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The 5 Best Online Associates in Pharmacy Degrees in 2022

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In the olden days, people would not have been able to visit a pharmacy and choose medicine to treat their illnesses because there were no medicines and pharmacies, to begin with. And even when medications emerged in the 18th century, no regulatory framework was in place to ensure the public securely received drugs. Today, pharmacists assist patients in selecting the proper medication.

If you want to work in the pharmaceutical industry but don’t have the time to enroll in a four-year university for a bachelor’s degree, you can start by enrolling in online Associates in Pharmacy degrees, or in particular, online programs for pre-pharmacy or pharmacy technician associate degree.


Quick Summarization:
Prospective students can prepare for a pharmaceutical career with an online associate of applied science degree or associate of science in pharmacy or pharmacy technology accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Additionally, associate degrees might make the transition easier for students who might want to continue their pharmacy education in the future. Most universities offer an online pharmacy technician program with in-depth practical training, such as internships, simulated lab work, and job placements.


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Methodology

A career in the pharmaceutical industry guarantees stability owing to the demand for the manufacture and distribution of medically approved treatments for various health issues and products proven to prevent illnesses and promote health.

If you see yourself becoming part of this interesting discipline, a good starting point is to explore the best online associates in Pharmacy degrees. On our list are the country’s best programs offered online by well-regarded colleges. The programs are best known for these features that demonstrate academic excellence:

  • Classes are delivered fully or partially online so that students can choose to attend the classes conveniently and complete the program on their terms,
  • Rigorous curricula enable students to get a good grasp of the fundamentals of the discipline through completing biological, physiological, and health- and medical-related courses while also promoting the interpersonal skills required in work settings,
  • Virtual platform or Learning Management System featuring ease of access to coursework materials and resources, as well as 24/7 technical support,
  • Transfer Path program for students seeking to transition seamlessly to a bachelor’s degree program upon graduation,
  • Online professors consisting of seasoned Pharmacy industry professionals,
  • Presents a variety of federal aid and scholarship opportunities,
  • Compliant with accreditation requirements.

Check out our Methodology page for more information.


Online Associates in Pharmacy

5 Best Online Associates in Pharmacy Degrees

American National University

American National University

ANU’s online Pharmacy Technician Associate’s Degree provides future pharmacy technicians with the necessary skills and knowledge to efficiently assist pharmacists. Through online courses and internship opportunities, graduates are prepared to take the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) exam of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Program courses include:

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacy Systems of Operation
  • Dosage and Calculations of Medications
  • Advanced Pharmacy Calculations
  • Pharmacy Practices
  • Health Care Law and Ethics
  • Terminology of Body Systems and Support
  • Chemistry
  • Diseases of the Human Body

Additionally, this online pharmacy technician degree utilizes modern software technology provided by PioneerRx, a real-life pharmacy software. This software is used all over the country to prepare pharmacy students for the profession. 


Wake Technical Community College

Wake Technical Community College

Wake Tech offers a hybrid Associate of Applied Science in Pharmacy Technician that equips aspiring pharmacy technicians with the knowledge and skills to enter the field or pursue a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy. Students in the online program will learn how to transcribe prescription medications, IV medication prep, and order entry by completing 64 credits in two years. Specialty courses include:

  • Pharmacy Practice
  • Pharmacy Calculations
  • Sterile Products
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacy Clinical

This hybrid pharmacy technician program will prepare students to sit for the PTCB and ExCPT exams. Aside from pharmaceutical skills, students will also develop job-hunting skills, such as creating resumes, cover letters, job interview skills, and writing techniques through the school’s online career services. 


Seminole State College

Seminole State College of Florida

Seminole State College’s Associate of Science in Pharmacy Technology is a hybrid program that allows students to study their online courses at their own pace. This pharmacy degree is best for students who wish to work in hospital pharmacies rather than retail pharmacies. The curriculum of this online pharmacy degree was designed and instructed by professionals to hone the student’s skills in management in higher-level pharmaceuticals. Core courses include:

  • Introduction to Pharmacy Technology
  • Pharmacology II
  • Concepts in Pharmacy Practice
  • Concepts in Pharmacy Practice Lab
  • Pharmaceutics and Calculation
  • Pharmacy Operations
  • IV Infusion for Pharmacy Technology

Online students will participate in a clinical program or practicum, which includes a background check with drug and alcohol screening. The school also offers an online Associate in Arts in Pharmacy Pathway for students who want to continue to a bachelor’s degree or higher level pharmacy education.


