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With job opportunities expected to be "very good," a pharmacy technician career is an ideal way to join an industry that is positioned for huge growth. Allied Schools has added a Pharmacy Technician Program to its list of vocational courses, offering relevant, high-demand training that can lead to certification - and long-term career opportunity.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of pharmacy technicians is expected to increase by 32 percent from 2006 to 2016, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The increased number of individuals, including middle-aged and elderly people, requiring prescription drugs will spur demand for qualified pharmacy technicians - and create an opportunity to play an integral role in the health and welfare of others.

"We are proud to offer the new Pharmacy Technician Program to students," said George Achenbach, president of Allied Schools. "It is a timely addition to our courses and will prepare students to fill the huge need for qualified pharmacy technicians. Also, with the uncertainty of the economy, this should enable people to open the door to a solid career - it's relevant and in-demand right now."

Allied's Pharmacy Technician Program consists of two online courses - Pharmacy Technician and Pharmacy Calculations - that cover such relevant topics as: essentials of medical history, pharmacy settings, drug regulation and administration, terminology, formulating and calculating prescriptions, elements of patient interaction and more. Students study in an online format, which enables them to learn anytime, anywhere –textbooks are included with the tuition. The program includes assignments, practice problems, instructional Webcasts, multiple-choice online quizzes and final exam.

Pharmacy technicians work alongside licensed pharmacists as they provide medication and other health care products to patients. They work in a comfortable pharmacy setting performing duties such as verifying prescription information, counting and measuring medication, preparing insurance claim forms, managing inventories, completing pharmaceutical dosage forms and more. A career as a pharmacy technician can lead to opportunities in hospitals, community pharmacies, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and pharmaceutical organizations.

Job opportunities for pharmacy technicians are expected to be good, especially for those with certification. Allied's Pharmacy Technician course is designed to help prepare students to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam - providing them with the credentials to advance in their career. Potential benefits of certification include: increased responsibilities, promotion to supervisory positions and mentoring or training pharmacy technicians with less experience. The highest 10 percent of pharmacy technicians earn over $17.65 per hour, with certified technicians potentially earning even more (Source: BLS).

Allied's online Pharmacy Technician Program allows individuals to attend class from any location and study according to their own schedule. The course materials are available 24/7 - they can log onto their courses when they have time. The online education is also self-paced, allowing them to learn at an accelerated rate or keep a regular pace throughout their studies. Live student support is available if they need assistance with their course.

"It is an exciting time to work in the health care industry," said Achenbach. "Health care was the only industry to add jobs last month, and the pharmacy technician occupation is an ideal way to get started. It's a non-clinical career that plays an essential role throughout the entire industry - wherever there are health care facilities, there will be pharmacies."

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