The pharmacy tech in Michigan is a beginning health worker who assists the pharmacist with multiple day-to-day duties around the pharmacy. Some technicians can become employed even if they aren’t certified, but this is becoming unusual since the majority of organizations now would prefer to hire only those applicants who have finished an accredited training program.

The need for pharmacy techs in Michigan is projected to increase dramatically in the coming years, which makes it an attractive option for people who are starting their careers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016 report forecasts that the number of new employment opportunities for pharmacy technicians will grow by 12% through 2026.

What does a pharmacy tech do in Michigan?

The primary responsibilities of the pharmacy tech in Michigan center around the tasks that help the pharmacy take care of its customers and manage its inventory. Although many managers might require even further tasks, the following checklist illustrates the primary role of the majority of pharmacy techs.

Traditional pharmacy technician duties

  • Handle client or patient phone calls and questions
  • Establish and manage patient documents
  • Help pharmacist in filling prescriptions by measuring, packaging and labeling medicines
  • Handle payments for medications and insurance coverage claims
  • Handle all inventory in the local pharmacy

The steps to becoming a pharmacy technician in Michigan

The four steps to becoming a pharmacy technician in Michigan are listed below.

  1. Determine if you plan to become certified
  2. If you should decide to become certified, register for a PTCA-accredited training course
  3. Finish the pharmacy tech course and on-the-job training hours, as mandated by state
  4. Pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Exam for certification

Step 1: Determine whether you want to become certified

Your initial step towards becoming a pharmacy technician is deciding whether or not you’re going to get certified. Holding a certification isn’t a compulsory condition to work in every state, but it does offer a lot of benefits and advantages.

Given the shifting landscape in the industry, it’s highly suggested that anybody who is considering a career in pharmacy get a a certification. The other steps in this tutorial only apply in the event that you intend to get certified.

Step 2: Sign-up for courses approved by the PTAC

If you’ve decided to pursue your certification, the next thing is to sign-up for a pharmacy technician training program that is approved by the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC). The PTAC is a nationally-respected body that coordinates pharmacy technician coursework throughout the nation with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

Why PTAC accreditation matters

Accreditation by the PTAC is deemed imperative due to the fact that only graduates from a program recognized by this organization can take one of the national certification exams.

Pharmacy tech classes online

A desirable alternative to on-campus classes, online pharmacy tech programs provide college students the versatility to attend class and complete their studies per their own schedules. These programs are likewise ideal for individuals who don’t live close to a school that provides pharmacy tech education.

Even though it’s possible to complete the academic section of a program online, it will nevertheless be required to complete the hands-on training component in-person at a designated location.

Step 3: Fulfill all necessary internship hours and graduate from the program

The third step is to complete the accredited course you have selected. The academic portion can often be completed in twelve months or less, but completing the mandatory hands-on training hours (sometimes called an “externship”) at a pharmacy can often take longer.

The classroom part of your studies will most likely incorporate all of the principles and procedural-type information that is going to be a part of the certification assessment. Allowing college students hands-on training in a pharmacy, conversely, is the focus of the internship portion of a course.

Step 4: Pass one of the two national certification examinations

There are two nationally-administered pharmacy tech certification examinations – the PTCE and ExCPT. After you have graduated from a PTAC-accredited program, you’ll become able to take either one of them. Students who pass either test obtain the nationally-acknowledged title of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

The following is a quick description of the two exams.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

One of the two nationwide tests is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), which is a multiple-choice test administered all over the nation. The one-hour, 50-minute assessment consists of 90 multiple-choice questions. Candidates who successfully pass the assessment receive the distinction Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

A candidate has to be able to satisfy the next two requirements in order to take the examination:

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

ExCPT Exam

The other major national certification assessment is the ExCPT, and is provided by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). Students get two hours and 10 minutes to complete 100 multiple-choice problems.

You must have the ability to satisfy one of the following requirements before you can challenge the exam:

  • Completed a PTAC-approved pharmacy technician training program, or
  • Gained equivalent work experience as a pharmacy technician

Pharmacy technician pay in Michigan

Pharmacy technician compensation fluctuates according to various factors, but the median salary was $31,750 in 2017 per the most recent data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The data table below highlights the latest numbers on salary offered in Michigan.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.27$14.86$21.98
Ann Arbor, MI MSAHourly$9.98$15.93$21.74
Muskegon-Norton Shores, MI MSAHourly$10.28$15.51$20.60
Jackson, MI MSAHourly$10.56$15.45$20.87
Kalamazoo-Portage, MI MSAHourly$10.26$14.75$19.26
Monroe, MI MSAHourly$10.49$14.73$18.65
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI MSAHourly$10.36$14.63$18.81
Saginaw-Saginaw Township North, MI MSAHourly$9.87$14.49$21.13
Niles-Benton Harbor, MI MSAHourly$10.42$14.48$18.38
Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, MI Metropolitan DivisionHourly$9.84$14.26$19.03
Northeast Lower Peninsula BOSHourly$10.26$14.25$18.80
Balance of Lower Peninsula BOSHourly$10.59$14.14$19.25
Lansing-East Lansing, MI MSAHourly$9.68$13.93$20.60
Upper Peninsula BOSHourly$10.31$13.65$18.56
Northwest Lower Peninsula BOSHourly$9.69$13.64$18.61
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI MSAHourly$9.05$12.64$18.51
Bay City, MI MSAHourly$9.50$12.54$18.21
Battle Creek, MI MSAHourly$8.85$11.67$19.02
Flint, MI MSAHourly$8.91$11.46$18.32