Pharmacy technicians are entry-level healthcare professionals who assist pharmacists with filling prescriptions and serving customers in retail pharmacies, physicians’ offices and hospitals. While it is possible for those with a high school diploma to learn this position through on-the-job training, most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a one-year pharmacy technician certification program.

The demand for pharmacy techs (as they are often called) is projected to rise sharply in the coming years, making it an attractive option for those who are beginning their careers. The 2016 Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 12% increase in new jobs for pharmacy technicians through 2026.

What does a pharmacy tech do?

Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a pharmacist, and are responsible for performing a range of support tasks that help keep the pharmacy running smoothly. Although some employers may require additional responsibilities, the following list highlights the primary role of most pharmacy techs.

Typical pharmacy technician duties

  • Handle customer or patient phone calls and questions
  • Establish and maintain patient records
  • Assist pharmacist in filling prescriptions by measuring, packaging and labeling medications
  • Process payments for prescriptions and insurance claims
  • Manage all inventory in the pharmacy

 

What is the process to become a pharmacy technician?

The process for becoming a pharmacy technician can be summed-up in the following four steps.

  1. Decide if you want to become certified
  2. If you decide to become certified, enroll in a PTCA-accredited training program
  3. Complete pharmacy technician program and on-the-job training hours, as required by state
  4. Pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Exam for certification

Step 1: Decide if you want to become certified

The first thing you’ll need to do is decide whether or not you want to become certified. Pharmacy technician certification is not a mandatory requirement for employment in every state, but it does offer a number of benefits and advantages.

Below, we’ll take a quick look at the pros and cons of both working as a non-certified technician, and earning your certification.

 

Working as a non-certified pharmacy technician

The boxes below illustrate the major pros and cons for working as a non-certified technician.

Pros

  • You can start working immediately after graduating from high school
  • Save money that would’ve been spent on a training program
  • No need to periodically re-test for certification

Cons

  • Some employers only hire certified technicians
  • Lower pay compared to certified peers
  • Less job security than certified peers
Becoming a certified pharmacy technician

The boxes below illustrate the major pros and cons for working as a non-certified technician.

Pros

  • Eligibility for hire with a greater number of employers
  • Higher starting pay than non-certified peers
  • Greater job security

Cons

  • Requires one year of training and study
  • Must pay for training and certification exam
  • Must periodically re-test for certification

Obviously, there are significant advantages to earning your pharmacy technician certification. Furthermore, a recent trend has seen a growing number of states make certification a requirement for employment.

With this being the case, it is strongly recommended that you pursue certification if you’re serious about starting a career in pharmacy. Should you decide not to become certified, you can skip the remaining steps and start looking for a job as soon as you graduate from high school.

Step 2: Enroll in PTAC-accredited training program

If you’ve decided to pursue your certification, the next step is to enroll in a pharmacy technician training program this is accredited by the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC). This body coordinates program curricula and standards with both the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) to ensure standardized quality in national pharmacy tech programs.

What are the Best Accredited Pharmacy Tech Schools?

Below is our list of accredited schools that we feel are the best. We incorporate accreditation and nights and weekend classes in to our list.

