Pharmacy Technician Certification Requirements

Pharmaceuticals can boost both the length and quality of our lives -- but only when prescribed and used properly. Doctors and pharmacists certainly have an important role to play, and so do the pharmacy technicians that support them. Pharmacy technicians help prepare and dispense prescription and nonprescription medication, and may even counsel patients in its use (under the direction of a licensed pharmacist). As with many health care jobs, the right training and certification is not just preferred, it is essential for becoming a pharmacy technician. The following guide offers a snapshot of pharmacy technician certification requirements and benefits.

Pharmacy tech educational requirements

Pharmacy technician education requirements can shift from one employer or state to the next, so it pays to do your research. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) notes that while many pharmacy techs are able to learn on the job, job prospects are often better for candidates who have completed formal pharmacy technician training programs and are certified. Some states require certification and licensure (contact your state's Board of Pharmacy to learn more).

The BLS reports that there are two organizations that certify pharmacy technicians: The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the National Healthcareer Association. Each organizations has its own requirements, and even these are subject to change. Nonetheless, the BLS states that most certification candidates must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Clear a formal background check
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Complete a formal pharmacy technician training program or have at least one full year of relevant experience in the field
  • Pass a formal exam
  • Pay applicable fees
  • Meet ongoing continuing education requirements
  • Re-certify every two years

Note that many employers have their own requirements and, according to the BLS, may prefer to hire candidates who have completed formal postsecondary training -- even when on-the-job-training is sufficient for licensing. The College Board reports that students can begin to prepare for this training as early as high school by completing as many science and math courses as possible. Pharmacy technician programs usually require applicants to have earned a minimum grade point average and submit standardized test scores for admissions. Contact schools directly to learn more.

Benefits of pharmacy tech certification

As noted above, in many cases pharmacy technicians certification and licensing is downright required by the state, the employer, or both. There are a number of additional benefits to certification, however, even on a voluntary basis. Among them:

  • Certification shows employers you are invested in your field
  • Certification certifies certain key skills
  • Some certified pharmacy techs earn more or advance faster
  • Continuing education for re-certification ensure you stay on the cutting edge of your field
  • Certification organizations offer unique professional development and networking opportunities

Remember that state requirements and licensing processes can and do change, so it pays to do your research. Contact the PTCB, the NHA, your state's board of pharmacy or an accredited pharmacy technician school to learn more.


Career: Pharmacy Technician, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/careers/health-technology-pharmacy-technicians

National Healthcareer Association, http://www.nhanow.com/home.aspx

Pharmacy Technicians, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm

Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, http://www.ptcb.org/

Pharmacy Technician Schools

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Pharmacy Technician (11-Month Diploma Program)
            UEI College , Encino
            • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
            • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
            • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
            • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
            • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
            • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Pharmacy Technician
            Intercoast Colleges , Rancho Cordova
            • Morning, afternoon, evening and weekend classes are available.
            • Offers lifetime career assistance services to graduates, including resume and cover letter assistance, employer networking, and one-on-one employment counseling.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 8 campuses located across California, with 3 additional campuses in New Hampshire and Maine and online options.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Financial Aid
            Pharmacy Technician
            Brightwood College , Chula Vista

            Why Brightwood?

            Real-World Training

            We keep education relevant by employing instructors with real-world experience in the field, who bring their career backgrounds to the classroom. Our programs are continually assessed by faculty, staff and members of the business and education communities to help ensure your studies align with your career goals. Programs offered by Brightwood College focus on local employment needs, in areas such as allied health, nursing and technical and professional programs.

            Certificate - Pharmacy Technology
            • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
            • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
            • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            Diploma - Pharmacy Technician
            • Committed to empowering students with education and skills to help them reach their goals since 1979.
            • Online programs include business management, RN to BSN, and more.
            • Technical assistance for students is available 24/7.
            • Institutional accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
            • Ground campuses are also available across Arizona and New Mexico. 
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses