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Online Pharmacy Tech Schools & Programs

Check out this year’s top online pharmacy tech programs, learn the pros and cons of earning your pharmacy tech degree online, and get info on everything from certifications to financial aid to career first steps.

Last Updated: 09/02/2020
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MEET THE EXPERT

Sadie-Black
Sadie Black

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Sadie Black is a certified and licensed pharmacy technician. She received her Associate of Science in Pharmacy Technician with a pre-major in pharmacy study before earning her state certification and national license from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Sadie has experience working in both chain and independent pharmacies as lead pharmacy tech and is a member of the National Pharmacy Tech Association.

Online pharmacy technician programs appeal to many learners as they allow students to work toward their education while maintaining flexibility and balance within their personal, professional, and academic lives. Lots of distance learners decide to keep working while enrolled as many programs allow students to complete assignments at times that fit their schedules. While some classes may still need to be taken in person (particularly those with clinical components), online courses offer many benefits. Some of these include:

Convenience

Many academic classes can be taken online, making it easy for distance learners to interact with their professors and peers, turn in assignments, review course materials, and take exams from any location with a secure and steady Wi-Fi connection.

Cost

Students can complete pharmacy technician programs at relatively low costs if they find the right school. At Penn Foster College, for instance, students pay just $999 for the program, practice lab kit, and PTCE exam. If attending a private institution, learners may pay more.

Time to completion

Individuals wanting to move into a pharmacy technician role can quickly find programs that allow them to jump from start to finish in less than three months. ECPI University’s Professional Development Center, for instance, provides a 10-week certificate program.

Programs that might interest you:

3 Types of Pharmacy Tech Programs Online

Before selecting a pharmacy technician online program, prospective online students must do their research to fully learn about what’s available. Unlike other academic paths that only exist as a degree, learners interested in pharmacy tech programs can choose from three different options. When reviewing the differences amongst certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees, individuals should consider where they want their career to go after working in the position for a few years. Those with aspirations to become a pharmacist or take on a more senior-level role often complete a different program than those who simply want to start working quickly.

Certificate

Pharmacy tech certificate programs offer the most direct path to a career, making them great options for individuals who want to get into a job quickly. The length of programs vary by school: some last only a few weeks while others take close to a year. At San Joaquin Valley College, students enroll for nine months. Because these programs are shorter than diploma or associate degree paths, students may participate in fewer clinical opportunities and bypass general education coursework. For learners who don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, certificates also offer a cheaper option for gaining an education.

Diploma

A perfect fit for students who don’t want to spend years in school but do want to gain more clinical experience, diplomas usually take approximately 12 months to complete if studying on a full-time basis. The program at Southeast Tech, for example, requires 48 credits and covers topics such as pharmacy principles and practices, pharmacology, pharmacy law and ethics, and pharmacy technician certification review. Many diploma programs provide more opportunities for lab work and additional requirements surrounding clinicals. Because these programs are longer and require more credits, students should expect to pay more. At Southeast Tech, students pay $11,520 in tuition alongside additional program fees.

Associate degree

Although a pharmacy technician degree can take significantly longer than a certificate program, individuals with career progression on their minds often decide it’s well worth it to stay in school for two years versus a few months. An Associate of Applied Science in Pharmacy Technician at Stratford University offers a glimpse of what to expect. Comprising 90 credits, this program introduces learners to all of the classroom-based and clinical courses needed to be a pharmacy tech alongside a compliment of general education classes. By pursuing this type of well-rounded education, individuals receive a leg up in the job market. As a bonus, those who decide to complete a bachelor’s or advanced degree in order to seek more advanced medical positions can apply their associate degree to the requirements of their next program.

Best Online Pharmacy Tech Programs in 2020

With so many online pharmacy tech schools now available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the choices. To help, we’ve identified the best schools and programs for aspiring pharmacy technicians looking for a flexible and affordable higher education. The following schools represent some of the best and comprehensive programs available, with the accreditation you need to begin a rewarding career as a pharmacy tech. See who is leading the way for 2020.

or
About the ranking

X

Methodology for EduMed’s 2020 Rankings

To be considered for this ranking, each school must have the following:

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Program(s) offered at least partially online.

