Pharmacy technicians in Virginia are entry-level medical providers who assist pharmacists with filling drug prescriptions and helping clients in retail pharmacies, physicians’ offices and other healthcare facilities. Certification isn’t required in every state, yet the current trend among businesses has been in direction of just hiring individuals who have a professional credential.

Thanks to unprecedented demand for new pharmacy techs in Virginia, this profession is extremely desirable for individuals looking for an entry-level job in the healthcare industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016 report forecasts that the volume of new employment opportunities for pharmacy technicians will grow by 12% by 2026.

What do pharmacy technicians do in Virginia?

The major responsibilities of the pharmacy tech in Virginia revolve around the duties which help the pharmacy service its clients and manage its inventory. Though some facilities might require additional responsibilities, the following checklist illustrates the primary function of most pharmacy techs.

Pharmacy technician duties in Virginia

  • Take customer or patient calls and concerns
  • Initiate and maintain patient records
  • Support pharmacist in satisfying prescriptions by weighing, packaging and labeling medications
  • Handle payments for medications and insurance policy claims
  • Manage all inventory in the pharmacy

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

The four-part procedure for becoming a pharmacy technician in Virginia is displayed below.

  1. Decide if you would like to get certified
  2. If you intend to get certified, sign up for a PTCA-accredited program
  3. Complete the pharmacy technician school and internship training hours, as mandated by state
  4. Pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Exam for certification

Step 1: Determine whether you plan to become certified

The first thing you’ll have to do is choose if you plan to get certified. It is not mandatory to hold a certification to be able to work in every part of the country, but an ever-increasing number of organizations around the land are choosing to only employ certified individuals.

For any individual who is considering having a long-lasting career in the pharmacy business, certification is highly recommended. If you choose not to become certified, you can ignore the remainder of the steps and start searching for a job when you graduate from high school.

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

The second step in becoming eligible to work as a certified pharmacy technician is to sign-up for training courses that are accredited by the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC). Pharmacy tech courses throughout the country are governed by the PTAC, who works in combination with both the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) to standardize education in the industry all-around the country.

The value of PTAC accreditation

Considering that only trainees who complete a training course accredited by the PTAC are immediately eligible to take one of the national certification exams, it is imperative that you attend a training course that is recognized by this organization.

Step 3: Fulfill all required hands-on training hours and finish the program

After finding an accredited program that meets your needs, the next step is to finish it. The academic portion can frequently be finished in twelve months or less, but completing the required hands-on training hours (occasionally referred to as an “externship”) at an actual pharmacy can occasionally take longer.

Most training courses dedicate the academic part of their course of study to the material that is covered in the national certification exams. The internship, however, will provide you the opportunity to put the things you learn into practice in a live, professional setting.

Step 4: Successfully pass the PTCE or ExCPT test

There are two nationally-accepted pharmacy tech certification exams – the PTCE and ExCPT. Once you have finished a PTAC-accredited course, you’ll become eligible to sit for either of them. A passing mark on either examination will award you the title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

Let’s take a better look at these examinations here.

What is the typical pharmacy technician salary in Virginia?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for a pharmacy tech in the U.S. was $31,750 as of May 2017.

Pharmacy tech salary in Virginia may differ a bit from the nation’s median, as is shown in the data table below.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.27$14.86$21.98
Yearly$21,370 $30,920 $45,710
VirginiaHourly$9.92$13.64$20.41
Yearly$20,630 $28,380 $42,440
Charlottesville, VA MSAHourly$10.71$15.59$22.26
Yearly$22,270 $32,430 $46,300
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan DivisionHourly$10.70$15.17$22.80
Yearly$22,260 $31,560 $47,420
Winchester, VA-WV MSAHourly$9.79$14.51$21.89
Yearly$20,360 $30,190 $45,540
Richmond, VA MSAHourly$10.21$13.93$20.84
Yearly$21,240 $28,980 $43,350
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSAHourly$9.82$13.73$19.68
Yearly$20,420 $28,560 $40,940
Roanoke, VA MSAHourly$10.42$13.64$18.31
Yearly$21,670 $28,360 $38,090
Lynchburg, VA MSAHourly$10.22$13.60$19.13
Yearly$21,250 $28,280 $39,780
Southside Virginia BOSHourly$10.21$13.44$18.73
Yearly$21,230 $27,950 $38,950
Harrisonburg, VA MSAHourly$10.02$13.24$19.02
Yearly$20,840 $27,550 $39,560
Northeastern Peninsulas BOSHourly$9.91$12.89$19.03
Yearly$20,600 $26,810 $39,590
Northwestern Virginia BOSHourly$9.93$12.67$18.37
Yearly$20,650 $26,350 $38,210
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA MSAHourly$9.90$12.20$18.16
Yearly$20,600 $25,370 $37,760
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA MSAHourly$9.42$12.06$17.54
Yearly$19,590 $25,070 $36,490
Southwestern Virginia BOSHourly$7.99$10.72$16.11
Yearly$16,610 $22,290 $33,520