Pharmacy Technician 1 vs 2 Levels: Detailed Comparison

Pharmacy Technician 1 vs 2 Levels

If you are looking for info on pharmacy technician 1 vs 2 levels then look no further. Pharmacy technicians are a vital part of the healthcare team, supporting licensed pharmacists in providing medications and other pharmaceutical care services. There are two main levels of pharmacy technicians – Level 1 (PT1) and Level 2 (PT2) – that have key differences in education, responsibilities, certification requirements and salary. This comprehensive guide will examine pharmacy technician level 1 versus level 2 to help readers understand the roles and make informed career decisions.

Ready to master pharmacy technician questions? Start by reading our expert-written piece: Pharmacy Technician Questions: 9 Important Differences

1 vs 2 Levels: Responsibilities and Work Environments

Pharmacy technician 1 and 2 levels share some core duties in the pharmacy, including:

  • Processing and preparing prescription orders
  • Maintaining patient records
  • Entering prescription information into the computer system
  • Collecting payment for prescriptions
  • Assisting customers at the pharmacy counter

However, a pharmacy technician level 2 can take on more advanced tasks under pharmacist supervision after receiving proper on-the-job training. These include:

  • Compounding specialized medications
  • Checking prescriptions for accuracy
  • Taking new prescription requests over the phone
  • Administering immunizations
  • Overseeing pharmacy inventory

Pharmacy technicians level 1 typically work in community pharmacies or retail settings like grocery stores and mass merchandisers. Technicians level 2 may also work in hospital pharmacies, where they utilize their advanced skills.

The main difference between level 1 and level 2 pharmacy technicians is the level of education and experience required. Level 1 technicians typically have a high school diploma or equivalent, while level 2 technicians typically have an associate’s degree or higher. Level 2 technicians also have more experience working in a pharmacy setting.

— Pharmacy Technician 1 vs 2 Levels

Education and Training Requirements

The education and training requirements differ between pharmacy technician level 1 and level 2:

Pharmacy Technician Level 1

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • On-the-job training
  • Pass a pharmacy technician certification exam

Pharmacy Technician Level 2

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Completion of an accredited pharmacy technician certification program
  • Pass a pharmacy technician certification exam
  • Specific state requirements, which often include practical training hours

A formal pharmacy technician certification program provides comprehensive training in areas like pharmacology, pharmacy law, calculations, and standards and regulations. This helps prepare a technician level 2 for greater clinical and customer service responsibilities.

Programs are offered by community colleges, vocational schools, hospitals, and the military. The two main certification exams are the PTCB and ExCPT exam.

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) offers a certification exam for pharmacy technicians. The exam is a multiple-choice exam that tests knowledge of pharmacy law and practice, medication preparation, and patient counseling.

— Pharmacy Technician 1 vs 2 Levels

Certification and Licensure Considerations

All pharmacy technicians must become certified by passing a national exam such as the PTCB or ExCPT. Some states also require pharmacy technicians to obtain a license or registration.

Many states recognize pharmacy technician levels and have specific requirements for a technician level 2:

  • 500-2000 hours of on-the-job training
  • Set amount of work experience (e.g. 12 months)
  • Criminal background checks

Meeting state pharmacy technician level 2 requirements allows for career advancement opportunities. Some states may require just the national certification, while others mandate registration, licensure, or continuing education.

The PTCB has certified over 600,000 pharmacy technicians worldwide.

— Pharmacy Technician 1 vs 2 Levels

Key Differences in Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for pharmacy technicians nationwide is $34,020. However, earnings can vary significantly based on factors like location, work setting, certification level, and years of experience:

  • Pharmacy Technician Level 1: Average of $30,000 per year
  • Pharmacy Technician Level 2: Average of $38,000 per year

Pharmacy technician level 2s tend to earn 25-30% higher salaries than level 1s on average. Those working in hospital pharmacies also make the highest wages.

Employment for pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 4% from 2021 to 2031 as pharmacies expand services and advanced tech roles. There is especially strong demand for certified pharmacy technician level 2s with formal training and direct patient care skills.

Pharmacy technicians can advance their careers by earning a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy technology or by becoming a certified pharmacy technician- intern (CPhT-I).

— Pharmacy Technician 1 vs 2 Levels

Summarized Comparison

FactorPharmacy Technician Level 1Pharmacy Technician Level 2
ResponsibilitiesBasic support tasksAdvanced clinical and supervisory duties
EducationOn-the-job trainingFormal certification program
CertificationPTCB or ExCPT examNational exam plus state requirements
SalaryAverage $30,000 per yearAverage $38,000 per year
Job OutlookGrowing demandStrong demand, more opportunities


Investing in formal training and certification as a pharmacy technician level 2 can open doors to higher level responsibilities, increased pay, career advancement, and improved job stability. While both play key roles in the pharmacy, a technician level 2 is positioned to take on greater duties and leadership with further on-the-job experience. Earning pharmacy technician level 2 certification provides long-term benefits for those seeking careers in this growing healthcare field.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the key difference between a pharmacy technician level 1 and level 2?

The main difference is that a pharmacy technician level 2 completes formal technician training and certification beyond just on-the-job experience. This allows them to perform more advanced clinical and supervisory tasks.

How much more do pharmacy technician level 2s earn than level 1s?

On average, pharmacy technician level 2s earn 20-30% higher salaries than level 1s, which equates to approximately $8,000 – $10,000 more per year.

What additional responsibilities can a pharmacy technician level 2 take on?

With proper pharmacist oversight and on-the-job training, a pharmacy technician level 2 may verify prescriptions for accuracy, administer immunizations, take new prescription requests, and supervise entry-level techs.

Is it worth becoming a pharmacy technician level 2?

Yes, the investment in formal training and certification pays off through higher salaries, increased responsibilities, more job opportunities, and career growth potential. Many pharmacies prefer hiring pharmacy technician level 2s.

How long does it take to become a pharmacy technician level 2?

It typically takes 1-2 years to complete a pharmacy technician certification program, pass the PTCB or ExCPT exam, and fulfill state requirements. Some states also mandate 6-12 months of on-the-job experience.


Previous PostNext Post
Registered Pharmacy Technician vs CertifiedPharmacy Technician vs Medical Assistant: 4 Important Facts


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top