School Metrics Explained

EduMed.org data scientists analyzed government higher education data and created a proprietary algorithm to rank each U.S. postsecondary institution and its online programs using 5 primary factors:

  • Cost: Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Online Program Availability: Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to Department of Education.
  • Academic Counseling: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid: Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Most recent data pull: February 2020

#School NameTypeCostOnline ProgramsMore DetailsSchool InformationOnline StudentsAcademic CounselingCareer PlacementStudents w/Institutional AidMedian Earnings 10yrs After EntryAccreditation
1Southeast Community CollegeLincoln, NEPublic$1

Southeast Community College’s Pharmacy Technician Diploma program provides students with the basic principles, concepts, and skills required to obtain entry-level positions assisting licensed pharmacists in a variety of pharmacy and healthcare services settings. The curriculum consists of 30 credit hours of coursework that includes five major-specific courses, one computer-related course, and either a written communications or oral communications course. This two-semester program features online courses combined with an in-person practice experience at an institutional, retail, or alternative pharmacy practice site typically located in the Lincoln, Nebraska area. Graduates of the program qualify to sit for the PTCB certification exam, with the costs of the first exam attempt covered by the diploma program.

Program Overview:

Pharmacy Technician Diploma

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 9 months
  • Cost: $102/credit (in-state); $123/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school); ASHP (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
43%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
2Barton County Community CollegeGreat Bend, KSPublic$1

The curriculum of the two-semester Pharmacy Technician Completion Certificate program available from Barton County Community College consists of nine major-related courses in subjects that include pharmacology, medical terminology, pharmacy calculations, pharmacy operations, and customer service. Students additionally take one course in either business English or English composition. All courses are presented 100% online in an asynchronous format that allows students to access their classes and complete their coursework at their convenience. However, students are required to complete a 180-hour internship at a program-approved pharmacy or other facility that provides pharmacy services in the student’s local community. Graduates are prepared to sit for both the PTCB and ICPT certification exams.

Program Overview:

Pharmacy Technician Completion Certificate

  • Credits: 29
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $150/credit
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
3North Dakota State College of ScienceWahpeton, NDPublic$2

North Dakota State College of Science offers two options for students interested in pursuing a career as a pharmacy technician: Associate of Applied Science – Pharmacy Technician; and Pharmacy Technician Certificate. Both programs include the same 28 credit hours of core online PT didactic courses and lab courses presented in-person in Bismarck. All online classes are live-streamed on Skype as they are conducted on-campus. General education courses are presented in an asynchronous format allowing students to access and complete their coursework at times most convenient to them. Students additionally complete two practice experiences – one in a community setting and one in a retail setting – each requiring 160 practice hours (8 weeks, full-time). Graduates of both programs are eligible to sit for the CPhT certification exam.

Program Overview:

Pharmacy Technician AAS

  • Credits: 68
  • Length: 24 months
  • Cost: $140.13/credit (MN resident); $156.95 (MN reciprocity states); $168.16 (other US residents)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school); ASHP (program)

Pharmacy Technician Certificate

  • Credits: 44
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $140.13/credit (MN resident); $156.95 (MN reciprocity states); $168.16 (other US residents)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school); ASHP (program)

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
23%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
4Sinclair Community CollegeDayton, OHPublic$2

Sinclair Community College’s Pharmacy Technician Technical Certificate (PHT.S.CRT) prepares students for entry-level PT positions in a range of practice settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, retail and mail-order pharmacies, and with home health care services providers. Students are taught the technical and specialized skills needed as a professional PT, and gain a working knowledge of basic pharmacology, drug preparation and distribution, and proper record-keeping. Courses and labs for this one-year, full-time certificate program are completed primarily on SCC’s Dayton, Ohio campus. However, several courses are offered online. Students must additionally complete 210 hours of non-paid, supervised practice in a hospital or retail pharmacy setting.

