How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Wisconsin

If you live in Wisconsin and would like to work as a pharmacy technician, you’ll be happy to know it’s easier than you might think. Get all the information you need to get started in this rewarding career now!

Pharmacy Technician Requirements

Wisconsin does not really have any special requirements for their pharmacy technicians in the way of training or certification.

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Is Any Prior Education or Training Required?

Although Wisconsin does not require their pharmacy technicians complete training programs, individuals can choose to complete training on their own to increase earning potential and prepare for certification exams. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that there are at least eight colleges that offer pharmacy technician training in Wisconsin. Pharmacy technician training programs are usually diploma or certificate programs that take less than a year to complete.

Students in the pharmacy tech program take courses in medical terminology, interpersonal communication, pharmacology, pharmacy drug distribution, pharmacy law and pharmaceutical calculations. As part of the required clinical education, the student gains experience working in a hospital pharmacy under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Prior to the start of the clinical education, students are usually required to pass a health and drug screening.

Are Pharmacy Technicians Required to be Certified?

The Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board does not have any specific certification requirements for pharmacy technicians working in Wisconsin, although they can choose to take the certification exam to obtain national certification and enhance their resume and earning potential. When candidates are certified, they can wear the CPht credential after their names.

How Can a Pharmacy Technician Become Certified?

The main criteria for becoming certified is taking and passing a certification exam. Two organizations offering the exam are the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCP) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). To be eligible to take either the PTCP or the NHA exam, the candidate must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma. However, the NHA also requires that the candidate must have completed an approved pharmacy technician training program or have one year work experience as a pharmacy technician within the past three years.

Is Continuing Education Necessary?

Continuing education is not a requirement by Wisconsin, but it is by the certifying agencies who issued the certification. To maintain the NHA certification, the pharmacy tech must complete ten hours of continuing education every two years. To main the NTCB certification, 20 hours of continuing education must be completed every two years. Of these 20 hours, at least one must be in the subject of pharmacy law.

Pharmacy Technician Salary in Wisconsin 

As of May 2012, there were just over 7,000 pharmacy technicians employed in Wisconsin and they earned a mean annual wage of $28,770, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. This figure was slightly less than the national average, which was $30,430. A February 2014 report indicates that the lowest 10% of pharmacy technicians in Madison, Wisconsin earned about $24,159, while the top 90% earned $35,400; the median wage there was $29,587. Further north in Eau Claire, the median wage for pharmacy techs is $27,320, with the lowest percentage at $22,308 and the highest percent at $32,688.

Pharmacy Technician Job Duties

Pharmacy technicians can perform a variety of job duties throughout the course of the work day. However, any thing that is pharmacy or prescription-related must be done under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Some of the duties may include creating and maintaining patient files, receiving written and electronic prescriptions; reading, retrieving, pouring, measuring and mixing medications; processing and submitting insurance claims; answering phone calls; maintaining inventory; and collecting payment.

What Tasks is a Pharmacy Technician Legally Allowed to Perform?

While there are a lot of job duties for a pharmacy technician to do as part of their occupation, there are some things they cannot do unless done under the supervision of a pharmacist. For instance, the pharmacy may dispense the medication but cannot give it to the patient without first having the pharmacist approve the prescription. They also cannot take prescriptions over the phone or give counseling to the patient.

Pharmacy techs can also enter patient information into the computer system, label and prepare medication, retrieve medication from stock, answer the phone and prepare unit does carts for pharmacist to approve. Here is a list of what they cannot do.

• Verify the final accuracy of the filled prescription
• Counsel patients
• Make independent drug decisions
• Participate in drug regimen screenings such as clinical abuse, drug reactions and allergies, incorrect dosage, and incorrect dosage
• Administer any vaccines