After graduating from a formal pharmacy technician training program (see: Pharmacy Tech Training), pharmacy techs may wish to become certified. Certification is a way of demonstrating that you meet a national standard for pharmacy technician knowledge.
Pharmacy technician certification is voluntary in some states, but most require it for employment. Whether or not it is required in your state, certification is a good step to ensure the highest level of employability.
Two organizations handle pharmacy technician certification in the US:
- The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
- The Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT)
Both organizations offer similar certification programs, and both are accepted by most employers as a benchmark of quality in pharmacy technician education.
PTCB Certification for Pharmacy Technicians
The PTCB offers the designation of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) to pharmacy techs who meet educational and background requirements and who pass the PTCE exam. To qualify, a pharmacy tech must have:
- A high school diploma or equivalent
- No felony convictions
- No drug or pharmacy related convictions
- No restriction of registration or licensure, or regulations misconduct
After passing the exam and beconing certified as a CPhT, pharmacy techs are required to recertify every 2 years by gaining 20 hours of continuing education.
ICPT Certification for Pharmacy Technicians
The ICPT also offers the pharmacy tech certification Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), through the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT). To be eligible, candidates must:
- Be at least 18 years old with a high school degree or GED
- Not be guilty of a felony
Once certified, you will be given the designation of CPhT, and your certification must be renewed every two years. Renewal requires 20 hours of continuing education, with at least one hour in pharmacy law.
To become certified by either of these organizations, a pharmacy technician simply contacts one of the certification boards and requests to take the certification exam. The exam is offered four times per year in most states, and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. The exam may be taken as many times as necessary in order to pass.
Does Your State Require Certification?
Below is a list of the 50 US states and whether or not they require certification from either the PTCB or ICPT.
Click to see a list of schools that can prepare you for pharmacy tech certification.
|Alabama||Not Required||Not Required|
|Alaska||Not Required||Not Required|
|Akansas||Not Required||Not Required|
|California||Not Required||Not Required|
|Colorado||Not Required||Not Required|
|Delaware||Not Required||Not Required|
|Florida||Not Required||Not Required|
|Georgia||Not Required||Not Required|
|Hawaii||Not Required||Not Required|
|Indiana||Not Required||Not Required|
|Kansas||Not Required||Not Required|
|Kentucky||Not Required||Not Required|
|Maine||Not Required||Not Required|
|Michigan||Not Required||Not Required|
|Mississippi||Not Required||Not Required|
|Missouri||Not Required||Not Required|
|Nebraska||Not Required||Not Required|
|Nevada||Not Required||Not Required|
|New Hampshire||Not Required||Not Required|
|New Jersey||Not Required||Required|
|New York||Not Required||Not Required|
|North Carolina||Not Required||Not Required|
|North Dakota||Not Required||Not Required|
|Ohio||Not Required||Not Required|
|Oklahoma||Not Required||Not Required|
|Pennsylvania||Not Required||Not Required|
|Rhode Island||Not Required||Required|
|South Carolina||Required||Not Required|
|South Dakota||Not Required||Not Required|
|Vermont||Not Required||Not Required|
|West Virginia||Not Required||Not Required|
|Wisconsin||Not Required||Not Required|
This table is informational only. You can find more complete information on state certification requirements by visiting the PTCB and ICPT Web sites.