Program Overview:

Pharmacy Technician Technical Certificate (PHT.S.CRT)

  • Credits: 33-34
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $121.03/credit (Montgomery County residents); $168.28/credit (other Ohio residents); $314.40/credit (out-of-state residents)
  • Mode: Some courses offered online.
  • Accreditation: HLC (school); ASHP (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
40%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
5State Fair Community CollegeSedalia, MOPublic$2

State Fair Community College offers three “stackable” options for students to choose from, each of which prepares graduates to sit for the CPhT certification exam leading to entry-level employment as pharmacy technicians. SFCC’s Skills Certificate in Pharmacy Technician is an 18-credit hour program designed for individuals with no PT experience who are interested in the quickest route to starting their PT careers. All coursework is completed online and no clinical hours are required to earn this certificate. The Professional Certificate in Pharmacy technician (30 credit hours) combines the coursework of the Skills Certificate with additional healthcare-related classes. SFCC’s Associate of Applied Science in Health Care Specialist with Emphasis in Pharmacy Technician builds on the curriculum of the Professional Certificate by including a range of general education and additional major-related classes for students interested in earning a full undergraduate degree. Both the Professional Certificate and AAS degree programs feature online coursework and include an in-person practicum component.

Program Overview:

Skills Certificate in Pharmacy Technician

  • Credits: 18
  • Length: 9 months
  • Cost: $165/credit (in-district); $220/credit (in-state); $280/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)

Professional Certificate in Pharmacy Technician

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $165/credit (in-district); $220/credit (in-state); $280/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)

AAS in Health Care Specialist with Emphasis in Pharmacy Technician

  • Credits: 61.5
  • Length: 24 months
  • Cost: $165/credit (in-district); $220/credit (in-state); $280/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
13%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
6Southwestern Oregon Community CollegeCoos Bay, ORPublic$$1

The Pharmacy Technician Certificate of Completion offered by SOCC provides graduates with the training required to assist licensed pharmacists in the preparation and dispensing of medications at retail and community pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. The 51-credit hour certificate program’s curriculum combines healthcare and PT courses (in subjects such as pharmacology, medical terminology, pharmacy calculations, and pharmacy procedures) with single classes in algebra, speech communications, and human relations. All pharmacy courses are available online. Additionally, students are required to complete a 99-clinical hour internship that allows students to put the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom into practice in-person in a variety of workplace settings.

Program Overview:

Pharmacy Technician Certificate of Completion

  • Credits: 51
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $96/credit (U.S. residents)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: NWCCU (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
45%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
7Minnesota West Community and Technical CollegeGranite Falls, MNPublic$$1

Minnesota West Community & Technical College’s 10-credit Pharmacy Technician Certificate program centers around its Pharmacy Principles and Practices course in which students are taught the functions and organization of both retail and hospital pharmacy operations, including the roles and responsibilities of the pharmacy technician. Students are also introduced to the use of computers and their applications as they relate to pharmacy practice. Didactic coursework is rounded out with an additional course in medical terminology. All of the above coursework is completed entirely online. However, students must complete an in-person externship consisting of 144 practice hours in either a hospital or retail pharmacy setting.

Program Overview:

Pharmacy Technician Certificate

  • Credits: 10
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $207.28/credit (tuition and fees)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
4%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
8North Central State CollegeMansfield, OHPublic$1

In partnership with the Pioneer Career & Technology Center in Shelby, Ohio, North Central State College offers a Pharmacy Technician Certificate that leads to eligibility for PT certification by the Ohio Pharmacy Technician Board and entry-level PT employment within the state. The curriculum consists of two courses which are taken concurrently, each featuring didactic coursework that is completed online. The second course includes a 20-hour, in-person practicum experience at a local pharmacy. Students entering the program must complete three classes (in English, math, and chemistry) or obtained qualifying placement test scores prior to starting the course of study. Students completing the program can apply their certificate toward earning a Health Services Technology Associate Degree at NCSC.

Program Overview:

Pharmacy Technician Certificate

  • Credits: 15
  • Length: 4 months
  • Cost: $171.60/credit (in-state); $343.20/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
38%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
9Ultimate Medical Academy-TampaTampa, FLPrivate, Not-for-ProfitN/A2

The Associate in Health Sciences – Pharmacy Technician degree from the Ultimate Medical Academy provides students with a range of essential technical skills, including the dispensing of medications, written and computerized patient records and profile maintenance, insurance and billing processes, and communications. Students additionally complete 15 credit hours of general education courses. All coursework for this program is available fully-online. However, students are required to complete an in-person externship consisting of 180 hours of unpaid PT training under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist at a program-approved pharmacy. Students additionally receive course preparation to sit for the PTCB’s Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination.

