Employed to work at drug stores of many types, pharmacy technicians in South Dakota perform under the supervision of the pharmacist to assure that prescriptions for medications are filled and clients are taken care of. Although it can be possible for men and women who have graduated from high school to prepare for this job through on-the-job training, almost all employers choose to employ people who have completed a one-year pharmacy tech certification program.

Thanks to unprecedented demand for new pharmacy techs in South Dakota, this profession is extremely sought after for men and women seeking an entry-level position in healthcare. The 2016 Occupational Outlook Handbook released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 12% growth in new jobs for pharmacy technicians by 2026.

What does a pharmacy tech do in South Dakota?

Pharmacy technicians in South Dakota work under the guidance of a pharmacist, and are responsible for completing a number of supporting duties that assist in keeping the pharmacy running efficiently. While some facilities can require even more tasks, the subsequent checklist highlights the principal function of the majority of pharmacy technicians.

Typical pharmacy tech duties

  • Take client or patient phone calls and inquiries
  • Create and maintain patient medical records
  • Assist pharmacist in satisfying prescriptions by weighing, packaging and labeling medicines
  • Handle payments for prescription medications and insurance coverage claims
  • Maintain all inventory in the drug store

How to become a pharmacy technician in South Dakota.

The process to become a pharmacy technician in South Dakota can be summed-up in the next four steps.

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

Step 1: Decide if you plan to get certified

The very first thing you’ll want to do is choose whether or not you want to become certified. It may not be necessary to have a certification to work in every part of the country, but an increasing number of employers around the country are choosing to only hire certified individuals.

Because of the changing environment in the business, it is very highly recommended that anyone who is committed to a career in pharmacy earn a a certification. The remainder of the steps in this tutorial only matter should you want to become certified.

Step 2: Locate a program accredited by PTAC and sign-up for training

Choosing a Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC)-accredited training course is the second step if you’ve decided to become certified. The PTAC is a nationally-respected body that coordinates pharmacy tech training across the nation with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

What is PTAC accreditation?

Considering that only trainees who finish a program accredited by the PTAC are immediately entitled to challenge one of the national certification exams, it’s essential that you complete a training course that’s approved by this organization.

Online pharmacy tech school

A popular alternative option to on-campus classes, pharmacy tech classes online supply college students the freedom to attend class and finish their studies according to their personal schedules. These programs are likewise perfect for individuals who don’t live near a school that provides pharmacy technician education.

Be advised, however, that online programs still require students to complete their hands-on training hours at a actual physical location associated with the school.

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

Once you have located an approved program that meets your needs, the next thing is to finish it. The classroom section can often be completed in 12 months or less, but completing the mandatory internship hours (occasionally called an “externship”) at an actual pharmacy may possibly take more time.

The academic section of your training is likely to include all of the theory and procedural-type information that is found in the certification examination. With regards to the internship segment of the course, this is where pupils get hands-on experience in a functioning pharmacy environment.

Step 4: Pass the PTCE or ExCPT Certification Exam

There are two nationally-recognized pharmacy technician certification examinations – the PTCE and ExCPT. You must complete a program accredited by the PTAC to be permitted to sit for either of these examinations. A passing mark on either examination will award you the distinction Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

Both of these tests are broken down in greater detail here.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), and is a multiple-choice test. The examination is given in a timed structure, and is composed of 90 total problems. Candidates who pass the assessment earn the title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

A test taker has to satisfy one of the next two requirements in order to take the exam:

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

ExCPT Exam

The other major national certification examination is the ExCPT, and is sponsored by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). There are 100 multiple-choice problems on this two-hour, 10-minute timed test.

Being eligible for this examination also depends on the test taker having either:

  • Graduated from a PTAC-accredited pharmacy tech program, or
  • Acquired comparable work experience as a pharmacy technician

What is the typical pharmacy technician salary in South Dakota?

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

The data table below highlights the most recent data on salary available in South Dakota.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.27$14.86$21.98
South DakotaHourly$11.86$14.63$19.10
Rapid City, SD MSAHourly$12.26$16.18$22.07
Western South Dakota BOSHourly$11.60$15.68$21.94
Sioux Falls, SD MSAHourly$12.23$14.76$18.61
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD MSAHourly$10.13$13.84$18.79
Eastern South Dakota BOSHourly$10.69$13.81$18.29