Why Seek Certification?
The pharmaceutical industry is in constant pursuit of better medications and advancements in technology. For this reason, the industry will always need skilled certified pharmacy technicians who have a desire to stay current on the latest medical innovations.
Getting certified involves passing the exam given by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). This milestone means that you have the basic knowledge to begin working as a pharmacy technician professional. Not all states require you to be certified, but that list is growing as pharmacists depend more on technicians for support. More importantly, most employers seek job candidates who have earned their certification.
The prerequisites for taking the pharmacy technician certification exam are simple:
- Have a high school diploma, GED or foreign equivalent
- No felony or drug-related convictions
- Are not under any restrictions from any State Board of Pharmacy
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.
The PTCB Certification Test
You'll take the pharmacy technician certification test on a computer. It 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 the test is offered year-round. Be prepared to pay a $129 registration fee. 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).