There are many reasons to want to become a pharmacy technician. Whether at a supermarket, big box store, independent pharmacy, or hospital, pharmacy technicians can be found supporting pharmacists in delivering medications and patient care efficiently and safely. As a pharmacy tech, you’ll have the opportunity to help others, perform a mix of job duties, and work in a growing industry!2
But certain states require pharmacy technicians to be certified, and employers may require certification for pharmacy technician jobs regardless of state regulations2—which is why becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) could help make it easier to pursue career opportunities.
Start preparing now for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam® (PTCE®) exam offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) with Trident University International’s Pharmacy Technician certification prep course.
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Becoming certified is a significant early achievement for those seeking entry-level pharmacy technician positions. But to earn the CPhT credential and break into this field, you’ll first need to fulfil the PTCB’s education requirements and pass a certification exam.3, 4
- $35,100 median annual pharmacy technician salary in the United States2
- 15,200 new pharmacy technician jobs projected between 2019-20292
- 90% of employers surveyed require or encourage certification for pharmacy technicians5
Becoming certified could lay the foundation for pursuing more advanced certifications down the line and more opportunities for career advancement.6 The PTCB CPhT credential is nationally recognized,1 which means that no matter where life or your pharmacy technician career takes you across the country, your certification will go with you.
Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)
A trusted credential that signifies knowledge of and commitment to medication safety and effective patient care in a variety of pharmacy settings—administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
To help ensure that Certified Pharmacy Technicians stay up to date on pharmacy practices, PTCB requires that CPhTs renew their certification every two years. To renew, you must complete 20 Continuing Education (CE) credits during this two-year cycle. More information about CPhT recertification can be found on the PTCB website.
Trident University International offers a self-paced, online pharmacy technician exam preparation course designed to provide knowledge of pharmacy practices and skills in the techniques required to order, stock, package and prepare medications. The course facilitates practice in retail pharmacy procedures through an online lab module. Additionally, the course focuses on essential areas such as prescription and physician order processing, prescription medications, patient care, financial processing and ethical practices.
Upon successfully completing the pharmacy tech prep course, you will receive a voucher to take the national certification exam offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).4 This certification prep course can be accessed 100% online and completed in 12 months or less.
Start your pharmacy technician exam preparation journey today!
Details & Objectives
Course Code: PCE PHRM
- The federal and state laws that govern pharmacy, as well as the ethics of pharmacy practice.
- HIPAA requirements and their application to pharmacy.
- How to interpret physician orders and prescriptions.
- Techniques required to order, stock, package, prepare, and distribute medications.
- Definitions of medical and pharmaceutical terms and common abbreviations.
- The pharmacology of medications in relation to the anatomy affected.
- How to perform pharmaceutical calculations.
- How to process insurance billing and collect payments.
- How to communicate successfully with patients and medical professionals.
- Self-paced, online course
- 12 months to complete
- 400 course hours
- Open enrollment, begin anytime
- This course does not award credit
- After successfully completing your course, you'll receive access to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam® (PTCE®) practice tests to help you study for your certification exam.
- In addition, after successfully completing your course, you will receive a voucher to sit for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam® offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
- You will get practice in retail pharmacy procedures through an online lab module, applying what you’ve learned to fill mock prescriptions.
- Orientation to Pharmacy
- Foundations and Roles
- Reference Materials
- Terminology Words and Abbreviations
- Terminology – Body Systems
- Community Pharmacy
- Hospital Pharmacy
- Advanced Pharmacy Environments
- Pharmacy Law and Ethics
- Introduction to Law
- Federal Regulations
- Controlled Substances
- Safety Laws
- State Laws
- State Boards of Pharmacy
- Pharmaceutical Calculations
- Number Systems
- Math Skills Review
- Dosage Calculations
- Percentage of Error
- Business Math
- Dilutions and Concentrations
- Oral Medication and Reconstitutions
- Parenteral Doses
- Intravenous Flow Rates
- Pediatric Doses
- Pharmacology I: Basics and Specific Populations
- Legislation and Regulations
- Sources and Forms
- Pregnancy and Lactation
- Pediatric Patients
- Geriatric Patients
- Misused/Abused Drugs
- Pharmacology II: Body Systems – Neurological
- Pharmacology III – Body Systems – Muscles, Heart & Lungs
- Pharmacology IV: Multi-body Systems
- Hormones – Endocrine
- Hormones – Reproductive
- Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutritionals
- Communication Skills and Billing
- Financial Management
- Billing and Collections
- Inventory Control
- Lab Practice I – Retail
- Lab Practice II - Hospital
- Final Comprehensive Exam
There are no prerequisites to enroll in this course. However, to be eligible to sit for the PTCB Certified Pharmacy Technician Exam® (PTCE®), you must have a high school diploma or GED and have completed a PTCB-recognized education/training program or have equivalent work experience as a pharmacy technician (500 hours). Possessing certain skills, though not required, might be beneficial as you move through the course as well. These include:
- Keyboarding proficiency (35 words per minute)
- Familiarity with a word processing program (e.g., Microsoft Word)
- Strong English grammar and punctuation skills
- High-school-level math skills (e.g., percentages and decimals)
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.
- PC: Windows 8 or later.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in the cost of enrollment. The following textbooks will be shipped to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment:
- The Pharmacy Technician: A Comprehensive Approach
- Pharmaceutical Calculations for Pharmacy Technicians
- Law and Ethics
- Fundamental Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians
- Fundamental Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians Workbook
- Pharmacy Lab Kit and Manual (e-Science) - Pharmacy Lab Kit and Manual are only available for students who reside in the U.S. and Canada. - Alternative options are available for international students. Please contact an Education Specialist for additional information before enrolling.
