Pharmacist Assistant Certification and Diploma Program Information

Students interested in a pharmacy technician career need to meet certain regulatory requirements which include completing a formal education program and passing a state-approved exam. Students with associate's degrees should be well prepared for certification exams.

Essential Information

To become pharmacy technicians, students can enroll in two-year associate's degree programs in pharmacy technology. A high school diploma or GED is required, as well as chemistry and biology courses. After completing the degree program, students can take a certification exam. Much of what they need to know will be taught on the job.

  • Program Levels: Associate's degree in pharmacy technology; pharmacy technician certification
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent; may require biology or chemistry coursework
  • Program Length: Two year program
  • Other Requirements: Clinical experience

Certification for Pharmacy Technician

Students in a pharmacy technician associate's degree program are introduced to a wide variety of pharmaceutical topics. The curriculum of most programs combines classroom coursework with laboratory and clinical experience. Students who earn an associate's degree should have the necessary knowledge to pass certification exams offered by the National Healthcareer Association and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Below are some of the courses in pharmacy technician programs:

  • Pharmacy calculations
  • Basic clinical procedures
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical office practice
  • Pharmacy maintenance
  • Pathophysiology

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov), employment growth of pharmacy technicians is anticipated to increase by 20% between 2012 and 2022, and employment of pharmacy aides is expected to increase by 11%. The BLS also states that as of May 2014, the median annual wage of pharmacy technicians was $29,810 and pharmacy aides earned $23,200.

Continuing Education Information

Pharmacy technicians may advance their careers by specializing in a particular area. Technicians with enough experience and training may also eventually become a pharmacist. Becoming a pharmacist involves additional formal training and further certification.

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