School/WebsiteAddress
Access Careers474 Fulton Avenue, Suite 201, Hempstead, New York 11550-0000
Albany Technical College1704 South Slappey Boulevard, Albany, Georgia 31701
Allegany College of Maryland12401 Willowbrook Rd SE, Cumberland, Maryland 21502-2596
Allen County Community College1801 N Cottonwood, Iola, Kansas 66749
All-State Career-Baltimore2200 Broening Hwy Ste 160, Baltimore, Maryland 21224
Altierus Career College Everett906 SE Everett Mall Way, Ste 600, Everett, Washington 98208-3700
Altierus Career College-Arlington300 Six Flags Drive, Arlington, Texas 76011-6630
Altierus Career College-Atlanta West2841 Greenbriar Parkway, SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30331-2620
Altierus Career College-Chesapeake825 Greenbrier Circle Suite 100, Chesapeake, Virginia 23320-2639
Altierus Career College-Columbus825 Tech Center Dr, Gahanna, Ohio 43230-6653
Altierus Career College-Orange Park805 Wells Rd, Orange Park, Florida 32073-2301
Altierus Career College-Tacoma2156 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington 98402-3004
Altierus Career College-Tampa3319 W Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, Florida 33614-5801
Altierus Career College-Thornton9065 Grant St, Thornton, Colorado 80229-4339
Altierus Career College-Tigard9600 SW Oak St, Suite 400, Tigard, Oregon 97223-6583
Altierus Career College-Woodbridge14555 Potomac Mills Rd, Woodbridge, Virginia 22192-6808
Altierus Career Education-South Plainfield5000 Hadley Road, South Plainfield, New Jersey 07080-1125
Amarillo College2011 S. Washington, Amarillo, Texas 79109
American Career College-Anaheim1200 N. Magnolia Ave., Anaheim, California 92801-0000
American Career College-Los Angeles4021 Rosewood Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90004
American Career College-Ontario3130 East Sedona Court, Ontario, California 91764
American College of Healthcare and Technology6606 Pacific Blvd Ste 204, Huntington Park, California 90255
American College of Healthcare and Technology11801 Pierce St., Suite 100, Riverside, California 92505
American Institute of Medical Sciences & Education4500 New Brunswick Ave, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854
American National University1813 East Main Street, Salem, Virginia 24153
American National University-Dayton1837 Woodman Center Dr, Kettering, Ohio 45420
American National University-Lexington2376 Sir Barton Way, Lexington, Kentucky 40509
American National University-Youngstown3487 Belmont Ave, Youngstown, Ohio 44505
American University of Health Sciences1600 East Hill St, Signal Hill, California 90755-3612
Angelina College3500 South First, Lufkin, Texas 75902-1768
Anoka-Ramsey Community College11200 Mississippi Blvd NW, Coon Rapids, Minnesota 55433-3470
Antilles School of Technical CareersCalle Cayey # 1911, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00909
Arapahoe Community College5900 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton, Colorado 80160-9002
Arkansas State University-Beebe1000 Iowa Street, Beebe, Arkansas 72012-1000
ASA College81 Willoughby Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201-9805
Asher College1215 Howe Ave Suite 101, Sacramento, California 95825
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College340 Victoria Rd, Asheville, North Carolina 28801-4897
Atenas CollegePaseo del Atenas #101, Manati, Puerto Rico 00674-0000
Atlanta Technical College1560 Metropolitan Pkwy SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30310-4446
Atlantic Technical College4700 Coconut Creek Parkway, Coconut Creek, Florida 33063-3902
Augusta Technical College3200 Augusta Tech Drive, Augusta, Georgia 30906
Austin Community College District5930 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, Texas 78752
Ayers Career College8820 Jewella Ave, Shreveport, Louisiana 71118
Baker College1050 West Bristol Road, Flint, Michigan 48507-5508
Baldy View Regional Occupational Program1501 Bon View Avenue, Ontario, California 91764-5500
Baton Rouge Community College201 Community College Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70806
Bay Area Medical Academy530 Bush Street #201, San Francisco, California 94108-3623
Bossier Parish Community College6220 East Texas, Bossier City, Louisiana 71111-6922
Brightwood Career Institute-Broomall1991 Sproul Road, Suite 42, Broomall, Pennsylvania 19008
Brightwood Career Institute-Philadelphia Mills177 Franklin Mills Blvd., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19154
Brightwood College-Baltimore1520 South Caton Ave, Baltimore, Maryland 21227-1063
Brightwood College-Brownsville1900 North Expressway, Brownsville, Texas 78521
Brightwood College-Dayton2800 East River Road, Dayton, Ohio 45439
Brightwood College-Fort Worth2001 Beach Street, Suite 201, Fort Worth, Texas 76103-2310
Brightwood College-Friendswood3208 Farm to Market 528, Friendswood, Texas 77546
Brightwood College-Hammond7833 Indianapolis Blvd, Hammond, Indiana 46324
Brightwood College-Houston711 East Airtex Drive, Houston, Texas 77073
Brightwood College-Laredo6410 McPherson Road, Laredo, Texas 78041
Brightwood College-Las Vegas3535 W. Sahara Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada 89102
Brightwood College-Palm Springs2475 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, California 92262-7011
Brightwood College-San Antonio-San Pedro7142 San Pedro Avenue, Suite 100, San Antonio, Texas 78216-1899
Brightwood College-Vista2022 University Dr, Vista, California 92083-7736
Bristol Community College777 Elsbree St, Fall River, Massachusetts 02720-7395
Brookline College-Albuquerque4201 Central Ave NW-Ste J, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87105
Brookline College-Phoenix2445 W. Dunlap Ave., Ste. 100, Phoenix, Arizona 85021
Brookline College-Tempe1140-1150 S. Priest Drive, Tempe, Arizona 85281
Brookline College-Tucson5441 E. 22nd St, Ste.125, Tucson, Arizona 85711
Broward College111 East Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
