Overview of Online Pharmacy Technician Certification in Texas
Most states require pharmacy technicians to either be certified or registered/licensed in order to work. In the state of Texas, there are two steps to becoming a pharmacy technician:
- Earning certification from a national board, such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Registering as a certified pharmacy technician with the Texas Board of Pharmacy
Earning national certification requires the completion of a recognized educational or training program or equivalent work experience and the passing of an exam. It is possible to get the necessary education through distance learning, but the certification process is not completely virtual. While the national exam is administered on a computer, it must be taken in person at a testing site. Registration can be done online through the board of pharmacy's website.
Several online options are available for earning a pharmacy technician certificate or degree, all of which can vary in length; however, many programs can be completed in a year or less. Current students may apply for a pharmacy technician trainee registration with the Texas Board of Pharmacy or wait until they are certified to apply for pharmacy technician registration. National certification exams can be scheduled year-round, so it may be possible to take the exam soon after completing a program.
Additional Requirements for Pharmacy Technicians
There are two national boards where candidates can earn certification from: the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the National Healthcareer Association. While most of their requirements are the same, such as needing a high school diploma or GED and being at least 18 years old, there are a couple of differences.
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board requires at least one of the following:
- Completion of a pharmacy technician training program that has been approved by the PTCB
- A minimum of 500 hours of relevant pharmacy technician work experience
The National Healthcareer Association requires at least one of the following:
- Completion of a pharmacy technician training program within the last 5 years
- At least one year of work experience with 1200 hours of supervised pharmacy work within the last 3 years
- Successfully complete a pharmacy technician apprenticeship program that has been approved by the U.S. Department of Labor
Continuing Education Requirements for Texas Pharmacy Technicians
Pharmacy technicians who are nationally certified and registered in the state of Texas need to complete 20 hours of continuing education courses periodically in order to renew their registration. These courses can be done online and some of them are provided by the state's board of pharmacy on its website. Two specific continuing education courses that are required for Texas pharmacy technicians are Texas Pharmacy Laws or Rules and Human Trafficking Prevention.
Career Information for Certified Pharmacy Technicians
Pharmacy technicians cannot work in the state of Texas unless they are registered; they must also be certified or working towards certification. These professionals generally work in retail pharmacies and hospitals where prescription medications are sold. Under the supervision of a pharmacist, they fill, package, and label prescriptions according to customer information. Pharmacy technicians may also perform other tasks such as answering phone calls, accepting payments, answering customer questions, organizing inventory, and processing customers' insurance information, among other duties. In hospitals, pharmacy technicians typically work with more types of medications, such as intravenous medications, and they may deliver these medications personally to hospital patients.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median salary in 2019 for pharmacy technicians was $33,950. The bureau also states that the profession is expected to grow by 7% from 2018 to 2028.
It is possible for Texas residents to earn pharmacy technician certification and registration partially online through distance learning programs and virtual applications; exams will need to be taken in person. Certified pharmacy technicians can renew their certification through online continuing education courses as well.