The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Pharmacy Technician

Are you interested in pursuing a career in healthcare but unsure of where to start? Becoming a pharmacy technician might be the perfect path for you. This rewarding career allows you to work in a fast-paced environment, help others, and play a vital role in the healthcare system. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about becoming a pharmacy technician.

What is a Pharmacy Technician?

A pharmacy technician is a healthcare professional who works under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist to help prepare and dispense medications to patients. They also perform various administrative tasks, such as taking inventory, processing insurance claims, and communicating with healthcare providers and patients.

Education and Training

In order to become a pharmacy technician, you will need to complete a formal education and training program. Most programs can be completed in as little as 6 months to a year and are offered at vocational schools, community colleges, and online institutions.

During your training, you will learn about pharmacy law and ethics, pharmaceutical calculations, medication safety, and pharmacy terminology. You will also gain hands-on experience through internships or externships at pharmacies.

Certification and Licensure

While certification and licensure requirements vary by state, most employers prefer to hire pharmacy technicians who are certified by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). To become certified, you will need to pass an exam and meet certain education and experience requirements.

Once you are certified, you may also need to obtain a state license to practice as a pharmacy technician. This typically involves passing a background check and paying a fee.

Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for pharmacy technicians is quite favorable, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 12% growth in employment from 2016 to 2026. This is much faster than the average for all occupations.

As of May 2018, the median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $32,700. However, this can vary depending on factors such as experience, certification, location, and the type of pharmacy you work in.


Embarking on the journey to become a pharmacy technician can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can set yourself up for success in this exciting field. If you have any questions or would like to share your own experience as a pharmacy technician, please leave a comment below.

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