There are four important factors which should be considered before choosing the best online pharmacy technician program: campus location, education level, class size, and schedule. It is important to many students that a campus be close by in case they have questions, or need to receive or submit paperwork. Taking classes online offers great convenience, but at times hands-on training or assistance is needed as well. Alternatively, some online programs work closely with employers close to you, which can offer the hands on training and assistance you may need to be successful.
An online pharmacy technician program can provide the same diploma, certificate, or associate's degree as a campus program in two years or less, all your own home. Most online pharmacy tech programs require at least a high school diploma before enrollment, and many students find that classes go by much more quickly if they have taken basic classes like math at a local community college before enrollment. Most online pharmacy classes are "work at your own pace," so having that bit of extra knowledge may help you progress through the course very quickly.
It may be more difficult to determine class size for an online pharmacy technician program than it is in a traditional classroom setting. When attempting to estimate the class size of your chosen program, it may help to judge the overall size and popularity of the institution offering the course. A popular online school may serve hundreds of thousands of students at any given time, which means it may be more difficult for you to receive one-on-one help when you need. Smaller, local schools will most likely serve fewer students, and it is generally easier to get individual attention when it's needed.
Many of the best online pharmacy technician programs also allow you to progress on your own schedule, meaning you can work around a job, kids, or other responsibilities. It is important not to assume all programs offered online work this way, however, as some have specific times for interactive classes. Considering your own scheduling needs, it is important to compare several programs and their options before choosing the best one.
Some entry-level pharmacy technician positions are available with a certificate of completion from an accredited program. Most employers, however, seek individuals with at least an associate's degree. When choosing an online pharmacy technician program, it may be beneficial to your career to go with a program which offers an associate's degree, even if it may take a few additional months to complete.