Why Seek Pharmacy Technician Certification
The pharmaceutical industry is in constant pursuit of better medications and advancements in technology. The industry will always need skilled certified pharmacy technicians who have a desire to stay current on the latest medical innovations.
Having your pharmacy technician certification means that you have passed the certification test given by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and you have the basic knowledge to begin working as a pharmacy technician professional. Only a few states require you to be certified, but that list is growing as pharmacists depend more on technicians for support.
Regardless of your state regulations, you'll find that more and more employers are requiring pharmacy technician certification. Most pharmacy technician job postings say that they want candidates who are either already certified or are currently enrolled in pharmacy technician school.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Requirements
The prerequisites for taking the pharmacy technician certification exam are simple. You must have a high school diploma, GED or foreign equivalent, and you must have no felony or drug-related convictions. Additionally, you must not be under any restrictions from any State Board of Pharmacy.
If you've met the eligibility qualifications, you simply have to pass the pharmacy technician certification test administered by the PTCB. In order to keep your pharmacy technician certification status, you must complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years. At least one of those hours must be in pharmacy law.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Test
The pharmacy technician certification test is administered on a computer and consists of 90 multiple choice questions covering the following areas:
- Assisting pharmacists in serving patients
- Maintaining medication and inventory control systems
- Participating in the administration and management of pharmacy practice
There are testing locations around the country, and starting in April 2009, the test will be offered year-round. Be prepared to pay a registration fee. Visit the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board website for more information.
You will receive your official score by mail within three weeks. If you do not pass, you may take the exam as many times as needed until you earn a passing score. The exam fee is required each time you take the exam. Once you have passed the exam, you will have earned the designation of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).
If you want extra practice before you take the pharmacy technician certification exam, practice tests are available for a fee at www.ptcb.org.