California Aeronautical University1450 Boughton Drive, Bakersfield, California 93308
California Healing Arts College500 East Carson Plaza Drive, Suite 103, Carson, California 90746-7323
Career College of Northern Nevada1421 Pullman Dr., Sparks, Nevada 89434-7905
Carrington College-Albuquerque1001 Menaul Blvd. N.E., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107-1642
Carrington College-Boise1122 N. Liberty St., Boise, Idaho 83704-8742
Carrington College-Citrus Heights7301 Greenback Ln., Ste. A, Citrus Heights, California 95621
Carrington College-Las Vegas5740 S. Eastern Ave., Ste. 140, Las Vegas, Nevada 89119
Carrington College-Mesa1001 W. Southern Ave., Ste. 130, Mesa, Arizona 85210
Carrington College-Phoenix East2149 W. Dunlap Ave., Phoenix, Arizona 85021
Carrington College-Phoenix North8503 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix, Arizona 85051-4063
Carrington College-Pleasant Hill380 Civic Dr., Ste. 300, Pleasant Hill, California 94523
Carrington College-Pomona901 Corporate Center Dr., Ste. 300, Pomona, California 91768-2642
Carrington College-Portland2004 Lloyd Center, 3rd Fl., Portland, Oregon 97232-1309
Carrington College-Sacramento8909 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California 95826
Carrington College-San Jose5883 Rue Ferrari, Ste. 125, San Jose, California 95138
Carrington College-San Leandro15555 East 14th St., Ste. 500, San Leandro, California 94578-1977
Carrington College-Spokane10102 E. Knox Ave., Ste. 200, Spokane, Washington 99206-4187
Carrington College-Stockton1313 West Robinhood Drive, Ste. B, Stockton, California 95207
Carrington College-Tucson201 N. Bonita Ave., Ste. 101, Tucson, Arizona 85745
Casper College125 College Drive, Casper, Wyoming 82601-4699
CBD College3699 Wilshire Blvd., Fourth Floor, Los Angeles, California 90010
CEM College-Bayamon25 Degetau St, Bayamón, Puerto Rico 00961
CEM College-Humacao8 Dr Vidal St, Humacao, Puerto Rico 00791-4210
CEM College-MayaguezCalle Cristy #56, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00680-0000
CEM College-San Juan1206 13th. Street Ext San Agustin, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00926-1931
Central Arizona College8470 N Overfield Rd, Coolidge, Arizona 85128-9030
Central Carolina Technical College506 N Guignard Dr, Sumter, South Carolina 29150-2499
Central Georgia Technical College80 Cohen Walker Drive, Warner Robins, Georgia 31088
Central Louisiana Technical Community College4311 South MacArthur Drive, Alexandria, Louisiana 71302-3137
Central Ohio Technical College1179 University Drive, Newark, Ohio 43055-1767
Central Piedmont Community College1201 Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte, North Carolina 28204
Cerritos College11110 Alondra Blvd, Norwalk, California 90650-6298
Chaffey College5885 Haven Ave, Rancho Cucamonga, California 91737-3002
Charter College17200 S.E. Mill Plain Boulevard, Suite 100, Vancouver, Washington 98683-7575
Chattanooga State Community College4501 Amnicola Hwy, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37406-1097
Chemeketa Community College4000 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem, Oregon 97305
Cisco College101 College Heights, Cisco, Texas 76437
City College of San Francisco50 Phelan Ave, San Francisco, California 94112-1898
City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S Truman College1145 W Wilson Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60640-6063
City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College7500 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, Illinois 60652-1299
Clark College1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, Washington 98663-3598
College of DuPage425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137-6599
College of Southern Nevada6375 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada 89146-1164
Columbiana County Career and Technical Center9364 St Rt 45, Lisbon, Ohio 44432
Columbus State Community College550 E Spring St, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Columbus Technical College928 Manchester Expy, Columbus, Georgia 31904-6572
Community College of Beaver County1 Campus Drive, Monaca, Pennsylvania 15061-2588
Concorde Career College-Kansas City3239 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri 64111-2407
Concorde Career College-Memphis5100 Poplar Avenue, Suite 132, Memphis, Tennessee 38137-0132
Concorde Career Institute-Miramar10933 Marks Way, Miramar, Florida 33025
Concorde Career Institute-Orlando3444 McCrory Place, Orlando, Florida 32803
Concorde Career Institute-Tampa4202 W Spruce, Tampa, Florida 33607-4127
Coyne College1 North State Street, Chicago, Illinois 60602-3304
Craven Community College800 College Ct, New Bern, North Carolina 28562-4900
Crowder College601 Laclede Ave, Neosho, Missouri 64850
CUNY Bronx Community College2155 University Avenue, Bronx, New York 10453
Cuyahoga Community College District700 Carnegie Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2878
Davidson County Community College297 DCCC Road, Thomasville, North Carolina 27360-7385
Davis Technical College550 E 300 S, Kaysville, Utah 84037-2699
Daymar College-Bowling Green2421 Fitzgerald Industrial Dr., Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101
Daymar College-Clarksville2691 Trenton Road, Clarksville, Tennessee 37040
Daymar College-Murfreesboro415 Golden Bear Court, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37128
Daymar College-Owensboro3361 Buckland Sq, Owensboro, Kentucky 42301
Del Mar College101 Baldwin Blvd., Corpus Christi, Texas 78404-3897
Delgado Community College615 City Park Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119
Delta College Inc19231 N. 6th Street, Covington, Louisiana 70433-8947
Des Moines Area Community College2006 Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, Iowa 50023-3993
Dewey University-Hato ReyBarbosa Ave #427 3rd Floor - Malco Bldg, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico 00910
Dewey University-ManatiRoad 604, Km. 49.1, Barrio Tierras Nuevas Saliente, Manati, Puerto Rico 00674-0000
