What is Required to Become a Pharmacy Technician?

If you’re interested in becoming a pharmacy technician you may be wondering what is required to make it happen. Read on to learn more about the education and training necessary to become a pharmacy technician

Checkout this video:

Introduction

To become a pharmacy technician, you will need to have a high school diploma or a GED. You will also need to complete a pharmacy technician training program that has been accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE). Once you have completed your training, you will need to pass a nationally recognized pharmacy technician certification exam such as the pharmacy technician certification exam (PTCE) or the Exam for the Certification of pharmacy technicians (ExCPT).

Education

A pharmacy technician is an allied health professional who works closely with a licensed pharmacist in a variety of settings, including community pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics. A pharmacy technician’s main responsibilities are to dispense medications and provide customer service. To become a pharmacy technician, one must complete a pharmacy technician program and pass a national certification exam.

High school diploma or equivalent

In order to become a pharmacy technician, you will need to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. While many pharmacy technicians do have some college coursework, it is not always required. There are a number of community colleges and vocational schools that offer training programs specifically for pharmacy technicians, which can last anywhere from a few months to a year. After completing a training program, you will then need to pass a national certification exam in order to become licensed.

Postsecondary training

A pharmacy technician diploma or certificate program can be completed in about one year and is typically offered by a technical school or community college. Some states have implemented registration or licensure requirements for pharmacy technicians, but training and experience requirements vary widely from state to state. Many pharmacy technicians gain on-the-job training under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist.

Certification

In order to become a pharmacy technician, certification is required in most states. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and is a computer-based exam. Certification must be renewed every two years and recertification requires 20 hours of continuing education.

National Certification Exams

To become a certified pharmacy technician, you must successfully pass a national certification exam. The two main organizations that offer certification exams are the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Both exams cover similar topics, but the PTCB exam is generally considered to be more difficult.

In order to sit for either exam, you must first meet certain eligibility requirements. For the PTCB exam, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and you must have completed a pharmacy technician training program or have at least 1 year of experience working as a pharmacy technician. For the NHA exam, you must also have a high school diploma or equivalent, but you are not required to have completed a training program or have any experience working as a pharmacy technician.

Once you have met the eligibility requirements for your chosen exam, you can register for the exam and schedule a time to take it. The PTCB exam costs $129, and the NHA exam costs $119. The exams are multiple-choice and are offered at testing centers around the country.

After passing your chosen certification exam, you will need to maintain your certification by completing continuing education credits every 2 years.

State Certification

Most states require certification for pharmacy technicians, and the process to become certified generally includes passing a nationally recognized exam, completing a certain number of hours of training, and paying a fee. Some states have additional requirements, such as a background check. Once you are certified, you will need to renew your certification periodically, which generally involves completing continuing education requirements.

Registration

To become a pharmacy technician, one must first complete a pharmacy technician program that is accredited by the Commission for Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ACPE). After completing an accredited program, the pharmacy technician must then pass a national certification exam, such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). After passing the national certification exam, the pharmacy technician must then submit an application to the state board of pharmacy in which they wish to practice.

Federal Registration

In order to work as a pharmacy technician in the United States, you must be registered with the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). The USP is a nonprofit organization that sets standards for the quality of medicines, and provides continuing education and training for pharmacy technicians.

In order to register with the USP, you must:
-Be at least 18 years old
-Have a high school diploma or equivalent
-Have completed an accredited pharmacy technician training program
-Pass a national certification exam, such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
-Be of good moral character

Once you have met all of the requirements, you can submit an application to the USP. Once your registration is processed, you will be issued a certificate that allows you to work as a pharmacy technician in any state in the United States.

State Registration

State registration is not required in all states but is becoming more common. Some states require technicians to complete an accredited training program and pass an exam before being registered. Specific education and training requirements can be found on the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy website. Even if state registration is not required, most employers prefer to hire technicians who are registered.

Continuing Education

Becoming a pharmacy technician generally requires a high school diploma or equivalent, although some employers may prefer or require postsecondary education, and many technicians complete a postsecondary Certificate or Associate degree program in pharmacy technology.

National Certification Renewal

A pharmacy technician certification expires every two years. To renew certification, you must complete 20 continuing education (CE) hours during the two-year period prior to your certification expiration date. You can find CE opportunities on the PTCB website. Continuing education is not required for technicians who are also certified pharmacy technicians in good standing with another certifying body that has been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

State Certification Renewal

In order to maintain your state certification, you will need to renew it every two years. The process for renewal will vary from state to state, but it will generally involve completing a certain number of continuing education (CE) credits. CE credits can be earned in a variety of ways, such as attending workshops or taking online courses. Once you have earned the required number of credits, you will need to submit proof of completion to your state board of pharmacy. After your renewal is processed, you will be issued a new certification certificate that will be valid for another two years.

Conclusion

To summarize, becoming a pharmacy technician requires completing a formal education, passing a licensure exam, and completing continuing education requirements on a regular basis. With the right training and experience, pharmacy technicians can enjoy a stable and rewarding career in the healthcare industry.

Scroll to Top