  

South College

South College 

South College is for people who want to enroll in a pharmacy technician school that provides a doctorate program. The online Associate of Science in Health Science (Pre-Pharmacy) at SC will best suit you if you want to continue to a doctorate and become a licensed pharmacist. Since this program is a health science program with a major in pre-pharmacy, students will get to focus on both pharmaceuticals and common courses in health sciences. The core courses in this pharmacy degree will count towards a doctor of pharmacy in the school. Courses include:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Microbiology and biology
  • Organic chemistry
  • Pharmacy Practice
  • Pharmacy Calculations
  • Sterile Products
  • Medical Terminology

This online associate degree in pre-pharmacy allows online students to avail financial aid from the school. Furthermore, the formal training you’ll receive will allow you to enter the vast field of healthcare services. 


Lakeshore Technical College

Lakeshore Technical College

LTC offers an online Associate Degree in Pharmacy Services, perfect for individuals already working as pharmacy technicians looking to pursue careers in higher roles or enter related roles in the field. This online program will further enhance your knowledge and skills in the pharmaceutical industry through capstone courses. This will improve your capability to drive sales, operations, management, and customer service. Courses include:

  • Medical Terminology 
  • Health Insurance and Reimbursement
  • Pharmaceutical Calculations
  • Pharmacy Business Applications
  • Pharmacy Law
  • Fundamentals of Reading

With this associate’s degree in pharmacy, you can go from pharmacy technician to senior pharmacy technician, manager, assistant store manager, or trainer. 

Online Associate in Pharmacy Common Courses

Pharmacy Calculations

Calculations for drug dose and dispensing are taught to students in this course. They examine ratios, proportions, and percentages along with dilutions and concentrations.

Anatomy and Physiology

The anatomy and physiology of humans are covered in this subject. Students become familiar with the vocabulary, functions, systems, and organs.

Pharmacotherapeutics

This course teaches students about the effect of different drugs on our bodies and examines fundamental illness stages. They also look at the interactions between medications and how they cure sickness.

Pharmacy Dispensing

Students in this course study the safe and legal preparation and administration of prescription medication. They also learn how to create dosage forms and compound medications.

Pharmacy management

The different types of pharmacies and the managerial and administrative duties associated with running them are covered in this course. They consider price, inventory management, and operating guidelines.

Essential Skills in Pharmacy Jobs

Interpersonal Skills

If you wish to work in a pharmacy, one of the most essential skills you’ll need is interpersonal skills. You’ll frequently interact with clients, giving them the appropriate prescription and making them feel cared for. A competent employee should therefore have excellent interpersonal skills.

Attention to detail

In their regular work, pharmacists should demonstrate high levels of accuracy. You must pay close attention to the important details when dealing with medications, from when they are made until they are prescribed.

You must look up both the patient’s and the doctor’s names while examining a customer’s prescription. Continue by carefully reading the doctor’s prescription and delivering the appropriate dosage of the prescribed medication; being precise guarantees that you do not make any mistakes that can damage patients.

For future use, you must enter the patient’s medical information into the system accurately.

Confidentiality

One ethical trait a pharmacist must possess is confidentiality. All of the patient’s information should be kept private. Information about the client’s medical history, diagnosis, and prescription should only be shared with the medical staff caring for them. You should never share this private information with neighbors, especially if your community is small and tightly connected.

Organizational Skill

As you are already aware, managing inventory, maintaining records, and handling prescriptions are some of the primary responsibilities of someone working in a pharmacy. To ensure that all customer information, medications, documents, and other items are in stock and well-organized, professionals are expected to have a keen eye for detail and possess strong organization skills.

Fast Decision Making

Fast decision-making is one of the top abilities for people working in a pharmacy because you may occasionally be required to prioritize and manage professional responsibilities independently. This ability is necessary to ensure that if you encounter a challenge at work, you can devise a workable solution and foresee the result.