Dixie Technical College610 S. Tech Ridge Drive, Saint George, Utah 84770
Downey Adult School12340 Woodruff Ave, Downey, California 90241
Durham Technical Community College1637 Lawson Street, Durham, North Carolina 27703-5023
Eagle Gate College-Layton915 N 400 W, Layton, Utah 84041
Eagle Gate College-Murray5588 South Green Street, Murray, Utah 84123-6965
Eagle Rock College3450 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 600, Los Angeles, California 90010
East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program1501 W Del Norte St., West Covina, California 91790
Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Campus52 University Blvd, Roswell, New Mexico 88202-6000
Edmonds Community College20000 68th Ave W, Lynnwood, Washington 98036-5912
El Paso Community College9050 Viscount Blvd, El Paso, Texas 79925
Emily Griffith Technical College1860 Lincoln Street, Denver, Colorado 80203
Everest University-South Orlando9200 Soutpark Center Loop, Tampa, Florida 33610-7666
Fayetteville Technical Community College2201 Hull Rd, Fayetteville, North Carolina 28303-0236
Flathead Valley Community College777 Grandview Dr, Kalispell, Montana 59901
Florida Career College-Orlando989 North Semoran Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32807-3528
Florida Career College-UEI College-Phoenix9215 N. Black Canyon Highway, Phoenix, Arizona 85021-2718
Florida Education Institute5818 SW 8th St, Miami, Florida 33144
Florida Gateway CollegeHighway 90 East, Lake City, Florida 32025-2007
Florida State College at Jacksonville501 W State St, Jacksonville, Florida 32202
Foothill College12345 El Monte Rd, Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Forsyth Technical Community College2100 Silas Creek Pky, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27103-5197
Fortis College7033 Airport Blvd., Mobile, Alabama 36608
Fortis College-Baton Rouge14111 Airline Hwy, Suite 101, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70817
Fortis College-Smyrna2140 South Cobb Drive, Smyrna, Georgia 30080-1348
Fortis Institute-Cookeville1025 Highway 111, Cookeville, Tennessee 38501-4305
Fortis Institute-Towson700 York Rd, Towson, Maryland 21204-9840
Four County Career Center22-900 State Rte 34, Archbold, Ohio 43502
Front Range Community College3645 W 112th Ave, Westminster, Colorado 80031
Galaxy Medical College6400 Laurel Canyon Boulevard, Suite 115, North Hollywood, California 91606-1593
GateWay Community College-Central City1245 E Buckeye, Phoenix, Arizona 85034-4101
George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville801 Main St NW, Hanceville, Alabama 35077-2000
Georgia Northwestern Technical CollegeOne Maurice Culberson Drive, Rome, Georgia 30161
Great Falls College Montana State University2100 16th Ave S, Great Falls, Montana 59405
Greenville Technical College506 S Pleasantburg Dr, Greenville, South Carolina 29606
Guilford Technical Community College601 E. Main Street, Jamestown, North Carolina 27282
Gulf Coast State College5230 West U.S. Highway 98, Panama City, Florida 32401
Hagerstown Community College11400 Robinwood Dr, Hagerstown, Maryland 21742-6514
Harris School of Business-Linwood Campus1201 New Road, Ste 226, Linwood, New Jersey 08221
Hawaii Medical College1221 Kapiolani Boulevard Ste. 644, Honolulu, Hawaii 96814-3518
Henry Ford College5101 Evergreen Rd, Dearborn, Michigan 48128-1495
High Desert Medical College701 West Avenue K, Suite 123, Lancaster, California 93534-1134
Houston Community College3100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002
Hutchinson Community College1300 N Plum St, Hutchinson, Kansas 67501
Imperial Valley College380 E. Aten Road, Imperial, California 92251-0158
Indian River State College3209 Virginia Ave, Fort Pierce, Florida 34981-5596
Institute of Technology564 W Herndon, Clovis, California 93612
Intellitec College-Grand Junction772 Horizon Dr., Grand Junction, Colorado 81506
Inter American University of Puerto Rico-BarranquitasBo Helechal Highway 156 Intersection 719, Barranquitas, Puerto Rico 00794
Inter American University of Puerto Rico-FajardoCalle Union-Batey Central Highway 195, Fajardo, Puerto Rico 00738-7003
Inter American University of Puerto Rico-GuayamaBo Machete Highway 744 Km 1.2, Guayama, Puerto Rico 00784
Inter American University of Puerto Rico-MetroHighway #1 Km 16 3 Corner Francisco Sein St, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00919
Inter American University of Puerto Rico-San GermanRd. 102 Km. 30.6, San German, Puerto Rico 00683
InterCoast Colleges-Fairfield2480 Hilborn Road Suite 100, Fairfield, California 94534-6085
InterCoast Colleges-Rancho Cordova9738 Lincoln Village Dr. Suite 120, Rancho Cordova, California 95827
Ivy Tech Community College50 W. Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive, Indianapolis, Indiana 46208-5752
Jackson College2111 Emmons Rd, Jackson, Michigan 49201-8399
James A Rhodes State College4240 Campus Dr, Lima, Ohio 45804
Kirkwood Community College6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52406-2068
Kirtland Community College10775 N Saint Helen Road, Roscommon, Michigan 48653
Lakeshore Technical College1290 North Avenue, Cleveland, Wisconsin 53015-1414
Lamar Institute of Technology855 E Lavaca, Beaumont, Texas 77705
Lamar State College-Orange410 Front St, Orange, Texas 77630
Lanier Technical College2535 Lanier Tech Drive, Gainesville, Georgia 30507
Lansdale School of Business290 Wissahickon Avenue, North Wales, Pennsylvania 19454-4114
Lansing Community College419 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, Michigan 48901-7210
Lawson State Community College3060 Wilson Rd SW, Birmingham, Alabama 35221-1717
Lincoln Technical Institute-Allentown5151 Tilghman St, Allentown, Pennsylvania 18104-9889
Lincoln Technical Institute-Lincoln622 George Washington Hwy, Lincoln, Rhode Island 02865
Lincoln Technical Institute-Lowell211 Plain St, Lowell, Massachusetts 01852
Lincoln Trail College11220 State Hwy 1, Robinson, Illinois 62454
