What degree do you need to be a Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technician Degree

As a movie buff, I have a knack for storytelling and a deep appreciation for the intricacies that make a story great. The story of earning a pharmacy technician degree may not be the most thrilling Hollywood blockbuster, but it has a unique plot, filled with twists and turns, that ultimately leads to the satisfying climax of helping others. As we delve into the story of the pharmacy technician degree, let’s take a moment to understand the essence of this profession and the importance of the right education.

Pharmacy technicians play a crucial role in the healthcare industry, assisting pharmacists in dispensing medications and ensuring that patients receive accurate prescriptions. It’s a profession that demands precision, attention to detail, and a profound sense of responsibility. So, what degree do you need to be a pharmacy technician? What is the ideal path to pursue? In this article, we will journey through the various aspects of acquiring a pharmacy technician degree and the steps you need to take to fulfill your dreams of joining this essential profession.

Ready to start your journey as a Pharmacy Technician? Learn more about what it takes to become one in our comprehensive guide. Click here to read What do you need to be a Pharmacy Technician

The Pharmacy Technician Degree: An Overview

At its core, the pharmacy technician degree is a program designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in this field. As a pharmacy technician, you will be involved in various tasks, such as measuring, labeling, and dispensing medications, as well as managing inventories and patient records. The pharmacy technician degree serves as a foundation for your career, providing you with the necessary expertise to perform these tasks efficiently and accurately.

In the United States, the requirements for becoming a pharmacy technician vary from state to state. Some states mandate a specific pharmacy technician degree, while others may require only a high school diploma and on-the-job training. It is crucial to familiarize yourself with your state’s requirements before embarking on your journey to become a pharmacy technician.

The first pharmacy technician certification exam was offered in 1995. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) was founded in 1995, and the first exam was administered in same year.

Do you need a degree to be a Pharmacy Technician

In the United States, there is no national requirement for pharmacy technicians to have a degree. However, many states do require pharmacy technicians to be certified, and some states require that certification be obtained through a program that includes some college-level coursework.

So, do you need a degree to be a pharmacy technician? The answer is not a simple yes or no. It depends on the specific requirements of the state in which you want to work, and on your own personal goals and aspirations.

The need for a degree to be a pharmacy technician is not merely defined by the accumulation of knowledge, but rather by the intrinsic value placed on the pursuit of education and the recognition of its potential to shape one’s professional journey and enrich the lives of those entrusted to their care.

— Do I need a degree to be a Pharmacy Technician

Exploring the Different Pharmacy Technician Degree Options

There are several pharmacy technician degree options available to those interested in joining this profession. Let’s explore the various educational pathways one can take:

  1. High School Diploma or GED: In some states, a high school diploma or GED is sufficient to embark on a career as a pharmacy technician. On-the-job training or employer-sponsored training programs can supplement this basic education, providing you with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in this field. However, acquiring a more advanced degree may offer better job prospects and career growth opportunities.
  2. Certificate and Diploma Programs: Many community colleges, vocational schools, and online institutions offer certificate and diploma programs in pharmacy technology. These programs typically take less than a year to complete and provide students with a foundational understanding of pharmacy operations, drug classifications, and dosage calculations. Some programs also include hands-on training or externships, allowing students to gain practical experience before entering the workforce.
  3. Associate Degree Programs: An associate degree in pharmacy technology is a more in-depth program, often taking up to two years to complete. In addition to covering the core subjects included in certificate and diploma programs, associate degree programs delve deeper into topics such as pharmacology, medication therapy management, and pharmaceutical calculations. These programs may also require students to complete general education courses, such as English, mathematics, and social sciences.
  4. Bachelor’s Degree Programs: Although rare, some schools offer bachelor’s degree programs in pharmacy technology. These programs provide students with a more comprehensive education, covering advanced topics in pharmacology, pharmacy management, and healthcare ethics. A bachelor’s degree may lead to more advanced career opportunities and higher earning potential.

Some states require pharmacy technicians to have a degree, while others do not. The degree requirements for pharmacy technicians vary from state to state. However, all states require pharmacy technicians to pass the PTCB exam.

Certification and Licensure: The Final Steps

In addition to acquiring a pharmacy technician degree, most states require pharmacy technicians to be certified and/or licensed. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offer the two most widely recognized certifications: the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) and the ExCPT Pharmacy Technician (ExCPT). Both certifications require passing an examination and maintaining continuing education credits to remain certified. Licensure requirements vary by state, so it is essential to research the specific requirements for your location.

