What Degree Do You Need for Pharmacy Tech?

Wondering what degree you need to be a pharmacy technician? We have the answer.

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Pharmacy Technician Career Basics

Pharmacy technicians play an important role in the day-to-day operations of a pharmacy. They are responsible for a variety of tasks, such as preparing prescriptions, maintaining inventory, and providing customer service. Although pharmacy technicians do not need a formal education, many employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a pharmacy technician program.

Job Description

The pharmacy technician is responsible for filling prescriptions and performing various other tasks under the supervision of a pharmacist. He or she may also be responsible for handling customer inquiries, verifying insurance coverage, and maintaining medical records.

In order to become a pharmacy technician, one must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some colleges offer certification programs for pharmacy technicians, but it is not always necessary to have formal training in order to work in this field. Many employers prefer to hire candidates who have some experience working in a pharmacy or other medical setting.

Salary and Job Outlook

Pharmacy technicians earn a median annual salary of $32,700, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job prospects for pharmacy technicians are good, with an expected 20% job growth between 2018 and 2028.

Most pharmacy technicians have at least a high school diploma and complete on-the-job training. Some states require certification and/or licensing. Certification for pharmacy technicians is available through several organizations, such as the National Healthcareer Association and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.

Education Requirements

To become a pharmacy technician, you will need to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may prefer you to have some previous experience in the customer service or healthcare field. You will also need to complete a pharmacy technician training program. Once you have completed your training, you will need to pass a certification exam.

Postsecondary Education

In most cases, pharmacy technicians need to complete a postsecondary education program to enter the profession. These programs are typically offered at community colleges, technical schools, and vocational schools. Some states require that programs be accredited by an organization such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.


All 50 states and Washington, D.C., require pharmacy technicians to be registered with the state Board of Pharmacy or to have obtained certification from a nationally recognized credentialing organization, such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or National Healthcare Association (NHA). Certification may be required for technicians who work in hospitals or other healthcare facilities. Registration and certification requirements vary by state. You can check your state’s requirements on the PTCB website.

In order to become certified, candidates must complete a nationally accredited pharmacy technician training program and pass a standardized exam. Certification is valid for two years and can be renewed by completing continuing education courses and passing a recertification exam.

Steps to Becoming a Pharmacy Technician

The first step to becoming a pharmacy technician is to obtain the necessary education and training. There are a few different ways to do this, but the most common route is to attend a pharmacy technician program at a community college or trade school. Once you have completed your training, you will need to pass a national certification exam. After you have passed the exam, you will be able to apply for a state license.

Complete a postsecondary education program

Becoming a pharmacy technician generally requires completing a postsecondary education program that has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). These programs, which typically last one or two years, lead to a certificate or diploma.

Obtain certification

There are a few steps you must complete in order to become a pharmacy technician. One of the most important is to obtain certification. Although it is not required in all states, most employers prefer to hire certified technicians. Certification verifies your knowledge of pharmacy law and ethics and demonstrates your commitment to the profession.

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) offers the nationally recognized Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential. To be eligible to take the PTCB exam, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent, complete an accredited pharmacy technician training program, or have at least 1 year of experience working as a pharmacy technician. Once you have met these requirements, you can register for the exam online. The PTCB examination consists of 90 multiple-choice questions and you will have 2 hours to complete it.

Once you have passed the PTCB exam, you will need to renew your certification every 2 years by completing 20 hours of continuing education and paying a renewal fee.

Start working as a pharmacy technician

You don’t necessarily need any qualifications to become a pharmacy technician. However, completing a pharmacy technician training course could help you to get a job, and may be required by some employers.

Once you’ve found a job, your employer will usually provide on-the-job training. This will cover topics such as:

-The different types of medicines and their uses
-How to receive and store stock
-Preparing and supplying medicines
-How to use the computer systems used in pharmacies
-Health and safety in the workplace

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