Lone Star College System5000 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands, Texas 77381-4399
Lower Columbia College1600 Maple Street, Longview, Washington 98632-0310
Madison Media Institute-Rockford Career College1130 South Alpine Road, Rockford, Illinois 61108
Mahoning County Career and Technical Center7300 N Palmyra Rd, Canfield, Ohio 44406-9710
Manatee Technical College6305 State Rd 70 East, Bradenton, Florida 34203
Manhattan Institute45 West 34th Street, New York, New York 10001
Marion Technical College1467 Mount Vernon Ave, Marion, Ohio 43302-5694
Martinsburg College341 Aikens Center, Martinsburg, West Virginia 25404-6204
Marygrove College8425 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, Michigan 48221-2599
Medical Institute of Palm Beach5821B Lake Worth Rd, Greenacres, Florida 33463
Medical Training College10525 Plaza Americana Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70816-5820
Mercer County Technical Education Center1397 Stafford Dr, Princeton, West Virginia 24740
Meridian Technology Center1312 S Sangre Rd, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074-1899
Miami Dade College300 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, Florida 33132-2204
Mid Michigan College1375 S Clare Ave, Harrison, Michigan 48625-9447
Midlands Technical College1260 Lexington Drive, West Columbia, South Carolina 29170-2176
Midstate College411 W Northmoor Road, Peoria, Illinois 61614-3595
Midwest Institute2 Soccer Park Drive, Fenton, Missouri 63026
Midwest Technical Institute-East Peoria280 High Point Ln, East Peoria, Illinois 61611
Midwest Technical Institute-Moline3620 Avenue of the Cities, Moline, Illinois 61265-4421
Midwest Technical Institute-Springfield2731 Farmers Market Road, Springfield, Illinois 62707
Milan Institute-Amarillo7001 I-40 West, Amarillo, Texas 79106
Milan Institute-Boise9050 W. Overland Rd. Suite 200, Boise, Idaho 83709
Milan Institute-Las Vegas710 South Tonopah Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada 89106-4031
Milan Institute-Sparks950 Industrial Way, Sparks, Nevada 89431
Milwaukee Area Technical College700 W State St, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233-1443
Mineral Area College5270 Flat River Road, Park Hills, Missouri 63601-1000
Minnesota State Community and Technical College1414 College Way, Fergus Falls, Minnesota 56537-1000
Monroe College2501 Jerome Avenue, Bronx, New York 10468
Mountainland Technical College2301 West Ashton Blvd., Lehi, Utah 84043
Mountwest Community and Technical CollegeOne Mountwest Way, Huntington, West Virginia 25701
Nashville College of Medical Careers1556 Crestview Dr, Madison, Tennessee 37115-2120
National American University-Austin13801 Burnet Road, Suite 300, Austin, Texas 78727-1208
National American University-Bellevue3604 Summit Plaza Drive, Bellevue, Nebraska 68123-1065
National American University-Bloomington7801 Metro Parkway, Suite 200, Bloomington, Minnesota 55425-5550
National American University-Brooklyn Center6200 Shingle Creek Parkway, Suite 130, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota 55430-4100
National American University-Burnsville501 West Travelers Trail, Burnsville, Minnesota 55337-2548
National American University-Independence3620 Arrowhead Avenue, Independence, Missouri 64057-1791
National American University-Lee's Summit401 NW Murray Road, Lee's Summit, Missouri 64081-1425
National American University-Roseville1550 West Highway 36, Roseville, Minnesota 55113-4035
National American University-Sioux Falls5801 South Corporate Place, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57108-4293
National American University-Zona Rosa7490 North West 87th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64153-1934
National College-Nashville1638 Bell Road, Nashville, Tennessee 37211
National University CollegeCarr. #2 Edificio National College Plaza, Bayamon, Puerto Rico 00960
Navarro College3200 W 7th Avenue, Corsicana, Texas 75110
New Horizons Medical Institute5675 Jimmy Carter Blvd Suite J, Norcross, Georgia 30071
North Central State College2441 Kenwood Circle, Mansfield, Ohio 44901-0698
North Idaho College1000 West Garden Avenue, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814-2199
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College2740 W Mason St, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54307-9042
Northshore Technical Community College65556 Centerpoint Blvd., Lacombe, Louisiana 70445
Northwest Career College7398 Smoke Ranch Road, Ste 100, Las Vegas, Nevada 89128
Northwest Educational Center2910 Antoine B-100, Houston, Texas 77092
Northwest Suburban College5999 S. New Wilke Road, Rollng Meadows, Illinois 60008-4504
Northwest Vista College3535 N. Ellison Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78251
O C Collins Career Center11627 State Rte 243, Chesapeake, Ohio 45619-0000
Oakton Community College1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, Illinois 60016-1268
Oconee Fall Line Technical College1189 Deepstep Rd, Sandersville, Georgia 31082
Odessa College201 W University Blvd, Odessa, Texas 79764
Ogden-Weber Technical College200 N Washington Blvd, Ogden, Utah 84404-4089
Ogeechee Technical CollegeOne Joseph E. Kennedy Blvd, Statesboro, Georgia 30458
Opportunities Industrialization Center120 Jackson St, Fairmont, West Virginia 26554
Orange Technical College-Winter Park Campus901 W. Webster Ave, Winter Park, Florida 32789-3049
Pasco-Hernando State College10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey, Florida 34654-5199
Penn Commercial Business/Technical School242 Oak Spring Road, Washington, Pennsylvania 15301-6822
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College101 Community College Way, Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15904-2949
Pennsylvania Institute of Technology800 Manchester Ave, Media, Pennsylvania 19063-4098
Pensacola State College1000 College Blvd, Pensacola, Florida 32504-8998
Pickaway Ross Joint Vocational School District1410 Industrial Drive, Chillicothe, Ohio 45601-1038
