What Education Do You Need to Become a Pharmacy Technician?

If you’re interested in becoming a pharmacy technician, you might be wondering what kind of education you need. The answer may surprise you – you don’t necessarily need a formal degree to get started in this field. Read on to learn more about the education requirements for pharmacy technicians, as well as what you can expect to learn in a typical training program.

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The Basic Requirements

You might be surprised to learn that you don’t need very much education to become a pharmacy technician. In most cases, a high school diploma or equivalent is all that is required. However, if you want to improve your chances of getting hired or advancing in your career, you might consider completing a pharmacy technician training program.

High School Diploma or GED

A high school diploma or GED is the minimum education requirement to become a pharmacy technician. Although, most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a pharmacy technician training program from an accredited college or technical school. A few states require pharmacy technicians to be licensed.

Completion of an accredited pharmacy technician program

If you want to become a pharmacy technician, you will need to complete an accredited pharmacy technician program. In most cases, this will be a one-year program that you can complete at a community college or technical school. Some hospitals also offer pharmacy technician training programs. Once you have completed your accredited pharmacy technician program, you will need to pass a national certification exam.

The Certification

Earning your pharmacy technician certification is the best way to get started in this rapidly growing field. Pharmacy technicians are in high demand, and certified technicians usually earn higher wages than non-certified technicians. In most states, you can become certified by passing a national exam, such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) or the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT).

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

The PTCE is a computer-based exam administered by Pearson VUE that tests candidates’ knowledge of pharmacy practice. The PTCE is comprised of 90 scored items and 10 unscored pre-test items. Candidates are allotted 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete the exam. A passing score on the PTCE is a combined score of 70% or greater.

To be eligible to take the PTCE, candidates must have one of the following:
-A high school diploma or equivalent
-An active pharmacy technician registration/license in a U.S. jurisdiction
-Graduation from an accredited pharmacy technician training program within the last 24 months

The Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT)

The Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) is a computer-based, multiple-choice examination administered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). The ExCPT is one of two exams required for certification as a pharmacy technician. The other exam is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

The Continuing Education

To become a pharmacy technician, you need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. You will also need to complete an accredited pharmacy technician program. Some states require you to pass a certification exam after completing your accredited program. After you become a certified pharmacy technician, you will need to complete continuing education (CE) credits to maintain your certification.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) offers a national certification exam that is recognized by most employers. Certification is not required in all states, but it may give you an advantage when applying for jobs. To be eligible to take the PTCB exam, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and you must complete a training program or have at least 1 year of experience working as a pharmacy technician.

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)

The ASHP is a professional organization for pharmacists working in hospitals and other health-care settings. The ASHP offers several pharmacy technician education and training programs, including the ASHP Foundation’s “Pharmacy Technician Training” program and the “Pharmacy Technician Certification” program.

To be eligible for the ASHP Foundation’s “Pharmacy Technician Training” program, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and you must be a registered pharmacy technician with the ASHP. The program consists of three parts: an online course, an on-site lab component, and a final examination.

The “Pharmacy Technician Certification” program from the ASHP is open to anyone who meets the eligibility requirements, which include being a registered pharmacy technician with the ASHP and completing an accredited pharmacy technician education and training program. The program consists of a written examination that covers basic drug information, calculations, medication order entry, sterile product preparation, patient contact/communication, and pharmacy law and ethics.

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