Pharmacist Assistant Certification and Diploma Program Information

Students interested in a pharmacy technician career need to meet certain regulatory requirements which includes completion of a formal education program and a state-approved exam. Students who earn an associate's degree should have the necessary knowledge to take certification exams.

Essential Information

Students can enroll in 2-year associate's program in pharmacy technology to satisfy the education to become a pharmacy technician. Pharmacist aides receive on-the-job training. Students need to have a high school diploma or equivalent prior to enrolling. Before being accepted in to a pharmacy tech program, students may need chemistry or biology courses before they can begin their coursework. After completing the two year program, students can take the certification exam.

  • Program Levels- Associate's Degree in Pharmacy Technology, Pharmacy Technician Certification Pharmacist
  • Prerequisites- High school diploma or equivalent, may require biology or chemistry coursework
  • Program Length- 2 year program
  • Other Requirements- Clinical experience

Certification for Pharmacy Technician

Students in a pharmacy technician associate degree program are introduced to a wide variety of pharmaceutical topics. The curriculum of most programs combines classroom coursework with labs and hands-on, clinical experience. Students are expected to hold a high school degree or its equivalent and some programs may request basic biology or chemistry courses. Students who earn an associate's degree should have the necessary knowledge to take certification exams offered by the National Healthcareer Association and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Below are some of the courses in a pharmacy technician program.

  • 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) (, the employment 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 choosing to specialize in a particular area. Technicians with enough experience and training may also eventually work towards becoming a pharmacist. Becoming a pharmacist involves additional formal training and further certification.

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