It’s a great time to pursue a career as a pharmacy technician. A recent study conducted by the National Healthcareer Association found that 40% of employers plan to increase their pharmacy technicians’ job responsibilities over the next year. At the same time, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an overall positive job outlook for the profession through 2018.
If you’re thinking about becoming a pharmacy tech, or if you’re enrolled in a program already, financing your education is likely on your mind. The scholarships below can help you make your higher education program far more affordable. And whether you’re a new student or about to graduate, the online resources on the page could prove valuable both to your academic and your professional journey. Keep reading to find what you need.
Scholarships and Grants for Pharmacy Tech Students
Pharmacy technician scholarships and grants are the most popular and effective form of financial aid. These are gift-based awards; they do not accrue interest and do not need to be repaid, unlike student loans. New and returning students alike rely on them to help defray expenses. Individual schools and programs offer these type of awards as do national organizations and local initiatives dedicated to pharmacy work. This section looks at these opportunities in detail.
Pharmacy Tech Scholarships at Schools
School-based pharmacy technician scholarships act as your first line of defense against rising tuition costs and other education-related expenses. In most cases these awards will be more gainful than other scholarships. They offer more money on the whole and many are renewable for multiple years.
Depending on your program, you may automatically enter a pool for scholarships when you apply to the school and submit a FAFSA. In other cases, you may need to contact your program director or the school’s financial aid office to determine your eligibility. Below we spotlight two scholarships to give you a sense of what these awards look like for pharmacy tech students.
Students enrolled in Anoka-Ramsey Community College’s 60-credit pharmacy technician program enjoy a number of financial aid opportunities. Many of these awards are supported by the school’s endowments, area foundations, and other regional partnerships. Most Anoka-Ramsey students graduate nearly debt-free as a result. In order to apply, students must first complete the FAFSA and then follow the process specified for individual awards. Most of these awards are open to students from all disciplines, but some, like the one below, cater more to healthcare and pharmacy tech.
Workforce Development Scholarship
Pharmacy tech students enrolled in at least 9 credits with a 2.0 cumulative GPA may apply. Recipients are selected on a first-come, first-serve basis.
How to Apply
Eligible applicants must complete the online application and provide a written response that discusses how the scholarship will benefit their studies.
Bridgerland Technical College extends over 15 different scholarship opportunities to its students, including those pursuing pharmacy technician certification. These awards are made possible by school itself and generous support from donors throughout the Great Basin region. They can be used to cover any tuition-related expenses and some may be renewable for more than one year. The school uses its own internal application portal and also keeps a staff of dedicated scholarship specialists who can help guide new and returning applicants through the process. All applicants must adhere to the school’s internal academic progress standards as well as any requirements detailed by individual scholarships.
Intermountain Diversity Scholarship
Pharmacy tech applicants must meet the diversity standards identified by the school (race, gender, disability, and sexual orientation). They must also be first generation college students.
How to Apply
Eligible students must complete Bridgerland Tech’s general financial aid application and specify the award they are interested in. They must also provide at least one letter of recommendation.
National and Regional Pharmacy Tech Scholarships
This scholarship is open to all students currently pursuing a two-year program at an accredited college or technical school.
How to Apply
Qualified students must complete an online application that details their personal and education history, work experience, honors and awards, and applicable skills.
Broward County Pharmacy Association
Applicants must be BCPA members, Broward county residents, and pursuing pharmacy technician certification in Florida. They must also have attended at least two BCPA events within the past year.
How to Apply
Qualified students must complete the application and submit a statement of need or letter of intent. This document should discuss the applicant’s qualifications and why they should be considered for the award.
American College of Apothecaries Research and Education Foundation
4/15/20 and 10/15/20 (Biannual)
Applicants must be ACA or ACVP members currently enrolled at an accredited college or university in a pharmacy-related program.
How to Apply
Qualified students must complete the supplied application. They must also demonstrate clear interest, proven academic achievement, and solid leadership potential.
All students currently enrolled in an accredited pharmacy technician program are encouraged to apply. GoodRx employees or family members of employees are not eligible.
How to Apply
Interested students must submit an application through the online portal and provide official academic transcripts. Grade reports or unofficial copies are not acceptable.
