Montana Pharmacy Technician Requirements and Training Programs

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Close to 72 percent of pharmacy technicians work in independently owned retail pharmacies, drugstore chain pharmacies, and pharmacies in department and grocery stores. The other 18 percent of pharmacy technicians find work in hospitals, mail-order and Internet pharmacies and the federal government. The Bureau of Labor of Statistics predicts a 32 percent increase in employment for pharmacy technicians between the years 2006 to 2016. The median annual wage for Montana’s pharmacy technicians is $31,200, making it an attractive career for many. As a pharmacy technician, you’ll assist pharmacists by dispensing medication and other health related products to patients. You’ll also help prepare medication, perform administrative duties, manage inventory, operate the cash registers, and maintain patients’ records. All patient questions relating to prescriptions, drug information, and requests for counsel should be referred to the pharmacist. Pharmacy technician training prepares student for the duties of this entry-level position. Program graduates demonstrate the positive work ethic, interpersonal skills, and professionalism that hiring managers search for in all pharmacy technician employees.

Montana Pharmacy Technician Requirements

License Requirement

Pharmacy technicians cannot practice pharmacy in any respect without an active Montana registration. In order to acquire registration in the state, the applicant must submit a request to the Board using an approved application form and paying the applicable registration fee. Applicants can register as a pharmacy technician-in-training, which is a nonrenewable permit. The technician-in-training must submit proof of PTCB or ExCPT certification to register as a Certified Pharmacy Technician within the 18-month period. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a high school graduate and possess a good moral character. A pharmacy intern in good standing with the Board can perform pharmacy technician duties without registering for the role. Pharmacists with a suspended or revoked license cannot apply for pharmacy technician registration.

The supervising pharmacist should verify employees and prospective employees’ registration with the Board before assigning specific duties. Once registered, a pharmacy technician’s tasks and duties must be guided by the Board’s regulations. Specifically, the technician should not perform duties that require a pharmacist’s professional judgment. He/she also should not dispensed medication if the pharmacist is not present in the prescription department, and a pharmacist must check all medication before releasing to a patient.

Technicians must wear a name badge to identify their names and job title and ensure their licenses are conspicuously on display in their primary place of employment.

Age Requirement

Montana’s Board of Pharmacy limits pharmacy technician registration to persons 18 years and older.

Education Requirement

In accordance with state regulations, an individual must possess a high school diploma, GED, or other equivalent degree to register as a pharmacy technician or pharmacy technician-in-training. The applicant must include a copy of the high school diploma, official transcript or similar document as proof of education.

Other Requirements

While the Montana Board of Pharmacy does not commission criminal background checks by default, applicants must have a good moral character and answer all the questions related to their criminal history, disciplinary actions, and drug use on the application form. Responding “yes” to any of the questions will require a letter explaining the circumstances and accompanying court documents. The Board may schedule an in-person interview before making a decision. Providing false information on the application could result in denial of the license or revocation of an existing license and disciplinary action.

The Pharmacy Technician Program

Content

The pharmacy technician training program at the Missoula College at the University of Montana is the sole American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) – accredited program in the state. However, there are other training programs accredited by other bodies. Additionally, a huge percentage of pharmacy employers sponsor training for employees and prospective employees. Pharmacy technology classes prepare students for employment in hospitals and community pharmacies and other non-traditional pharmacy settings. Training providers use classroom, lab, and experiential opportunities to ensure balanced learning. In the classroom, instructors cover topics such as pharmacy calculations, medication terminology, medication safety, pharmacy dispensing lab, pharmacology for technicians, state laws, and regulations, in preparation for the externship experience. Instruction in the lab and at local pharmacies allows students to apply their knowledge in a practical setting. In some programs, students complete the externship in at least two different clinical settings.

Students must pass a criminal background check, possess a high school diploma, acquire immunization, and consent to a physical exam and TB testing as requirements for entry into training programs, including employer-provided training programs. Another important requirement is the registration with the State of Montana’s Board of Pharmacy. Students will be unable to complete the experiential training without the appropriate registration.

After successfully completing the training program, students are eligible to sit the national certification exam provided by the PTCB or ExCPT.