Program Overview:

Associate in Health Sciences – Pharmacy Technician

  • Credits: 61.5
  • Length: 19 months
  • Cost: $27,900 (est. total tuition and fees)
  • Mode: Partially online.
  • Accreditation: ABHES (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
16%
AccreditationAccrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
10Allen Community CollegeIola, KSPublic$3

Allen Community College offers two programs for students interested in careers as pharmacy technicians. The Associate of Applied Science in Pharmacy Technician program includes both major-specific and general education courses and requires two years (four semesters) to complete. PT students not interested in earning a full degree can opt for ACC’s Pharmacy Technician Certificate which focuses strictly on major-related coursework and requires one year (two semesters) of academic study. Both programs allow students to complete all requirements entirely online by opting to take the Pharmacy Technician Topics class in place of the in-person internship. Students that choose the internship will complete 135 practice hours under the supervision of a licensed physician at a program-approved pharmacy setting.

Program Overview:

AAS in Pharmacy Technician

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 24 months
  • Cost: $124/credit (tuition and fees)
  • Mode: Fully or partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)

Pharmacy Technician Certificate

  • Credits: 31
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $124/credit (tuition and fees)
  • Mode: Fully or partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
73%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
11North Central Missouri CollegeTrenton, MOPublic$$2

There are two options available from North Central Missouri College for students interested in careers as professional pharmacy technicians. NCMC’s Associate of Applied Science – Pharmacy Technician is a two-year full-time program that provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to obtain entry-level employment as a pharmacy technician in a range of practice settings, as well as a solid liberal arts foundation through completion of the programs general education requirements. Students not interested in completing a full degree program can opt for the 16-credit hour Pharmacy Technician Certificate. Coursework for both programs is presented primarily online with some in-person attendance on the school’s Trenton campus for required lab work. Additionally, students in both programs complete an eight-week, 90 practice hour internship at an approved pharmacy or other healthcare facility.

Program Overviews:

Pharmacy Technician AAS

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 24 months
  • Cost: $125/credit (NCMC district residents); $186/credit (other Missouri residents); $217/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)

Pharmacy Technician Certificate

  • Credits: 16
  • Length: 4 months
  • Cost: $125/credit (NCMC district residents); $186/credit (other Missouri residents); $217/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
28%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
or
About the ranking

X

Methodology for EduMed’s 2020 Rankings

To be considered for this ranking, each school must have the following:

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Program(s) offered at least partially online.

School Metrics Explained

EduMed.org data scientists analyzed government higher education data and created a proprietary algorithm to rank each U.S. postsecondary institution and its online programs using 5 primary factors:

  • Cost: Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Online Program Availability: Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to Department of Education.
  • Academic Counseling: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid: Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Most recent data pull: February 2020

#School NameTypeCostOnline ProgramsMore DetailsSchool InformationOnline StudentsAcademic CounselingCareer PlacementStudents w/Institutional AidMedian Earnings 10yrs After EntryAccreditation
1Rasmussen CollegeSt. Cloud, MNPrivate, For-Profit$$$3

Pharmacy technician students at Rasmussen College can choose between earning either a Pharmacy Technician Certificate or Healthcare Associate’s Degree with Pharmacy Technician Specialization. The certificate program requires completion of 30 credit hours of PT core courses and eight credit hours of general education coursework. The associate degree program requires completion of at total of 91 to 93 credit hours that include general education, core healthcare, and PT specialization courses. Students may be able to transfer in previously-earned credits (on approval of the program) allowing them to complete the entire certificate program in as little as nine months or the associate degree program in as little as 18 months. Students in both programs have the option of choosing either a workplace or “virtual” practicum experience, both of which require 60 practice hours. Those opting for the virtual practicum can complete the entire certificate program 100% online, while students opting for the workplace practicum will complete their practice hours in-person at a program-approved retail pharmacy setting.

