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Pharmacy Technician Education And Training

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A pharmacy technician plays a crucial role in healthcare by ensuring patients get accurate and effective prescriptions based on their current conditions and medical history.

To do this, they work closely with pharmacists and other healthcare professionals who often review a pharmacy technician’s work for accuracy before dispensing medication.

Naturally, thanks to the importance of their roles and the need for accuracy at all times, pharmacy technicians often have to undergo training before they can seek employment.

If you’d like to know more about the educational requirements and training programs available for pharmacy technicians, below are some notable programs that are worthy of consideration.

Degree & Certification Programs

One of the most common routes to becoming a pharmacy technician is to complete a degree or certification program at an accredited college. The following are some of the most famous examples of available alternative options in this regard:

Clover Park Technical College

At Clover Park Technical College, students can earn an associate of applied technology (AAT) degree in a program combining laboratory, classroom, and clinical experience lessons.

It lasts for five quarters, with each quarter alternating between starting at spring and starting during fall. There is also an option to earn a certificate instead of a degree, which lasts three quarters instead of 5.

Students must complete 92 study credits for a degree and 44 credits for a certificate. Courses such as pharmacology, medication research, introduction to pharmacy, and pharmaceutical calculations are all included in the curriculum.

Cerritos College

Students in Southern California who wish to enroll in a respected Pharmacy Technician program can do so at Cerritos College. Like Clover Park, Cerritos College offers certificate and associate’s degree opportunities for aspiring students.

A program accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, students can aim to complete their programs in less than 12 months. Those who seek to leave with a certificate would have to complete 31 units of courses to graduate, while those who want an associate’s degree must complete 60-semester units.

Topics included in the curriculum include pharmacology, medical terminology, introduction to anatomy, and physiology.

Cleveland Clinic

Another veritable alternative for anyone looking to enroll in a pharmacy technician program is the Cleveland Clinic. This institution is unique for its ability to incorporate a high level of practical and clinical experience and didactic classroom courses.

These didactic instructions last 20 weeks and include online training and hands-on observation. To enter, students must have at least two semesters of college-level coursework or five years of professional work experience.

It takes twelve months to complete the program.

Pima Medical Institute

One of the appeals of getting a pharmacy technician degree from Pima Medical Institute is the fact that they have a handful of accredited locations all over the country, including Mesa and Tucson, Arizona; Denver and Colorado Spring Colorado; Chula Vista and San Marcos, California, Las Vegas, Nevada; El Paso, Houston; Albuquerque, New Mexico; San Antonio Texas; and Renton, Washington.

The program lasts for 840 clock hours. Students must also sit for the National Pharmacy Technician Certification exam administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.


Other options for acquiring accredited pharmacy technician certificates and degrees include Downey Adult School in California, National University College in Puerto Rico, Florida Vocational Institute in Florida, and Manhattan Institute in New York.

Online & Hybrid Pharmacy Technician Certificate and Degree Programs

Those who want to obtain a degree in Pharmacy Technology but don’t necessarily have the time to check in to an offline location will be glad to know that there are online programs that can stand in as veritable alternatives.

The following are some of the best choices to consider in this regard.

San Francisco State University

At San Francisco State University, students can strictly complete a pharmacy technician program online. They will earn a professional certificate and can sit for the pharmacy technician certification board examination.

To acquire clinical experience, students must complete 80 hours of externships. The program takes nine months to complete and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

Ashworth College

Ashworth College is one of the best options for anyone looking to train as a pharmacy technician online. The school offers a hybrid program that helps students learn the theoretical part of the job online while also getting hands-on clinical experience in real-world sites.

Ashworth College also has a clinical externship component for 18 years or older students. The program is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). It allows students to sit for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) or the National Healthcare Association ExCPT Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam.

Coastal Carolina Community College

Coastal Carolina Community College in Jacksonville, North Carolina, is renowned for its online pharmacy technician program. Here, students can choose between a strictly online or hybrid alternative.

In the hybrid option, students must supplement their online lessons with campus coursework. The latter part of the program can be taken during the day or at night for convenience.

A significant reason for this program’s popularity is that Coastal Carolina Community College offers job placement assistance. It should be mentioned, however, that there is no clinical externship component to the program.


Other options for those wanting to earn their pharmacy technician certificate or degree from online/hybrid programs include the University of Medical Academy-Clearwater in Florida, Martinsburg College in West Virginia, Rasmussen College in Florida, and Carrington College in California.

Daymar College in Clarksville, Tennessee, Cuyahoga Community College District in Cleveland, Ohio, and Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Minnesota are other valid alternatives.

All options above are accredited by relevant bodies and organizations, ensuring that certification is as smooth and straightforward as possible.