5 Keys to Landing Your Pharmacy Tech Scholarship
Most pharmacy technician scholarships follow a similar application process, but each award will likely specify different requirements. Some may only require a simple online application; others may ask for additional documentation, a written essay, or both. There is no one-size-fits-all approach in this respect. The most important thing you can do is read the application instructions carefully and work to fulfill each requirement with as much detail as possible. Follow our keys for success below to increase your chances of submitting an award-winning application.
Be sure to proofread all your application materials. Your application stands as a reflection of yourself and even the smallest typos or grammatical errors can make a difference. This is especially important when working in a pharmacy where so much depends on close attention to detail.
- Tailor your materials:
Application processes vary and individual scholarships will probably ask different essay questions. Take the time to adapt your materials for each award. This not only shows initiative, it demonstrates your potential versatility on the job.
- Submit early if you can:
Most scholarships will post a clear deadline. If it is online, get to know the portal in advance so you don’t run into any issues at the last minute. Submit before the deadline if you can to signal your promptness and professionalism.
- Apply far and wide:
Most awards are competitive, so you probably won’t land every scholarship you apply for. This is a normal part of the process. Focus on the ones that play to your strengths and unique qualifications, but strive to submit more applications than you think you will need to increase your chances.
- Contact your references in advance:
It is always a good idea to reach out to your references as a point of professional courtesy. If your scholarship asks for recommendation letters, be sure to contact your letter-writers well in advance of the deadline. Nobody wants a recommendation letter written at the last minute.
If You Still Need Help Paying for School
When it comes to financial aid, the goal should always be to secure as many scholarships as possible to reduce future expenses. Grants and scholarships offer the most affordable means of financing your education so it makes sense to take full advantage of their benefits.
But, that said, it is possible your pharmacy technician scholarships won’t cover all the costs. If this is the case you’ll need to look further afield to student loans, employment tuition reimbursement, and other financial aid options. Availability of these opportunities will vary widely, so it is always best to check with your program or potential employer.
Academic and Professional Support Resources for Pharmacy Tech Students
Finishing your program and advancing your career takes time and effort. It can be challenging at times, and that’s why it’s so important to take advantage of available resources before, during, and after your time as a pharmacy tech student. These resources aren’t hard to find, but you do need to know what you’re looking for. We help facilitate that process by listing a number of different tools below. These resources come from a variety of different outlets, including colleges and universities, popular websites, and professional organizations. They represent a small sample of what is out there and give you a good sense of what will be available to you throughout your studies.
Pharmacy Tech Student Support Centers and Services
University student support centers are one of the best places to find the resources you need to achieve your goals. Whether you’re a prospective student still weighing your options, a new freshman trying to get your bearings, or an upperclassman seeking career guidance before graduation – these resources can provide robust and individualized assistance. The programs below are just two examples specific to pharmacy technician courses of study. Most programs will extend similar offerings.
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
Students at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College can use the school’s general student support services as they work through their program. These include academic advising programs and robust learning resource and educational technology centers. In addition to these opportunities, pharmacy technician students have access to range of hands-on tools made possible through strategic partnerships with organizations like Pioneer Rx. Pioneer Rx maintains an innovative software platform that provides interactive simulations that closely mirror the workflow of most modern pharmacies. Other support resources include a career service office that helps new graduates locate viable job opportunities.
Carrington College’s pharmacy technician program offers student support tools in the form of externship placements, supervised field work, and lab simulations. The school’s career and student success center provides study group opportunities and one-on-one tutoring sessions for students who need extra help and attention outside structured class time. Carrington College’s library is home to a number of discipline-specific research guides, including one designed for pharmacy technician learners. It includes useful databases, prominent journals, eBooks, and other online resources. The school also publishes its own guide detailing how to become a pharmacy technician and what prospective students can expect when they enroll at Carrington College.
Resources for Online Pharmacy Tech Students
As online learning continues to grow, so do the number of resources designed to help online students, including aspiring pharmacy technicians. Available resources range from study guides and certification practice tests, to interactive learning tools, medication databases, and tutoring services. Below we look at five proven resources that help pharmacy technician students in hybrid or fully-online programs.
This platform is an adaptive, multimodal learning tool specifically designed for new pharmacy technician students. It uses an interactive gaming environment to help learners identify the top 250 medications most commonly prescribed by pharmacists in the U.S.
