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Pharmacy Technician Schools and Training Programs

Are you looking for a career in the healthcare industry? Would you rather work regular hours in a comfortable environment where you don’t have to rush from one location to another? Do you hope to start working sooner rather than later? If so, you may want to look into a career as a pharmacy technician.

Pharmacy Technician Careers

A pharmacy technician assists a pharmacist in whatever needs to be done in the office. Often, these duties include measuring medicine, preparing medication for patients, labeling bottles, and stocking shelves. Technicians are prohibited from altering any medication doses if a resident pharmacist isn’t there to oversee them.

Pharmacy technicians can work at pharmacies in hospitals, clinics, grocery stores, or other settings.  The atmosphere is generally clean and friendly, and the hours are normal.

Working as a pharmacy technician is a significant responsibility: You will be handling some potent medication, and preparing medicine for sick people. This job takes the utmost attention to detail, because a mistake could affect a patient’s health. Attention to detail and accuracy are essential traits in a pharmacy technician.

Training Requirements and Education for Pharmacy Technicians

There is no formal training requirement for pharmacy technicians, but employers tend to favor candidates with formal training and certification.  Most community colleges or technical schools offer two-year pharmacy technician associate degrees or one-year certification programs.

Most pharmacy technician schools require that you take classes in medical and pharmaceutical terminology, pharmaceutical techniques and record-keeping and pharmacy law and ethics. In addition most pharmacy technician schools offer internships which will help you gain important hands-on experience. After finishing your studies you can expect to earn a diploma, certificate or associates degree, which depends on the program.

While on the job training is possible receiving formal training is a highly recommended way to begin a pharmacy technician career. By receiving formal training as a pharmacy aide you will be gaining experience and knowledge, two qualities that hiring pharmacies value highly and which will also give you an advantage over other prospective candidates that haven’t attended pharmacy technician school.


Most states require pharmacy technicians to register with the state board of pharmacy. Eligibility standards vary from state to state, but a high school diploma or its equivalent is typically required, as well as an application fee.


Certification is not required by most states to work as a pharmacy technician, but employers favor candidates who are certified. Those who pass the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination, administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, receive the title of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

To maintain certification, technicians must be recertified every 2 years by taking 20 hours of continuing education. Continuing education hours can be earned from several different sources, including colleges, pharmacy associations, and pharmacy technician training programs. Up to 10 hours of continuing education also can be earned on the job under the direct supervision and instruction of a pharmacist.

Employment and Advancement Opportunities for Pharmacy Technicians

Thee average annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $28,400, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2011). Employment is expected to grow 32 percent between 2010 and 2020, much faster than average. An aging population in need of prescription medications and scientific advances leading to new drugs are major factors in this trend.

Additional Information for Individuals Pursuing Pharmacy Technician Degrees Found on Health-Care-Careers.org
Pharmacy Technician Job Description

Additional Resources for Pharmacy Technician Careers
National Pharmacy Technician Association
Bureau of Labor Statistics Data on Pharmacy Technicians

Campus and Online Pharmaceutical Schools

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