Program Overviews:

Pharmacy Technician Certificate

  • Credits: 38
  • Length: 9 months
  • Cost: $260/credit (full-time study); $310 (part-time study)
  • Mode: Fully or partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)

Healthcare Associate’s Degree – Pharmacy Technician Specialization

  • Credits: 91-93
  • Length: 18 months
  • Cost: $260/credit (full-time study); $310 (part-time study)
  • Mode: Fully or partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
45%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
2Vincennes UniversityVincennes, INPublic$$2

The Pharmacy Technology Associate of Science Career/Tech (ASCT) degree program offered by Vincennes University prepares graduates for entry-level PT positions in a wide range of practice settings. Students complete a curriculum consisting of general education and major-specific courses and labs requiring two years of full-time study. Those interested in a quicker route to starting their PT careers can opt for VU’s one-year Pharmacy Technology Certificate of Graduation (CG). Both the associate degree and certificate programs combine online coursework with on-campus courses and labs. Both programs additionally require completion of a 200-hour in-person practicum at an affiliated pharmacy or hospital that allows students to gain real-world experience working directly with patients and pharmacy personnel. Graduates of both programs qualify to sit for the PTCB certification exam leading to becoming licensed pharmacy technicians in Indiana.

Program Overviews:

Pharmacy Technology Associate of Science Career/Tech (ASCT)

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 24 months
  • Cost: $214.26/credit (in-state); $267.64 (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school); ASHP (program)

Pharmacy Technology Certificate of Graduation (CG)

  • Credits: 33
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $214.26/credit (in-state); $267.64 (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school); ASHP (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
26%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
3University of Alaska AnchorageAnchorage, AKPublic$$1

The University of Alaska Anchorage’s Occupational Endorsement Certificate in Pharmacy Technology provides graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to take entry-level positions as pharmacy technicians in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, retail pharmacies, and in other setting where medications are dispensed. The 16-credit hour program is presented 100% online with no on-campus classes or labs, and no other in-person requirements, such as an internship or externship. Full-time students can complete all certificate requirements in two semesters. Graduates are eligible to sit for the PTCB national exam. Coursework completed in this certificate program may be applied an UAA undergraduate degree program.

Program Overview:

Occupational Endorsement Certificate in Pharmacy Technology

  • Credits: 16
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $223/credit (Alaska resident); $789 (non-residents)
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: NWCCU (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
30%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Online Pharmacy Tech School Profiles

What’s it really like to be in an online pharmacy tech program? How much will it cost and how long will it take? And what exactly will I study? These are all great questions to ask as you’re researching online pharmacy tech schools. The best answers often come directly from the schools themselves, which is why we’ve profiled three accredited online programs for you. Compare what they have to offer, see if one may be the right fit for you, or simply use the information to get a better idea of what’s available and what you can expect from similar programs.

Brighton College

Shield+Logo

Brighton College operates its main campus in Arizona but also provides distance learning education for students throughout the country. The institution offers a pharmacy technician certificate for individuals who want to gain the skills and competencies necessary to take on this important role. During the course of their studies, learners review topics such as medical terminology, diseases, alternative medicines, classification of drugs, pharmacy procedures, HIPAA requirements, prescription processing, and the history of pharmacy.

The school works with students both while enrolled and after leaving to provide supportive job assistance and career mentoring. All learners can opt in to the school’s career exploration class, which teaches skills related to creating a resume, preparing for interviews, networking, developing professional relationships, and managing your career path.

After completing the certification requirements, learners must sit for the pharmacy tech exam. Brighton Colleges provides vouchers of up to $150 for graduates to help offset the cost of the exam. Learners pay $3,375 for this program, which includes tuition, resource fees, and an enrollment fee. It does not cover the cost of textbooks and materials. Individuals able to pay in full upfront spend only $3,075.

San Francisco State University

San-Francisco-State-University

San Francisco State University’s College of Extended Learning provides an online pharmacy technician certification that includes an optional 80-hour clinical externship. SFSU’s offering exists as a self-paced certificate, meaning learners can move as quickly or slowly through the course materials as they wish. At the time of enrollment, students pay $1,399 in tuition which allows them six months of access to courses, textbooks, workbooks, and course materials. If they need longer than six months, they must pay a second time.