Duration and Cost

Numerous pharmacy technicians flock to employer-provided training, which eliminates the cost of tuition and the other expenses associated with attending a traditional class. The accredited programs at universities, community colleges, and vocational schools cost an average of $16,700 for tuition only. Other reasonable costs include the pre-admission requirements, such as a criminal background check, assessment in Maths and English, TB test, physical exam, state registration, immunization and liability insurance. Students also have to cover the costs of textbooks, lab fees, course materials, uniforms, and transport to and from the clinical sessions. Financial aid may be available from private and state-funded sources. The average duration of training programs (formal and employer-sponsored) is 12 months.

National Exams

Montana’s pharmacy technicians are nationally certified by one of two certifying agencies: the PTCB or the ExCPT. The Board of Pharmacy’s requirements for certification affords technicians numerous advantages over non-certified technicians in other states. Montana’s technicians are among the best paid in the nation. They also earn the respect and confidence of their pharmacist supervisors and play a more active role in the pharmacies where they work. The Board of Pharmacy accepts certification from the PTCB and ExCPT, but like most other states, the majority of pharmacy technicians pursue certification through the PTCB.

Since its inception, the PTCB has earned the respect of state agencies and pharmacists alike. Their strict guidelines, prequalification, and requirements for continuous education keeps CPhTs on top of industry standards. Applicants must be at least 18 years and have a high school diploma and good moral character. The PTCB requires applicants to pass a criminal background check and confirm their agreement to practice within the Board’s guidelines. After meeting the prequalification requirements, including the $129 registration fee, the PTCB will grant the applicant approval to take the certification exam at any one of Pearson Vue’s 200 + computerized centers. The two-hour exam contains 90 multiple choice questions, which tests candidates’ understanding of 6 knowledge domains. The certification, once granted, is valid for two years. CPhTs must complete the continuing education requirements and pay the $40 renewal to maintain an active status.

The requirements for ExCPT certification is similar to that of the PTCB. The primary difference arises in the training requirements: Applicants must demonstrate completion of formal training or at least 12 months of pharmacy employment. The fee for certification is $105. Students can schedule the test, after approval from the NHA, at any one of LaserGrade/LSI centers in Montana or another state. The ExCPT is a two-hour exam comprising of 110 multiple-choice questions.

Acquiring Your State License

Application

A pharmacy technician cannot practice in Montana before obtaining the appropriate registration from the Board of Pharmacy. Montana’s pharmacy technicians are Certified Pharmacy Technicians – certified by the PTCB or ExCPT or other recognized body. An individual, 18 years or older with a high school diploma and good moral character can register as a pharmacy technician-in-training while pursuing the training and education required to obtain national certification. The pharmacy technician-in-training permit is non-renewable and valid for 18 months only.

Pharmacy Technician-in-Training Application:

An individual who has not completed the requirements for national certification must register as a pharmacy technician-in-training before practicing pharmacy. The Board requires 30 days to process the application following the receipt of all required documents.

  • Download the application form from the Board’s website.
  • Provide the name and address of the pharmacy where you plan to complete training. If your place of employment changes, you must submit the updated information to the Board within 10 working days.
  • Attach a passport quality photo to page three of the application.
  • Enclose the non-refundable $60 fee using a check or money order payable to the Montana Board of Pharmacy.
  • Enclose a copy of your high school diploma or equivalency certificate and your driver’s
  • Make copies of the character reference forms and obtain three character references from individuals who can confirm your ability to practice as a pharmacy technician. One character reference must be from a registered pharmacist. Each character reference should mail the form directly to the Board – must be submitted before the end of the 18-month probationary period.
  • Respond to the criminal history/disciplinary action questions. The Board may schedule an interview if you answer “yes” to any of the questions.

Pharmacy technicians-in-training have 18 months from the time of registration to pass the PTCB or ExCPT and submit the certificate to the Board. The permit is non-renewable. However, if extenuating circumstances prevent an individual from acquiring certification, the Board may grant an extension of the permit. Any technician who works with an expired license will be subject to disciplinary actions. There is no cost to register as a Certified Pharmacy Technician if you submit proof of national certification before the 18-month period.

