Education Portal is now! We still offer the same great content and features, with more added every day, just under a new name. Learn more x

How to Become a Medication Technician: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Research the requirements to become a medication technician. Learn about the job description and duties, and read the step-by-step process to start a career in health care.

View 14 Popular Schools »

Do I Want to Be a Medication Technician?

Medication technicians are responsible for providing patients with non-injectable prescription medications. These professionals work under the supervision of registered nurses or other medical staff to prepare, distribute and monitor the effects of a patient's medication. Common places of employment include retirement centers and nursing homes. This job may require standing for extended periods of time.

Job Requirements

States often require medication technicians to obtain certification, and many employers also look for technicians who are certified. Certification requirements include completion of a postsecondary program and a state-approved exam. In some states, registration and experience as a nursing aide or assistant is also necessary. The table below includes standard requirements for medication technicians:

Common Requirements
Degree Level Postsecondary certificate or award*
Licensure and Certification Nursing assistant certification; medication technician/aide certification**
Experience One year of experience is often required**
Key Skills Excellent communication and organizational skills**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Job postings by employers (July 2012).

Step 1: Become a Certified Nursing Assistant

Many states require prospective medication technicians to be registered and employed as nurse aides or certified nursing assistants (CNA). To become a CNA, an individual must complete a training program through a community college, vocational school or healthcare organization. These programs usually last several weeks and combine classroom education with hands-on experience. After completion of the program, graduates must pass their state's competency exam.

Success Tip:

  • Prepare for the exam. Students should review any materials received in class before taking the exam. CNA exam preparation courses are available at some schools as well.

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

Many states require CNAs to work a certain number of hours before applying to a medication technician training program. Certified nursing assistants can gain experience by working in assisted living homes.

Step 3: Complete Medication Technician Training

Medication technician training programs are often available at community colleges. Common areas of study include medical terminology, infection control and human anatomy. Most programs consist of both classroom and hands-on experience; programs can usually be completed in three months or less.

Step 4: Obtain Certification

After completing an approved training program, aspiring medication technicians must take and pass their state's certification exam. Individuals who pass this exam are often placed on a state registry. Requirements for certification renewal vary by state. In some cases, certified medication technicians must work a set number of hours in a 2-year period. Completion of a clinical update course may be required as well.

Show me popular schools

Related to How to Become a Medication Technician: Step-by-Step Career Guide

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Nursing Training: Top College for Becoming a Nurse - Wichita, KS

Students interested in studying nursing in Wichita, KS, have only a few schools to choose from. Read about a top local school's...

How to Survive Medical School

Most people have a perception of med school that includes countless hours of lectures, lab work and studying without much sleep...

Best Colleges for Surgeons: List of Top Medical Schools

Surgical programs at the country's top medical schools prepare students for careers as general surgeons or as surgeons in...

Medical Careers with a Bachelor's Degree: Employment Options

Bachelor's degrees in the field of medicine typically cover medical terminology and sciences such as anatomy, physiology, and...

List of Medical Master's Programs: Overviews by Specialization

Popular Schools

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics