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How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Louisiana

If you’re a Louisiana resident or would like to work in Louisiana as a pharmacy technician, below you will find everything you need to know to make that happen.

Pharmacy Technician Requirements

Before you can work as a pharmacy technician in Louisiana, you must meet the following requirements set by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy.

• Must be at least 18 years of age
• Must have a high school diploma
• Must pass a criminal background check
• Must have at least 600 hours of experience working in pharmacy setting
• Must complete required continuing education
• Must be registered and certified through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board
• Must work under the supervision of a registered pharmacist

Is Any Prior Education or Training Required?

Unlike many states that require that their pharmacy technicians complete an approved training program, Louisiana does not. However, they do have specific requirements regarding work experience in lieu of education. The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy is independent of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Becoming qualified to work as a Louisiana pharmacy technician involves a step-by-step process.

To work as a pharmacy technician in Louisiana, you must have a Louisiana Pharmacy Technician Certificate. To get the certificate, you must complete at least 600 hours working in a Louisiana-licensed pharmacy and pass a board-approved certification exam. Before you can get the certificate, you must get a Pharmacy Technician Candidate Registration. To get the registration, you must submit the following to the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy:

• Completed application for registration
• Copy of social security card
• Copy of birth certificate
• Copy of high school diploma (or equivalent)
• Proof of a criminal background check
• Any applicable fees

Once you have received proof of registration, you can begin your 600 hours of training. When your training is complete, you can take the PTCB certification exam. When all this completed, you are eligible to apply for the Louisiana Pharmacy Technician Certificate.

Are Pharmacy Technicians Required to be Certified?

Pharmacy technicians must be certified as part of the process of earning the Louisiana Pharmacy Technician Certificate, which is necessary to work as a pharmacy tech in Louisiana (see above).

How Can a Pharmacy Technician Become Certified?

Certification can be obtained by passing the PTCB certification exam. This can only be done after meeting other board-required prerequisites (see above for training requirements). While Louisiana does require certification and registration, they are one of a few states that do not issue licenses to pharmacy technicians.

Is Continuing Education Necessary?

Continuing education is necessary to remain registered as a Louisiana pharmacy technician. There are different requirements for the state of Louisiana and the PTCB. The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy requires that pharmacy technicians complete 10 hours of continuing education every 12 months to maintain the Louisiana Pharmacy Technician Certificate. However, in order to maintain your PTCB certification, you must complete at least 20 hours of pharmacy-related continuing education, with at least one hour being in pharmacy law.

Pharmacy Technician  Salary in Louisiana

As of a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics May, 2012 report, a mean annual wage of $30,430 was earned by pharmacy technicians across the nation. Pharmacy technicians working in Louisiana may earn salaries higher than the national average or lower, depending on what cities they choose to work. For instance, Salary.com states that pharmacy technicians working in Bossier City earned a median annual wage of $29,298 as of February 2014, while the lowest 10% earned $23,923 and the top 90% earned $35,504. The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians working in Kenner was $32,578, with the bottom 10% earning $26,601 and the top 90% earning $38,978. Other factors affecting earning potential include years of experience and training.

Pharmacy Technician Job Duties

Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of licensed pharmacists and may have many job duties, including answering phones, counting and measuring medication, making bottle labels, processing insurance claims, taking payments from customers, monitoring inventory and stock, providing customer service and directing patients to the pharmacist for prescription-related information.

What Tasks is a Pharmacy Technician Legally Allowed to Perform?

The law is very specific in regards to what pharmacy technicians can and cannot legally do in their profession. While they can count and measure the medication, they cannot dispense it unless a pharmacist approves it first. They can direct the patients to the pharmacist for counseling but cannot provide the counseling themselves. The technician can receive medication from wholesalers as long as there are not controlled substances. The technician cannot change prescriptions or contact the physician with questions on the prescription.