After successfully completing your course, you'll also receive access to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) digital study guide to help you study for your certification exam along with a voucher to sit for the exam.
While you can study the information needed for the PTCB National Certification Exam, you'll still need to make your own independent assessment regarding your personal eligibility to sit for any certification (and licensure, if applicable) examinations related to this program. To check, visit your state's Board of Pharmacy site. You can access this information directly from the PTCB website at www.ptcb.org. You can also call your state board and ask for the current pharmacy technician regulations.
Click here for information regarding state-specific regulations for Pharmacy technicians.
What is a pharmacy technician?
Pharmacy technicians are assistants to a licensed pharmacist, typically processing and dispensing both prescribed and over-the-counter medication to customers.
How do you become a pharmacy technician?
To become a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), you will need to meet some minimum requirements and pass a certification exam. To seek CPhT certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), you must possess a high school diploma and complete a PTCB-recognized education course (or have equivalent work experience) before sitting for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam® (PTCE®). You must then earn a passing score on the PTCE®. Complete PTCB Certified Pharmacy Technician information can be found on the PTCB’s website.
What does a pharmacy technician do?
Pharmacy assistants and technicians order and stock medications; prepare and package medications for distribution to patients and provide information to patients. Pharmacy technicians may perform many of the same duties as a pharmacist; however, all of their work must be checked by a pharmacist before medication can be dispensed to a patient.2
Where can pharmacy technicians work?
Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies. A pharmacy can be found in hospitals or healthcare facilities, drug and grocery stores or independent.
Is there a demand for pharmacy technicians?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Increased demand for prescription medications will lead to more demand for pharmaceutical services.2.
What is a PTCB Certification?
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) administers the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam® (PTCE®), determining an individual's pharmacy technician knowledge. When you pass the exam, you become certified and may use the designation "CPhT." You will need to sit for the exam after this course; certification is not included.1
Does my state require a pharmacy tech license?
Some, but not all, states require a pharmacy tech license, so you should check your state's Board of Pharmacy website for more information. More information about state regulations can also be found on the PTCB website.
How can I find my state’s requirements for certification?
All states have a website with the Board of Pharmacy information. You can access this information directly from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) website at www.ptcb.org. Click on the "Who we serve" link, then the "states" link for information. You can also call the state board and ask for the current technician regulations.
Can I register for a course if I am an international student?
Yes, certification preparation courses are completely online. However, keep in mind that not all certifying bodies or industry-specific certifications are recognized internationally. Please review your country's regulations prior to enrolling in courses that prepare for certification.
Will this course prepare me for a certification?
This course is designed to help you prepare to sit for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam® (PTCE®), offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB); however, it does not guarantee a passing score. Trident cannot guarantee that students who complete this course will be eligible to take third party certification examinations. Certification requirements for taking and passing these exams are controlled by outside entities and are subject to change without notice to Trident.
When can I start the course?
This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course as soon as you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.
How long does it take to complete this course?
This course is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. When you register, you'll receive twelve (12) months to complete the course.
What if I don't have enough time to complete my course within the time frame provided?
The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact your Student Advisor to help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.
What kind of support will I receive?
You may be assigned an instructor or team of industry professionals for support. Your support will be available (via email) to answer any questions you may have and provide feedback on your performance. All of our instructors are working professionals in the fields in which they teach. You will be assigned to a Student Advisor for academic support.
What happens when I complete the course?
Upon successfully completing the course and financial obligation, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion. In addition, you will receive an exam voucher to sit for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam® (PTCE®), offered by Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
Am I guaranteed a job or career advancement?
No. This course is designed to provide you with skills utilized in entry-level positions in most cases. However, potential students should always research the job market in their area before registering.
Is financial assistance available?
This course is non-credit bearing, so it does not qualify for federal financial aid, (Pell Grant and Direct Stafford Loans). In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards may pay for qualified students to take these courses
About the Certifier
Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
Formed by a collaboration of pharmacy societies and associations across the United States, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) became the first certification organization for pharmacy technicians. PTCB is the only non-profit pharmacy credentialing organization in the US, which allows it to maintain transparency.
PTCB set out to advance medication safety by credentialing technicians who are qualified to support pharmacists and patient care teams in all practice settings.
Since its founding more than 25 years ago, PTCB has continued to update and develop credentials that reflect current best practices in patient care. Its commitment to excellence has made PTCB’s programs the most widely accepted credentials for pharmacy technicians across the country.
1 Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), “Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)—Credentials,” https://www.ptcb.org/credentials/certified-pharmacy-technician (visited June 30, 2021).
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Pharmacy Technicians,” https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm (visited June 14, 2021). This data represents national figures and is not based on school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.
3 PTCB, “Credentialing Guidelines and Requirements—Guidebook,” https://www.ptcb.org/guidebook/ptcb-certified-pharmacy-technician-cpht-program (visited June 30, 2021).
4 Trident cannot guarantee that students who take these courses will be eligible to take third-party certification examinations. Certification requirements for taking and passing these exams are controlled by outside entities and are subject to change without notice to Trident.
5 National Healthcareer Association, “2020 Industry Outlook,” https://www.mywccc.org/Downloads/NHAIndustryOutlook2020.pdf. This data represents national figures of employers surveyed and is not based on school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.
6 PTCB, “I Want to Be a Certified Pharmacy Technician,” https://www.ptcb.org/i-want-to-be-a-cpht (visited June 14, 2021).