Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPT) – When you hear this term, what comes to your mind?

You might be thinking that you have heard about a Pharmacy Technician before, but what is a Certified Pharmacy Technician?

You might also be wondering if there’s even a difference between the two terms.

Well, yes, there is a difference between a Pharmacy Technician and a Certified Pharmacy Technician.

As a certified pharmacy technician, you have a lot in your basket. You become a core member of the pharmacy team, where you see yourself as a supportive and inseparable part of the healthcare industry.

In this article, you will get a detailed roadmap to becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician.

So, if you are passionate about the healthcare industry, sit back, ready your mind for a wealth of knowledge, and join us on this informative journey to learn more about a certified pharmacy technician.


What is a Certified Pharmacy Technician?

When we say Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPT), it means an individual has successfully passed the exam from a nationally recognized board such as PTCB and has met the requirements to work as a pharmacy technician.

Know more: How To Become a Pharmacy Technician

The PTCB conducts a CPhT exam, and once you clear that you become a Certified Pharmacy Technician. This exam evaluates knowledge and skills related to pharmacy practice.

Read more: Pharmacy Technician Job Description

How to Get a Pharmacy Technician Certification?

By now, you might have figured out what a certified Pharmacy technician is and what are the requirements you need to become one.

But, how do you get a pharmacy technician certification?

To get a Pharmacy Technician certification, you have to follow various steps sequentially.

Below are the steps that will help you to get a detailed understanding of how to get the Pharmacy Technician certification.

Read more:
How long does it take to become a pharmacy technician
Pharmacy Technician Certificate

1. Make sure you have your high school diploma

Getting certified as a pharmacy technician usually demands a minimum education to be completed. But don’t worry, this minimum requirement is just a high school diploma or a GED that you need to complete.

Read more: Pharmacy Technician Online Schools

 2. Enroll in Pharmacy Technician Training

The next step in becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician is to look for accredited pharmacy technician training programs that are provided by an accredited college, vocational school, or any online institution.

Online courses are usually recommended since they are pocket-friendly and the quickest way to start your career.

With online courses, you also have access to pre-recorded or live classes, ensuring freedom and flexibility in learning, according to your own pace.

However, it is important to choose a program that also prepares you for the certification exam.

Here is one such program you should check out>>


3. Apply for PTCB Exam

Once you are done with your training program, you are all set to apply for the certification exam.

This can be done by visiting the PTCB website, and exploring the study guides, practice exams, and other valuable resources.

pharm tech preparing for exam

4. Get Clinical Experience & Prepare for Your Exam

Getting training is not enough to be a  Certified Pharmacy Technician.

Along with theoretical knowledge, you have to gain some real-life clinical experience.

Some pharmacy technician training programs offer you an externship. Through an externship, you can get hands-on experience working in a pharmacy, which is especially beneficial before you join the workforce.

Know more: What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do

5. Get Certified As a Pharmacy Technician

The last step is to get certified as a pharmacy technician. All you need to do is prepare well, and sit for the exam conducted by PTCB on a scheduled date, and clear the exam to work as a Certified Pharmacy Technician.

Once you get your Pharmacy Technician Certification, you will need to fulfill certain requirements to maintain it after a few years, also called a renewal period.

These requirements may include continuing education courses or renewing your certification every two years from the date of issuance of the certificate.

It is recommended to stay updated with the renewal process. PTCB generally sends you a reminder, but for that, you must update your contact number on their portal.

How much can you make per hour as a pharmacy technician?

Now, coming to the most common question among aspiring pharmacy technicians, how much exactly can you earn as a pharmacy technician?

Well, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics(BLS), the hourly pay of a Certified Pharmacy Technician is $17.66.

Now this may not be the same for all Certified Pharmacy Technicians, as various factors can influence your hourly pay.

Find out: Pharmacy Technician Salary

Factors such as your overall experience, your job location, and the type of employer you are associated with may influence your average salary.


Becoming a certified pharmacy technician offers a fulfilling healthcare career. By completing education, gaining experience, and passing the certification exam, individuals can enter a vital role in medication management.

Related sources:

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About the Author
Grant founded OnlineDegree.com with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.