On-the-Job Training for Pharmacy Technicians: Where It's Allowed & How to Find Jobs

Pharmacy technicians are an essential part of the healthcare system, especially when it comes to getting patients the medications they need to treat and manage their health conditions. 

Working as a pharmacy technician is a great career choice that offers good pay and the opportunity to enhance patients’ experience. 

But is it possible to get on-the-job training to become a pharmacy technician even if you don’t have any training or certification?

There are 26 states that allow pharmacy technicians to work after receiving on-the-job training. None of these require formal education or certification. Some of these states include Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

This article goes over which states allow for on-the-job training for pharmacy technicians, so you can get started with your career as a pharmacy technician right away. 

Does On-the-Job Training for Pharmacy Technicians Exist?

Yes, on-the-job training for pharmacy technicians is allowed in certain states, including:

  • Alaska
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin 

It is important to double check with your state’s Board of Pharmacy or with the hiring manager of the position you are interested in for the most recent information about specific rules, requirements, and regulations. 

For example, in some states, such as Maine, you may need to get registered or licensed. Other states, such as New Mexico, allow you to work as a non-licensed pharmacy technician, as long as you get certified within a year. 

In addition, some employers may require their employees to get certified within a certain period of time after starting work. 

Providing on-the-job training for pharmacy technicians has many benefits for employers and the profession as a whole. Because of the increasing demand for prescription medications, there needs to be a sufficiently large and well-trained workforce. 

Offering on-the-job training allows employers to reach out to motivated individuals and quickly integrate them into the workplace. 

If you’re not in a state that allows pharmacy technicians to learn on the job, you should check out our 4-Month Pharmacy Technician Classes. It can be completed completely online and we offer a 100% job placement guarantee, career coaching, and an in-person externship at a location convenient for you.

Where to Find On-the-Job Training for Pharmacy Technicians

Some pharmacy technician jobs only require you to have a high school diploma or equivalent, making it the shortest possible time to become a pharmacy technician available. 

Although having other qualifications such as experience, training, and certification can help you secure a job, there are several ways to find a pharmacy technician job without them in certain states. 

1) Search Job Boards for Pharmacy Technician Jobs that Offer On-the-Job Training

At first, finding a pharmacy technician position that provides on-the-job training can seem like a daunting task. You may be wondering how exactly to get started. 

Online job boards are the best place to look if you are interested in this kind of position. Some of the most popular job board sites are Indeed and Glassdoor

You can tell if a pharmacy technician position offers on-the-job training by looking at several things in the job posting. 

First, you should check the job title. It will typically describe the nature of the position, such as whether on-the-job training is provided or not. You should pay attention to words and phrases like “trainee,” “entry-level,” or “technician in training.”

Second, you should carefully read the job description. Look for terms or phrases such as “no experience needed,” “will train,” “training provided,” or “on-the-job training.” In addition, you should check to see if there are any qualifications needed. A job that provides training will generally only list a high school diploma or GED as a requirement. 

These online job boards are frequently updated with new openings, so make sure to check back regularly. You never know when the perfect job for you will open up.

2) Contact Local Pharmacies and Hospitals

Sometimes directly contacting local pharmacies and hospitals can lead you to open positions with on-the-job training. Check the websites of the places you are interested in to see if there is someone specific you can contact, such as a hiring manager, supervisor, or recruiter.

Some larger corporate pharmacies, such as CVS, have job opportunity sections on their website that allow you to apply to open positions in your area. It is worth checking these if you are unable to find a specific person to contact directly through phone or email. 

3) Consider an Externship

A pharmacy technician externship is a short-term position that is typically unpaid. They are intended to expose prospective pharmacy technicians to what working in the field is like. The length of externships vary, but usually last a few months.

You can find a pharmacy technician externship by contacting local pharmacies and educational institutions to see if they offer them. In addition, you can sometimes find listings on online job boards. 

As mentioned, our Online Pharmacy Technician Program here at Stepful includes in-person externship. We work with local pharmacies and other facilities in your area to place you in an externship where you’ll get hands-on experience with working as a pharmacy technician.

Skills That Can Help You Get a Job as a Pharmacy Technician With On-the-Job Training

Even if pharmacies are offering on-the-job training for technicians, employers still want to hire candidates that they are confident will succeed in the position. 

Here are some pharmacy technician skills you should have if you want to boost your chances of landing a job that offers on-the-job training:

  • Customer service experience. As a pharmacy technician, you will have to interact with patients. It is important to maintain a friendly, attentive, and professional demeanor at all times. You should also be able to confidently handle dissatisfied customers or stressful situations.
  • Science background. Pharmacy technician is a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) career. As a result, you should ideally have a passion for these topics, especially science. A job as a pharmacy technician may be a good fit for you if you enjoy learning about chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and clinical science. 
  • Good at math. Like with science, math plays a big role in a pharmacy technician career. On a typical day, you will be expected to calculate dosages, convert units, and work with other metrics involving medications. Although this may sound like simple arithmetic, having an affinity for math will go a long way towards succeeding as a pharmacy technician. 
  • Good attention to detail. A typical pharmacy is very busy, with numerous medication orders coming in every day. Unfortunately, medication errors can occur in this kind of fast-paced environment. A good pharmacy technician is able to keep all of the relevant details in mind to accurately get patients their medications. 
  • Quick learner. If you are planning on learning on the job, then you will need to be a fast learner. This means understanding workplace policies, procedures, and how to operate various devices. Being a quick learner will help you better transition into your new job. 
  • Computer skills. Pharmacy technicians will need to learn how to use various computer software, such as electronic health records. Knowing how to use a computer can help ease the learning curve that often comes with learning how to navigate a new interface. 
  • Team player. Pharmacy technicians work in a team with other healthcare professionals. You will need to work effectively with your coworkers and practice good communication in order to succeed.
  • Good at working under pressure. Pharmacies can quickly become busy. You will need to be able to handle the stress that comes with working in a fast-paced and dynamic environment. Keeping your cool under pressure is important in minimizing mistakes. 

>> Read More: What to Put on Your Entry-Level Pharmacy Technician Resume With No Experience

Typical Pay for Pharmacy Technicians Training On-the-Job

Pharmacy technician salaries average $36,740 nationally, which comes out to $17.66 per hour. The exact amount will vary depending on a variety of factors such as state, metropolitan area, and employer.

To get a better idea of what the typical pay in your area is for pharmacy technicians with no experience, you can check online job boards such as Indeed or Glassdoor

Why You Should Consider a Pharmacy Technician Externship 

An externship is a short-term position that allows you to gain a firsthand understanding of what working in a career is like. These are typically unpaid. They can take place in a variety of workplace settings such as grocery stores, corporate pharmacies, hospitals, and educational institutions.  

A pharmacy technician externship is a worthwhile experience if you are interested in the field. It gives you a chance to develop a more nuanced and direct understanding of what being a pharmacy technician is like. In addition, it allows you to network with other professionals, which can help you land a job when your externship is over.

On the other hand, if you are still unsure whether a career as a pharmacy technician is the right fit for you, then participating in an externship can also be a wise decision. The best way to learn about what a job is like is to get first-hand exposure. 

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