Have you ever imagined the importance of obtaining a certification in your career?

Obtaining a certificate is like adding an extra star to your skills.

In this article, we will discuss Pharmacy Technician Certification, its types, and many other questions whose answers you might be looking for.

So, let’s get started to understand the importance of obtaining a Pharmacy Technician Certification.

pharmacy tech certification

What is a Pharmacy Technician Certification?

Pharmacy technician certification is a credential that you can get after passing a test. It shows that you have the right knowledge and abilities to help pharmacists with different daily tasks in a pharmacy.

This certification makes sure that Pharmacy Technicians know how to give out medicines, handle supplies, keep records of patients, and maintain a pharmacy.

Know more:

what does a Pharmacy Technician Do?
Pharmacy Technician Salary
Certified Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy Technician Certificate

When you have this certification, it shows that you are serious about doing your job professionally, and accurately when taking care of people’s health with medicines.

Types of Pharmacy Technician Certification

To become a certified pharmacy technician, you need to pass a test. There are two main tests you can take. One is PTCE and the other is ExCPT.

It’s completely your choice which one you choose. However, PTCB is primarily more reputed and has better credibility.

  • Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE): This test is given by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). You can take the test if you have finished a program approved by the PTCB or have worked as a Pharmacy Technician for at least 500 hours.
  • Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT): This test is given by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). To take this test, you must have finished an approved training program or have worked at least 1,200 hours under supervision in a pharmacy-related job.

What Jobs Can You Get With a Pharmacy Technician Certification?

Now, when you are all set to step into the pharmacy world, you might have questions in your mind regarding the job opportunities for you.

Well, there are different types of jobs for pharmacy technicians.

These jobs give people a chance to work in healthcare. If you want to be a Pharmacy Technician, it’s important to know about the different kinds of jobs you can have.

Retail Pharmacy Technician

One type of job is being a retail pharmacy technician. In this job, you help pharmacists give out medicine. You also teach patients how to use their prescriptions correctly. You make sure the pharmacy has enough medicine in stock for the customers.

Hospital Pharmacy Technician

Another type of job is being a hospital or health system Pharmacy Technician. In this job, you make sure patients get the right medicine and care.

You help pharmacists and nurses by managing medicine and keeping track of supplies. You have to pay attention to details and be well-organized.

Long-term Care Pharmacy Technician

Some Pharmacy Technicians work in long-term care or assisted living facilities. They help take care of people who live there.

Your responsibility as a Long-term Care Pharmacy Technician will be to check prescriptions, prepare medicine, and keep good records.

Read more: Where can Pharmacy Technicians Work

Compounding Pharmacy Technician

There are also compounding Pharmacy Technicians. They make personalized medicine for patients who have special needs. This job requires a lot of skill, attention to detail, and knowledge of how medicines work.

compounding pharm tech

Which Organization Offers National Pharmacy Technician Certification?

To get the certification as a Pharmacy Technician, there are primarily two Organizations.

1) PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board)
2) NHA (National Healthcareer Association)

Let’s take a more detailed look at both these certifications to know about their purpose and the process to obtain the certification:

PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board)

Purpose and Mission:

PTCB helps in certifying pharmacy technicians who have the right education, training, and experience. The PTCB’s mission is to make the tasks safer at Pharmacies by certifying technicians who are qualified to help pharmacists and give good care to patients.

Certification Process of PTCB:

Getting certified by the PTCB involves a few steps:

Eligibility: Candidates need to have finished a high school diploma.

Also find out: How to become a Pharmacy Technician Without Going To School

Education and Training: People who want to be pharmacy technicians must complete a training program or have similar work experience.

Application: Candidates have to fill out an application and pay a fee.

Examination: The certification exam is computer-based and tests what candidates know and can do as pharmacy technicians. It covers topics like giving out medication, pharmacy rules, managing supplies, and how pharmacies work.

Exam Fee: The overall cost to apply for CPhT Certification and take the PTCE is $129.
For more details, visit the official PTCB website.

Benefits of Certification

Getting the CPhT credential from the PTCB has many advantages:

Professional Recognition: PTCB certification shows that Pharmacy Technicians are serious about their job and are capable at handling the responsibilities that come with it.

Career Opportunities: Many employers prefer or require Pharmacy Technicians to have PTCB certification when they hire.

More Responsibilities: Certified pharmacy technicians may get to do more things and take on different roles in the pharmacy, like mixing medicines or advising patients.

Higher Pay: Certified pharmacy technicians usually make more money than those without certification.