Pickens Technical College500 Airport Blvd, Aurora, Colorado 80011-9307
Piedmont Technical College620 North Emerald Road, Greenwood, South Carolina 29646
Pikes Peak Community College5675 S Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906-5498
Pima Community College4905C East Broadway Blvd., Tucson, Arizona 85709-1275
Pinnacle Career Institute-South Kansas City10301 Hickman Mills Dr., Kansas City, Missouri 64137-1659
Pioneer Pacific College27375 SW Parkway Ave, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-9296
Pittsburgh Career Institute421 Seventh Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219-1907
Platt College-Miller-Motte Technical-Charleston8085 Rivers Ave., Ste E, Charleston, South Carolina 29418
Platt College-Miller-Motte Technical-Conway2451 East Highway 501, Conway, South Carolina 29526-9508
Platt College-Miller-Motte-Cary2205 Walnut Street, Cary, North Carolina 27518-7171
Platt College-Miller-Motte-Fayetteville3725 Ramsey St., Fayetteville, North Carolina 28311
Platt College-Miller-Motte-Jacksonville1291 Hargett Street, Jacksonville, North Carolina 28540-5901
Platt College-Miller-Motte-Raleigh3901 Capital Blvd Ste 151, Raleigh, North Carolina 27604-6072
Platt College-Miller-Motte-Wilmington5000 Market Street, Wilmington, North Carolina 28405
Ponce Paramedical College Inc1213 Acacia Street Villa Flores Urb, Ponce, Puerto Rico 00716-2901
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez482 Sur Calle Ramon Emerito Betances, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00680-1713
Professional Skills Institute1505 Holland Road, Maumee, Ohio 43537
Provo College1450 W 820 N, Provo, Utah 84601
Pueblo Community College900 West Orman Avenue, Pueblo, Colorado 81004-1499
Quinsigamond Community College670 West Boylston Street, Worcester, Massachusetts 01606-2092
Rasmussen College-Florida4755 Southwest 46th Court, Ocala, Florida 34474-6226
Rasmussen College-Illinois6000 East State Street, 4th Floor, Rockford, Illinois 61108-2513
Rasmussen College-Kansas620 SW Governor View, Topeka, Kansas 66606
Rasmussen College-Minnesota226 Park Avenue South, St. Cloud, Minnesota 56301-3713
Rasmussen College-Wisconsin904 South Taylor Street, Suite 100, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54303-2349
Regional Center for Border Health950 E. Main St Building A, Somerton, Arizona 85350
Remington College-Cleveland Campus14445 Broadway Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44125-1957
Remington College-Columbia Campus607 Bush River Rd, Columbia, South Carolina 29210
Remington College-Dallas Campus1800 Eastgate Dr, Garland, Texas 75041
Remington College-Fort Worth Campus300 E. Loop 820, Fort Worth, Texas 76112-1225
Remington College-Houston Southeast Campus20985 Interstate 45 South, Webster, Texas 77598
Remington College-Lafayette Campus303 Rue Louis XIV, Lafayette, Louisiana 70508
Remington College-Memphis Campus2710 Nonconnah Blvd, Memphis, Tennessee 38132
Remington College-Mobile Campus828 Downtowner Loop W, Mobile, Alabama 36609
Remington College-Nashville Campus441 Donelson Pk Ste 150, Nashville, Tennessee 37214
Remington College-North Houston Campus11310 Greens Crossing Blvd, Ste 300, Houston, Texas 77067
Remington College-Shreveport Campus2106 Bert Kouns Industrial Loop, Shreveport, Louisiana 71101
Rend Lake College468 N Ken Gray Pkwy, Ina, Illinois 62846
Renton Technical College3000 NE Fourth St, Renton, Washington 98056-4123
Richland Community CollegeOne College Park, Decatur, Illinois 62521-8512
Rio Grande Valley College5419 North Cage Boulevard, Pharr, Texas 78577-2106
Riverland Community College1900 8th Ave NW, Austin, Minnesota 55912-1473
Roane State Community College276 Patton Lane, Harriman, Tennessee 37748
Robert Morris University Illinois401 S State Street, Chicago, Illinois 60605
Rogue Community College3345 Redwood Hwy, Grants Pass, Oregon 97527-9291
Saint Paul College235 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102-9808
Salem Community College460 Hollywood Avenue, Carneys Point, New Jersey 08069-2799
San Antonio College1819 N. Main Ave.,, San Antonio, Texas 78212-3941
San Bernardino Valley College701 South Mount Vernon Avenue, San Bernardino, California 92410-2798
San Jacinto Community College8060 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, Texas 77505
San Joaquin Valley College-Visalia8344 W Mineral King Ave, Visalia, California 93291-9283
Santa Ana College1530 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana, California 92706-3398
Santa Barbara Business College-Bakersfield5300 California Avenue, Bakersfield, California 93309
Santa Barbara Business College-Santa Maria303 E Plaza Dr Ste 1, Santa Maria, California 93454
Santa Rosa Junior College1501 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, California 95401-4395
Scioto County Career Technical Center951 Vern Riffe Drive, Lucasville, Ohio 45648-0766
Seminole State College of Florida100 Weldon Blvd, Sanford, Florida 32773-6199
Somerset Community College808 Monticello Street, Somerset, Kentucky 42501-2973
South Louisiana Community College1101 Bertrand Drive, Lafayette, Louisiana 70506-4109
South Mountain Community College7050 S 24th St, Phoenix, Arizona 85042
South Texas College3201 W Pecan, McAllen, Texas 78502-9701
Southeast Technical Institute2320 N Career Ave, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57107-1301
Southeastern College-West Palm Beach1756 North Congress Avenue, West Palm Beach, Florida 33409
Southeastern Institute-Charleston2431 Aviation Avenue, Suite 703, North Charleston, South Carolina 29406
Southeastern Institute-Charlotte5250 Seventy-Seven Center Drive, Suite 100, Charlotte, North Carolina 28217
Southeastern Institute-Columbia1628 Browning Road, Columbia, South Carolina 29210
Southeastern Technical College3001 E First St, Vidalia, Georgia 30474
Southern Careers Institute-Austin1701 W Ben White Blvd, Ste 100, Austin, Texas 78744
Southern Careers Institute-Corpus Christi2422 Airline Road, Corpus Christi, Texas 78414
