How Long Is a Pharmacy Technician Certification Program?

As a pharmacy technician, you will assist pharmacists in dispensing medications, helping people who are sick get well again. Read on to find out about pharmacy technician programs that prepare you for certification. Schools offering Pharmacy Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Length of a Certification Prep Program for Pharmacy Technicians

If you'd like to prepare for the Certified Pharmacy Technician exam, you could enroll in a certificate program offered by a community college, college or university continuing education program, or a vocational school. You could also choose to enroll in an Associate of Applied Science in Pharmacy Technician or Associate of Science in Pharmacy Technology program.

Pharmacy technician certificate programs typically include 600 hours of instruction and 200 hours of externship over a 10-month period. Associate's degree programs generally take two years to complete.

In addition to core classes that cover the basic skills and knowledge required of pharmacy technicians, you'll also take general education classes, like math and composition. You might also be able to enroll in a self-paced distance-learning program at some schools.

Important Facts About Pharmacy Technician Certification Program

Online AvailabilityPartial, due to externship requirements
Key SkillsDetail-oriented, organizational, listening, customer service, and math skills
Potential ExternshipsHospital pharmacies, community pharmacies, drug stores, pharmacy departments within grocery and discount stores, long-term care facilities, home healthcare agencies, and in mail-order prescription pharmacies.
Work EnvironmentAcademia, ambulatory care center, department store, pharmaceutical industry, physician offices, electronic shopping

Educational Prerequisites and Program Coursework

The typical minimum admissions requirement of a pharmacy technician program at the certificate or associate's degree level is a high school diploma or equivalent. Programs involve classroom instruction as well as laboratory studies. Additionally, most programs require you to complete some clinical rotations or externship work in a pharmacy. Some course topics include:

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacy math
  • Pharmacy laboratory skills
  • Fundamentals of chemistry

Overview of Certification

Obtaining certification as a pharmacy technician is required in some states, but not all. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board as well as the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians, now part of National Healthcareer Association, offer certification exams. After obtaining certification, you'll often need to get re-certified every 2 years by completing continuing education coursework.

Even if your state doesn't require certification, You should check with your state's board of pharmacy for specific employment requirements. Many states have certain regulations for all pharmacy technicians.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • American National University

    American National University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American National University:

    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Kentucky: Danville, Lexington, Pikeville, Shively
    • Ohio: Danville, Lexington, Pikeville, Shively, Kettering
    • Tennessee: Danville, Lexington, Pikeville, Shively, Kettering, Bartlett, Bristol, Memphis, Nashville
    • Virginia: Danville, Lexington, Pikeville, Shively, Kettering, Bartlett, Bristol, Memphis, Nashville, Charlottesville, Danville, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Parkersburg, Salem
    • West Virginia: Danville, Lexington, Pikeville, Shively, Kettering, Bartlett, Bristol, Memphis, Nashville, Charlottesville, Danville, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Parkersburg, Salem, Princeton
  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster

    Penn Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • College of Health Care Professions

    College of Health Care Professions responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at College of Health Care Professions:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio
  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »