Health Guide USA
America's Online Health Resource Guide

Pharmacy Technician Training


Becoming a pharmacy technician usually requires earning a high school diploma or the equivalent. Other requirements vary by state, with some states requiring passing an exam or completing a formal training program.

Many pharmacy technicians learn how to perform their duties through on-the-job training. Others attend postsecondary education programs in pharmacy technology at vocational schools or community colleges, which award certificates. These programs typically last 1 year or less and cover a variety of subjects, such as arithmetic used in pharmacies, recordkeeping, ways of dispensing medications, and pharmacy law and ethics. Technicians also learn the names, actions, uses, and doses of medications. Many training programs include internships, in which students get hands-on experience in a pharmacy.

Most states regulate pharmacy technicians in some way. Consult your state’s Board of Pharmacy for its particular regulations. Requirements for pharmacy technicians typically include some or all of the following:

  • High school diploma or GED 
  • Criminal background check
  • Formal training program
  • Exam
  • Fees
  • Continuing education

Some states and employers require pharmacy technicians to have certification. Even where it is not required, certification may make it easier to get a job. Many employers will pay for their pharmacy technicians to take the certification exam.

Two organizations offer certification: The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition




for State specific information, visit JOB OUTLOOK BY STATE


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