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How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in North Dakota

Pharmacy technicians are predicted to see an excellent growth between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). If you live in North Dakota and would like to be part of this growing field, all the information you need to become a pharmacy technician can be found below.

Pharmacy Technician Requirements

To work as a pharmacy technician in North Dakota, you must be registered as a pharmacy technician with the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy. In order to become registered, the board requires that you either complete an American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists-accredited training program or an on-the-job training program that’s accredited by the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists and be nationally certified.

Is Any Prior Education or Training Required?

As stated above, North Dakota requires aspiring pharmacy technicians to either complete an accredited training program or an on-the-job training program. The National Center for Education Statistics indicates that there are more than 15 colleges offering pharmacy technician training in North Dakota. A training program typically includes classroom courses, lab studies and clinical internships. The clinical portion is completed in an area pharmacy or hospital under the supervision of licensed pharmacists. Training programs generally take less than a year to complete.

Are Pharmacy Technicians Required to be Certified?

Technicians working in North Dakota must be registered with the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy, which requires completing training and obtaining national certification from a board-approved certifying agency. Once this is completed, the individual can apply for registration with the South Dakota Board of Pharmacy.

How Can a Pharmacy Technician Become Certified?

You can become nationally certified by taking and passing a board-approved certification exam. Most pharmacy techs take the computer-based certification examination authorized by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Once you’ve passed the certification exam, you can apply for registration and use the title Registered Pharmacy Technician or “R.Ph.Tech.” PTCB certification is good for two years.

Is Continuing Education Necessary?

Registration as a pharmacy technician must be renewed every year. To main registration and certification, the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy requires that pharmacy technicians must complete ten hours of continuing education. The PTCB, however, requires completing at least 20 hours of continuing education to maintain their certification. The 20 hours must include at least one in topic of pharmacy law. Registration must be renewed every year.

Pharmacy Technician Salary in North Dakota

Pharmacy technicians working in North Dakota can expect to earn various wages, depending on the location and their level of training and experience. Salary.com reports that pharmacy techs in Mandan earned an average salary of $28,944 as of February, 2014, while the lowest percent earned $23,634 and the highest percent earned $34,630. These averages are slightly lower than the national average of $29,320. To the east of Mandan in Fargo, pharmacy technicians earned an average salary of $30,038, with the lowest percent earning $24,527 and the highest percent earning $35,939.

Pharmacy Technician Job Duties

Pharmacy technicians may work in pharmacies, hospitals, grocery stores and drug stores, although the majority work in pharmacies. Their job duties may vary depending on where they’re working. However, most pharmacy technicians assist licensed pharmacists and do tasks that do not require a professional pharmacist, such as answering phones, receiving prescriptions, labeling and packaging prescriptions, entering patient information on the computer, accepting payments and processing insurance information, measuring and calculating medicine, checking inventory and notifying pharmacist of needed inventory.

What Tasks is a Pharmacy Technician Legally Allowed to Perform?

There are many tasks that a pharmacy technician can perform without supervision; however, most medication-related tasks require the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. They may not evaluate the patient’s condition in regards to their prescription and may not consult with the patient regarding their medication. They may also not make decisions that require a pharmacist’s education or discuss dosage and therapeutic values with the patient or customer.

Although they can measure, count and put the medication in a bottle, the pharmacy technician cannot dispense it without first getting the approval of a pharmacist. When pharmacy techs answer the phone and speak to customers, they must identify themselves as pharmacy technicians.

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