How To Start Your Career As A Pharmacy Technician: The Ultimate Guide

  • Pharmacy Technician
  • March 12, 2024
  • 5 min read
Pharmacy Technician at work

Are you interested in a career as a Pharmacy Technician?

If so, you’re in luck!

This is an exciting and growing field that offers plenty of opportunities for advancement. In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about getting started in this profession.

We’ll cover education requirements, certification options, job prospects, and more!

So whether you’re just starting out on your career journey or you’re looking to make a change, read on for all the information you need to get started as a Pharmacy Technician.

What are the education requirements for becoming a pharmacy technician?

Becoming a pharmacy technician generally requires a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, such as completion of a certificate program.

Pharmacy technicians also must complete a formal training program, which can last anywhere from several months to a year.

Once you have completed your education and training requirements, you will then need to obtain a license in order to practice.

What are the duties of a pharmacy technician?

The duties of a pharmacy technician vary depending on the state in which they practice, but generally include:

  • Assisting pharmacists in preparing and dispensing medications
  • Maintaining inventory and ordering supplies
  • Answering customer questions
  • Accepting prescriptions and inputting prescription information into the pharmacy computer system
  • Preparing insurance claim forms
  • And much more!

A career as a pharmacy technician can be very rewarding. Pharmacy technicians play an important role in the healthcare system, often serving as the first point of contact for patients with questions or concerns about their medication.

They also play an important role in assisting pharmacists with preparing and dispensing medications.

Certification options

Certification is not required in all states, but it may be required by some employers. Certification can also give you a competitive edge when applying for jobs.

There are two main organizations that offer certification for pharmacy technicians: the National Healthcare Association (NHA) and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

To be eligible for certification, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and you must pass an exam.

The NHA offers two certification options: the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) and the Registered Pharmacy Technician (RPhT). The CPhT is the more common of the two, and it is generally accepted by most employers.

The PTCB offers the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) certification.

To be eligible for the CPhT exam, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and you must have completed a pharmacy technician training program or have at least one year of work experience as a pharmacy technician.

You can find a list of accredited pharmacy technician training programs on the PTCB website.

Once you have completed a training program or have at least one year of work experience, you can apply to take the CPhT exam.

The CPhT exam consists of two parts: a written examination and a skills demonstration.

You will need to pass both parts of the exam to be certified. Once you have passed the CPhT exam, you will need to renew your certification every two years.

You can do this by either retaking the CPhT exam or completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Job prospects

The job outlook for pharmacy technicians is positive.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of pharmacy technicians will grow by 12% from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.

As the population ages, there will be an increasing need for prescription medications. In addition, as pharmacists increasingly use technicians to perform routine tasks, such as measuring doses and labeling bottles, technicians will also be needed to perform these tasks.

The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $32,700 in May 2018.

The lowest ten percent earned less than $23,360, and the highest ten percent earned more than $46,600.

Starting your pharmacy technician career at NCC

NCC’s Pharmacy Technician Program is the only accredited program in Nebraska and is designed to prepare you for a successful career in pharmacy.

In this program, you’ll learn about pharmacology, drug interactions, medical terminology, and how to dispense medications.

You’ll also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through externships at local pharmacies. 

After completing the program, you’ll be eligible to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) and become a certified pharmacy technician.

If you’re interested in starting your career as a pharmacy technician, contact NCC today. We offer both online and on-campus classes to fit your busy schedule.

Dreamers $4499 Scholarship

Start your new career as a Pharmacy Technician now!

Northwest Career College is one of the premier pharmacy technician schools in Las Vegas. Our course provides our students with the skills and training they need to take advantage of the growing need for pharmacy technicians.

Our experienced instructors offer online and on-campus classes to accommodate your Las Vegas work and family schedule. 
Once you’ve graduated, we continue to support you, and the commitment of our Career Services Team has led to us having a 100% job placement rate for our pharmacy technician graduates. Call us today at (702) 403-1592 to speak to one of our enrollment specialists. 

Samantha Huntsman
Pharmacy Technician Program Chair

Raised in Cedar City in southern Utah, Samantha ended up in Nevada in 2014 after moving here from Minnesota to escape the winter. After graduating from Cedar City High School, Samantha moved to Southern Utah University where she got her…Read Full Bio

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