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Pharmacy Technician

Western Dakota Tech's Pharmacy Technician Program educates and trains students to work as critical members of a healthcare team. Alongside Registered Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians are critical in providing safe and effective pharmaceutical care in a variety of settings including, but not limited to, hospitals and health systems, ambulatory clinics, community pharmacies, nursing homes, and assisted-living facilities, and mail-order pharmacies.

Degree Description

Western Dakota Tech's (WDT) Pharmacy Technician Diploma Program is one 250+ formal training programs accredited by American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP). Through our industry partnerships with area healthcare leaders and numerous clinical sites across South Dakota, we offer a unique, experiential learning experience. The coursework consists of didactic, simulation, and practical experience. Technical courses include topics in Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Products, Pharmacy Law and Ethics, Pharmacy Calculations, Pharmacy Operations, and Pharmacy Practical Experience. Students also complete two clinical rotations in specific areas of pharmacy practice. Graduates of the program will have also gained strong communication, interpersonal, problem-solving, organizational, and mathematical skills. 

During the third semester of the program, students can earn their Certified Pharmacy Technician credential (CPhT) through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Currently, 21 states, including South Dakota, require national certification as a requirement for licensure. For career advancement, graduates from the Pharmacy Technician Diploma Program can earn an Associate's of Applied Science in the Allied Health Program from WDT.

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Application Process

To gain acceptance into the WDT Pharmacy Technician program, applicants must:

1. Complete Western Dakota Tech Admissions Application

2. Provide an official copy of a High School transcript or GED scores. If you graduated from an international high school, you must submit your transcript to Educational Credential Evaluators to determine U.S. equivalence. Additionally, an official transcript must be submitted if you have attended other post-secondary institutions or universities.

3. Submit Immunization Records verifying two doses of MMR vaccinations.

4. Submit official college transcripts if you have previously attended a post-secondary institution.

5. Complete the ACCUPLACER test ($15.00 fee).

(The ACCUPLACER test will be waived if you have an ACT sub score of 18 or better in English, Math, and Reading, or a SAT sub score of at least 440 in Verbal and Math. The scores must be within the last five years.)

Please call 605-718-2565 to make an appointment.

6. Complete a background check through www.castlebranch.com, enter WJ54 for the package code. There is a $50.00 fee to submit your background request. Results will be sent directly to WDT.

7. Submit the Pharmacy Technician Handbook Acknowledgement. Program Handbook

8. Schedule an Admissions Advising Session (can be completed on campus or by phone).

Requirements for Pharmacy Technician students by October, will be as follows:

1. State registration with South Dakota Board of Pharmacy

To continue into Pharmacy Technician clinical, students may have to provide the following:

1. Complete a drug test through www.castlebranch.com, enter WJ54dt for the package code. There is a $40.00 fee to request a drug test.

2. Provide a copy of current American Heart Association Healthcare Provider BLS CPR certification*

3. Provide a copy of current vehicle insurance and current vehicle registration, as well as a current driver’s license*

4. Provide proof of the following vaccinations*: Influenza, Hep B, Tda /Td, MMR, TB, Varicella                                                                             

*Students are responsible for additional costs.

The program director will assist students with any clinical or internship site requirements.

Note: If you are or have been convicted, pleaded guilty or no contest to, or received a suspended imposition of sentence for a felony or certain misdemeanors, you are advised that you may not be able to complete all course requirements for your chosen program, you may be prevented from taking required certification/licensure examinations in your chosen program field, and you may be prevented from gaining employment in your program field.

Students who sit out for a spring or fall semester or longer, will return under a new Catalog and may be required to repeat courses or successfully complete new or revised skills or competency assessments. Before readmittance, the program may need to determine if a student is eligible to continue in technical courses. Program sequencing and cohort size may prevent enrollment in technical courses.

Clinicals, practicums, and internships may include, but are not limited to, differential shifts (evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays) to meet industry expectations. This may require travel outside the Rapid City Area.


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Career Description

The role of Pharmacy Technicians in healthcare is rapidly expanding and evolving. Pharmacy Technicians are pivotal to patient safety, and their responsibilities include, but are not limited to, preparation and distribution of patient medications, performance of medical dosage calculations, formulation of sterile compounds, collection of patient profile information, processing of third-party insurance claims, and prior authorizations, performance of medication reconciliation, operation of pharmacy automation systems, and management of hazardous and controlled substances. Within the growing Pharmacy Technician field, there are numerous career advancement opportunities and specialization roles. 

