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How to be a certified pharmacy tech

How to be a certified pharmacy tech

What does a pharmacy technician who is certified do?

A certified pharmacy technician (CPhT) is a person who works with pharmacists to make sure that patients get the right amount of their medicine when they need it. They can work in places like retail pharmacies, hospitals, and nursing homes that deal with drugs. CPhTs have to go through a certification process that requires education, experience, and passing an exam. This is different from other pharmacy technicians.


A pharmacy technician who is certified has usually passed a test given by either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Most of the time, the job is a mix of basic health care, office work, and organisation tasks like stocking shelves. Depending on where they work and what the laws are in their state, pharmacy technicians may take requests for prescriptions, keep patient profiles, handle insurance claims, or run dispensing systems.

Pay for a certified pharmacy technician.

As of 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the average base salary for a pharmacy technician in the US is $36,740. Your salary can change based on where you live and how much experience you have. Most of the time, you can expect to make more money once you have a certification.

What does someone who is certified to work in a pharmacy do?
Most of the time, certified pharmacy technicians work in hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare facilities. Some of the things a pharmacy technician does are:

  • counting pills or taking other measurements to fill prescriptions
  • Preparing, labeling, and packing prescriptions to make sure patients are safe
  • Having phone or face-to-face conversations with customers
  • taking money from customers
  • Setting up and taking care of a work area
  • Using a computer to check information about a patient or handle insurance claims
  • Depending on the state, pharmacy technicians may also give vaccinations and do other basic medical tasks.
  • Certified pharmacy technicians help patients and the rest of the healthcare team from behind the scenes. The job can be a stepping stone to other fields in medicine.


Step 1: Choosing a training program and completing it (if applicable)

Researching and applying to a pharmacy technician training program can be the first step toward becoming a pharmacy technician. Some jobs may only require a high school diploma, but many states also have rules about this field. So, you may need to finish a program and/or pass an exam.

Skills that will help you do well as a pharmacy technician

  • Reading, spelling, and math
  • Pay close attention to detail because you will be filling prescriptions and working with chemical and drug names.
  • Knowledge of chemistry, biology, or health education at a basic level
  • Knowledge of the medical and scientific terms that are used in the pharmacy
  • Being able to work under stress
  • Good organizational skills
  • Good skills in dealing with customers
  • A good team player who gets along well with others.
  • takes instructions well, but can also work on their own when necessary.

How to Find the Right Program to Become a Pharmacy Technician

To become a pharmacy technician, a job that is very important for the health of patients, you may need to pass a certification exam and/or finish a training program.

There are many ways to get ready for the certification, from on-campus programs to remote programs that can mostly be done online. So, no matter what your situation is, you can choose the right one.

When you finish a diploma or degree program that includes preparation for certification, you may be ready to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), which is often (but not always) required for pharm tech jobs.

Step 2: Prepare for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam.

One of the most important things you can do to become a qualified pharmacy technician is to find out how to become a certified pharmacy technician.

What to Expect When Getting Ready for Certification

Most certification programs for pharmacy technicians cover the following:

  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Anatomy
  • The law and morals of pharmacy
  • Medical terminology
  • Pharmaceutical calculations
  • Systems for Healthcare
  • Finish your externship.

As part of getting ready for your pharmacy technician certification, you’ll probably have to do an externship at a real pharmacy. Your teachers or school should help you find a good place to do an externship that will give you experience in the real world.

Getting Ready for the Test

Step 3: Take the PTCB test to get your certification.

In some states, if you want to work as a pharmacy technician, you have to get a PTCB certification. Even in states where certification is not required, employers may still want to hire people who have this certification.

Your program should have taught you everything you need to know to pass the PTCB Certification Exam. Spend some time going over important topics before the test.

Getting Ready for the Test

If you are eligible, you must take the PTCB certification test in person by applying through the PTCB portal. To sign up to take the exam, you have to pay $129;

Getting a license

If you pass the test, you are now a certified pharmacy technician. Congratulations! This is an important step on the way to getting a job.

Take the PTCB test to get your certification
Step 4: Apply for a job as a pharmacy tech.

As a newly certified pharmacy technician, your certification could help you get an entry-level job in your field.

Job Opportunities for Pharmacy Technicians

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that pharmacy technicians have a good chance of getting a job. It is expected that the field will grow by 4%, adding 16,600 jobs by 2030. As the population ages, job opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry should grow at about the same rate as the average for all jobs.

How to Choose the Right Place for You

Pharmacy technicians work in many different kinds of settings, so it’s important to think about what you want from your future job.

For example, if you want to work in a fast-paced environment, you could look for jobs as a pharmacy technician in a hospital. You could look for jobs in care homes if you want to connect with patients. Also, pharm techs with strong customer service skills should consider working in retail pharmacies.Those who love mixing drugs could think about working in a compounding pharmacy.

Step 5: Get more schooling.

Even though getting certified is an important step on the way to becoming a pharmacy technician, it is by no means the end of your education.

Keeping up with the latest medicines

The job of a pharmacy technician is to know about all the new medicines. It’s important for graduates to keep up with changes in the industry since new drugs and brands are always coming out.

How to Maintain Your PCTB Certification

Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs) have to renew their certification every two years. This makes sure that pharmacy technicians keep up with any changes in their field by taking the required classes. If you don’t renew your certification, you will no longer be PCTB-certified and must stop using this credential right away.

Short Version? The Procedure Was Simplified

Here are the main steps you need to take to become a pharmacy technician:

How a Pharmacy Technician Works

  • completion of a pharmacy technician education program, if your state or the employer you want to work for wants or needs you to.

  • Preparing for the PTCB certification test (if your state or a possible employer requires it)

  • Passing the PTCB test to get certified (if your state or a possible employer requires this).
    putting in for a job as a pharmacy technician and getting it.
  • Get more training throughout your career and, if applicable, renew your PCTB certification every two years. If you want to become a fully qualified pharmacy technician, you might want to think about which pharmacy technician program is right for you. At Ultimate Medical Academy, you can earn an associate’s degree in Health Sciences—Pharmacy Technician mostly online.

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