Pharmacy Technician Certification in Pennsylvania - PA

How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy does not require that pharmacy technicians be registered or licensed to work in the State of Pennsylvania.  According to current law, pharmacy technicians work under the direct supervision of a registered pharmacist. Therefore, any violations or wrongdoings that are the result of negligence, misconduct or other actions by a pharmacy technician are the responsibility of the pharmacist and the pharmacy. Infractions are handled by initiating the appropriate action against the pharmacist and/or pharmacy.

In the future it is likely that registration for pharmacy technicians may be required. Pennsylvania House Bill 528 is pending legislation that will change existing law and require that pharmacy technicians be registered with the Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy.  The Commissioner of the Department of Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs has testified in favor of the law, citing that citizen’s health could be endangered by a pharmacy technician’s misconduct.

A professional certification, while not mandatory by law at this time, is required or encouraged by many pharmacies, hospitals and other healthcare facilities that offer employment.  In Pennsylvania, pharmacy technician certification programs are available through both online and campus-based schools.

For professional certification, a student must have graduated from high school or have equivalent certification, such as a G.E.D.
Students should research online schools and Pennsylvania pharmacy technician certification programs to decide between programs, some of which can be accomplished within a shorter time frame, such as three semesters, and a more comprehensive program at a community college. Distance learning programs are another option.

The student should consider applying to schools that have achieved certification from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and apply to the program that best suits their needs. Note that schools may require that, in addition to submitting an application to attend the school itself, a separate application may be required to be submitted for admission to the Pharmacy Technician program. The number of students admitted to the program may depend upon the number of places where a student can complete the practical training part of the training.

Upon successfully graduating, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) offers an examination that enables the student to become a nationally certified pharmacy technician with a Pharmacy Technician Certification (CPhT).

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