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Pharmacy Tech Questions - California

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Xen, May 8, 2008.

  1. Xen

    Xen

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    I'm a college student working on to be an RN. I need a side job and pharmacy tech seems pretty interesting. I live in CA and I'm not sure about pharmacy tech laws here. I just want to know what's the difference between a licensed tech and a certified tech? Also, I plan on taking the PTCE w/out taking classes because they're expensive, I'd rather study on my own. Also, if I pass the test, am I licensed or certified?
     
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  3. steveysmith54

    steveysmith54 Member
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    After you pass PTCE, apply for a license thru cali board of pharmacy. the application is on their website.
     
  4. MaseratiGT

    MaseratiGT Legilimens!
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    After you pass the exam, your certified.

    The exam was easy for me, but I had been a tech for a couple of years before hand.
     
  5. jayce00

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    i wished i could find a pharm tech job... [have no experience =/]
     
  6. kismet

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    If you pass the PTCE, then you're "nationally certified" and this qualifies you for "state licensing" from the CA State Board. (This is a pet peeve of mine - so many kids can't keep them straight on their resumes and it drives me crazy!) You can get your license without being certified but this involves a course of instruction so in your case I think the convenience outweighs the cost of certification. I know plenty of people who studied on their own and passed the test, so you'll be fine.

    Every two years you must renew your tech license ($$) and your certification ($$ and continuing education). If you're just going to do this for a few years then it's probably not that big a deal.
     
  7. Xen

    Xen

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    So I'm guessing licensed techs make more.
     
  8. mrblah

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    no a certified technician makes more than a california licence tech. A certified technician is a technician that is PTCB certified and licenced through california (he pays more in fees, he passed some stupid test, and he gets paid 50 cents or so more). The california licensed tech is not certified nationally, pays only one fee, and didnt have to pass any test (although he did complete a crapload of classroom hours), he gets paid less.

    There are two ways for you to be come a technician in california, the certified ptcb route and the regular california technician. Its easier to go the certified ptcb route, because all you have to do is pass a national exam (really easy), and then apply for a state license (in essence, you will end up with two licenses), and end up paying two fees.

    The other way is to enroll in tech classes, and complete a number of classroom hours and extern hours at a pharmacy, and then apply for the california licence. This is a BIG WASTE OF MONEY AND TIME. You are not nationally certified like the above route. You will still have to take the ptcb test if you want to get paid more (its up to you at this point), but a ptcb certification isn't necessary for you to work.

    Easiest way is to sign up for the ptcb test, past the test, and then apply for your tech license through the california board of pharmacy. Just remember, even if you past the ptcb test, YOU CANNOT WORK AS A TECH until you apply/license through the state board (they have background checks, fingerprints, etc).
     
  9. chinkster

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    If you have experience working in a pharmacy, then just study on your own and take the test. It was EASY!
     
  10. Xen

    Xen

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    Good information, thanks.

    I went to ptcb.org to schedule a test date but I can't seem to find it. Can anyone link the sign up page or whatever?
     
  11. mrblah

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    the ptcb test, much like any standardized test, have specific sign up windows. I haven't done it in a while, so I'm not sure what the windows are.
     
  12. pharmerdee

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    I had zero experience when I took the test, and I still passed. However, I did take an online class that cost about $70, which I thought really helped me. After I passed the national test, I applied for my CA license. Let me know if you would like more info about the website I used. Hope that helps! :)
     
  13. kismet

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    A couple things... Certified techs do NOT always get paid more than licensed techs.. there is no differential at the hospital where I work so I have no incentive to get certified. My boss doesn't care, so I don't care. Some hospitals, on the other hand, will ONLY hire certified techs.. so if you wanted to go that route, while certification is mandatory, it is not going to get you any "extra" money. (If you're going for your RN, I would really recommend you try to get a hospital job!)

    Also you don't have to drop $10k on two years of classes.. I did a program called Regional Occupational Program (ROP) run by the Office of Education in my city.. tuition/books/fees was about $500, instruction was 6 months (3 months classroom, 3 months internship). I found it worth it because an internship gets you experience... getting a job without experience can be pretty challenging. Plus my internship turned into a job so it was pretty much the best thing ever. I did take two quarters off from college to do this but I wanted a break and my family supported my decision because they knew the license would help me. We talked about the PTCE but they agreed that a program with an internship would help me more.

    I personally think the certification is a waste of time; when we were hiring at my hospital we didn't want certified techs, we wanted experienced techs. The advantages are a) it's quicker than taking a class, and b) if you leave the state you can apply for licensure in most other states with no trouble. But a possible 50 cent pay differential is never going to make up for the money it costs you to get and remain certified.
     
  14. mrblah

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    I wonder why you think certification is a waste of time considering you actually save time and money in the process. Also alot of retailers (cvs and walgreens) will pay for your ptcb certification and they do offer that tiny raise (which is probably where he is going to end up).

    You are right, though, I can care less for PTCB certification. On the other hand, i've seen externs come and go from those POS colleges, and many of those techs were pretty lousy (its like they recruited people who didn't want to be in pharmacy in the first place, actually most that I talked to didn't want to be there).

    I've been a tech for 10 years and was grandfathered in back in the day, and you are absolutely right, nothing replaces experience. I only did ptcb certification because not only was it a 50 cent raise, but I couldn't become a senior tech without one, nor could I get a training job if I didnt have one. Otherwise, I would have been happy with my lousy tech pay, and low responsibility.

    However, the OP is asking how to become a california tech, without taking classes. I was merely explaining the quickest route and cheapest route, in which you seemed to agree. I also threw in some of the perks associated with it (which really isnt a perk considering you have to pay another fee).

    I forgot to add: once you get ptcb certified and then get your state license, you can let your ptcb license expire. It won't matter anymore (unless your job requires it, which is the exception to the rule).
     
  15. laimyours

    laimyours like my hat?
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    They way they have it now is so silly. I got my tech license originally from being "grandfathered". I worked 1600 hours in a pharmacy and a pharmacist signed my paper. Thank GOD! Because just three months later the state changed the law. They required the PTCB certification and/or tech classes. I believe actual pharmacy experience qualifies you more than taking that worthless class. With that said, just take exam. Those classes are expensive and worthless.
     
  16. Xen

    Xen

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    Anyone know the best book to study off from?
     
  17. Allright

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    when applying for the license do you HAVE to send a notarized copy of the ptcb certificate or can you just send the original certificate with your application?

    and about how long does it take to get your licence after you send in your application?



    Thanks
     
  18. mochiko

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    I don't see why you can't send in the original certificate and have heard of people doing it, but some employers may ask for a copy of your certificate as proof that you're certified. Doesn't hurt to hang onto it.

    Took me just over a month after sending in the application to get my license, but it can vary.
     

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