Associate of Arts (AA) Emphasis
Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. They also may provide advice on how to lead a healthy lifestyle, conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, and oversee the medications given to patients. Some Pharmacists who own their pharmacy or manage a chain pharmacy spend time on business activities, such as inventory management. Pharmacists must also take continuing education courses throughout their career to keep up with the latest advances in pharmacological science.
Pharmacy Technicians work under the supervision of Pharmacists, who must review prescriptions before they are given to patients. In most states, Technicians can compound or mix some medications and call physicians for prescription refill authorizations. Technicians also may need to operate automated dispensing equipment when filling prescription orders. Pharmacy Technicians typically take the information needed to fill a prescription from customers or health professionals, measure amounts of medication for prescriptions, package and label prescriptions,organize inventory and alert Pharmacists to any shortages of medications or supplies,accept payment for prescriptions and process insurance claims, enter customer or patient information into a computer system, answer phone calls from customers, and arrange for customers to speak with Pharmacists if they have questions about medications or health matters.
The majority of Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians are employed in pharmacies and drug stores, but they may also work in hospitals, grocery stores, department stores, and other retail establishments.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the 2012 median pay for Pharmacists, which requires a doctoral/professional degree was $116,670 per year; the job outlook for 2012-2022 calls for a 14% growth in employment, about as fast as average for all occupations. The 2012 median pay for Pharmacy Technicians with a high school diploma (or equivalent) was $29,320 per year; the job outlook for 2012-2022 calls for a 20% growth in employment (faster than average), which may provide a significant advantage to those with a college diploma.
Note: Pharmacists must have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), a four-year professional degree. They also must be licensed by the state, which requires passing two exams.
ECC’s two-year Associate of Arts (AA) transfer degree is designed to meet the requirements of colleges and universities to which students may wish to transfer for completion of baccalaureate (BA or BS) degrees. In many instances, transfer colleges accept this degree as equivalent to their own general education requirements.
Because the requirements for an AA degree change periodically, students should check with their academic advisor or the ECC Admissions Office to confirm that they have the most current information. Students are responsible for knowing the requirements for the degree they hope to obtain and for planning their schedule accordingly.
Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State, UNI and Iowa
ECC participates in the Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa to enable ECC students to transfer credits seamlessly to any of the state universities. Participants are dual-enrolled at ECC and the university with access to academic advising and student services at both institutions. The universities guarantee admission into the desired degree program, provided all requirements are met. Ask the ECC Admissions Office for more information!
The Ellsworth Experience
- ECC currently has the 17th highest student success rate (graduation rate + transfer rate) of any community college in the nation.
- The College offers generous scholarships and financial aid packages, which is why our graduates have one of the lowest average student debt loads of any college in Iowa, public or private, two-year or four year!
- What students appreciate about ECC is our smaller class sizes, which results in more one-on-one attention from the instructor and greater classroom success.