How to Become a Certified Pharmacy Technician

Considering a career in pharmacy? Here’s everything you need to know about how to become a certified pharmacy technician, from education requirements to job outlook.

Checkout this video:

Introduction

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in pharmacy, you may be wondering how to become a certified pharmacy technician. Pharmacy technicians play an important role in the day-to-day operations of pharmacies, providing assistance to pharmacists and patients alike.

While certification is not always required to work as a pharmacy technician, many employers prefer to hire candidates who have been certified by a professional organization such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcare Association (NHA). Certification can show potential employers that you are knowledgeable about the profession and committed to your career.

There are a few different ways to become certified as a pharmacy technician. One option is to complete a formal education program at a community college or technical school. These programs typically take one to two years to complete and include both classroom and laboratory instruction. Alternatively, you can choose to complete an online certification program, which can be completed in as little as eight weeks.

Once you have completed your education or training program, you will need to pass an exam administered by either the PTCB or the NHA in order to earn your certification. These exams cover topics such as medication safety, pharmacology, and customer service skills. After passing the exam, you will need to renew your certification every two years by completing continuing education courses or demonstrating work experience in the field.

Becoming a certified pharmacy technician can open up opportunities for career advancement and higher earnings potential. With the right training and certification, you can pursue a rewarding career in this growing field.

Certification

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) offers the nationally recognized Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential. Earning your CPhT demonstrates your dedication and commitment to your career as a pharmacy technician.

  How To See News Of The World Movie?

What is certification?

Certification is the process of validating that a technician has the skills and knowledge necessary to perform their job at a professional level. Certification is not required to work as a pharmacy technician, but many employers prefer to hire technicians who are certified. Certification can also help technicians advance their careers and increase their earnings potential.

There are two main organizations that offer certification for pharmacy technicians: the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) and the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT). Both exams are administered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). To be eligible to take either exam, candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and must have completed a formal training program or have at least 1 year of experience working as a pharmacy technician.

The PTCE is a computer-based exam that covers a wide range of topics related to pharmacy practice, including pharmacology, pharmacy calculations, pharmaceutical calculations, and pharmacotherapy. The ExCPT is a paper-and-pencil exam that covers similar topics but also includes a practical component. Both exams are proctored by qualified individuals and must be taken at an authorized testing center.

Once you have passed one of these exams, you will need to maintain your certification by completing continuing education credits every 2 years. These credits can be earned through attending workshops, seminars, or online courses.

Who offers certification?

There are several organizations that offer certification for pharmacy technicians. The most common are the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcare Association (NHA). There are also some state-specific certifications available. Each organization has its own application process, fees, and requirements, so be sure to research the one that is right for you.

PTCB Certification
The PTCB offers the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) designation. To be eligible for certification, candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent, complete a training program or have at least one year of work experience as a pharmacy technician, and pass a national exam. Applicants must also submit to a criminal background check and agree to abide by the PTCB’s code of ethics.

  How Much Does It Cost to Become a Pharmacy Technician?

NHA Certification
The NHA offers the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPHT) credential. To be eligible for this designation, candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent and complete a training program or have at least one year of work experience as a pharmacy technician. Applicants must also pass a national exam and submit to a criminal background check. There is no ethics requirement for this certification.

State-Specific Certifications
Some states offer their own certification programs for pharmacy technicians. These programs may have different eligibility requirements than the national certifications, so be sure to check with your state’s Board of Pharmacy for more information.

What are the benefits of certification?

Earning the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential demonstrates to employers, peers and the public that an individual has mastered the core competencies associated with critical activities performed by pharmacy technicians.

Becoming certified may give pharmacy technicians a competitive advantage when seeking employment and can provide opportunities for career advancement. CPhT certification may also lead to higher wages and increased job satisfaction. Employers often seek to hire and retain certified pharmacy technicians.

In addition, some states have implemented or are considering implementing legislation that would require certification for licensure or registration. Certification may one day become a requirement for all pharmacy technicians.

Exam Preparation

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is a computer-based exam administered by Pearson VUE. You must apply to take the exam and pay the exam fee. You will then schedule an appointment to take the exam at a Pearson VUE testing center. The PTCE is a multiple-choice exam with 90 questions. You will have two hours to complete the exam.

What is the format of the exam?

The PTCB exam is a computer-based test (CBT) consisting of 90 multiple-choice questions. Candidates have 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete the exam. Seventy of the questions relate to pharmacy technician knowledge and 20 are common mathematics questions. The PTCB recommends that candidates review the content outline prior to taking the exam.

  How to Be a Good Veterinary Technician

What topics are covered on the exam?

The topics covered on the examination for certification as a pharmacy technician include but are not limited to:

-Pharmacy Law
-Patient Rights
-Controlled Substances
-Medical Terminology
-Anatomy and Physiology
-Pharmacology
-Drug Interactions
-Medication Safety
-Sterile Compounding
-Unit Dose Packaging
-DOSAGE FORMS (solid, liquid, topical, etc.)
-Dispensing of Prescription Medications
-Rx Math Calculations
-Inventory Management & Ordering of pharmaceuticals and supplies.

Where can I find study materials?

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is a computer-based exam administered at Pearson VUE test centers nationwide. Certification candidates must register in advance and schedule an appointment to take the exam.

You can prepare for the PTCE in a number of ways. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) offers an Official Review Course, as well as Official Practice Tools, which can be found on their website. In addition, a number of third-party study guide and practice exam companies offer review books and materials. Be sure to do your research when selecting a study aid, as not all materials are created equal.

When you feel confident that you are ready to take the exam, you can register with PTCB and schedule your appointment. The PTCE is comprised of 90 multiple-choice questions, covering topics such as pharmacy law and ethics, patient safety, medication storage and inventory, among others. You will have 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete the exam.

Conclusion

After completing a training program and passing the certification exams, pharmacy technicians can apply for state licensure, if required. Some states require pharmacy technicians to be licensed, while others do not have specific licensure requirements. With proper training and certification, pharmacy technicians can enter this growing healthcare field and enjoy stable, long-term career prospects.

Scroll to Top