Pharmacy techs in West Virginia are entry-level medical professionals who help pharmacists with completing drug prescriptions and serving clients in commercial drug stores, physicians’ offices and hospitals. Being certified isn’t required in every state, but the current tendency among hiring managers has been in direction of only hiring people who carry a professional certification.

The need for pharmacy technicians in West Virginia is forecasted to grow dramatically in the coming years, which makes it an attractive option for all those who are launching their careers. As a matter of fact, based on the latest numbers provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there should be a 12% increase in pharmacy technician positions during the next 10 years.

What do pharmacy technicians do in West Virginia?

Pharmacy technicians in West Virginia are employed under the guidance of a pharmacist, and are given the task of performing a variety of supporting functions that assist in keeping the pharmacy running smoothly. Though many managers may require additional tasks, the following checklist shows the primary function of the majority of pharmacy techs.

Basic pharmacy technician duties

  • Handle client and patient phone calls and questions
  • Initiate and maintain patient medical records
  • Assist pharmacist in filling prescriptions by measuring, packaging and labeling medicines
  • Handle payments for medications and insurance claims
  • Control all inventory in the local drugstore

The steps to becoming a pharmacy technician in West Virginia

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

  1. Determine if you would like to get certified
  2. Should you decide to get certified, enroll in a PTCA-accredited program
  3. Finish the pharmacy technician program and on-the-job training hours, as legally required by state
  4. Take and pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Exam for certification

Step 1: Decide if you would like to become certified

Figuring out whether or not you plan to get certified is the initial step you’ll need to take. Becoming certified is not a compulsory condition for employment in all 50 states, but it does come with quite a few benefits and advantages.

Given the changing environment in the industry, it’s highly suggested that any person who is serious about a career in pharmacy earn a a professional certification. The rest of the steps in this tutorial only matter if you want to become certified.

Step 2: Register for courses approved by the PTAC

Finding a Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC)-accredited course is the next step if you have chosen to become certified. The PTAC is a nationally-recognized body that coordinates pharmacy tech education around the nation with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

Why PTAC accreditation is important

Because only trainees who finish a training course approved by the PTAC are immediately entitled to sit for either of the national certification exams, it’s imperative that you finish a training course that’s approved by this organization.

Online pharmacy tech school

To better support students who work or have other commitments that make going to class difficult, a lot of schools feature pharmacy tech classes online. These classes may also be well suited for those who don’t live in close proximity to a school that provides pharmacy tech training.

To clarify a popular false impression, while online programs allow students to complete their academic studies via distance education, the clinical, hands-on section of their training needs to be completed at a physical site.

Step 3: Satisfy all requisite internship hours and graduate from the program

Graduating from the approved course you decided on in the preceding step is going to be your next objective. The academic and internship parts of the typical program can oftentimes be completed in 12 months or less.

The academic part of your training will probably include all of the principles and procedural-type stuff that is going to be contained in the certification exam. Allowing college students hands-on experience in a real pharmacy, alternatively, is the focus of the internship part of a program.

Step 4: Pass the PTCE or ExCPT Certification Exam

In order to earn a nationally-recognized pharmacy tech certification, you have to pass the PTCE or ExCPT test. You need to finish a course accredited by the PTAC in order to be permitted to take one of these exams. Students who pass either assessment obtain the nationally-recognized title of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

Both of these exams are described in greater detail below.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

Provided by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, or PTCE as it is known, is a multiple-choice exam accepted throughout the country. The PTCE is composed of 90 questions administered in a one-hour, 50-minute timed format. After passing the examination, the individual earns the CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) certification.

Becoming eligible to take the exam requires the pupil having the ability to meet either of the next two criteria:

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

ExCPT Exam

Administered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA), the ExCPT Exam additionally grants the nationally-regarded title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) to people who get a passing score. This timed examination includes 100 multiple-choice problems, presented in a two-hour, 10-minute format.

You have to have the ability to fulfill one of the following requirements before you can challenge the assessment:

  • Finished a PTAC-accredited pharmacy tech training program, or
  • Gained comparable work experience as a pharmacy tech

Pharmacy technician pay in West Virginia

Pharmacy tech salary may vary based on many things, but the median salary was $31,750 in 2017 according to the latest information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pharmacy technician salary in West Virginia varies to some extent from the nation’s average, as is displayed in the data table below.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.27$14.86$21.98
West VirginiaHourly$9.46$12.37$17.85
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan DivisionHourly$10.70$15.17$22.80
Winchester, VA-WV MSAHourly$9.79$14.51$21.89
Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV MSAHourly$10.00$14.03$19.48
North Central West Virginia BOSHourly$9.78$12.88$15.23
Morgantown, WV MSAHourly$10.09$12.68$18.50
Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH MSAHourly$9.45$12.60$19.16
Southern West Virginia BOSHourly$9.40$12.56$16.81
Cumberland, MD-WV MSAHourly$9.48$11.98$18.27
Charleston, WV MSAHourly$9.40$11.93$17.40
Wheeling, WV-OH MSAHourly$9.07$11.77$16.98
Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna, WV-OH MSAHourly$9.43$11.54$16.21