Pharmacy Technician Apprenticeship Program

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A partnership with Lake Michigan College and Michigan Works!, the pharmacy technician apprenticeship is a one year long program offering students an experience with both pharmaceutical and on-the-job training. Students need to complete 2,000 hours, supplemented by 144 hours minimum of related instruction. 

The hourly wage for newly enrolled apprentices is $16.50 per hour with wage adjustments throughout the apprenticeship. The program cost is covered by scholarships and/or and employer contributions for students who are attending Lake Michigan College. Apprentices may be responsible for minimal uniform and parking fees. Students who do not fulfill the requirements of the employer may be responsible for all or some of the tuition cost.

Pre-apprenticeship classes will begin at Lake Michigan College on May 9, 2022.

The deadline to apply for the pharmacy technician apprenticeship is April 8, 2022

*In order to process applications before classes start, we are only accepting the first 50 applications. We will only be hiring two apprentices. 

Learn more from the Informational Session held at MiWorks!:

Complete the application here
Pharmacy Apprentice
Immediately apply classroom learning and new skills in a work setting. 

 

Desired outcomes for participants

  • Pharmacy technician advanced certificate of completion (from LMC)
  • Certificate of completion of pharmacy technician apprenticeship from the US Department of Labor
  • Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to a certification exam through the pharmacy technician apprenticeship certification board
  • You will qualify to earn a national industry-recognized credential by sitting for the pharmacy technician apprenticeship certification exam
 

 

Requirements

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must pass a criminal background check
  • Must provide proof of immunizations (Hep B, Tb, Varicella, MMR, Tdap, Covid-19, flu)

 

Program Curriculum 

Pre-requisite Courses (Summer Term begins in May 2022)
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology
  • Introduction to Allied Health Careers
  • Medical Terminology
Semester One (Fall Term begins September 2022)
  • Pharmacy Tech Foundations
  • Nutrition & Diet Therapy
Semester Two (Spring Term begins January 2023)
  • Pharmaceutical Concepts & Calculations
  • Prescription Processing & Simulations
  • Pharmacy Tech Clinical I
Semester Three (Summer Term begins May 2023)
  • Pharmacy Tech Exam Review
  • Pharmacy Tech Clinical II

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about the Pharmacy Technician Apprenticeship

 Is this program right for me? This program is right for you if you enjoy helping others and have a desire to become skilled in a high-demand profession.

1. What is the Healthcare Pre-Apprenticeship and why do I need it?

The Healthcare Pre-Apprenticeship consists of three classes at Lake Michigan College that are pre-requisites for most clinical healthcare programs, providing a start to many different careers! The three classes are Human Anatomy & Physiology, Introduction to Allied Healthcare Careers, and Medical Terminology.

To enter the Pharmacy Technician program, students need to have these classes completed. The Healthcare Pre-Apprenticeship was created to help students prepare to enter the clinical classes.

The pre-apprenticeship does not have an employment component but is similarly a pre-requisite for any apprenticeship programs!

2. When will the program start?

The pre-apprenticeship will begin May 9, 2022. The Pharmacy Technician program starts in September 2022.

3. Who is the participating college?

Lake Michigan College (LMC): https://www.lakemichigancollege.edu/academics/health-sciences/pharmacy-technician

4. Who is the participating employer?

Spectrum Health Lakeland is the employer for the Pharmacy Technician apprenticeship.

5. How much will the program cost?

The full cost of the program is covered by scholarships and/or employer contributions for students attending Lake Michigan College. You may be responsible for minimal uniform and parking fees. Student may be responsible for all or some of the tuition cost if they do not fulfill the commitment requirement of the employer.

6. What are the apprenticeship wages?

Wages will vary by employer. However newly enrolled apprentices in the program will start at no less than $16.50/hour and complete the program at no less than $18.50/hour.

7. How does the apprenticeship differ from a traditional school track of Pharmacy Tech?

The traditional Pharmacy Technician track typically requires you to attend classes followed by job search once you apply and receive your license/certification. This Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Program combines part-time paid work experience and classroom learning.

As a participant in a USDOL Registered Apprenticeship program:

  • You can immediately apply your classroom learning and new skills in a work setting;
  • You will graduate with a Department of Labor (DOL) certification as well as your Pharmacy Technician certification.

8. I am currently employed. How can I complete the requirements for this program?

The pharmacy technician apprenticeship program is a full-time commitment. You will be required to work part time and attend school part time (hours in class outlined below, but do not include study time!). Working additional hours or maintaining a second job is not recommended.

  • Pre-apprenticeship courses – approximately 6 hours online, 3 hours in-person
  • 1st semester approximately 7 hours online, 5 hours in-person
  • 2nd semester approximately 15 hours in-person
  • 3rd semester approximately 3 hours in-person, 6 hours online

9. Do I need to have experience to be considered for this program?

No experience is required; however, we recommend that you research the job duties and career pathway options of a Pharmacy Technician before you commit to the program. If you are not sure if healthcare is a good fit for you, please visit the following to learn more: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/29-2052.00

10. What credentials will I earn after I complete the program?

  • Pharmacy Technician Advanced Certificate of Completion (from LMC);
  • Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship from the US Department of Labor.
  • Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to take a certification exam through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.
  • You will qualify to earn a national industry-recognized credential by sitting for the Pharmacy Technician certification exam. 

