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How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Alabama

If the idea of becoming a pharmacy technician in Alabama appeals to you, you’ve come to the right place. Below you will find everything you need to know to work as a pharmacy technician in Alabama, including education requirements, work duties and salary information.

Pharmacy Technician Requirements in Alabama

To work as a pharmacy technician in Alabama, the individual must be meet the following requirements.

• Must be at least 17 years of age
• Must complete an accredited pharmacy technician training program
• Must have registration certification
• Must complete required continuing education
• Must work under the supervision of a registered pharmacist

Is Any Prior Education or Training Required?

Alabama has specific education and training requirements for anyone wishing to become a pharmacy technician. The training program must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) or the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the Commission on Credentialing (COC). The training must consist of at least 600 hours spread out over a 15-week or more period. The curriculum must include didactic course work, laboratory courses and experiential training. The student must receive hands-on training working in various pharmacy settings including chronic care, acute care and ambulatory care.

Are Pharmacy Technicians Required to be Certified?

Pharmacy technicians working in Alabama must be registered and licensed with the Alabama Board of Pharmacy. To become registered or licensed, the individual must send in an application, along with proof that he or she passed an approved certification examination.

How Can a Pharmacy Technician Become Certified?

To become certified, the pharmacy technician must take and pass a certification exam through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. The certification exam is a computer-based test administered at a Pearson VUE testing center. To be eligible to take the exam, the individual must have a high school diploma or equivalent and pass a criminal background check.

Is Continuing Education Necessary?

The Alabama Board of Pharmacy requires that pharmacy technicians complete at least three hours of continuing education each year. Of these three hours, one must be “live’ by attending a course, and the other two hours must be non-live hours of training. The continuing education must be approved by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

Pharmacy Technician Salary in Alabama

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that pharmacy technicians nationwide earned a mean annual wage of $30,430 as of May 2012. The average salary for pharmacy technicians working in Alabama is typically below the national average, although the salaries vary by location, according to a Salary.com 2014 report. Below are pharmacy technician salaries in four Alabama cities, along with the wages earned by the bottom 10%, top 90% and the median annual wage.

• Florence, AL – $21,979 – $32,206 – $26,918
• Birmingham, AL – $24,737 – $36,247 – $30,295
• Mobile, AL – $24,054 – $35,246 – $29,459
• Montgomery, AL – $23,082 – $33,822 – $28,269

Pharmacy Technician Job Duties

Pharmacy technicians have many job duties which may include answering the phone, entering patient data into the computer, checking inventory, processing insurance claims, collecting payment, receiving electronic and written prescriptions, completing paperwork, checking in orders from wholesalers that do not contain controlled substances and any tasks that do not require a pharmacist’s professional judgment.

The pharmacy technician can put medication into inventory if it does not contain a controlled substance if a pharmacist is present. The pharmacy technician may also count, measure and pour medication into the container, make up the label and put the label on the bottle if there is a pharmacist present.

What Tasks is a Pharmacy Technician Legally Allowed to Perform?

While there are many tasks a pharmacy can perform as part of their duties, there are several things they cannot legally do.

• Cannot communicate, either orally or in writing, any clinical or medical drug information
• Cannot accept any new prescription
• Contact a physician regarding a prescription
• Discuss a new prescription with the customer or a physician.
• Dispense and bottle the medication unless a pharmacist is present for approval
• Cannot take prescriptions over the phone
• Give counseling to the patient
• Correct a prescription
• Prepare a copy of a prescription
• Provide a prescription to the patient with a pharmacist’s approval