Southern Careers Institute-Pharr1500 N. Jackson Rd, Pharr, Texas 78577
Southern Careers Institute-San Antonio6963 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, Texas 78238-4114
Southern Careers Institute-San Antonio238 SW Military Drive, Suite 101, San Antonio, Texas 78221
Southern Crescent Technical College501 Varsity Rd, Griffin, Georgia 30223-2042
Southern State Community College100 Hobart Drive, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133-9406
Southwest Tennessee Community College737 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38103
Spartanburg Community College107 Community College Drive, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29303
Spokane Community College1810 North Greene Street, Spokane, Washington 99217-5399
St Louis College of Health Careers-Fenton1297 North Highway Drive, Fenton, Missouri 63026
St Louis College of Health Careers-St Louis909 South Taylor Avenue, Saint Louis, Missouri 63110
Stanly Community College141 College Drive, Albemarle, North Carolina 28001
State Fair Community College3201 W 16th Street, Sedalia, Missouri 65301-2199
Stratford University3201 Jermantown Road, Suite 500, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Sullivan University3101 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, Kentucky 40205-3013
Tallahassee Community College444 Appleyard Dr, Tallahassee, Florida 32304-2895
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Athens1635 Technology Way, Athens, Tennessee 37371-0848
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Murfreesboro1303 Old Fort Pky, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37129-3311
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Pulaski1233 E College St, Pulaski, Tennessee 38478-0614
Texarkana College2500 N Robison Rd, Texarkana, Texas 75599
Treasure Coast Technical College4680 28th Court, Vero Beach, Florida 32967-3527
Trident Technical College7000 Rivers Avenue, Charleston, South Carolina 29423-8067
Tulsa Community College6111 E Skelly Dr, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74135-6198
Tulsa Technology Center3420 S Memorial Drive, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74145
UEI College-Bakersfield3737 Rosedale Highway, Bakersfield, California 93308-0000
UEI College-Fresno3602 N. Blackstone, Suite 0268, Fresno, California 93726
UEI College-Gardena661 West Redondo Beach Boulevard, Gardena, California 90247
UEI College-Riverside1860 University Avenue, Riverside, California 92507-5344
Unitech Training Academy-Alexandria7228 England Drive, Alexandria, Louisiana 71301
Unitech Training Academy-Baton Rouge10551 Coursey Blvd, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70816-4040
Unitech Training Academy-Houma6007 West Park Avenue, Houma, Louisiana 70364
Unitech Training Academy-Lafayette3253 Ambassador Caffery, Lafayette, Louisiana 70506
Unitech Training Academy-Lake Charles2827 4th Avenue, Lake Charles, Louisiana 70601-7887
Unitech Training Academy-Metairie6660 Riverside Drive, Suite 101, Metairie, Louisiana 70003-0000
Unitech Training Academy-West Monroe111 Crosley Street, Suite 4, West Monroe, Louisiana 71291
United Education Institute-Encino5445 Balboa Boulevard, Encino, California 91316-1951
United Education Institute-UEI College San Marcos2085 Montiel Road, San Marcos, California 92069-3587
United Education Institute-UEI College Stockton4994 Claremont Avenue, Stockton, California 95207-0000
United Education Institute-West Covina339 N. Azusa Avenue, West Covina, California 91731-2806
Unitek College4670 Auto Mall Pkwy, Fremont, California 94538
Universidad del EsteCarr. # 190 Esq. Calle 220 Bo. Sabana Abajo, Carolina, Puerto Rico 00985-0985
Universidad del TuraboCarr. # 189 Km 3.3, Gurabo, Puerto Rico 00778-3030
Universidad Metropolitana1399 Ave. Ana G. Méndez, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00926-2602
University of Antelope Valley44055 Sierra Highway, Lancaster, California 93534
University of Phoenix-Arizona1625 West Fountainhead Parkway, Tempe, Arizona 85282
Vance-Granville Community College200 Community College Road, Henderson, North Carolina 27537
Vatterott College-Berkeley8580 Evans Avenue, Berkeley, Missouri 63134
Vatterott College-Joplin809 Illinois, Joplin, Missouri 64801
Vatterott College-Kansas City4131 N. Corrington Ave, Kansas City, Missouri 64117
Vatterott College-Sunset Hills12900 Maurer Industrial Dr, Sunset Hills, Missouri 63127-1516
Vincennes University1002 N First St, Vincennes, Indiana 47591
Wake Technical Community College9101 Fayetteville Road, Raleigh, North Carolina 27603-5696
Walters State Community College500 South Davy Crockett Parkway, Morristown, Tennessee 37813-6899
Warren County Career Center3525 North State Route 48, Lebanon, Ohio 45036-1099
Washington County Career Center-Adult Technical Training21740 St. Rt. 676, Marietta, Ohio 45750
Washington State Community College710 Colegate Dr, Marietta, Ohio 45750
Washtenaw Community College4800 E Huron River Dr, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105-4800
Wayne Community College3000 Wayne Memorial Dr, Goldsboro, North Carolina 27534-8002
West Kentucky Community and Technical College4810 Alben Barkley Drive, Paducah, Kentucky 42002-7380
West Los Angeles College9000 Overland Avenue, Culver City, California 90230-3519
West Virginia University at Parkersburg300 Campus Drive, Parkersburg, West Virginia 26104
Western Iowa Tech Community College4647 Stone Ave, Sioux City, Iowa 51102-5199
Western Technical College400 Seventh St. North, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601
William T McFatter Technical College6500 Nova Drive, Davie, Florida 33317
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College4089 Val Tech Rd, Valdosta, Georgia 31602-0929
Yakima Valley CollegeSouth 16th Ave. & Nob Hill Blvd., Yakima, Washington 98907-2520
Yavapai College1100 E Sheldon St, Prescott, Arizona 86301
York Technical College452 S Anderson Rd, Rock Hill, South Carolina 29730
YTI Career Institute-York1405 Williams Road, York, Pennsylvania 17402

