How to Become a Certified Pharmacy Technician Online

Dec 18, 2019

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists fill prescriptions. Learn more about the career of a certified pharmacy technician, and find out about steps you can take to prepare for this career with the help of online resources.

Certified Pharmacy Technician Career Information

Certified pharmacy technicians help fill prescriptions at pharmacies, retail pharmacy departments, and hospitals. Additional duties might also include taking the information of customers for verification of pharmaceutical needs; managing the inventory of the pharmacy; answering the pharmacy's phone; and collecting payment or co-payment for prescription medication. Earning certification in this career can have different requirements depending on the state, but many of these requirements can be met through the use of online resources.

Required Skills Focused on details, customer service skills, organizational skills
Job Growth (2018-2028) 7%*
Median Salary (2018) $32,700*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Steps for Becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician Online

Requirements for becoming a certified pharmacy technician vary from state to state, but the steps for completing this certification may often be completed online.

Step 1: Complete Post-Secondary Training

Although it is possible to work as a pharmacy technician with only a high school diploma, many employers prefer that you have a bachelor's or associate's degree or that you have at least completed some college courses. Programs specifically for training to become a pharmacy technician are often at the associate's degree level. These programs, like the Associate in Applied Science in Pharmacy Technician, may be completed online, although there may be some in-person clinical or internship requirements to help you gain the necessary real-world experience before entering the career field.

Step 2: Research State Requirements

As each state has different requirements for certification as a pharmacy technician, it is crucial that you research your state's specific rulings prior to pursuing certification. You can peruse your state board's website or government regulatory information pages in order to determine what exactly you must have or do in order to earn certification. These state requirements can include application fees, proper education, passing of the board exam, and the completion of a certain amount of work hours.

Step 3: Apply for and Earn Certification

Once you have completed the necessary basic education components and researched your state's requirements, you may begin the actual process of earning your certification. In order to do so, you often must pass a board examination. Depending on your state, you may have the option of completing either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam or the National Healthcareer Association exam. Although the exams themselves must be completed at an approved testing center, you can complete authorized practice exams online from home. After you have passed the required exam(s), you may complete your state's application for certification, which may often be done online though some states may require a handwritten signature.

Step 4: Complete Continuing Education

As with most health-care related careers, there are constantly new developments in the pharmacy world. Because of this, pharmacy technicians must complete a certain amount of continuing education hours in order to prove they know the must current information about medicine and its handling as possible so they can renew their certification. These continuing education hours may be completed in a various number of ways, ranging from conferences to the completion of actual courses, some of which may be available online.

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