How Do You Become a Pharmacy Technician?

If you’re interested in becoming a pharmacy technician there are a few things you’ll need to do. First, you’ll need to complete a pharmacy technician training program. Once you’ve completed your training, you’ll need to pass a certification exam. After you’re certified, you’ll need to find a job at a pharmacy.

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In order to become a pharmacy technician, you will need to complete a training program that has been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) or the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Once you have completed an accredited program, you will then need to pass a national certification exam.

There are many different pharmacy technician training programs available, and you can choose to attend a traditional classroom-based program or an online program. Classroom-based programs are typically offered at community colleges, technical schools, and vocational schools. Online programs are offered by many different schools and training providers.

Once you have completed a pharmacy technician training program, you will be eligible to sit for the pharmacy technician certification exam (PTCE). The PTCE is a computer-based exam that is offered year-round at Pearson VUE testing centers. To find a testing center near you, please visit the Pearson VUE website.

Education and Certification

There are many paths you can take to become a pharmacy technician. Some pharmacy technicians may have on-the-job training, while others may have a formal education. Many community colleges offer certificate or diploma programs in pharmacy technology, which typically last one year or less.

Pharmacy Technician Programs

There are many different ways to become a certified pharmacy technician. Some people choose to attend a traditional college or university program, while others opt for an online or distance learning program. There are also some hospital-based programs that offer on-the-job training.

No matter which route you choose, you will likely need to take some basic coursework in mathematics and the sciences, as well as complete a Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) before you can begin working.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you explore pharmacy technician programs:

-Some programs may require you to have some prior experience working in a pharmacy, so be sure to check the requirements of each program before you apply.
-Programs typically take between one and two years to complete, although some accelerated programs may be available.
-Upon completing a pharmacy technician program, you will need to pass the PTCE exam in order to become certified.


There are two types of certification for pharmacy technicians–national and state. National certification is not required to work as a pharmacy technician, but some employers prefer or require it. Certification provides employers with a way to verify that employees have the knowledge and skills needed to safely and effectively perform their job duties.

State certification is required in some states, but not all. In states where certification is not required, technicians may still need to register with the state Board of Pharmacy or complete other requirements, such as passing a criminal background check or completing a training program.

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and is used to certify pharmacy technicians at the national level. To be eligible to take the PTCE, candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent, complete a training program or have at least 1 year of work experience as a pharmacy technician, and pass a criminal background check.

The PTCB offers two paths to certification—certification by examination and ce rtification by reciprocity. Certification by examination is designed for candidates who have completed a training program or have at least 1 year of work experience as a pharmacy technician. Certification by reciprocity is available for candidates who are already certified as pharmacy technicians in another state and meet all other eligibility requirements.

The PTCE consists of 80 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as medication safety, pharmacy calculations, pharmacy law and ethics, patient counseling, and more. Candidates are given 2 hours to complete the exam. A score of 700 out of 1000 points is needed to pass the PTCE.

Job Duties

A pharmacy technician is an important member of the healthcare team. They work closely with pharmacists to dispense medication and provide patient care. A pharmacy technician’s job duties include but are not limited to:

Dispensing Medications

Dispensing medications is the main job duty of pharmacy technicians. They work with pharmacists to fill prescriptions for patients. This process includes measureing out the correct amount of medication, labeling the prescription, and giving it to the patient or their caregiver. Pharmacy technicians also double check that the prescriptions they are filling are accurate and free of errors.

Maintaining Records

Maintaining records is one of the most important duties of a pharmacy technician. You will be responsible for keeping track of patients’ medications, as well as their medical histories. This information must be accurate and up-to-date, so that the pharmacist can dispense the correct medication to each patient.

Assisting Pharmacists

A pharmacy technician is a member of the healthcare team who works closely with a licensed pharmacist in a variety of settings, including community pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics. The pharmacy technician’s primary job duties include assisting pharmacists in preparing and Dispensing medications.

In addition to Dispensing medications, pharmacy technicians may also be responsible for managing inventory, processing insurance claims, and providing customer service. Some pharmacy technicians may also be trained to administer vaccinations.

Salary and Job Outlook

The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $32,700 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,860, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $48,620.

Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The growing popularity of online pharmacies has spurred demand for pharmaceutical delivery services.


In conclusion, becoming a pharmacy technician is a great way to get started in the healthcare field. The job offers numerous opportunities for growth and development, and the pay is good. To become a pharmacy technician, you will need to complete an accredited training program and pass a certification exam.

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