Pharmacy Technician Degree Statistics

DegreePercentage of Pharmacy Technicians
Associate’s degree25%
Bachelor’s degree10%

As you can see, the majority of pharmacy technicians (40%) hold a certificate or diploma. This is because these programs are shorter and more affordable than associate’s or bachelor’s degree programs. However, there is a growing trend of pharmacy technicians pursuing associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. This is because these degrees can lead to higher salaries and more opportunities for advancement.

The first formal pharmacy technician training program in the United States was established in 1969 by the Michigan Society of Hospital Pharmacists (MSHP). This program was created in response to the growing need for trained personnel to support pharmacists in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

The Benefits of Acquiring a Pharmacy Technician Degree

While some states only require a high school diploma or GED, obtaining a pharmacy technician degree offers several benefits:

  1. Enhanced Job Prospects: Employers often prefer to hire candidates with formal education in pharmacy technology, as it demonstrates a solid foundation of knowledge and skills. Acquiring a pharmacy technician degree can make you a more attractive candidate in the job market and increase your chances of securing a desirable position.
  2. Higher Earning Potential: Pharmacy technicians with advanced degrees often command higher salaries than those with only a high school diploma or GED. Investing in a pharmacy technician degree can pay off in the long run by increasing your earning potential.
  3. Better Career Growth Opportunities: A pharmacy technician degree can open doors to more advanced positions within the healthcare industry, such as pharmacy manager or pharmaceutical sales representative. Additionally, a degree in pharmacy technology can serve as a stepping stone to further education, such as pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree to become a pharmacist.
  4. Greater Confidence and Competence: Completing a pharmacy technician degree program provides you with a comprehensive understanding of the field, allowing you to approach your work with confidence and competence. This, in turn, can lead to greater job satisfaction and a more fulfilling career.

The demand for pharmacy technicians is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of pharmacy technicians will grow 12% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

A Final Note on the Pharmacy Technician Degree

The pharmacy technician degree serves as a crucial building block in the foundation of a successful career in this field. The right education can open doors, provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge, and ultimately lead you to a rewarding and fulfilling profession. Choosing the right degree program that aligns with your goals and state requirements is essential to your success.

As the credits roll on this cinematic exploration of the pharmacy technician degree, remember that every great story has its own unique path. Your journey to becoming a pharmacy technician may be filled with challenges and triumphs, but with determination, perseverance, and the right education, you too can star in your own story of success.

The average tuition for an associate degree in pharmacy technology is around $12,000 per year. The average tuition for a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy technology is around $20,000 per year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Pharmacy Technician need degree

While a degree is not universally required to become a pharmacy technician, obtaining formal education can significantly enhance employment prospects and provide a solid foundation for a successful career. However, the specific requirements can vary by state or country, so it’s important to research the regulations in your desired practice location.

Hopefully the above answer has answered your question Does a Pharmacy Technician need a degree.

Are there any specific courses that need to be completed in a pharmacy technician degree program?

Pharmacy technician degree programs typically cover subjects such as pharmacology, pharmacy law and ethics, medical terminology, pharmaceutical calculations, and pharmacy operations. These courses provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in their roles as pharmacy technicians.

How long does it take to complete a pharmacy technician degree program?

The duration of a pharmacy technician degree program can vary depending on the educational institution and the type of program. Certificate programs may take around 6 to 12 months to complete, while diploma and associate degree programs may range from 1 to 2 years. It’s important to check with specific educational institutions for their program durations.

Do pharmacy technician degree programs include hands-on training?

Yes, most pharmacy technician degree programs include hands-on training or externship components. These practical experiences allow students to apply their knowledge in real-world pharmacy settings, gain valuable skills, and familiarize themselves with the daily responsibilities of a pharmacy technician.


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. (2021). Pharmacy Technicians. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved from <https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm ↗>
  2. Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. (n.d.). PTCB – CPhT Certification. Retrieved from <https://www.ptcb.org/certification-programs/certified-pharmacy-technician-cpht ↗>
  3. National Healthcareer Association. (n.d.). ExCPT Pharmacy Technician Certification. Retrieved from <https://www.nhanow.com/certifications/pharmacy-technician ↗>
  4. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. (n.d.). ASHP – Pharmacy Technician Training Program Directory. Retrieved from <https://accred.ashp.org/aps/pages/directory/technicianProgramDirectory.aspx ↗>

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