Is becoming a pharmacy technician right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do pharmacy technicians do?
Career Satisfaction
Are pharmacy technicians happy with their careers?
What are pharmacy technicians like?

Still unsure if becoming a pharmacy technician is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a pharmacy technician or another similar career!

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How to become a Pharmacy Technician

Becoming a pharmacy technician typically involves the following steps:

  • Training Program: Enroll in a pharmacy technician training program. These programs are offered by community colleges, vocational schools, and online institutions. Look for programs accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) or the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
  • Gain Hands-on Experience: Some training programs include internships or externships where you can gain practical experience in a pharmacy setting. If your program doesn't offer this, consider seeking volunteer opportunities or part-time work in a pharmacy.
  • Certification: While certification is not always mandatory, many employers prefer or require pharmacy technicians to be certified. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offer nationally recognized certification exams. To qualify for these exams, you'll need to meet certain eligibility criteria, which typically include completing a training program or having relevant work experience.
  • Pass Certification Exam: Prepare for and pass the certification exam administered by either the PTCB or NHA. These exams cover areas such as pharmacy law, pharmacology, medication safety, and pharmacy operations.
  • State Licensure: Some states require pharmacy technicians to be licensed or registered. Check with your state's board of pharmacy for specific requirements.
  • Continuing Education: Maintain your certification by fulfilling any continuing education requirements. This ensures that you stay up-to-date with changes in the field and maintain your skills and knowledge.
  • Job Search: Start searching for pharmacy technician positions in pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings. Consider networking with professionals in the field and utilizing online job boards to find opportunities.
  • Professional Development: Once you've started your career as a pharmacy technician, consider opportunities for advancement and professional development. This may include pursuing specialized certifications, further education, or seeking supervisory roles within the pharmacy.