6 Steps to Becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician

People interested in healthcare, drug administration, and customer service should become certified pharmacy technicians. Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescriptions, manage inventory, and aid patients. Here are six stages to becoming a licensed pharmacy technician, including the required schooling, training, certification examinations, and job growth. Pharmacy technicians may have a pleasant career in the pharmaceutical sector and improve patient care and public health by following these measures.

1. Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent

The first step to becoming a certified pharmacy technician is to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent credential, such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate. A solid foundation in math, science, and communication skills is essential for success in pharmacy technician training programs and certification exams. High school coursework in biology, chemistry, and algebra can provide valuable preparation for the academic and technical aspects of the pharmacy technician profession. Additionally, gaining experience in customer service, healthcare, or retail settings can help aspiring pharmacy technicians develop essential skills and competencies for their future careers.

2. Complete a Pharmacy Technician Training Program

After obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent, aspiring pharmacy technicians should enroll in a formal pharmacy technician training program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) or another recognized accrediting body. These programs are typically offered by community colleges, vocational schools, and online education providers and cover topics such as pharmacy law and ethics, medication safety, pharmaceutical calculations, and drug distribution systems. Completing a pharmacy technician training program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to excel in their role as pharmacy technicians and prepares them for certification exams.

3. Gain Hands-On Experience Through Internships or Externships

To become a certified pharmacy technician, gaining hands-on experience through internships or externships is invaluable. These opportunities allow aspiring pharmacy technicians to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world pharmacy settings, honing their skills under the guidance of experienced professionals. By participating in internships or externships, individuals can gain practical experience in medication dispensing, inventory management, and customer service, all essential aspects of pharmacy technician roles. Additionally, hands-on experience enhances confidence and competence, preparing individuals for success in their certification exams and future careers. Moreover, internships or externships can also provide insights into different pharmacy settings and specialties, helping individuals make informed decisions about their career paths. Ultimately, gaining hands-on experience through internships or externships contributes to the overall professional development, and enhances their potential for career advancement and an increase in their pharmacy technician salary.

4. Prepare for and Pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam

Upon completion of a pharmacy technician training program and gaining hands-on experience, aspiring pharmacy technicians must prepare for and pass a national certification exam to become certified pharmacy technicians. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) and the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) are two nationally recognized certification exams administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), respectively. These exams assess candidates’ knowledge of pharmacy laws and regulations, medication safety practices, drug classifications, and pharmaceutical calculations. Passing the certification exam demonstrates competency and professionalism in the field and enhances job prospects for pharmacy technicians.

5. Apply for State Licensure (If Required)

In addition to national certification, some states require pharmacy technicians to obtain state licensure or registration to practice. State licensure requirements vary but typically involve submitting an application, paying a fee, and meeting certain education, training, and background check criteria. Pharmacy technicians can also be required to complete continuing education courses or renew their licenses periodically to maintain licensure. Aspiring pharmacy technicians need to research the specific licensure requirements in their state and ensure they meet all eligibility criteria before applying for licensure.

6. Pursue Continuing Education and Professional Development

Once certified and licensed, pharmacy technicians should continue to pursue ongoing education and professional development opportunities to stay current with industry trends, regulations, and best practices. Participating in continuing education courses, workshops, and seminars can help pharmacy technicians expand their knowledge, enhance their skills, and advance their careers in the pharmaceutical field. Additionally, joining professional organizations such as the American Association of Pharmacy Technicians (AAPT) or the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) can provide networking opportunities, resources, and support for pharmacy technicians at all stages of their careers.


In conclusion, a high school diploma, pharmacy technician training, hands-on experience, passing a national certification exam, state licensure (if required), and continuing education and professional development are required to become a certified pharmacy technician. Follow these steps and invest in your education and training to become a pharmacy technician and help pharmacists, ensure drug safety, and improve patient outcomes. Certified pharmacy technicians may improve patient care and healthcare delivery with devotion, hard work, and competence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *