May 17, 2024

‍Are you looking for a rewarding career in the medical field? Becoming a certified pharmacy technician might be the perfect path for you. With the healthcare industry growing rapidly, there is a high demand for skilled professionals who can assist pharmacists in providing essential medications to patients. In this article, we will explore the steps you need to take to become a certified pharmacy technician. We’ll guide you through the educational requirements, certification process, and skills you’ll need to excel in this role.

What is a Certified Pharmacy Technician?

A certified pharmacy technician is a healthcare professional who works under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Their role is to assist pharmacists in various tasks, including medication dispensing, inventory management, and customer service. They play a crucial role in ensuring that patients receive the correct medications and that the pharmacy operates smoothly.

To become a certified pharmacy technician, you will need to complete the necessary education and training, pass a pharmacy technician certification exam, and meet any state-specific requirements. This certification is essential as it demonstrates your competency and dedication to providing safe and effective pharmaceutical care.

Benefits of Becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician

Becoming a certified pharmacy technician offers numerous benefits. First and foremost, it opens up a wide range of career opportunities in the healthcare industry. With the demand for pharmacy technicians on the rise, you can find employment in various settings, such as hospitals, retail pharmacies, mail-order pharmacies, and long-term care facilities. Additionally, becoming certified increases your earning potential. Certified pharmacy technicians typically earn higher wages compared to non-certified technicians.

The Certification Process

The certification process is a crucial step in becoming a certified pharmacy technician. It validates your knowledge and competency in the field. To obtain certification, follow these steps:

  1. Determine the certification body: Research and choose the certifying body that aligns with your career goals. The PTCB and NHA are the most recognized certifying bodies in the United States.
  2. Eligibility requirements: Review the eligibility requirements set by the chosen certifying body. These may include educational prerequisites, training hours, and work experience.
  3. Prepare for the exam: Familiarize yourself with the exam content and structure. The certifying bodies provide study materials, practice exams, and resources to help you prepare.
  4. Schedule the exam: Once you feel confident in your knowledge and preparation, schedule the certification exam. Choose a convenient date and location that works for you.
  5. Take the exam: On the day of the exam, arrive early, bring the necessary identification, and be prepared to demonstrate your knowledge and skills. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions that assess various aspects of pharmacy practice.
  6. Receive the results: After completing the exam, you will receive your results within a specified timeframe. If you pass, congratulations! You are now a certified pharmacy technician. If you do not pass, take this as an opportunity to identify areas for improvement and try again.

Tips for Passing the Certification Exam

Passing the certification exam requires preparation and focus. Here are some tips to increase your chances of success:

  1. Understand the exam format: Familiarize yourself with the exam structure, including the number of questions, time limit, and content areas. This knowledge will help you strategize your approach to the exam.
  2. Focus on key topics: Identify the core topics that are likely to be covered in the exam. Pay extra attention to these areas during your studies.
  3. Practice critical thinking: The exam may include scenario-based questions that require critical thinking. Practice analyzing situations and applying your knowledge to arrive at the best solution.
  4. Manage test anxiety: Test anxiety can hinder your performance. Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and positive visualization, to help calm your nerves on exam day.
  5. Read questions carefully: Take the time to read each question carefully and understand what is being asked. Pay attention to keywords and be sure to answer the question as it is presented.
  6. Pace yourself: Manage your time wisely during the exam. Answer the questions you are confident about first and then revisit the more challenging ones. Avoid spending too much time on a single question.
  7. Guess intelligently: If you encounter a question you are unsure about, use the process of elimination to eliminate incorrect answers. Make an educated guess from the remaining options.
  8. Stay positive and confident: Believe in yourself and your abilities. Maintaining a positive mindset can help you stay focused and perform optimally during the exam.

Job Prospects and Career Opportunities for Certified Pharmacy Technicians

Hospitals offer opportunities for pharmacy technicians to work in both inpatient and outpatient settings. In these roles, you will assist pharmacists in medication dispensing, dosage preparation, and inventory management. You may also have the chance to collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive patient care.

Retail pharmacies are another common employment option for certified pharmacy technicians. In this setting, you will interact directly with patients, filling prescriptions, providing medication counseling, and offering excellent customer service. Retail pharmacies often have flexible schedules, making it an attractive option for those seeking work-life balance.

Mail-order pharmacies have gained popularity in recent years, providing convenient medication delivery to patients’ homes. As a certified pharmacy technician in a mail-order pharmacy, you will be responsible for processing prescriptions, ensuring accurate medication packaging, and coordinating delivery logistics.


Becoming a certified pharmacy technician is an excellent career choice for those seeking a rewarding and fulfilling role in the healthcare industry. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can embark on a journey towards becoming a certified pharmacy technician. Remember to meet the educational requirements, complete the necessary training, and pass the certification exam.