Pharmacy Technician class good road to jobs

Once again, OCCC has reached full enrollment for its Pharmacy Technician training program that runs Sept. 13 through Nov. 3, said Francine Gissy, Corporate Learning Consultant.

Graduates of the program receive a certificate that states the student has completed the class, Gissy said.

She said that can provide a way to be quickly employed at a reasonable salary.

Gissy said she can’t give a definitive number on the pay rate, but said most pharmacy technicians tend to be hired for $10 to $14 per hour.

“Some who work for a veterans department can make $22,” she said.

Corporate Learning Specialist Rhonda Cantrell said pharmacies in the area sometimes call the college looking for workers.

“We have been a great success, and we get calls about three times a year from Wal-Mart, CVS, and Walgreens asking if we have any students.,” Cantrell said. “Then we give our students their information. I would say a great deal have found jobs there.”

Gissy said she feels the economic recession in the past years has led more people to enroll in the class.

“It opens options for them, and creates an opportunity for better jobs,” Gissy said.

She said this year the college will offer three eight-week programs that require 32 clock hours of instruction.

The class meets Monday and Wednesday evenings, and costs $325 which students must pay prior to the first day of class.

“We have 32 [students] enrolled … and the average for the class is 12 to 15,” Gissy said.

“We usually see students in their 20s using this course so they can get a job and work as they get through school, but lately baby boomers have also begun to enroll as they seek employment.”

Gissy said the class is delivered in a lecture format.

The focus is on pharmaceutical law and the math behind medicine dosages, she said.

The college will update the current program in 2011 in an effort to stay current and teach the students skill sets they will need when applying for a position, Gissy said.

She said the next Pharmacy Technician class will be in January. Classes fill fast so it benefits students to enroll as quickly as possible.

But, she said, students who do not enroll in time can always be placed on a waiting list for next session or if a vacancy becomes open.

For more information, e-mail Gissy at

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