How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

There aren't formal education requirements for being a pharmacy tech. besides that you need a high school diploma.

It would be good, for your job search, if you completed a pharmacy tech training program because that could give you a leg up and employers like to see the certification.

1. Learn Your State's Requirements

Different states have different regulations for pharmacy technicians. You might need formal training, a certain number of continuing education hours, or maybe you must take exams and pay fees.

Some states give you a pharmacy tech license after you pass a test, so you should check with your state's board of pharmacy to see what you need to get a job.

2. Complete a Pharmacy Technician Training Program

You can find these programs at most community colleges and vocational schools. The Programs usually take one to two years depending on if you want the certificate or the Associate's Degree.

Pharmacy technician educational programs generally require both classroom and laboratory work in a wide variety of areas.

Pharmacy technicians are generally expected to demonstrate acceptable knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • Common medical terminology
  • Pharmaceutically-specific terminology
  • Proficiency in pharmaceutical calculations
  • Record-keeping principles required in a pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical techniques
  • Pharmaceutical laws and ethics

Technicians are also expected to learn commonly used medication names, their actions, and their appropriate uses and standard doses. Internships are included in many training programs, giving students hands-on experience in actual pharmacies.

3. Earn a Certification (Optional)

You don't have to, but it could help you get a job; and employers will take you more seriously. You can take the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) certification exam through two organizations: The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

You must have your HS Diploma, complete a Pharmacy Tech Program, and have at least one year of experience working.

4. Maintain Certification Through Continuing Education

To maintain your CPhT Certification, you need to earn a minimum of 20 continuing education credits over two years. Also, if you really like what you do, you could consider going back to receive your bachelor's degree and start down the path to become a practicing pharmacist.