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Pharmacy Technician Certification

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Pharmacy Technician Certification

In most states, pharmacy technicians must be registered with the state board of pharmacy. Eligibility requirements vary, with some states only requiring applicants to possess a high school diploma or its equivalent and pay an application fee.

While many states do not require technicians to be certified, voluntary certification is available through several private organizations, including the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Certification through such programs may enhance an applicant's prospects for employment and is required by some states and employers. To be eligible to sit for a certification exam, candidates must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and no felony convictions of any kind. In addition, applicants for the PTCB exam must not have had any drug-related or pharmacy-related convictions, including misdemeanors. Many employers will reimburse the cost of the exams.

Under these programs, technicians must be re-certified every 2 years. Re-certification requires 20 hours of continuing education within the 2-year certification period. Continuing education hours can be earned from several different sources, including colleges, pharmacy associations, and pharmacy technician training programs. 

Good customer service and communication skills are needed because pharmacy technicians interact with patients, coworkers, and healthcare professionals. Basic mathematics, spelling, and reading skills also are important, as technicians must interpret prescription orders and verify drug doses. Pharmacy technicians also must be precise: details are of the utmost importance to patient safety. 

Britney Scharmann
Brittney scharman, cpht-adv

On Being a Certified Pharmacy Technician

I stay certified as a way to have employers, coworkers, and patients feel confident in me as a healthcare professional.

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Find a Training Program

Choosing a technician training program is an important first step to becoming a technician. When you find a program that appeals to you, check out its website, schedule an in-person visit, and ask questions about financial aid, jobs, and the experience of current students. If possible, talk to graduates to get their perspective too.

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Pharmacy Technician Certification

Why Seek Pharmacy Technician Certification?

The pharmaceutical industry is in constant pursuit of better medications and advancements in technology. There will always be a need for skilled certified pharmacy technicians who have a desire to stay current on the latest medical innovations.

Having your pharmacy technician certification signals that you have passed the certification test administered by PTCB and have the basic knowledge to begin working as a pharmacy technician. As the practice of pharmacy continues to become increasingly complex, more states are beginning to require certification as a condition of licensure as a pharmacy technician.

Regardless of your state regulations, you will find that more and more employers are also requiring pharmacy technician certification. Most pharmacy technician job postings desire candidates who are either already certified or are currently enrolled in pharmacy technician school.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Requirements

The pre-requisites for taking the pharmacy technician certification exam include the following: 

  • Reside in the United States or its territories
  • Completion of a high-school diploma, GED, or foreign-equivalent
  • Completion of an education/training program recognized by PTCB or equivalent work experience
  • No felony or drug-related convictions
  • Compliance with all applicable PTCB policies
  • Not be under any restrictions from any state board of pharmacy.

After meeting the eligibility qualifications, you are required to pass the pharmacy technician certification exam administered by the PTCB. To keep your pharmacy technician certification status, you must complete 20 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years. At least one of those hours must be in pharmacy law and one hour must be in patient safety.

TPTS technician membership includes unlimited access to PharmacyTechCE which offers more than 30 hours of technician-designated CE to meet requirements for PTCB certification, including pharmacy law and patient safety.

Pharm Tech Certification

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam

The pharmacy technician certification exam is administered on a computer and consists of 90 multiple choice questions covering the following knowledge domains and areas:

  • Medications (40%)
  • Federal Requirements (12.5%)
  • Patient Safety and Quality Assurance (26.25%)
  • Order Entry and Processing (21.25%)

View the complete PTCE content outline

There are testing locations around the country. If you want extra practice before you take the pharmacy technician certification exam, practice tests are available for a fee at www.ptcb.org

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