Recertification requirements

PTCB certification is valid for two years. To keep the certification valid, Pharmacy Technicians have to complete 20 hours of extra education every two years.

And they have to apply again and pay a fee to renew their certification.

PTCB and State Regulations

It’s important to know that PTCB certification rules can be different in each state. Some states may have their own certification programs or may require PTCB certification to get a state license.

It’s a good idea to check the requirements of the state where you want to work as a pharmacy technician.

2) NHA (National Healthcareer Association)

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) helps healthcare professionals in the United States by providing certifications and learning opportunities.

Here are some important things to know about the National Healthcareer Association:

Certification Programs: NHA offers programs to certify healthcare professionals. These programs check if people have the knowledge and skills they need for their jobs. When people complete the programs, they get certificates to show they are good at their work.

Who Can Apply: To get NHA certification, it becomes important to meet certain requirements. Usually, you must finish a training program for your healthcare job.

It depends on the program you choose.

You might also need to have some experience working in a clinic or hospital.

Certification Exams: NHA conducts exams to test people’s knowledge and skills for their specific healthcare jobs. The exam for Pharmacy Technicians consists of multiple-choice questions.

The exam contains 100 questions and the overall duration is 2 Hours and 10 minutes.

Getting Ready for Exams: NHA helps people prepare for their certification exams. They offer study materials, practice exams, and online courses. You can directly visit their website to learn about the course outline.

Continuing Education: NHA encourages healthcare professionals to keep learning even after they get certified. They offer online courses to help people stay updated with new information in the industry and better ways of doing their jobs.

Renewing Certifications: Like PTCB, NHA’s certification also has an expiration date. You need to renew the certification from time to time.


How to get Pharmacy Technician Certification

Apply for your exam: To apply for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, you have to visit the official website of PTCB or NHA  depending upon your preference, and create an account. You can do this anytime. Then, submit your application for the exam through your account.

Choose a date: Pick a date and decide if you want to take the exam online or in person. You will need to pay a certain fee when you select the date.

Prepare! Prepare! Prepare: It’s time to study! Prepare for your exam. You can go through the PTCB website to gather study material such as a guide and practice test for the CPT exam.

Take the exam: So, finally, after all the preparation, it’s an exam day. You will take a test with 100 questions.

See your results: If you take the exam online, PTCB or NHA  will officially show your certification results on your account page within two days of scoring your test.

Also read: Pharmacy Technician FAQ
Day in the Life of a Pharmacy Technician
How to Become a Certified Pharmacy Technician

What can you do with a Pharmacy Technician Certification?

So, you want to be a pharmacy technician and are curious about what you can do with a certificate. Well, there are many things you can do!

Here are some detailed options that can help you understand why being a pharmacy technician can lead to many opportunities in healthcare.

Easier to Get a Job: Becoming a certified pharmacy technician shows that you know a lot about the pharmacy world and are committed to your job.

Many employers like to hire people with certification, and in some places, you have to be certified to work. Being certified can help you stand out when you apply for jobs.

More Job Options: When you have certification, you can choose from a wider variety of jobs. Certified pharmacy technicians can work in different places like hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes, etc.

Higher Pay: Certified pharmacy technicians usually earn more money than those without certification. When you have certification, it shows that you know your job well and are professional. Employers may pay you more or give you extra benefits because you have certification.

Obtaining a License: This might not be obvious in every state. You have to check the requirements for any particular state. However, some states ask you for the certification before applying for a Pharmacy Technician License.

Learn and Grow: To get certified, you have to go through training and keep learning even after you’re certified. This helps you stay updated on the newest things in pharmacy, like rules and technology.

Learning more can make you better at your job and more able to handle different situations.

How Long Does Pharmacy Technician Certification Take?

The duration to get a Pharmacy Technician Certification is not fixed. It completely depends on the program you choose.

The path to obtaining a Pharmacy Technician Certification generally involves two steps.

1) Training

You can get your training either from any school or institute that offers training for Pharmacy Technicians. These institutions offer formal education programs and can take 1 to 2 years.

Another way is to get online training for Pharmacy Technician Programs. These programs can be completed in just 2 months and prepare you for the certification exams.

Only two months? Yes!


 2) Exam Preparation

Once you finish your training program and gain enough work experience, you need to pass a certification exam. The exam is usually given by a recognized board, like the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).


And that concludes our guide on Pharmacy Technician Certification! It’s not just a certification; it’s your key to a rewarding healthcare career.

Whether starting or advancing, it positions you in a role where you truly impact patient well-being. Recognize your efforts – you’re not just dispensing medications; you’re an integral part of healthcare.

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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.