The pharmacy technician in Iowa is an entry-level medical field worker who aids the pharmacist with various routine duties in the store. Being certified might not be mandatory in every state, but the current trend among hiring managers has been in direction of only employing individuals who hold a professional certification.

This position is a good one for those people who are launching their careers in healthcare, because of the skyrocketing need for their abilities in Iowa. In fact, per the newest data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 12% rise in pharmacy tech positions during the next decade.

What does a pharmacy technician do in Iowa?

Pharmacy techs in Iowa work under the guidance of a pharmacist, and are responsible for carrying out a number of support functions that help keep the pharmacy operating smoothly. While some employers may require additional responsibilities, the following checklist illustrates the principal role of most pharmacy technicians.

Typical pharmacy tech duties

  • Take care of client or patient calls and inquiries
  • Initiate and manage patient medical records
  • Assist pharmacist in filling prescriptions by weighing, packaging and labeling prescribed medicines
  • Handle payments for medications and insurance policy claims
  • Manage all inventory in the drug store

What is the procedure to become a pharmacy tech in Iowa?

The four steps to becoming a pharmacy technician in Iowa are outlined below.

  1. Determine whether you want to become certified
  2. Once you decide to become certified, enroll in a PTCA-approved training program
  3. Finish the pharmacy tech class and internship training hours, as legally required by state
  4. Pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Examination for certification

Step 1: Determine whether you want to get certified

The very first thing you’ll need to do is decide if you plan to become certified. Whatever you decide, you should be mindful that most hiring managers choose to hire applicants who have gotten their certification.

Because of the shifting environment in the business, it’s highly suggested that anybody who is seriously interested in a career in pharmacy earn a a certification. The remainder of the steps in this tutorial only matter if you intend to become certified.

Step 2: Choose a program accredited by PTAC and register for training

Looking for a Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC)-accredited training course is the second step if you’ve decided to become certified. This body coordinates course curricula and guidelines with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) to make certain of consistent quality in national pharmacy tech programs.

The need for PTAC accreditation

Due to the fact that only trainees who finish a program approved by the PTAC are immediately able to sit for one of the national certification exams, it’s essential that you graduate from a training course that is accredited by this body.

About online pharmacy tech programs

In order to better cater to pupils who work or have other commitments that make going to class a challenge, a great number of schools are offering pharmacy tech classes online. These classes are likewise well suited for students who do not live in close proximity to a school that offers pharmacy technician education.

Although it is possible to finish the classroom portion of a program online, it’ll still be necessary to complete the hands-on training component in-person at a designated site.

Step 3: Meet all required internship hours and finish the program

The next step is to graduate from the accredited course you have chosen. The academic and internship segments of the typical program can be completed in a year or less.

A lot of training courses devote the classroom portion of their syllabus to the material that will probably be included in the national certification tests. Offering trainees hands-on practice in an actual pharmacy, conversely, is the emphasis of the internship part of a course.

Step 4: Successfully pass either the PTCE or ExCPT exam

There are two nationally-administered pharmacy tech certification examinations – the PTCE and ExCPT. You will need to graduate from a program approved by the PTAC in order to be eligible to challenge one of these tests. A passing score on either test will give you the title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

We take a better look at these assessments below.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

One of the two national exams is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), which is a multiple-choice exam recognized all over the nation. The PTCE is made of 90 questions administered in a one-hour, 50-minute timed structure. After passing the examination, the individual receives the CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) credential.

Becoming eligible to sit for the exam requires the individual having the ability to satisfy one of the following two prerequisites:

  • Finished a PTAC-accredited pharmacy tech training course, or
  • Obtained equivalent work experience as a pharmacy tech

ExCPT Exam

The second primary national certification test is the ExCPT, which is provided by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). There are 100 multiple-choice questions on this two-hour, 10-minute timed examination.

To become eligible to take this test, candidates need to satisfy one of the following prerequisites:

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

Pharmacy technician pay in Iowa

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

The data below features the most current numbers on salary offered in Iowa.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.27$14.86$21.98
Yearly$21,370 $30,920 $45,710
Yearly$21,650 $29,270 $39,520
Iowa City, IA MSAHourly$11.86$16.18$23.43
Yearly$24,660 $33,650 $48,740
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA MSAHourly$10.49$14.77$19.68
Yearly$21,820 $30,720 $40,940
Ames, IA MSAHourly$9.07$14.35$18.71
Yearly$18,870 $29,850 $38,920
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA MSAHourly$11.02$14.28$18.87
Yearly$22,920 $29,700 $39,250
Northeast Iowa BOSHourly$10.49$14.10$18.27
Yearly$21,830 $29,320 $38,010
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA MSAHourly$9.95$14.03$19.09
Yearly$20,700 $29,190 $39,710
Southwest Iowa BOSHourly$11.22$14.00$18.49
Yearly$23,330 $29,120 $38,460
Cedar Rapids, IA MSAHourly$10.19$13.92$18.45
Yearly$21,190 $28,950 $38,380
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD MSAHourly$10.13$13.84$18.79
Yearly$21,070 $28,780 $39,080
Northwest Iowa BOSHourly$10.38$13.72$18.03
Yearly$21,590 $28,540 $37,510
Dubuque, IA MSAHourly$10.18$13.55$19.69
Yearly$21,170 $28,180 $40,960
Southeast Iowa BOSHourly$9.84$13.39$18.23
Yearly$20,460 $27,850 $37,920
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL MSAHourly$9.98$13.32$18.38
Yearly$20,760 $27,700 $38,220