Deciding to go back to school to enter a pharmacy technician program in Washington State may be the first step towards pursuing a new and exciting career path in the pharmaceutical industry.
These types of programs involve learning how to prepare and dispense medications and other healthcare products for the many millions of Americans who depend on medication to stay healthy and well. Believe it or not, a pharmacy technician plays an important role in the successful running of a pharmacy, whether it’s in a hospital, department store, drug store, or an ambulatory service center. The beautiful Evergreen State has many colleges and vocational schools that offer pharmacy tech programs, including certificate, diploma, and associate and bachelor degree program options. We’ve got information for you to consider in order to jumpstart your new pharmacy tech career path in Washington!
Washington General Education Information and Data
Before we delve into specifics on the education requirements for pharmacy technicians, here’s some general education info about the state of Washington.
- There are 49 four-year institutions in Washington; the national average is 56.
- There are 36 two-year institutions, while the national average is 33.
- The total male fall enrollment at the national level is 171,951, while the average in Washington is 170,066.
- The total female fall enrollment is 212,466, only slightly lower than the national average of 228,592!
Pharmacy Technician Careers in Washington
You may not know it but Washington ranks number one as the top paying state in the country for the pharmacy technician profession. To help you decide if you want to seek out this degree in this northwestern state, let’s look at stats for pharmacy tech jobs in the state of Washington.
- There are 7,570 pharmacy technicians currently employed in Washington.
- The state projects that there will be 8,260 jobs by the year 2026, an increase of 9%, which translates to approximately 680 annual job openings between 2016 and 2026.
- The annual mean 10th percentile wage for pharmacy technicians in Washington is $32,220
- The annual mean 90th percentile wage for pharmacy technicians in Washington is $54,710
Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Washington
Do I need any certification to become a Pharmacy Technician in Washington?
According to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, Pharmacy technicians employed in Washington State are regulated by the state and are required to earn national certification. That qualification is obtained by taking the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam (PTCB), a two-hour, multiple-choice test that assesses a candidate’s knowledge in nine areas, including pharmacology for technicians, medication safety, pharmacy inventory management, pharmacy laws and regulations, among others.
Which certifications are approved in Washington?
The Washington Pharmacy Board requires that you provide proof of passing the national pharmacy technician certification examination that is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). That includes the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam (PTCB), which is administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), and the National Healthcareer Association’s ICTP certification. There are currently 5,191 active PCTB certified pharmacy technicians in Washington.
Am I required to have a license to become a Pharmacy Technician in Washington?
Yes, you are required to get a license in order to work in Washington State. In order to become licensed, you must submit a completed application form, a Verification of Law Study evaluation, and certification of training as well as other requirements.
What are the initial requirements to become licensed as a Pharmacy Technician in Washington?
- Complete an application form that asks for demographic information such as legal name, date of birth, birthplace, address, contact information and other names you have been known as. The application also requires the completion of the Personal Data Questions section, which asks about any medical conditions that would impair you to work as a pharmacy technician, any drug and alcohol use, the illegal use of controlled substances and if you have been convicted of a crime. The application also asks that you verify you have completed a minimum of four hours of AIDS prevention, transmission and treatment education.
- Provide verification that you successfully completed an approved training program that allows you to work as a pharmacy technician in the state of Washington. Official transcripts of a diploma or certificate are required, in addition to a school catalog describing the coursework you took.
- Provide proof that you passed a national pharmacy technician examination administered by a program accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and that you completed practical training as well.
- Payment of application fee
Will my Pharm Tech License ever expire in WA?
Yes, the license will expire annually, on your birthday. Approximately 90 days before the expiration date of your license, you can go to the Washington State Dept. of Health website to renew your license online for a $2.50 fee, as of 2019. If you choose to renew online, you don’t have to mail your renewal notice to the department.
In addition to renewing your license, as a certified pharmacy technician in the State of Washington you are also expected to complete 10 hours of continuing education, including one hour in pharmacy law.
Is there training required to become a pharm tech in WA?
Yes, some level of training is required. The state currently offers multiple options.
Are there any Pharmacy Technician Professional Organizations in Washington?
There are several professional pharmacy organizations that new pharmacy technician graduates may want to consider joining. They include:
- The Washington State Pharmacy Association (WSPA)
- The American Association of Pharmacy Technicians (AAPT)
- The Washington State Association of Pharmacy Technicians (WSAPT)
- The National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA)
Becoming a member of these types of associations may provide you with valuable networking opportunities through various regional meetings and get-togethers and will also give you the chance to explore continuing education opportunities.
How do I contact the State Board in Washington?
Washington State Board of Pharmacy
Office: P.O. Box 47852, Olympia, WA 98504
Voice: 360-236-2260 Fax: 360-236-2260