How to Become a Pharmacy Tech in Georgia
Georgia pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of licensed pharmacists, filling prescriptions for patients and customers.
Pharmacy tech jobs in Georgia require a combination of pharmacology knowledge and customer service skills.
Those who want to qualify for a position in this field will need to complete an educational program or undergo supervised training to learn the tools of the trade.
Education and Training
When it comes to completing education and training, job seekers wondering how to become a pharmacy tech in Georgia typically have two options. You can either enroll in an accredited pharmacy technician program at a Georgia trade school or find an entry-level job at a local pharmacy ad receive on-the-job training.
Georgia Pharmacy Tech School
Some employers prefer to hire candidates with a formal education, so earning a pharmacy tech certificate or diploma might be a smart option for aspiring pharmacy techs in GA.
During an educational program, you might take classes on basic pharmacology topics, including:
- Pharmacy Law
- Institutional and Community Pharmacy Practices
- Pharmacy Terminology
- Drug Classifications
- Pharmacy Mathematics
- Computerize Drug Delivery Systems
Depending on where you enroll, your course might also include a hands-on training component or an internship at a local pharmacy.
Training course lengths for pharmacy techs in GA vary across different schools. For example, students at some schools can earn their pharmacy tech certificates in as little as six months. Meanwhile, other institutions have extended courses that take 10 months to a year to complete. If you’re pursuing a degree, you’ll need to attend classes for at least two years.
How Much is Pharmacy Tech School in GA?
Tuition, books, and study materials for a pharmacy tech school program in Georgia typically cost slightly under $3,500. However, you might end up paying closer to about $5,000, depending on where you enroll. Longer associate’s degree programs typically cost more than a certificate or diploma.
On-the-Job Pharmacy Tech Training
If you choose to become a Georgia pharmacy tech through on-the-job training, it might take a little longer to learn the skills you need to transition from an entry-level trainee to a capable employee. However, tactile learners might prefer this hands-on training option over a traditional educational program.
Training in a Pharmacy Setting
As the name suggests, on-the-job pharmacy training requires you to obtain a pharmacy tech job in Georgia. Some privately-owned drug stores hire inexperienced apprentices for this role and teach them basic pharmacy tech skills like:
- Taking inventory and stocking product shelves
- Using the proper filing system for medications and customer records
- How to receive, review, and process prescriptions
- Weighing and measuring medications using specific tools and instruments
- Operating cash registers
- Processing customer’s payments and insurance information
A Customer Service-Focused Approach
On-the-job training is a more customer service-focused approach to becoming a pharmacy tech in Georgia. Because of this, you’re supervisor will likely teach you proper communication and retail skills that help you maintain a friendly and professional demeanor when assisting customers.
Georgia Pharmacy Tech Requirements
Georgia allows uncertified applicants to qualify for pharmacy tech jobs in Georgia. However, if you plan to work at a pharmacy in a healthcare facility, like a hospital, nursing home, or assisted living facility, having an official pharmacy technician certification might improve your chances of getting the job.
Certified Pharmacy Technicians
According to the Georgia Board of Pharmacy, aspiring pharmacy techs in GA can obtain their Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential through one of the following agencies:
In order to be eligible to take the certification exams through these agencies, you must meet the following three criteria:
- Be at least 17 years of age
- Have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent
- Pay the required exam fee
The PTCB also requires applicants to pass a criminal background check. Meanwhile, the NHA requires you to submit proof of graduation from an accredited pharmacy tech program or documentation showing at least 1,200 hours of supervised work experience.
Qualifying for your License
If you qualify, you can register for your PTCB or NHA licensing exam. Once you pass, you can begin applying for pharmacy tech jobs in Georgia.
Whether you earn a certificate, obtain a CPhT credential, or learn through on-the-job training, you must register with the state Board of Pharmacy. You can complete your registration by applying online and filling out the required Pharmacy Technician Application Supplement packet.
Registering with the Georgia Board of Pharmacy
Applicants will also need to do the following:
- Provide proof of identity, certifying that you are at least 17 years old
- Submit documentation showing that you are currently enrolled in, or have graduated from, a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent program
- Pass a criminal background screening
- If currently employed as a pharmacy tech, submit the license number of the pharmacy where you work
- If certified, provide a copy of your PTCB or NHA certificate
- Pay the non-refundable $100 application fee
Pharmacy Tech Salaries in GA
Although the average pharmacy tech salary in Georgia is about $33,446 per year, you might earn slightly higher or lower, depending on which part of the state you live in. Check out the following list of regional salary information to learn how much pharmacy techs make in different Georgia cities.
- Atlanta $34,632
- Gainesville $32,677
- Albany $30,472
- Macon $29,848
- Agusta $34,091
- Columbus $34,694
- Savannah $30,846
Georgia pharmacy techs who have a certificate or degree from an accredited education program might earn closer to $40,000 per year. If you have an official credential, your salary may be closer to 450,000 or more.
Pharmacy tech jobs in Georgia require attention to detail, physical stamina, and exceptional customer service skills. During a typical workday, employees in this role perform tasks like:
- Reviewing handwritten and digital prescriptions
- Measuring, weighing, counting, and pouring medications into proper containers
- Labeling medication containers properly
- Having the pharmacist double-check labeled medications for accuracy before packaging
- Operating the cash register and processing payments and insurance information for customers
- Updating records about customer purchase history information
- Processing online orders and answering phone calls
- Stocking pharmacy shelves and taking inventory
- Assisting customers on the sales floor
Researchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics expect the demand for pharmacy tech jobs to increase by about five percent over the next ten years. Completing a trade school program or earning an official CPhT certification can help you stand out among other job seekers when applying for pharmacy tech jobs in Georgia.