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Pharmacy Technician State Regulations

PTCB's certification process assists State Boards of Pharmacy in their mission to develop, implement, and enforce high quality standards to protect public safety. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam is administered in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC). Forty-five states and Washington, DC have regulations that specify registration, licensure, and/or certification requirements for pharmacy technicians. The language and format of these regulations vary from state to state. Of the 45 states and DC that regulate technicians, 23 and DC include the PTCE in their regulations. Please consult your State Board of Pharmacy for complete and current pharmacy regulations and practice acts.

National Board of Pharmacy Survey of Pharmacy Law

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) annually conducts a Survey of Pharmacy Law as a guide to highlight key requirements for states. Through its charts and explanations, the survey shows how the State Boards of Pharmacy are organized, how they function, and their requirements for licensure. The survey also identifies states that license, register and certify pharmacy technicians and offers an overview of the laws that regulate the prescribing and dispensing of medications.

National Certification and State Registration

In addition to maintaining their national PTCB Certification, Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs) are subject to state regulations and requirements. To help clarify the difference between national certification and state registration processes, definitions are provided below. 

National Certification

Certification is a voluntary process by which a non-governmental agency (like PTCB) grants recognition to an individual who has met qualifications specified by that organization. This formal recognition is granted to designate to the public that the individual has attained the necessary level of knowledge, skill, and/or experience in a well-defined area. 

Certification usually requires an initial assessment and periodic reassessments of the individual’s knowledge, skills and/or experience.   

State Registration Processes

Registration is the process of making a list of pharmacy technicians in the state or of being enrolled in an existing list. Registration is intended to help safeguard the public through interstate and intrastate tracking of the technician work force and preventing individuals with documented problems from serving as pharmacy technicians. Licensure is the process by which an agency of government grants permission to an individual to engage in a given occupation upon recognizing that the applicant has attained the minimum competency necessary to ensure that the public health, safety, and welfare will be reasonably well protected. As of April 2015, 45 states register or license pharmacy technicians. 

Why is this important?

As of April 2015, in 23 states, it may be necessary to obtain and maintain active PTCB Certification in addition to registering and becoming licensed with the State Board of Pharmacy. Technicians should contact the Board of Pharmacy in the state they work in to determine which requirements apply to them.