- Free Pharmacy Tech Study Guides by Union Test Prep
Students preparing for their certification exam will find this site especially helpful. It generates free online study guides based on the official PTCB pharmacy technician exam. Additional tools include flashcards, practice tests, and tutoring partnerships.
- Online School for Working Adults
Our own guide to online learning for working professionals is a useful resource for any student new to the rigors of distance education. It looks at how to determine if online learning is right for you and lists some useful tips and strategies for remote education.
Student Organizations and Professional Associations
- National Pharmacy Technician Association
Founded in 1999, this association is one of the largest organizations for pharmacy technicians nationwide. It hosts an online job board for newcomers and extends a number of continuing education programs for seasoned professionals looking to keep their skills up to date.
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board
This organization is responsible for administering the credentialing process for pharmacy technicians. It is home to an official credentialing guidebook for exam candidates and aggregates news updates specific to the profession.
- American Association of Pharmacy Technicians
Based in Omaha, NE, this entity supports the work of pharmacy technicians by recognizing excellence and maintaining local chapters across the country. It also provides financial aid opportunities, sponsors annual events, and coordinates professional development initiatives.
- National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
Since 1904, this association has secured public health and safety by promoting excellence in all pharmacy-related endeavors. It offers auditing and data analysis services to working professionals and provides access to cutting-edge publications, resource documents, and position papers.
- American Pharmacists Association
Headquartered in the nation’s capital, this organization advocates for optimal, patient-centered care by providing opportunities for continuing education, leadership, and networking. It maintains an active blog as well as a career center specifically designed for new graduates, including certified pharmacy technicians.
Online Communities, Networking Sites, and Other Social Groups
- Pharmacy Technician Subreddit
Reddit users can navigate to the site’s pharmacy technician portal to find an active community of local professionals discussing the ins and outs of their work. Recent threads include exam study strategies, guides on how to get certified, and state licensure protocols.
- Follow RxMike on Twitter
Mike Johnson is the founder and CEO of the National Pharmacy Technician Association. He posts regular updates related to the field and offers pointers for prospective students and newly certified pharmacy technicians.
- The Pharmacy Technicians Are Awesome Facebook Group
This Facebook group is comprised of over 36,000 active pharmacy technicians from across the globe. Users gather to support one another, ask questions, and stay up to date on the most recent developments in the field.
- ASHP’s Pharmacy Technician Forum
Maintained by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, this discussion forum advances pharmacy practice by supporting grassroots engagement and providing education tools. Users must be ASHP members.
- The Pharmacy Technician LinkedIn Group
LinkedIn users can use the site’s pharmacy technician group to network and learn about new job opportunities. The group encourages discussion of recent employment experiences and the profession at large.
Articles, Videos, Books and Podcasts
- The Pharmacist Blog
Written and published by an industry professional, this blog contains a plethora of resources for pharmacy technician students. Recent posts look at interview strategies, personal finance tips, and advice on applying to school.
- The Digital Apothecary
This site focuses on digital health and new innovations in technology that affect pharmacy practice. It is home to a podcast, free eBooks, instructional videos, and recent pharmacy technician news.
- The Pharmacy Podcast Network
Powered by knowledgeable professionals, The Pharmacy Podcast Network brings over 20 different programs to pharmacy technicians on a regular basis. It is also home to a healthcare blog that focuses on pharmacy work and evidence-based practice.
- 12 Things You Need to Know Before Working in a Pharmacy
Published by Rasmussen College, this article details some of the factors to consider before deciding to become a pharmacy tech and pursue work in a local pharmacy. It looks at work conditions, salary potential, job growth, and much more.
- Pharmacy Tech Lessons YouTube Channel
Led by a working pharmacy technician, this channel posts new videos each week. The videos delve into what it takes to be a successful pharmacy technician following graduation and often focus on practical skills in math and quantitative reasoning.
- How to Pass the PTCB Exam on Your First Try
Maximize your chances of passing the PTCB exam with EduMed’s comprehensive guide. From helping you get familiar with the 2020 updates to providing insider tips from a certified pharmacy tech, you’ll be ready to crush your pharmacy tech board exam.