How Long Does It Take To Become A Pharmacy Tech?

If you’re thinking about becoming a pharmacy technician you might be wondering how long it will take to complete your training. The answer can vary depending on the program you choose and your prior experience, but most pharmacy tech programs can be completed in around six months.

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The Training Process

The length of time it takes to become a pharmacy technician depends on many factors such as whether you are completing a certificate, diploma or degree program, and how much experience you already have in the field. Generally, it takes about two years to become a pharmacy technician.

Classroom instruction

Most pharmacy technician programs include a combination of classroom instruction and laboratory experience. Programs typically last between 6 and 12 months, although some may take up to 2 years to complete.

Classroom instruction typically covers medical terminology, prescription processing, pharmacy law and ethics, and patient confidentiality. Students also learn how to dispense medications and how to perform basic math calculations. Many programs also include externships or internships, where students can gain hands-on experience in a pharmacy setting.

On-the-job training

After being hired, pharmacy technicians often receive on-the-job training from experienced technicians and pharmacists. They learn how to receive and process prescriptions, prepack and label medications, file insurance claims, stock shelves, and perform various other tasks.

Most states require pharmacy technicians to complete an accredited training program and pass a statewide examination before they can begin working. Some employers offer training programs for their employees. Training generally lasts from several weeks to several months and takes place in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, community pharmacies, and long-term care facilities.


The length of time it takes to become a pharmacy tech can vary depending on the certification you pursue. Some certification programs can be completed in as little as four weeks while others may take up to twelve weeks. Once you have completed a certification program, you will then need to take and pass a national certification exam.

National Healthcareer Association (NHA)

Certification through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) is one of the most popular options for pharmacy technicians. The NHA offers certification for both traditional pharmacy technicians and nuclear pharmacy technicians.

The traditional pharmacy technician certification process includes an exam, a criminal background check, and a short waiting period for results. Certification through the NHA is valid for two years, after which recertification is required.

The certification process for nuclear pharmacy technicians is more involved, as it includes both an exam and a clinical component. The clinical component requires candidates to complete a specified number of hours working in a nuclear pharmacy under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist.

After both the exam and clinical components are completed, candidates must then complete a criminal background check before being certified. Nuclear pharmacy technician certification through the NHA is valid for four years, after which recertification is required.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is a nationally recognized organization that provides certification for pharmacy technicians. In order to become certified, candidates must pass the pharmacy technician certification exam (PTCE).

To be eligible to take the PTCE, candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and must have completed a formal pharmacy technician training program or have at least one year of work experience as a pharmacy technician. There are no prerequisites for the PTCE.

The PTCE is a computer-based exam that consists of 90 multiple-choice questions. Candidates are given two hours to complete the exam. The passing score for the PTCE is 70%.

Upon passing the PTCE, candidates are awarded the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential. The CPhT credential is valid for a period of two years and can be renewed by completing 20 continuing education hours and paying a renewal fee.

The Time Commitment

Becoming a pharmacy technician takes time, effort, and a lot of dedication. The training process can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, and you will need to complete an accredited program. Once you have finished your training, you will need to pass a certification exam. After you have become certified, you will need to keep up with your education and complete continuing education credits.

Classroom instruction

Classroom instruction for pharmacy techs usually takes about 1 year to complete, although some programs may be as short as a few months. Many community colleges offer certificate or diploma programs in pharmacy technology, and some hospitals and pharmacies offer on-the-job training for those who are interested in pursuing a career in this field.

Online programs are also available, although these may not be as comprehensive as those offered at community colleges. Some employers may require that candidates for pharmacy technician positions have completed an accredited program before they will be considered for employment.

On-the-job training

Most pharmacy technicians learn on the job. Employers often give preference to applicants with some experience in customer service and familiarity with computer use. Many communities have adult education programs that offer short-term courses in pharmacy technology; other community colleges and vocational schools offer 1-year certificate programs. Some states allow technicians to complete training through an apprenticeship rather than a formal educational program.

Employers often provide on-the-job training that lasts several months to a year until the technician is familiar with all aspects of the job, including state and federal regulations. During this period, the employer gradually gives the technician more responsibility and assignments. Many employers also require technicians to take continuing education courses and attend professional development seminars to keep up with changes in pharmacy practice, new medications, and advances in technology.

The Cost

It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is one of the most expensive in the world. Paragraph

Classroom instruction

The average cost of attending a pharmacy technician school ranges from $1,000-$3,000. However, some programs may cost more or less depending on the type of school, length of the program, and whether the program is offered online or in person. Many schools offer financial aid to help students cover the cost of tuition and other associated expenses.

On-the-job training

The majority of pharmacy technicians are trained on the job. This type of training typically lasts between four and twelve weeks, although it can occasionally take longer. Some employers may require you to successfully complete a certification exam before they will hire you.

While you are training, you will be paid at an hourly rate. Once you have completed your training and are working independently, you may be eligible for a pay increase. The amount of this increase will vary depending on the employer, but it is typically between $0.50 and $1.00 per hour.

Job Outlook

Pharmacy technicians are in high demand and the job outlook is very positive. The median salary for pharmacy technicians is $32,700 per year, and the job growth outlook is 7% from 2019-2029.1 This means that there will be an estimated 34,200 new pharmacy technician jobs available in the next ten years.

National Healthcareer Association (NHA)

The NHA Board of Trustees and the Certification Commission (Commission) oversee the policies and procedures related to all NHA credentialing programs. The Commission is a standing committee of the Board of Trustees and is comprised of certificants, educators, employers, and members of the public. The Executive Director/CEO has final responsibility for all NHA program operations. [email protected]

Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)

The PTCB offers the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (ExCPT). This is a computer-based exam that can be taken at testing centers across the country. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent, complete an accredited training program, and pass the ExCPT to earn certification. Some states have additional requirements, such as passing a background check. Once you are certified, you will need to recertify every two years by completing 20 hours of continuing education and passing an exam

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