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Pharmacy Technician Programs in Illinois

Pharmacy technicians play a particularly important role in keeping the community healthy! If you’re thinking about a pharmacy technician career in Illinois, be sure to explore colleges and vocational schools with pharmacy tech programs. 

Pharmacy techs are an essential piece to the big picture of healthcare, so it may be a good idea to consider a career as a pharmacy technician in Illinois. Pharmacy technician certificates, diplomas, and associate and bachelor degree programs may offer the preparation you need to pursue a future opportunity at a pharmacy, hospital, ambulatory service center, or other employer of pharmacy techs. We’ve provided some helpful info about education and healthcare careers in Illinois!

Illinois General Education Information and Data[i]

Before we give you a list of great pharmacy technician programs in Illinois, get to know some general stats about higher education in your home state!

  • There are 115 four-year institutions in Illinois, more than twice the national average is 56.
  • Illinois is home to 66 two-year institutions, exactly double the national average of 33!
  • The total male fall enrollment in Illinois is 389,808, compared to the national average of 171,951.
  • Total female fall enrollment in Illinois is 511,016, more than twice the national average is 228,592! 

Pharmacy Technician Careers in Illinois

Illinois ranks #4 among states with the highest level of employment for pharmacy technicians![ii] Here are some other must-know stats about pharmacy technicians in this state:   

  • There are currently 18,020 pharmacy technicians employed in Illinois.[iii]
  • Pharmacy technician jobs in Illinois are projected to increase 15% between 2012 and 2022, with approximately 390 annual openings.[iii]
  • The annual mean 10th percentile wage for pharmacy technicians in Illinois is $19,300.[iii]
  • The annual mean 90th percentile wage for pharmacy technicians in Illinois is $41,200.[iii]

Other careers in the healthcare industry besides pharmacy technician may be worth your consideration, too. Here are the annual mean 10th percentile wages for some other healthcare career paths in Illinois:

  • Medical Records & Health Information Technicians: $22,860[iv]
  • Medical Assistant: $21,770[v]
  • EMT (Emergency Medical Technician): $19,960[vi]
  • CNA (certified nursing assistant): $18,970[vii]

Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Illinois

Do I need any certification to become a Pharmacy Technician in Illinois?

Illinois pharmacy technicians are regulated by the state, and they’re also required to earn national certification.[viii] It’s important to fulfill the certification requirement if you plan to pursue this career path.

Which certifications are approved in Illinois?

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT) are both accepted in Illinois.[ix] Currently, there are 1,258 active PTCB certified pharmacy technicians in Illinois.viii To qualify for PTCB certification, candidates must have a high school diploma or GED, be in compliance with the PTCB code of conduct and other policies, and pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), in addition to paying an application fee of $129.[x] ICPT certification has similar requirements, but keep in mind that in order to qualify for the ExCPT exam, applicants should have proof of completing either an approved pharmacy technician training program or approved employer-provided training. If it’s been five or more years since you completed training, you must have at least 1200 hours of qualifying work experience within any one year of the past three years.[xi] It’s a good idea to double-check all requirements for certification well in advance of applying, to make sure you’re ready to go!

Am I required to have a license to become a Pharmacy Technician in Illinois?[ix]

Yes, you must register for a license from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Pharmacy applicants may assist a registered pharmacist up to 60 days prior to receiving their issued certificate, as long as they have submitted the application and fee.

What are the initial requirements to become licensed as a Pharmacy Technician in Illinois?[ix]

  • Proof of high school diploma or GED
  • Proof of pharmacy technician education/training and certification
  • Must submit an application and fee
  • Must be 18 to obtain CERTIFIED pharmacy technician designation

Does my Pharm Tech License ever expire in IL?[ix]

Yes. Your license will expire annually on March 31, regardless of the date when it was issued.  To renew your pharmacy technician license in Illinois, visit the license renewal page of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation: www.idfpr.com/Renewals/defaultSSL.asp. Select “Pharmacy Technician” from the list of professions with licenses up for renewal, and follow the instructions to renew! Just keep in mind that if your license is not up for renewal, you won’t see your profession listed until the time comes – typically 2-3 months prior to March 31st. [xii]

Is there training required to become a pharm tech in IL?[xiii]

Yes. In Illinois, the pharmacy that employs you must make sure you have received training both on the job and through a formal program. You will need to provide proof of training when you apply for your license: either a copy of your pharmacy technician program certificate or diploma, or a statement from the pharmacist-in-charge at the pharmacy where you work, proving you have received the training required by the state of Illinois.ix

Are there any Pharmacy Technician Professional Organizations in Illinois?

Want to get more involved in your career field? Joining a professional organization for pharmacy techs in Illinois could be a great next step! Here are a few state and national professional organizations to consider:

  • Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP)
  • Illinois Pharmacy Association (IPHA)
  • The National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA)
  • American Association of Pharmacy Technicians (AAPT)

What are the potential benefits of joining a pharmacy technician professional association in Illinois? For one, you could meet other professionals who share your passion for your career. You could also network in your industry, get involved in cool events and initiatives, and stay up-to-date on professional development. Keep in mind that many professional associations charge annual membership fees.

How do I contact the State Board?

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Office: 320 West Washington Street,
Springfield, Illinois 62786

Voice: (217) 785 - 0820

www.idfpr.com/profs/info/Pharm.asp

[i] nces.ed.gov/programs/stateprofiles/sresult.asp?mode=full&displaycat=4&s1=17 | [ii] bls.gov/oes/current/oes292052.htm | [iii] careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?next=occ_rep&Level=&optstatus=011110111&jobfam=29&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=292052&menuMode=&stfips=17&x=63&y=9 | [iv] bls.gov/oes/current/oes292071.htm | [v] bls.gov/oes/current/oes319092.htm | [vi] bls.gov/oes/current/oes292041.htm | [vii] bls.gov/oes/current/oes311014.htm | [viii] ptcb.org/who-we-serve/pharmacy-technicians/by-state#.VZq-svlVgZk | [ix] idfpr.com/renewals/apply/forms/ph-t.pdf | [x] ptcb.org/get-certified/apply#.Vc0cevny230 | [xi] nhanow.com/faq/student-faq.aspx | [xii] idfpr.com/Renewals/defaultSSL.asp | [xiii] ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/068/068013300B02100R.html

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