11. What are the program expectations?

  • Arrive to class and work on time
  • Follow attendance policy for the employer and school
  • Maintain satisfactory grades per the employer’s expectations and the school’s policy;
  • Maintain a high level of professionalism
  • Effectively manage homework, work schedule and personal obligations;
  • Commit to work with the employer for a specified period of time after completing the apprenticeship program (length of commitment may vary by employer).

You may be responsible to pay back costs incurred by the employer if:

  • you elect not to finish the community college program or;
  • you elect not to continue working for the employer for the length of time specified.

12. How many hours per week is the program?

Approximately 15 hours a week in the classroom, 24 hours (varies slightly) a week of paid work experience. This does not include time spent studying and preparing outside of class and work.

13. Will I get paid during the program?

Yes, your work experience as apprentice is paid and will be discussed with you by the employer. 

During this program, you will also complete an externship to meet credentialing standards.  

Externships are short programs that range from a few days to a few weeks, where you work in live environments with industry specialists who have years of experience. An externship will be similar to your work experience; however, these hours will NOT be paid, per licensing requirements. Additionally, time spent in the classroom is unpaid. 

14. Will I be able to take leave time or attend a family vacation while I am in the program?

This program is a one-year, full-time commitment. Apprentices are expected to follow attendance policy for the employer and school, arriving to work and school on time.

15. Will there be childcare available during work or school hours?

You are responsible for making your own arrangements for childcare before the start of the program. If you need assistance with securing childcare, talk with the Michigan Works! Vocational Specialist to obtain information or a referral to assist you in your childcare search.

16. I am worried about the academic portion. Will I have any help?

LMC, Spectrum Health Lakeland, and Michigan Works! are committed to helping you succeed. There are academic tutors available at LMC, as well as your mentors within the workplace. We highly encourage all apprentices to utilize these resources and communicate any difficulties! 

Submitting an Application

1. Where do I submit an application of Interest?

Applications can be submitted here: https://forms.gle/AQxML9NgtE2wU2z79. 

2. What’s next after I submit my application of interest? 

After submitting your application for interest, you will receive an email from MiWorks! with next steps. You must successfully complete the requirements outlined for MiWorks and LMC before you will be able to apply for an employment application as an apprentice at Spectrum Health Lakeland.  

3. Where can I get questions answered? 

If your question is not answered in the FAQ section, please contact Rick VanIttersum, Vocational Training Manager at vanittersumr@miworks.org or call (800) 285-WORKS (8675) ext 1126. 

4. Is there anything that would disqualify me from being accepted? 

Eligible applicants must: 

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Must provide proof of immunizations (Hep B, Tb, Varicella, MMR, Tdap, Covid-19, flu)

NOTE: This is a competitive application process. Only those individuals who have met the following requirements will be considered: 

  • Submitted a complete application to Spectrum Health Lakeland
  • Meet the enrollment and assessment requirements of Lake Michigan College
  • Complete assessment with Michigan Works! Berrien Cass Van Buren.

5. How will a Vocational Specialist help me?

The Michigan Works! BCVB Vocational Specialist will help you:

  • Develop a career pathway in the healthcare field
  • Identify your transferable skills and work values
  • Ensure that you are prepared for employer interviews.

Michigan Works! BCVB may also be able to provide you with continued career coaching or help you select another career if you are not chosen for this program.

Register on Pure Michigan Talent Connect

1. How does Michigan Works! fit into this program?

Michigan Works! Berrien, Cass, Van Buren partners to recruit qualified candidates, assist with funding supportive services and training, and can assist with removing employment barriers.

Required college admittance assessments

1. What are the assessment requirements to attend Lake Michigan College’s Pharmacy Technician Program?

Score 237 or higher on the Accuplacer Quantitative/Algebra/Statistics Math test; Score 5 or higher on the WritePlacer test.

*ACT scores, SAT scores, Compass scores, or transferred college credits could potentially be used in lieu of Accuplacer.

2. What is Accuplacer?

ACCUPLACER® is a set of computerized tests that determines your knowledge in math, reading and writing as you prepare to enroll in college-level courses.

Interviews and Offers

1. When will acceptance offers go out?

Employment offers (for apprentice positions) will be extended by April 30, 2022.

2. Is there a commitment to stay with the employer following the program?

Yes, you will commit to work with the employer for a specified period of time after completing the apprenticeship program.

  • Length of commitment may vary by employer

You may be responsible to pay back costs incurred by the employer if:

  • You elect not to finish the community college program, or
  • You elect not to continue working for the employer for the length of time specified upon completion of the apprenticeship program.

3. What if I am not chosen for the program?

Michigan Works! BCVB offers services to assist with career navigation, employer connections, free workshops, interest assessments, remedial testing and more! Please make sure you visit our centers for more information. Services are free and open to the public. At this time, appointments are required.

4. When does the program start?

College registration is open now! Classes will begin on May 9, 2022 and onsite work in January 2023, to allow apprentices time to gain a knowledge base before starting onsite.

For a PDF of the FAQs please click here

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