At SFSU, distance learners can take advantage of 24-hour access to mentoring, labs, career resources, interactive coursework, and learning exercises. Some of the topics they can expect to cover include drug identification, inventory control, calculating prescriptions, the top 200 drugs, billing and reimbursement, and drug compounding. While not required, applicants can take part in a clinical externship at an approved pharmacy if they want to gain additional real-world skills and participate in networking opportunities before graduating. Applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED to apply. Because the program exists in a self-paced format, learners can enroll at times best suited to their schedules.

Campbellsville University

Campbellsville-University

Although Campbellsville University calls Kentucky home, this private university serves approximately 4,500 learners annually through both campus-based and distance learning options. The school provides a pharmacy technician certification path via both face-to-face and online programs. Some of the topics covered include cutting-edge medications, drug distribution, dosage calculations, brand-name vs. generic drugs, and working efficiently.

This program costs $1,999, which covers tuition and fees, an up-to-date drug handbook, malpractice insurance, and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) examination. A $300 non-refundable deposit is due to begin. The school offers several grants to help offset costs. To receive admittance, prospective students must complete an application, demonstrate that they hold a high school diploma or GED, and prove that they have no felony charges or misdemeanor drug charges on their record.

Distance learners enrolled on a full-time basis can finish this certification in as little as six months. They can receive career support and assistance along the way and take advantage of mentoring even after they graduate. Campbellsville University offers monthly start dates to help busy individuals get on the path to a new career as quickly as possible.

Curriculum Review: Pharmacy Tech Classes Online

Although they work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, pharmacy technicians take on much of the responsibility in ensuring they provide the correct medications and dosages to the individuals they serve. Because of this, it’s important for all graduates to possess a thorough and well-rounded set of knowledge upon graduating. The majority of pharmacy tech courses can be completed online at times best suited to individual students’ schedules, but many programs also mandate an externship. This must be completed in a local, approved pharmaceutical setting. Review the courses highlighted below, but conduct additional research to learn more.

Introduction to Pharmacy

Enrollment in this course guarantees newly admitted students the opportunity to study the foundations of the discipline. Learners cover topics such as the history of pharmacy practice, the future of the industry, key concepts surrounding communication and customer service, and pharmacy-specific laws and ethics.

Foundations of Pharmacology

Students take this course to learn about the common vocabulary shared in the industry and what specific terminologies, abbreviations, and formulations mean in their work as a pharmacy tech. Individuals cover the drug classifications alongside an introductory study on how the human body responds to medications.

Technician Practice

With a focus on giving learners the confidence needed to work in a pharmacy or hospital setting, this course introduces them to common roles and responsibilities, skillsets, and characteristics of effective techs. They also learn how to successfully manage inventory, oversee compounding, and give special consideration when serving neonatal and pediatric patients.

Pharmaceutical Calculations

This course introduces learners to the skills and competencies they need to possess in order to effectively calculate prescriptions for individuals. Some of the special topics covered include solving concentrations, dilutions, allegations, and parenteral dosage and administration.

Advanced Pharmacology

Students looking to deepen their knowledge of pharmacology cover topics such as common diseases and treatments, medicating the immune, renal, cardiovascular, and circulatory systems, understanding anatomy and physiology, and prescribing medicine for the endocrine, reproductive, and nervous systems.

Other courses include pharmacy software applications, pharmaceutical calculations, issues in pharmacy, outpatient pharmacy systems, and a pharmacy externship.

Understanding Pharmacy Tech Certification Online

Although not required, completing certification as a pharmacy technician offers many benefits for individuals and does not cost a lot of money. Individuals interested in learning more about this process can review our list of frequently asked questions below. Those seeking more answers should visit the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board or the National Healthcareer Association website.

Why should pharmacy techs receive certification?

While not always required, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) reports higher earnings and more opportunities for career growth for individuals who receive certification than those who bypass this step. When competing for a new role, certification also helps applicants stand out from those who who aren’t certified.

How do I become certified?

To receive the CPhT title, individuals must pay $129 for the exam and fill out an application. Schedule an appointment after receiving authorization and pick one of the 1,400 approved testing locations throughout the country. Individuals take the multiple-choice exam consisting of 90 questions (and requiring two hours) before receiving their official scores within one to three weeks of the exam.

