Pharmacy Assistant Certification

Becoming a pharmacy assistant usually requires completing a specialized certificate program. Read on to learn common courses given in the certificate program, licensing requirements, job duties, and employment outlook in the pharmaceutical industry. Schools offering Pharmacy Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Training Do I Need to Become a Pharmacy Assistant?

Many prospective pharmacy technicians complete a certificate program, which can be taken online and on-campus. If you enroll in an online course, clinical work will be required on-site at a pharmacy. Certificate programs offer courses in chemistry, biochemistry, dispensing, pharmacology, mathematics, anatomy and drug classification. Some programs might require you to take courses in composition, pharmacy law and communication skills. By the end of your education, you should know the types of medications, pharmacy terminology and how to handle controlled substances. These programs also prepare you for the certification exam.

Certificate Program Courses Chemistry, anatomy, pharmacy law
Licensure Required in 16 states and more than 80% of jurisdictions
Job Duties Fill prescriptions, receive orders, count pills
Median Salary (2018) $32,700 (for all pharmacy technicians 
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 12% growth (for all pharmacy technicians

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do I Do After I Complete My Program?

According the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, more than 80% of jurisdictions require you to be registered with your state of employment, certified or licensed to be a practicing pharmacy technician ( In 2011, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board ( reported that sixteen states require pharmacy technicians to obtain certification, either through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board or the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians. If your state doesn't require certification, you're welcome to take it voluntarily. Once certified, you'll need to renew your status every two years.

What are the Responsibilities of a Pharmacy Assistant?

A pharmacy assistant is more commonly known as a pharmacy technician. You'll assist in customer service, filling prescriptions, counting pills, organizing prescriptions, receiving orders and contacting insurance companies. Other tasks may include answering the phone and completing guest transactions. You should be knowledgeable in pharmaceuticals. Some service needs depend on the work environment and if the pharmacy has aides available.

What is the Job Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that pharmacy technician positions will increase 12% between 2016 and 2026 ( This increase may be due to technicians taking on more roles that pharmacy aides usually provide. As of May 2018, the BLS also estimated that technicians make a median salary of $32,700 . If you decide to continue your education, you can pursue an associate's degree for pharmacy technicians or go on to a college of pharmacy to become a pharmacist.

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

  • 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

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    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

  • 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

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Alaska

    Campus Locations:

    • Alaska: Anchorage
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Milwaukee
  • The University of Montana

    Campus Locations:

    • Montana: Missoula
  • American Career College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Anaheim, Los Angeles