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Pharmacy Tech: real world career skills

Pharm Tech students show their completed pill packs. Porter Ridge High School offers many fun and rewarding academic programs, among these is the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pharmacy Technician Academy. In this program students explore the world of pharmacy, including related jobs; roles in a pharmacy; different types of medications, including what they are used for and how they react with different variables and the science of medication.

When teaching Pharmacy Tech, Hayley Clontz, PR’s Health Science teacher, connects her experiences as a nurse to help students better engage in this program. Clontz commented, “Pharmacy Technician is a great course for high school students to take especially if they are interested in the medical field. Even if the students do not want to be a pharmacy technician this course prepares students for Pharmacology in college. In nursing school I had to learn all of the Top 200 Drugs in one semester and it would have been beneficial if I already had a background on these drugs. In Pharmacy Technician, we learn all of the Top 200 drugs and how to make medications & IV fluids. It is very hands-on towards the end of the semester. This class prepares students to work at pharmacies in the community. If the students pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam they can expect to make $30,000 and up with a high school diploma.

To sign up for the Pharm Tech class, students must have first successfully completed Health Science I and II or Biomedical Technology I and II.  

The course is described as the following in the UCPS Program of Studies: This course has self-paced, on-line instruction designed to prepare high school seniors for a pharmacy technician career. Topics included in this course are federal law, medication used in major body systems, calculations, and pharmacy operations. This course is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (APCE). Upon successful completion of this course and after graduation, the student is eligible to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam.

Morgan Shea said, “Pharmacy Tech is a class that is giving us the advantage to learn and understand the medications and treatment options for patients in a pharmacy setting. It is also giving us an opportunity to work in a pharmacy after taking and passing the board exam at the end of the class.”

Looking for a jump start into a medical or pharmaceutical career? Students interested in the Pharmacy Technician Academy should talk to their counselor or Sarah Webb, PR’s Career Development Coordinator, about the prerequisite courses that are required and sign up during registration.


Author-Cambria Bondi-12th grade student