Requirements to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Alaska

Requirements to become a pharmacy technician in Alaska

Roughly 87 pharmacies in the state of Alaska currently employ a total of about 620 pharmaceutical technicians.  Of these, approximately 358 are licensed by the Alaska State Board of Pharmacy.  Pharmacy technicians are pharmacist assistants, often helping with the preparation and dispension of prescription drugs.  Responsibilities of pharmacy technicians include counting tablets, labeling containers, performing various administrative tasks and handling customer service.  Pharmacy technicians have access to many controlled substances, so various state-specific guidelines often apply.

Alaska State Regulations for Pharmacy Technicians

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam is mandatory in 42 states.  In Alaska, board certification is not required, although licensed pharmaceutical technicians are clearly more marketable than unlicensed pharmacy assistants.  Many local hospitals and retail pharmacists hire only board certified technicians.  The standard practices of Alaska pharmacy technicians are primarily covered by state laws.  Written state laws pertaining to pharmacists detail topics like drug labeling, record keeping, prescription transfer and other controlled substance-related activities.  Pharmacy technicians are often responsible for checking labels for compliance with state laws.  Certified Pharmacy Technicians in Alaska must be at least 18 years old with no prior felony convictions.  The Alaska State Board of Pharmacy provides complete and current information regarding exams, regulations and licensing for pharmacy technicians.  The state accepts two types of tests for certification.  One test is issued by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the other is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (ExCPT).  Both tests are 2-hour multiple choice exams to be retaken every two years.  The PTCB test currently costs about $129 and is available only in Anchorage.  This test contains 90 questions.  Those who do not pass the test can retake it in four weeks.  The ExCPT test costs $95 and contains 110 questions.  Testing facilities are located in Anchorage, Palmer, Ketchikan, Kodiak and Cordova.  Potential licensees who do not pass the test must wait 90 days to retake it. 

Alaska Training Programs for Pharmacy Technicians Include:

Alaska residents interested in working as pharmaceutical technicians can acquire skills at accredited local colleges like University of Alaska at Anchorage.  Other local training options for aspiring pharmacy technicians in Alaska include various Board certified programs sponsored by local pharmacies.  Some aspiring pharmacy technicians acquire skills online.  Popular accredited online colleges offering certificate programs for pharmacy technicians include Ultimate Medical Academy, Southern Careers Institute, Eagle Gate College, MedVance Institute and Northwest College, to name only a few.