The pharmacy technician in Arizona is a beginning medical field worker who aids the pharmacist in various everyday duties in the pharmacy. Some technicians are able to find work even when they are not certified, but this is definitely becoming unusual because the vast majority of facilities now prefer to employ only those candidates who are graduates of a formal program.

Because of record demand for new pharmacy technicians in Arizona, this profession is quite desirable for individuals seeking an entry-level position in healthcare. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016 report projects that the number of new jobs for pharmacy techs will increase by 12% by 2026.

What do pharmacy technicians do in Arizona?

Pharmacy techs in Arizona are employed under the guidance of a pharmacist, and are responsible for performing a variety of supporting duties that assist in keeping the drug store running efficiently. The typical responsibilities performed by the majority of pharmacy technicians are noted below.

Pharmacy technician job duties

  • Manage client or patient calls and concerns
  • Initiate and maintain patient medical records
  • Help pharmacist in satisfying prescriptions by weighing, packaging and labeling prescription drugs
  • Handle payments for medications and insurance claims
  • Organize all inventory in the local drugstore

The steps to becoming a pharmacy technician in Arizona

The four steps to become a pharmacy tech in Arizona are outlined below.

  1. Determine if you would like to become certified
  2. If you should intend to get certified, enroll in a PTCA-approved program
  3. Complete the pharmacy technician program and hands-on training hours, as required by state
  4. Take and pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Examination for certification

Step 1: Decide if you would like to get certified

Your initial step towards becoming a pharmacy tech is to consider if you are going to get certified. Whatever you choose, you should be mindful that most facilities choose to employ applicants who have gotten their certification.

With this being the situation, it’s highly recommended that you earn a professional certification if you’re set on starting a career in the pharmacy industry. The remaining steps in this guide only matter if you plan to get certified.

Step 2: Locate a program accredited by PTAC and sign-up for training

If you have chosen to pursue your professional certification, the next step is to register for a pharmacy technician training program that is recognized by the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC). Pharmacy tech courses across the nation are regulated by the PTAC, who works jointly with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) to standardize training in the industry across the country.

Why PTAC accreditation is important

Accreditation by the PTAC is considered essential due to the fact that only graduates from a course accredited by this body may take one of the national certification exams.

A look at online pharmacy tech programs

A desirable alternative option to on-campus programs, pharmacy tech classes online provide students the convenience to go to class and finish their training per their own daily schedules. In circumstances where a person does not live close to a campus-based class, these classes are also ideal.

To clear up a common misconception, although online classes enable students to undertake their classroom studies through distance learning, the clinical, hands-on portion of their training has to be completed at a physical site.

Step 3: Finish the program and complete the necessary internship hours

After finding an accredited program that satisfies your needs, the next thing is to finish it. Although each course is somewhat different, it’s quite typical for pupils to finish their academic training and internship in just twelve months.

Most training classes devote the classroom part of their curriculum to the material that will probably be covered in the national certification exams. The externship, however, will provide you the chance to put the things you learn into practice in a live, professional environment.

Step 4: Pass the PTCE or ExCPT Certification Exam

In order to receive a nationally-accepted pharmacy tech certification, you need to pass the PTCE or ExCPT test. After you’ve finished a PTAC-approved program, you will become able to challenge either of them. You will earn the national credential of CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) by passing either exam.

Both of these examinations are broken down in more detail below.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

Administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, or PTCE as it is often called, is a multiple-choice test administered in all 50 states. The one-hour, 50-minute assessment is comprised of 90 multiple-choice questions. A passing mark on the test awards the individual the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential.

A candidate must be able to satisfy the next two requirements to challenge the examination:

  • Finished a PTAC-approved pharmacy tech program, or
  • Obtained equivalent work experience as a pharmacy technician

ExCPT Exam

Administered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA), the ExCPT Exam also awards the nationally-regarded title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) to candidates who get a passing score. Test takers have two hours and 10 minutes to complete 100 multiple-choice questions.

You have to be able to satisfy one of the following conditions before you can sit for the examination:

  • Completed a PTAC-accredited pharmacy technician program, or
  • Gained comparable work experience as a pharmacy technician

What is the typical pharmacy technician salary in Arizona?

Pharmacy technician compensation varies based upon several things, but the median wage was $31,750 in 2017 according to the current information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pharmacy technician pay in Arizona differs to some extent from the national median, as is displayed in the table below.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.27$14.86$21.98
Yearly$21,370 $30,920 $45,710
Yearly$22,090 $32,410 $45,840
Flagstaff, AZ MSAHourly$12.82$17.18$22.95
Yearly$26,670 $35,730 $47,740
North Arizona (BOS)Hourly$11.38$16.60$22.51
Yearly$23,660 $34,520 $46,820
Tucson, AZ MSAHourly$9.78$16.53$22.55
Yearly$20,350 $34,380 $46,910
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ MSAHourly$10.71$15.46$21.97
Yearly$22,280 $32,160 $45,700
Prescott, AZ MSAHourly$10.52$14.87$19.49
Yearly$21,890 $30,930 $40,530
Yuma, AZ MSAHourly$10.31$14.41$18.81
Yearly$21,440 $29,980 $39,110
Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ MSAHourly$10.25$13.79$18.40
Yearly$21,320 $28,690 $38,270