to finish their hands-on training hours at a actual physical location associated with the program.

Step 3: Fulfill all requisite internship hours and complete the program

The next step will be to complete the accredited course you’ve chosen. The classroom portion can often be completed in one year or less, but finishing the required internship hours (occasionally referred to as an “externship”) at a pharmacy can often take more time.

The majority of training classes dedicate the classroom part of their course of study to the subject matter that is included in the national certification tests. Giving students hands-on experience in an actual pharmacy, on the other hand, is the focus of the internship portion of a course.

Step 4: Pass the PTCE or ExCPT Certification Exam

There are two nationally-accepted pharmacy tech certification tests – the PTCE and ExCPT. Once you have graduated from a PTAC-accredited course, you’ll be eligible to sit for either one of them. You’ll acquire the national credential of CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) by passing either examination.

Each of these examinations are broken down in greater detail here.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

Offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, or PTCE as it’s referred to, is a multiple-choice test accepted in every state. The assessment is administered in a timed format, and consists of 90 multiple-choice questions. Upon passing the test, the student gets the CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) certification.

A test taker must satisfy the next two criteria in order to take the test:

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

ExCPT Exam

Provided by the National Healthcare Association (NHA), the ExCPT also grants the nationally-regarded title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) to students who receive a passing mark. There are 100 multiple-choice problems on this two-hour, 10-minute timed assessment.

Eligibility for this exam further is dependent upon the student having either:

  • Finished a PTAC-accredited pharmacy technician course, or
  • Obtained comparable work experience as a pharmacy tech

What is the typical pharmacy technician salary in Indiana?

Pharmacy technician compensation can vary according to many factors, but the median salary was $31,750 in 2017 according to the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The following table exhibits how much this range varies depending on which state you choose to work in.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.27$14.86$21.98
Indianapolis-Carmel, IN MSAHourly$10.37$15.14$19.26
Muncie, IN MSAHourly$10.40$14.62$18.29
Evansville, IN-KY MSAHourly$10.07$14.46$19.03
Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN MSAHourly$9.96$14.40$18.75
Columbus, IN MSAHourly$10.40$14.05$18.22
Northwest Indiana BOSHourly$10.00$13.99$18.92
Gary, IN Metropolitan DivisionHourly$10.45$13.95$18.56
Southwest/ Southeast Indiana BOSHourly$10.14$13.81$18.23
Northeast Indiana BOSHourly$10.36$13.79$17.87
Fort Wayne, IN MSAHourly$10.38$13.76$18.62
Terre Haute, IN MSAHourly$9.67$13.70$18.51
Bloomington, IN MSAHourly$9.75$13.60$18.09
Kokomo, IN MSAHourly$10.04$13.42$18.14
Michigan City-La Porte, IN MSAHourly$10.09$13.39$18.86
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN MSAHourly$9.66$13.03$19.33
Elkhart-Goshen, IN MSAHourly$10.01$12.95$18.19
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI MSAHourly$9.05$12.64$18.51