What is PTAC accreditation?

It is absolutely vital that you graduate from a program accredited by the PTAC, as only those students who have completed an approved training course are eligible to sit for one of the national certification exams.

About online pharmacy tech programs

In order to better accommodate students who work or have other responsibilities that make attending class a challenge, many schools offer online pharmacy tech programs. These programs are also ideal for those who do not live close to an institution that offers pharmacy technician training.

While it is possible to complete the academic portion of a program online, it will still be necessary to complete the hands-on training portion in-person at a specified location.

Step 3: Complete training program and required hands-on training hours

After finding an accredited program that satisfies your needs, the next step is to complete it. The academic portion can usually be completed in one year or less, but completing the necessary hands-on training hours (sometimes referred to as an “externship”) at an actual pharmacy can sometimes take longer.

The academic portion of your training will likely cover all of the theory and procedural-type stuff that will be included on the certification exam. The externship, on the other hand, will give you the opportunity to put what you learn into practice in a live, professional setting.

Step 4: Pass the PTCE or ExCPT Certification Exam

There are two nationally-recognized pharmacy technician certification exams – the PTCE and ExCPT. Once you’ve graduated from a PTAC-accredited program, you’ll become eligible to sit for either one of them. A passing score on either exam will award you with the title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

The following is a quick breakdown of the two different exams.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

Offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, or PTCE as it is commonly called, is a multiple choice exam recognized in all 50 states. The PTCE consists of 90 questions administered in a one-hour, 50-minute timed format. Candidates who successfully pass the exam receive the title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

To become eligible to sit for this exam, a candidate must have either:

  1. Graduated from a PTAC-accredited pharmacy technician program, or
  2. Acquired equivalent work experience as a pharmacy tech

Content covered on the exam is broken down into four different sections. They are:

  • Medications (names, drug interactions, proper storage, etc.)
  • Federal Requirements (handling and disposal, controlled substances, etc.)
  • Patient Safety and Quality Assurance (hygiene and cleaning standards, procedures, etc.)
  • Order Entry and Processing (formulas and calculations, equipment and supplies, etc.)

ExCPT Exam

Sponsored by the National Healthcare Association (NHA), the ExCPT Exam also awards the nationally-recognized title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) to candidates who receive a passing score. This multiple choice exam features 100 multiple choice questions, given in a two-hour, 10-minute timed format.

Eligibility for this exam also depends on the candidate having either:

  1. Graduated from a PTAC-accredited pharmacy technician program, or
  2. Acquired equivalent work experience as a pharmacy tech

Material included on this exam is organized into four distinct sections. These sections are:

  • Overview and Laws (laws and regulations, role and general duties of pharmacy tech)
  • Drugs and Drug Therapy (drug classification and frequently prescribed medications)
  • Dispensing Process (prescription and medication intake, dispensing prescriptions, etc.)
  • Medication Safety and Quality Assurance

How much does a pharmacy technician make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a pharmacy technician in the United States was $31,750 as of May 2017. The following table reflects the fact that this number can vary considerably depending on which state you work in, however.

Pharmacy technician salary by state

StateAVG Hourly wageAVG Annual Salary
Alabama9.6320020
Alaska16.0033290
Arizona11.5524030
Arkansas9.5319820
California14.0529210
Colorado13.0227080
Connecticut13.2227490
Delaware15.0431290
Florida13.3327730
Georgia11.2523410
Hawaii10.3821590
Idaho12.7826590
Illinois10.6422120
Indiana11.4623840
Iowa10.9722820
Kansas12.9726990
Kentucky11.5323980
Louisiana12.3625710
Maine9.5319820
Maryland11.8724690
Massachusetts12.0625080
Michigan14.0429200
Minnesota10.8522560
Mississippi12.6926390
Missouri10.1921200
Montana10.7922440
Nebraska11.4923900
Nevada11.9224790
New Hampshire13.8628840
New Jersey13.3527780
New Mexico11.1723230
New York11.2923480
North Carolina11.6124150
North Dakota9.7020170
Ohio15.9533170
Oklahoma10.3121450
Oregon11.9124770
Pennsylvania11.5223960
Rhode Island11.2223340
South Carolina9.0018720
South Dakota13.1427330
Tennessee9.9620710
Texas13.3227700
Utah9.9320660
Vermont9.8820550
Virginia12.8026620
Washington13.2227500
West Virginia10.8822640
Wisconsin12.3325640
Wyoming9.6420060

Source: www.bls.gov

Salary by employer type

WorkplaceAverage Pay
Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities)$23,570
Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly$22,860
Residential intellectual and developmental disability facilities$22,510
Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities$22,410
Home healthcare services$22,390

Source: www.bls.gov

What is the job outlook for pharmacy techs?

As mentioned earlier the job outlook is amazing at a 12% expected growth over the next decade!! The time could not be any better for pharmacy technicians!

Top 5 Paying States for pharmacy techs

StateAvg. Hourly WageAvg. Yearly Salary
Alaska$16.00$33,290
North Dakota$15.95$33,170
Delaware$15.04$31,290
California$14.05$29,210
Massachusetts$14.04$29,200

Source: bls.gov

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