Pharmacy Technician Certificate Application:

If you complete the certification requirements after the Board’s stipulated 18-month period, you must submit a new application for registration and pay a new fee. The documents/procedures are the same if you’re submitting a new application. However, you should apply as a Certified Pharmacy Technician and submit a legible copy of your PTCB or ExCPT certification along with the required character references and other documents.

Renewal

Licenses for Montana’s Certified Pharmacy Technicians expire on June 30 annually. The renewal fee is $25 or $50 for renewal forms postmarked after the June 30 deadline. The Board recommends online renewal for faster processing. Pharmacy technicians should not apply for renewal if they do not have current pharmacy technician certification.

Use the following steps to renew your application online or through the mail:

  • To renew online, go to the Board’s online portal (Internet Explorer 9 recommended). Download and print the renewal form if you plan to renew through the mail.
  • Complete the application form, making sure to answer the disciplinary questions, and review the pharmacy technician certification statement.
  • Enclose a check or money order payable to the Montana Board of Pharmacy.
  • Sign the application and return to the Board before June 30.

Your application for renewal is an admission of current PTCB or ExCPT certification. The Board randomly subjects technicians to an audit after the completion of the renewal cycle.

Transfer

Out-of-state pharmacy technicians with an active national certification from the PTCB or ExCPTmust submit an application for new pharmacy technician registration to the Board of Pharmacy.

Contact the Board:
Montana Board of Pharmacy
www.pharmacy.mt.gov
301 South Park, 4th Floor
P.O. Box 200513
Helena, MT 59620-0513
Fax: (406) 841-2305
E-mail: [email protected]

Pharmacy Technician Training Programs Montana

Billings, MT Pharmacy Technician Training Programs:
Billings Adult & Community Education
415 North 30th
Billings, MT 59101
406-281-5099

Riverstone Health Clinic
123 S 27th St Ste C
Billings, MT 59101
(406)247-3330

Walgreens Infusion Services
404 N 31st St Ste 401
Billings, MT 59101
(406)255-7463

