Pharmacy Technician Schools in Alaska

Alaska is the largest and least densely populated state. It is located in the northwestern corner of North America. Alaska is known for its cold winters, but in actuality the southern coast of Alaska boasts fairly mild winters. Alaska’s economy is mainly based upon fishing, oil and natural gas.

Pharmacy technicians are in great demand nationwide, even in a remote state like Alaska. Pharmacy techs assist pharmacists in preparing many types of medicines, while also performing jobs like sterilizing equipment, keeping records and controlling inventory. Most pharmacy techs work in drug stores or other retail outlets, so their duties often include waiting on customers. Some techs work in hospitals, so they frequently deliver medicines to nursing stations throughout the hospital, requiring a lot of walking.

Requirements for Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy technician jobs require much less educational training than many other jobs in the health care industry. For example, the University of Alaska offers an open enrollment, 16-credit program of only six classes that offers more than enough training for Alaskan certification, with no prerequisites.

Pharmacy technicians in Alaska must be licensed. To gain a license, you have to be at least 18, have a high school diploma (or its equivalent) and have a felony-free record. Some employers also require applicants to have passed the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) test. Other skills that many employers look for include pre-algebra proficiency, 35-words- per-minute typing and basic computer proficiency.

Pay Scale

According to the Bureau of Labor website, Alaskan employers pay the second-highest median rate in the nation for pharmacy technicians. As of May, 2012, the median rate for salaried techs was $35,520 per year, and for hourly techs, $19.00 per hour. The national averages for pharmacy techs are $30,430 and $14.63, respectively. Techs who work in hospitals normally make significantly more money than those in retail outlets, but they’re usually required to have more education in order to get hired.

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