What Can You Do with a Pharmacy Technician Certification?

Pharmacy Technician Certification


In the dynamic field of healthcare, pharmacy technicians play a vital role in ensuring the safe and efficient delivery of medications to patients. If you have a passion for healthcare and are interested in pursuing a career that combines your love for science and helping others, obtaining a pharmacy technician certification can open doors to a variety of rewarding opportunities. In this article, we will explore the many avenues available to individuals who hold a pharmacy technician certification and discuss the potential career paths, job responsibilities, and growth prospects associated with this certification.

Are you considering a fulfilling career as a Pharmacy Technician? Uncover the key requirements and steps involved in becoming one. Get all the details in our comprehensive article ‘What do you need to be a Pharmacy Technician‘.

Pharmacy Technician Certification: Key to Unlocking Exciting Career Opportunities

The pharmacy technician certification is a credential that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and competency in performing the essential tasks required in a pharmacy setting. Obtaining this certification can significantly enhance your professional prospects within the pharmaceutical industry. Let’s delve into the various career paths that become accessible with a pharmacy technician certification:

1. Retail Pharmacies

Retail pharmacies, such as those found in grocery stores, drugstore chains, and independent pharmacies, are the most common work environment for pharmacy technicians. With a pharmacy technician certification, you can work alongside pharmacists to assist in the dispensing of prescription medications, ensuring accurate dosage and labeling, and providing vital information to patients regarding their medications. Additionally, pharmacy technicians may be responsible for inventory management, processing insurance claims, and maintaining patient records.

2. Hospital Pharmacies

Hospital pharmacies are another significant area of employment for pharmacy technicians. In a hospital setting, pharmacy technicians collaborate closely with pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to prepare and distribute medications to patients. They may be involved in compounding intravenous medications, managing automated dispensing systems, and conducting medication reconciliation. The fast-paced and challenging nature of hospital pharmacy provides an excellent opportunity for professional growth and development.

3. Long-Term Care Facilities

Long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living centers, require pharmacy technicians to support the medication needs of their residents. Pharmacy technicians in these settings work closely with pharmacists and nursing staff to ensure that residents receive their medications accurately and on time. They may also be responsible for managing medication storage, preparing unit-dose packaging, and maintaining medication administration records.

4. Pharmaceutical Industry

A pharmacy technician certification can also lead to exciting career opportunities within the pharmaceutical industry. In this sector, pharmacy technicians may work in areas such as research and development, manufacturing, quality control, or regulatory affairs. Their knowledge of pharmaceutical products and processes, combined with their practical skills, make them valuable assets in ensuring the safety and efficacy of medications.

5. Specialty Pharmacies

Specialty pharmacies cater to patients with complex medical conditions requiring specialized medications. Pharmacy technicians in these settings collaborate with pharmacists to provide personalized care and support to patients. They may be involved in specialty medication dispensing, prior authorization processes, and patient education on medication administration and side effects. Working in a specialty pharmacy offers a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on patients’ lives.

Certification Benefits

  • Increased job opportunities: A pharmacy technician certification is increasingly required by employers. This means that you will have more job opportunities available to you if you are certified.
  • Higher salary: Certified pharmacy technicians earn an average of $17.54 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is significantly higher than the average salary for non-certified pharmacy technicians.
  • More career advancement opportunities: A pharmacy technician certification can help you advance your career in the healthcare field. With certification, you may be able to qualify for positions such as lead pharmacy technician, pharmacy manager, or even pharmacist.
  • Enhanced knowledge and skills: A pharmacy technician certification will give you the knowledge and skills you need to perform your job safely and effectively. You will learn about the safe handling of medications, drug dosages, and patient education.

What are the different types of pharmacy technician certifications?

There are two main types of pharmacy technician certifications: national and state. National certifications are recognized by employers across the country. State certifications are only recognized by employers in the state in which you are certified.

The most widely recognized national pharmacy technician certification is the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential offered by the PTCB. The CPhT credential is required by many employers, and it can help you advance your career in the healthcare field.

What are the different career paths for pharmacy technicians?

  • Pharmacy technician: This is the entry-level position for pharmacy technicians. Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of pharmacists to perform a variety of tasks, such as filling prescriptions, verifying drug dosages, and providing patient education.
  • Lead pharmacy technician: Lead pharmacy technicians supervise and train other pharmacy technicians. They also perform more complex tasks, such as managing inventory and ordering medications.
  • Pharmacy manager: Pharmacy managers oversee the day-to-day operations of a pharmacy. They are responsible for hiring and managing staff, ensuring that the pharmacy is compliant with regulations, and providing customer service.
  • Pharmacist: Pharmacists are the highest-level healthcare professionals in the pharmacy. They are responsible for dispensing medications, providing patient counseling, and diagnosing and treating medication-related problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does it take to become a certified pharmacy technician?

The duration to become a certified pharmacy technician can vary depending on the educational path chosen. Typically, formal education or training programs can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete. After completing the education requirements, individuals must pass a certification exam to become a certified pharmacy technician.

2. What are the prerequisites for obtaining a pharmacy technician certification?

The prerequisites for obtaining a pharmacy technician certification may vary depending on the certification program and the state in which you reside. Generally, a high school diploma or equivalent is required, and some programs may require completion of specific courses or prerequisites related to pharmacy practice.

3. How much can I earn as a pharmacy technician?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $34,020 in May 2020. The earning potential can vary based on factors such as work experience, geographic location, industry, and certification status.

4. Can I advance my career as a pharmacy technician?

Absolutely! With experience and further education, pharmacy technicians can advance their careers. They may take on supervisory roles, become pharmacy technology educators, or pursue additional certifications to specialize in areas such as chemotherapy or sterile compounding.

5. How can I maintain my pharmacy technician certification?

Most certification programs require pharmacy technicians to complete continuing education credits and renew their certification periodically. This ensures that pharmacy technicians stay updated with the latest advancements in the field and maintain their competence.


Obtaining a pharmacy technician certification offers a multitude of opportunities within the healthcare industry. Whether you choose to work in a retail pharmacy, hospital, long-term care facility, pharmaceutical industry, or specialty pharmacy, your certification will enable you to contribute significantly to patient care. The pharmacy technician role is not only rewarding but also serves as a stepping stone for professional growth and advancement. So, if you are passionate about making a difference in people’s lives and are interested in the pharmaceutical field, consider pursuing a pharmacy technician certification and embark on an exciting career journey.


  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Pharmacy Technicians. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm
  2. Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). (n.d.). Becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician. Retrieved from https://www.ptcb.org/get-certified/becoming-certified
  3. National Healthcareer Association (NHA). (n.d.). Pharmacy Technician Certification (CPhT). Retrieved from https://www.nhanow.com/certifications/pharmacy-technician

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