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Licensure and Certification

Professional licensure and certification requirements often vary from state to state. If you are not planning to locate and work in South Dakota and are considering an academic program that leads to a professional license or certification, it is highly recommended that you first seek guidance from the appropriate licensing agency in the state you plan to work before beginning the academic program. If you need assistance locating a state licensing agency, please contact the Vice President for Teaching and Learning: Tiffany.Howe@wdt.edu or 605.718.2905.

Current as of June 8, 2020:

  1. The program curriculum meets educational requirements for licensure/certification in the following states: AK, CA, CO, DE, GA, HI, KS, KY, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NV, NY, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, VT, WI
  2. The program curriculum does not meet educational requirements for licensure/certification in the following states:
  3. WDT has not determined whether the program curriculum meets educational requirements for licensure/certification in the following states: AL, AR, AZ, CT, FL, IA, ID, IL, IN, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MS, MT, ND, NJ, NM, OH, OR, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WY

General Education EMT

After Earning Your Degree

According to the American Society of Health System Pharmacists, diverse career opportunities exist for full-time and part-time work as a Pharmacy Technician, especially for technicians with formal training or previous experience. 

  • Health services are one of the largest industries in the country, with more than 11 million jobs, including the self-employed.
  • Ten out of 20 occupations projected to grow the fastest are concentrated in health services.
  • Healthcare occupations are projected to grow more jobs than any other occupational groups from 2018 to 2028.
  • Most jobs require less than four years of a college education.
  • Pharmacy technicians are currently in very high demand and this demand is expected to continue. As pharmacies expand patient care services, the role of and need for pharmacy technicians will also grow. 
  • Pharmacy technician employment is anticipated to develop quickly because of the growing use of medications as a treatment for patients. Additionally, a larger amount of middle-aged and elderly people - who typically use more healthcare services - will drive the need for technicians in all practice surroundings. View current technician employment trends from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Additionally, according to data presented at the Western Dakota Tech 2018 Economic Impact Summit:
  • Just one year out of college, Western Dakota Tech graduates are earning 10% above the Western South Dakota average earnings and Western Dakota Tech A.A.S. degree holders are earning more than $12,000 above high school only graduates in South Dakota.
  • On average, a Western Dakota Tech A.A.S. graduate can expect to see a 226% return on their investment within five years of graduation. A diploma graduate can expect to see a 149% return within five years. An investment in the S&P 500 can expect to see a 108% return in the same time frame.
  • From 2008-2017, Western Dakota Tech graduates earned more than a quarter-billion dollars than they would have likely earned had they not continued their education beyond high school.

Meet Your Faculty

Western Dakota Tech has a low student-to-faculty ratio, meaning more one-on-one learning. Individual attention from your professor can make your college experience more fulfilling.

  • Photo of Kelsey Murray.
    Kelsey Murray

  • Ashley Peterson

Financial Aid

Continuing your education is crucial and Western Dakota Tech wants to make sure that any student who wants to attend school, has the opportunity to do so. For this reason, WDT is dedicated to administering the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IV Financial Assistance Program fair and consistently to anyone who needs it.

Build Dakota Scholarships

The Build Dakota Scholarship at Western Dakota Tech will pay all your tuition and fees and prepare you for a career that is in-demand and growing in South Dakota. Build Dakota Scholarships will be awarded to students entering high-need workforce programs at South Dakota’s technical institutes to fill the state’s technical careers with skilled professionals.


Student Housing

While Western Dakota Tech does not offer on-campus housing, we understand that finding a place to live within town while you go to school can be difficult. We have a few resources to help prospective students find affordable housing.

Child Care

Finding child care during school is a challenge for many students. Western Dakota Tech currently does not offer on-campus child care, but here are some resources that may help you in your search.

Youth & Family Services is an organization dedicated to helping children in Western South Dakota. They offer a variety of services, including child care at multiple locations.

The Y of Rapid City offers child care and other services.

Disclaimer: Western Dakota Tech provides these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply affiliation, endorsement or adoption by Western Dakota Tech of any site or any information contained therein. When you leave wdt.edu, you should be aware that our terms and policies no longer govern. Western Dakota Tech makes no claim or representation regarding, and accepts no responsibility for, the quality, content, nature or reliability of third-party websites or vendors.

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