CVS Pharmacy #5307
823 N 27th St
Billings, MT 59101
(406)252-9098

Billings Pharmacy 1
2900 12th Ave N Ste 101W
Billings, MT 59101
(406)245-6717

Albertsons/Osco Pharmacy #2047
511 Central Ave
Billings, MT 59102
(406)245-4301

CVS Pharmacy #8944
617 Central Ave
Billings, MT 59102
(406)256-4924

Albertsons-Osco Pharmacy 2038
1212 Grand Ave
Billings, MT 59102
(406)248-5544

CVS Pharmacy #5301
1311 Grand Ave
Billings, MT 59102
(406)259-6449

First Pharmacy
1540 13th St W Stop 2
Billings, MT 59102
(406)896-8325

Walgreens Pharmacy #12155
1330 Grand Ave
Billings, MT 59102
(406)252-0096

CVS Pharmacy #5302
425 Main St
Billings, MT 59105
(406)248-4078

Osco Drug #2027
670 Main St
Billings, MT 59105
(406)245-6979

Sam’s Club Pharmacy #4805
4420 King Ave E
Billings, MT 59101
(406)256-0177

Aspen Meadow Nursing Home
3155 Avenue C
Billings, MT 59102
(406)656-8818

Juro’s Home Medical Pharmacy
2043 Grand Ave
Billings, MT 59102
(406)259-2562

Billings Health & Rehab Comm
2115 Central Ave
Billings, MT 59102
(406)656-6500

Advanced Care Hospital Pharmacy
2538 Gabel Rd
Billings, MT 59102
(406)373-8000

Albertsons-Osco Pharmacy #2030
2334 Central Ave
Billings, MT 59102
(406)656-6652

Walgreens Pharmacy #10652
1602 Main St
Billings, MT 59105
(406)245-0178

Walmart Pharmacy #2923
1649 Main St
Billings, MT 59105
(406)254-2947

K Mart Pharmacy #4303
2424 Central Ave
Billings, MT 59102
(406)656-0913

VA Medical Clinic Pharmacy
2345 King Ave W
Billings, MT 59102
(406)373-3500

Costco Pharmacy #69
2290 King Ave W
Billings, MT 59102
(406)652-8556

Target Pharmacy #171
2601 Central Ave
Billings, MT 59102
(406)652-2263

CVS Pharmacy #8623
2402 Grand Ave
Billings, MT 59102
(406)252-6334

Shopko Pharmacy #106
905 S 24th St W
Billings, MT 59102
(406)652-6715

Walmart Pharmacy #1956
2525 King Ave W
Billings, MT 59102
(406)652-9688

Omnicare Billings
2747 Enterprise Ave Ste 1
Billings, MT 59102
(406)896-3380

Osco Pharmacy #2041
3137 Grand Ave
Billings, MT 59102
(406)652-8371

Walgreens Pharmacy #11503
3333 Grand Ave
Billings, MT 59102
(406)652-1620

Saint Johns Pharmacy
3940 Rimrock Rd
Billings, MT 59102
(406)655-5600

Columbus, MT Pharmacy Technician Training Programs:
IGA Plus Pharmacy
133 N 5th St
Columbus, MT 59019
(406)322-5718

Great Falls, MT Pharmacy Technician Training Programs:
Great Falls College MSU
2100 16th Avenue South
Great Falls, MT 59405
406.771.4300

Public Drug
324 Central Ave
Great Falls, MT 59401
(406)453-1497

K Mart Pharmacy #3094
1000 3rd St NW
Great Falls, MT 59404
(406)453-6107

Walgreens Pharmacy #10859
1213 3rd St NW
Great Falls, MT 59404
(406)761-0214

Sam’s Club Pharmacy #6379
401 Northwest Byp
Great Falls, MT 59404
(406)453-3466

Shopko Pharmacy #2062
301 Northwest Byp
Great Falls, MT 59404
(406)727-9682

Albertsons/Osco Pharmacy #2035
1414 3rd St NW
Great Falls, MT 59404
(406)761-8420

Pharmerica Pharmacy #7072
625 Central Ave W Ste 105
Great Falls, MT 59404
(406)452-3713

Discount Pharmacy
601 10th Ave S
Great Falls, MT 59405
(406)268-1499

Walmart Pharmacy #2455
701 Smelter Ave NE
Great Falls, MT 59404
(406)761-1456

Anderson Family Pharmacy
1417 9th St S Ste 101
Great Falls, MT 59405
(406)761-8781

CVS Pharmacy #8624
2001 10th Ave S
Great Falls, MT 59405
(406)453-1318

Albertsons/Osco Drug #2037
2250 10th Ave S Unit 2
Great Falls, MT 59405
(406)727-9880

Snyder Drug
2515 6th Ave N
Great Falls, MT 59401
(406)452-6461

Spectrums Home Solutions
2509 7th Ave S
Great Falls, MT 59405
(406)727-1218

Plaza United Pharmacy
2800 11th Ave S Ste 10
Great Falls, MT 59405
(406)727-0070

Smith’s Food & Pharmacy #166
1601 Market Place Dr
Great Falls, MT 59404
(406)771-0475

Clinic Pharmacy
1400 29th St S
Great Falls, MT 59405
(406)771-3399

Hardin, MT Pharmacy Technician Training Programs:
Pharmcare Pharmacy
901 N Center Ave
Hardin, MT 59034
(406)665-1602

Kalispell, MT Pharmacy Technician Training Programs:
Flathead Valley Community College
777 Grandview Drive
Kalispell, MT 59901
(406) 756-3822

Laurel, MT Pharmacy Technician Training Programs:
Walmart Pharmacy #4412
101 Bernhardt Rd
Laurel, MT 59044
(406)628-1762

CVS Pharmacy #5305
307 SE 4th St
Laurel, MT 59044
(406)628-8746

Gene’s Pharmacy
111 E Main St
Laurel, MT 59044
(406)628-7217

Missoula, MT Pharmacy Technician Training Programs:
Missoula College at the University of Montana
909 South Avenue West
Missoula, MT 59801
(406) 243-7813

Pryor, MT Pharmacy Technician Training Programs:
Pryor Health Clinic
Pryor Gap Rd
Pryor, MT 59066
(406)238-0415

USPHS Indian Health Center Phcy
9 Pryor Gap Rd
Pryor, MT 59066
(406)259-8238

Roundup, MT Pharmacy Technician Training Programs:
Pamida Pharmacy #662
148 Main St
Roundup, MT 59072
(406)323-1811


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