Pharmacy technicians in Texas are entry-level healthcare professionals who help pharmacists with filling prescriptions for medications and servicing customers in retail pharmacies, doctors’ offices and hospitals. Being certified isn’t required in all 50 states, but the current tendency among employers has been in direction of only employing people who have a professional credential.

Thanks to record demand for new pharmacy techs in Texas, this profession is extremely popular for people who want an entry-level position in healthcare. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016 report projects that the number of new positions for pharmacy techs will increase by 12% through 2026.

What does a pharmacy technician do in Texas?

Pharmacy techs in Texas work under the guidance of a pharmacist, and are responsible for carrying out a number of supporting duties that help to keep the drug store working efficiently. The subsequent checklist shows the common responsibilities that drug stores place on their technicians.

Common pharmacy tech duties

  • Take care of customer or patient phone calls and concerns
  • Establish and manage patient medical records
  • Support pharmacist in filling prescriptions by measuring, packaging and labeling medicines
  • Handle payments for prescription medications and insurance policy claims
  • Manage all inventory in the drug store

What is the procedure to become a pharmacy tech in Texas?

The four-step procedure for becoming a pharmacy technician in Texas is displayed below.

  1. Determine whether you would like to become certified
  2. Once you decide to get certified, register for a PTCA-approved program
  3. Complete the pharmacy technician school and internship training hours, as mandated by state
  4. Pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Exam for certification

Step 1: Determine if you want to become certified

Figuring out whether or not you plan to become certified is the very first step you’ll have to take. Becoming certified is not a mandatory requirement to work in all 50 states, but it does supply many benefits and advantages.

Because of the changing landscape in the business, it’s strongly recommended that any individual who is considering a career in pharmacy get a a professional certification. If you decide not to get certified, you should ignore the remaining steps and start searching for a position when you finish high school.

Step 2: Sign-up for a PTAC-accredited training program

The second step in becoming eligible to work as a certified pharmacy technician is to register for classes that are recognized by the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC). This organization coordinates program curricula and standards with both the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) assuring consistent quality in national pharmacy technician courses.

Why PTAC accreditation is important

Since only trainees who finish a training program accredited by the PTAC are immediately entitled to challenge either of the national certification exams, it really is essential that you complete a program that’s accredited by this organization.

A look at online pharmacy tech programs

As is the situation with most distance education offerings, online pharmacy tech schools are a preferred option for pupils who are balancing different responsibilities. For college students who don’t live close to a school that provides the courses they are looking for, online classes are also an attractive option.

While it’s possible to finish the classroom section of a program online, it will still be necessary to complete the internship component in-person at a specific site.

Step 3: Satisfy all required internship hours and finish the program

Completing the approved program you decided on in the previous step is going to be your next objective. Although every program is slightly different, it’s quite typical for trainees to finish their academic training and internship in just 12 months.

Most training classes devote the academic part of their curriculum to the content that is covered in the national certification exams. The internship, in contrast, will present you with the chance to put what you learn into use in a live, professional setting.

Step 4: Successfully pass the PTCE or ExCPT examination

The PTCE and ExCPT are the two exams that present nationally-accepted pharmacy tech certifications. Becoming eligible to challenge these tests requires you to initially graduate from a PTAC-accredited training program. A passing mark on either examination will give you the title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

The following is a quick breakdown of the two assessments.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

Provided by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, or PTCE as it’s referred to, is a multiple-choice assessment recognized in all 50 states. The one-hour, 50-minute examination is made of 90 total questions. Right after passing the exam, the individual earns the CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) certification.

To become permitted to challenge this exam, a candidate must have either:

  • Graduated from a PTAC-accredited pharmacy tech training program, or
  • Acquired comparable work experience as a pharmacy tech

ExCPT Exam

Sponsored by the National Healthcare Association (NHA), the ExCPT also grants the nationally-regarded title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) to candidates who earn a passing mark. There are 100 multiple-choice questions on this two-hour, 10-minute timed exam.

To become eligible to sit for this exam, candidates need to satisfy one of the following prerequisites:

  • Finished a PTAC-approved pharmacy technician course, or
  • Acquired equivalent work experience as a pharmacy tech

How much does a pharmacy technician make in Texas?

Pharmacy technician salary differs based upon several factors, but the median wage was $31,750 in 2017 per the latest information available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pharmacy technician pay in Texas varies to some extent from the national median, as is shown in the table below.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.27$14.86$21.98
Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX MSAHourly$11.96$17.31$22.54
Waco, TX MSAHourly$12.42$17.28$22.60
Odessa, TX MSAHourly$12.24$16.69$21.21
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX MSAHourly$11.53$16.63$22.10
Victoria, TX MSAHourly$11.36$16.62$19.25
Midland, TX MSAHourly$12.35$16.54$19.92
Central Texas BOSHourly$11.03$16.41$21.50
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX MSAHourly$11.61$16.06$21.81
Amarillo, TX MSAHourly$12.07$16.03$22.51
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX MSAHourly$10.68$15.67$20.07
Gulf Coast Texas BOSHourly$10.10$15.66$21.28
Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan DivisionHourly$11.01$15.63$22.25
San Angelo, TX MSAHourly$11.16$15.50$22.46
Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX MSAHourly$11.12$15.25$20.42
El Paso, TX MSAHourly$11.01$15.21$19.63
Northwestern Texas BOSHourly$10.18$15.03$19.21
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX MSAHourly$9.92$15.02$21.52
Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan DivisionHourly$11.12$14.97$20.83
College Station-Bryan, TX MSAHourly$10.73$14.78$20.29
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX MSAHourly$10.89$14.75$18.57
Abilene, TX MSAHourly$10.87$14.68$19.85
Corpus Christi, TX MSAHourly$10.48$14.66$19.10
North Central Texas BOSHourly$10.35$14.64$21.41
Wichita Falls, TX MSAHourly$10.73$14.51$19.20
Texarkana, TX-Texarkana, AR MSAHourly$11.17$14.50$18.70
Laredo, TX MSAHourly$10.24$14.32$18.66
Lubbock, TX MSAHourly$10.79$14.30$19.35
Eastern Texas BOSHourly$10.33$13.91$18.23
Tyler, TX MSAHourly$10.40$13.88$18.44
Longview, TX MSAHourly$10.28$13.81$19.57
Sherman-Denison, TX MSAHourly$9.44$13.71$18.67
Southern Texas BOSHourly$8.43$13.57$19.02