Communication Skill

Pharmacists and pharmacy technologists are responsible for attending to the questions and concerns of patients as well as for providing good customer service. Strong communication skills are advantageous in those kinds of circumstances.

These specialists also work closely with other staff members, creating a situation where strong written and verbal communication skills are necessary. Thus, communicating well verbally and in writing is one of the most crucial skills.

Ability to Multitask

Employers value strong skills like the capacity to multitask. You are expected to perform multiple tasks efficiently when you work as a pharmacist. Here are several tasks that need multitasking:

  • serving a variety of clients
  • responding to phone calls and emails from various departments
  • verify drug expiration dates
  • drug restocking
  • updating the appropriate records
Computer skills

Pharmacists and technologists must possess the appropriate computer abilities to stay effective at work. Utilizing tools from Microsoft Office and other key apps is one of them. The majority of pharmacies use electronic equipment. Pharmacists should be able to operate the software that allows them to handle all drug-related data, maintain inventories, and update client information. 

They can also produce fact-based reports using the frequently updated data on the computer. Since pharmacies are incorporating technology into their operations, prescription drug monitoring systems are essential.

Critical Thinking

A pharmacy technician’s tasks require critical thinking, including identifying clients’ wants and concerns, reviewing data to make sure it is accurate and relevant, and filling prescriptions.

Analysis, inference, interpretation, justification, open-mindedness, self-control, and problem-solving are the top critical thinking abilities needed for pharmacy technician jobs. All these skills work together to help people evaluate information critically to make better, quicker judgments supported by accurate facts.

Associate Degree in Pharmacy Common Career Paths

Pharmacy Technician

These support pharmacists when they dispense drugs and fill prescriptions. Additionally, they deal with consumers, handle packaging and labeling, and assist with inventory management. 

Average Annual Salary: $36,740


Medical Assistants

Medical Assistants help carry out the administrative tasks in healthcare offices. They might also assist doctors with examinations, examining vital signs and patient data. 

Average Annual Salary: $37,190


Medical Transcriptionists

Healthcare practitioners’ audio recordings are converted into written documents by medical transcriptionists. They interpret abbreviations and correct document mistakes to provide accurate, sortable, and searchable records for the electronic filing system.

Average Annual Salary: $30,100


Clinical Laboratory Technician

Clinical laboratory technicians collect samples of fluids and substances and perform tests on them for research, patient data, and medical procedures. They work with technologies, lab apparatus, and medical records. 

Average Annual Salary: $57,800

Online Associates in Phamacy - fact

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do students usually take to complete a Pharmacy program?

Students typically need two years to finish an online pharmacy associate degree. However, online colleges may offer accelerated study options that might condense the instruction into a year or less. 

Do professionals need a license to practice as Pharmacy Technicians?

Except for five states and the District of Columbia, all other states require pharmacy technicians to have a license or a valid certificate before they may start working.

Where do Pharmacy Technicians and similar professionals work?

Retail pharmacies are the usual employers of the majority of pharmacy technicians. Pharmacy technicians are employed by hospitals, nursing homes, and mental health institutes.

What is the difference between a Pharmacist and a Pharmacy Tech?

The main difference between a pharmacist and a pharmacy tech is educational level. A pharmacist typically completes a four-year bachelor’s degree, while a tech has a minimum of two years of undergrad study.

Is a Pharmacy Technician associate degree a wise investment?

Over 31,700 additional opportunities are expected to be created for pharmacy technicians between 2020 and 2030. Even though this expected growth rate is less than the average for all US occupations, associate degree holders may still find employment prospects.


Key Takeaways

The foundations of becoming a pharmacist or the job of a pharmacy technician and other comparable pharmacy assistants or professionals are the main foci of an associate degree in pharmacy or pharmaceutical science, which is a two-year degree.

Technician degrees are some of the most straightforward degrees to find through online learning systems. Some degree programs concentrate on the chemistry and biology classes required to support further study in pharmaceutical sciences, while other degree programs are designed to prepare students for careers as pharmacy technicians.

In either program, you are likely to take courses in biology, calculus, medical ethics, healthcare terminology, the effectiveness of medications and how medications can interact, and perhaps organic chemistry.


Additional Resources:

Malcolm Peralty
Chief Editor