How to Become a Certified Pharmacy Technician

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Pharmacists often rely on certified Pharmacy Technicians who help measure and dispense medications to patients. While there are many reasons to become certified, one of the best is that it’s often required for the job. If you possess good customer-facing skills and are interested in the healthcare field, a career as a pharmacy technician may be a good path to consider and certification is one step along the journey. Here’s how you can become a certified Pharmacy Technician:

Enroll in an Accredited Pharmacy Technician Training Program

Choose a program recognized by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies so you’ll be ready when it comes time for your national certification. A good Pharmacy Technician program will introduce you to how a pharmacy operates, the importance of good customer service, and the laws and ethics you’ll need to adhere to. You’ll learn about drug distribution systems, how to dispense medication safely and accurately, and the importance of maintaining a clean and sterile workspace.

Gain Experience in a Pharmacy

Look for a training program that offers real-world training through an externship at a local pharmacy or clinic. This will show you what you can expect to do on the job and provide you with the experience you need to prepare for your career. It will also build your resume and help you stand out against other job candidates.

Pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam

The PTCE is offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. You’ll take this exam once you graduate from your training program, or when you are within 60 days of graduation. It will take one to two months to prepare for the exam, so you should register for it about two to three months before you graduate.

The exam consists of 90 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as medications, federal requirements, patient safety, and quality assurance. The fee is $129 and includes the cost to apply for PTCB Certified Pharmacy Technician Certification. Once you pass the exam, you’ll receive your PTCB CPhT certificate.

You will need to apply for recertification after two years. To do so, you need to take continuing education classes and pay a $49 fee.

Apply for State Licensure as a Pharmacy Technician

Once you graduate from your training program, you are eligible to apply for state licensure. Your state license will allow you to begin looking for employment as a Pharmacy Technician. To apply for licensure, apply to your state board and pay the application fee. This fee varies from state to state. For example, the cost is $195 in California but $140 in Washington. You may also need to provide your high school transcripts, a copy of your training certificate, a copy of your PTCB certification, a photo, a statement of professional fitness, a fingerprint scan, or other documentation to acquire your license. Be sure to find out what your state requires.

Once you have earned your certification and received your state license, you will be able to start working as a pharmacy technician. Are you ready to become a certified Pharmacy Technician? Contact Charter College today. We offer a Certificate in Pharmacy Technician that can prepare you for an entry-level position in the field in as few as ten months. Classes are enrolling now. Fill out the form to learn more.