Each day, the demand for pharmacy technicians continues to increase with retail stores adding pharmacies within their shops. Pharmacies need techs to help with inventory, customer service, and any other pharmacy-related tasks.
By becoming a certified technician, you will be more than qualified to satisfy the growing demand for pharmacy technicians.
The step-by-step guide on how you can get your pharmacy technician certification
Meet all eligibility requirements
Before you become a Certified Pharmacy Technician, you’ll need to:
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Report any pre-existing criminal charges to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board® (PTCB®)
- Be compliant with PTCB certification policies
- Pass the certification exam
Sign up for a certificate program
Certificate programs are about a year-long, with an in-depth concentration in the Pharmacy technician profession. If you’re looking for a full career, consider a two years program. Search for schools that offer pharmacy technician programs.
Soon after you complete the program, you may have the chance to enhance your career by participating in an internship-like program. Depending on the school you go to, they may be able to place you in a program.
Once you complete the certificate program, you will need to apply to become certified with the board. To apply, you’ll first need to create a PTCB account here.
Once your application gets approved, you’ll be allowed to schedule a Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam® (PTCE®) appointment. PTCE is an online-based exam offered across the U.S. in Pearson VUE testing facilities. You can schedule with Pearson VUE online or by phone.
Take practice exams
PTCB offers multiple practice exams as a way to familiarize candidates with the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam® (PTCE®). Essentially, you will get a feel of what to expect on test day.
These exams typically cost $29 to $49 depending on which version you take. To make things a bit more accessible, you can access these exams through the app store or google play as PTCB® Pharmaceutical Calculations Questions Exam Prep App.
Each exam will have 90 multiple choice questions for a total of one hour and 50 minutes.
The questions may be based on:
- Pharmacy law
- Medication safety
- Pharmacy quality assurance
- Billing and reimbursement
- Information systems application
- Order entry and the filling process
- Sterile and non-sterile compounding
The same set up should be expected for the official exam.
It’s time to take the PTCE
Now that you’re familiar with the exam composition you’ll be prepared to take the PTCE. It’s time to put your knowledge to the test. Be sure to put your practice skills to use when you sit down to take the test. Generally, you’ll already have a good understanding of how the test will flow and the material you need to know.
Get Your Results
Your official exam results take about two to three weeks from your exam date to get sent to you. Once you know that you passed your PTCE, your certificate will be available to download through your PTCB account.
If you don’t pass the exam on your first attempt, you can retake it 60 days after your first exam.
You’re Officially Certified!
With your certification complete, you can begin looking for jobs. All the hard work of going through the process has officially paid off.