Linn County Regional Center - Academy Plans of Study

Pharmacy Technician Career Academy


College Credit in High School
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Unique learning environment under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist in both traditional classroom and clinical retail or hospital pharmacies.

Through hands-on, clinical experiences students gain a basic understanding of medicine, prescription calculation and record keeping required in a retail or hospital pharmacy.

Career Focus
Immediate employment opportunities as a pharmacy technician, prepared for future course work in pharmacy-related degrees.

College Credits Earned

Certification Opportunities: National Pharmacy Technician Certification

The Kirkwood Pharmacy Technician Academy aligns with the required coursework in the Pharmacy Technician diploma program and prepares students for future coursework in the field of hospital, home health, medical or retail pharmacy. If you’re planning to transfer to a four-year college or university after attending Kirkwood, specific transfer information can be found at

Iowa average salaries for pharmacy-related careers
Pharmacy Technician: $14.16/hour
Pharmacist: $104,620
More info can be found at:

College Credit Courses
Courses subject to change based on college curriculum.


HSC-205 | Exploration of Health Care Careers | 3 college credits
Explores all aspects of health care and careers in the field. Focuses on understanding basic wellness, and growth and development of the human being. Includes field trips to an emergency room at a local hospital, a surgical center, a free healthcare clinic, a dental clinic, an outpatient OT/PT/speech center, administrative offices at a nursing home and a laboratory. Covers the past, present and future of health care. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: B

HSC-115 | Medical Terminology | 4 college credits
A comprehensive study of medical terminology as the language of medicine. Analyzes words by dividing them into component parts. Relates the medical terms to the structure and functional pathology of diseases and current medical procedures. Emphasizes word usage, abbreviations, pronunciation and spelling. Credits: 4, Hours: (4/0/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: B


PHR-171 | Pharmacy Technician | 6.5 credits

Provides the knowledge and skills necessary for employment as a pharmacy technician, in a retail, hospital or clinical pharmacy, under the direct supervision of a pharmacist. Includes basic understanding of medications, prescriptions and terminology, pharmaceutical calculations and techniques, record keeping, ethics and jurisprudence, as well as the role of the pharmacy technician. Emphasizes student preparation to make informed, intelligent decisions and assisting the pharmacist with providing medication and other types of health care products to patients. Designed to prepare learners for the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. Credits: 6.5, Hours: (6/1/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: PHR-172; Arts and Sciences Elective Code: B

PHR-172 | Pharmacy Tech Clinical | 1 credit

Provides opportunities for observation and supervised participation in hospital and retain pharmacy settings. Credits: 1, Hours: (0/0/3/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: PHR-171, Arts and Sciences Elective Code: B

Need to Know

1. Program is designed for high school seniors, age 17 on the first day of class. The student must turn 18 within one year of the course start date for the certification requirement.

2. Students must have successfully completed high school Algebra II with a C or better, Survey of Health Careers and Medical Terminology to enroll in the Pharmacy Technician course in the spring term.

3. Students must meet the recommended placement test scores: MATH: ACT - 19, COMPASS (pre-algebra) - 71, ALEKS - 30%, READING: ACT - 16, COMPASS - 71, Accuplacer - 71. Students not meeting this requirement will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the program director, Laura Daman.

4. During the Pharmacy Technician course in January, students complete the required paperwork to register with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy Examiners as a technician trainee. Students must be 18 years of age and have earned a high school diploma within one year of registration with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy Examiners to be eligible to take the National Certification Exam, which is required for employment as a pharmacy technician in Iowa. Students are required to submit the paperwork and pay the $22 registration fee themselves to be registered as a technician trainee with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy Examiners. This expense is not included in the cost of the program billed to the district.

5. During the Pharmacy Technician course in January, students must complete a 48-hour clinical experience in area retail and hospital pharmacies established by Kirkwood clinical agreements. The clinical experience is completed outside regular daily instruction time. Students must complete the entire clinical experience in order to complete the course.

6. During the Pharmacy Technician course in January, student evaluation is based on class participation, attendance, assignments, exams and/or quizzes, a final cumulative examination, lab practicals and satisfactory completion of the required clinical experience. The student is required to maintain a 70 percent average throughout the course.

7. Students may need to provide their own transportation at times for learning experiences at Main Campus. 
8. Students receive credit from their high school and college credit from Kirkwood. The high school district pays the college tuition.

9.The grade earned in this course is reflected on the student’s official college transcript. Students not planning to attend Kirkwood after high school graduation should plan to include this transcript as part of the application process to other colleges or universities.

10. Students meet Monday-Friday, 1.5 hours per day, for the entire school year. Additional time is required outside of class periods for required clinical experiences.

How to Get Started
Talk to your parents and your school counselor.

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