Get insider tips for passing the PTCB certification exam here.

Are there any requirements for receiving certification?

Applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED. They must also disclose any actions taken in criminal cases or by the State Board of Pharmacy. In addition to receiving a passing score on the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), they must also comply with all PCTB certification policies.

Do I need to receive licensure as a pharmacy technician?

Simply put, it depends on the state in which you live. Some states require individuals receive licensure in order to demonstrate minimum competencies and protect the well-being of individuals seeking pharmaceutical drugs. As of 2016, 11 states mandated licensure.

Do I need to register as a pharmacy technician?

Again, it depends upon the state in which you live. More and more states are requiring pharmacy techs to register so they can be tracked as they move from state to state. This helps ensure that no individual imperils life by misfiling a prescription without consequences by simply moving to a different state. As of April 2016, 34 states (and Washington D.C.) maintained a list of registered pharmacy techs.

How frequently are certification exams offered?

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board works with Pearson testing centers to make the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam available often. Students can schedule their exams through the Pearson VUE website and can select from Monday to Friday testing days. Some centers also offer Saturday testing days for individuals who work during the week.

Do I need to renew my certification?

Yes. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board requires that all individuals who receive CPhT status seek recertification every two years. To do this, individuals must complete at least 20 continuing education hours every two years and demonstrate that they are in good standing with the state board and with PTCB.

Online Pharmacy Tech Programs with Financial Aid Support

Before enrolling in a program, most students need to consider their financial options. Luckily, pharmacy tech students can select from a number of funding options at their fingertips, with options including federal financial aid, grants, work-study funds, institutional scholarships and grants, and a number of scholarship options provided by private foundations or pharmaceutical corporations. Students should also check with their state department of education to see if any options exist. Check out EduMed’s comprehensive guide on financial aid to learn more about this process and review our list of scholarships specifically for pharmacy tech students.

Many online pharmacy tech programs maintain financial aid departments that offer support and resources to current and future students. Some learners may find it most helpful to meet with a financial aid officer for one-on-one sessions while those juggling personal, professional, and academic responsibilities may benefit best from financial aid videos that can be viewed 24/7 on the school’s website. Information can be found on institutional websites, including detailed information on potential funding options, a list of relevant scholarships for pharmacy tech students, and details about receiving federal loans via the U.S. Department of Education. Some schools offer in-house payment plans for individuals who may not be able to provide the full amount up-front but can pay during the course of enrollment. As reviewed earlier in this guide, Brighton College provides a similar scheme.

Career Growth for Pharmacy Technicians

Before moving to a pharmacy technician career, individuals considering this path want to understand how stable the job market is for workers and how it may shift in years to come. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roles for pharmacy technicians are projected to grow by 12% between 2016 and 2026 – a rate high above the national average for all occupations. Approximately 402,500 Americans currently fill these roles, but the BLS projects an additional 47,600 new roles will be added. Reasons for this growth include an expanding aging population requiring more medication, more incidents of chronic diseases, and an increasing number of responsibilities given to pharmacists – requiring them to seek additional support from pharmacy techs.

The majority of pharmacy techs work in pharmacies and drug stores (52%), but they can also be found in hospitals (16%), general merchandise stores (10%), and food and beverage stores (8%). When looking at career growth rates for other medical support roles, pharmacy techs rank favorably. Roles for dental assistants will grow by 19%, as compared to medical assistants (29%), medical records and health information technicians (13%), and medical transcriptionists (-3%).

After completing a pharmacy tech program, some learners may decide to pursue further education and become licensed pharmacists.

How Much Do Pharmacy Technicians Earn?

Pharmacy techs earn varied salaries based on where they work and where they fall on the spectrum of earners.

Lowest 10%MedianHighest 10%
Pharmacy Tech$22,000$31,750$46,980

By industry:

Hospitals: state, local, and private$36,710
General merchandise stores$31,320
Food and beverage stores$29,860
Pharmacies and drug stores$29,500

Source: “Pharmacy Technicians”, Bureau of Labor Statistics