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Top Certification Tests for Pharmacy Techs

Pharmacy techs and assistants remain in high demand in today's economy. And the outlook is exceptional. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 32 percent increase in pharmacy tech jobs during the 2006-2016 decade, adding more than 90,000 new jobs. While many pharmacies and consumer stores offering pharmacy services provide some career training for entry level positions, the Labor Department reports than employers increasingly prefer "those who have completed formal training and certification". That means your online training program can move you to the head of the hiring line.

You can further bolster your credentials following graduation by pursuing voluntary certification by national credentialing organizations. Some states and employers even require their pharmacy assistants and techs to hold certifications from one or the two major certifying organizations. You can review a state-by-state review of requirements at the National Tech Exam website.

Here are the two major certifying organizations and details about their testing programs:

Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians
The ExCPT examination is offered in every state of the union. You can register by telephoning the test service, LaserGrade, at 800-211-2754. National Community Pharmacists Association, the National Organization for Competency Assurance and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores all recognize the ExCPT certifications. Tests include subjects of technician duties, controlled substances, laws and regulations, drug classifications, dosage forms, dispensing processes and calculations.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The PTCB offers national testing leading to Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) designations. PTCB's certification is recognized in all 50 states. To retain the certification, you will need to undertake twenty hours of continuing education within two years of earning the credential. The exam consists of 90 multiple-choice questions that must be completed in two hours. Testing is done at Pearson VUE Professional Centers around the country.

Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians
Pharmacy Technician Certification Board
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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