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or Kayla and Zach?

They are all hoping to find an occupation after they graduate from high school that doesn't require a college degree and allows them to serve others in a health care setting.

PTCB Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs) support pharmacists, keep pharmacies running efficiently, and provide quality care to patients in hospital, health-system, and retail settings.

PTCB on the Road

PTCB shared new information about certification requirements with school counselors at the 2014 American School Counselor Association's annual conference in late June.

School and Career Counselor Information

What is the PTCB Advantage?

The PTCB CPhT is the gold standard of credentialing for pharmacy technicians. Most employers prefer, and many require, that their pharmacy technicians be PTCB-Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs). Career and guidance counselors can help people like Kayla and Zach achieve their dreams. Learn about the certification process and the steps new graduates can follow to become a CPhT.


  • High school diploma or equivalent educational diploma (e.g., a GED or foreign diploma)*
  • Passing score on the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)
  • Full disclosure of all criminal and State Board of Pharmacy registration or licensure actions
  • Compliance with all applicable PTCB certification policies
*Candidates who are within 60 days of acquiring their high school diploma or equivalent will be eligible to take the PTCE. For more information, see Education Verification.

PTCB Certification Benefits

  • Respected credential
  • Validated achievement and knowledge                                                                     
  • Improved employment opportunities
  • Potential for higher salary
  • Career growth
  • Understanding of pharmacy law
  • Prestige among coworkers

Pharmacy Technician's Role in the Pharmacy

Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists prepare prescription medications, provide customer service, and perform administrative duties within a variety of practice settings, including community, health-system, and federal pharmacy. They are generally responsible for receiving prescription requests, counting tablets, labeling bottles, maintaining patient profiles, preparing insurance claim forms, and performing administrative functions such as answering phones, stocking shelves, and operating cash registers.

Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), employment of pharmacy technicians is expected to increase by 20% from 2012 to 2022. The BLS also suggests that pharmacy technicians with formal education or training, previous work experience, and national certification will be specifically sought after to meet these demands.


Certification is the process by which a non-governmental association or agency grants recognition to an individual who has met predetermined qualifications specified by that association or agency. The PTCE is recognized in all 50 states even though regulations to work as a pharmacy technician vary from state to state. Contact the specific State Board of Pharmacy for more information. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy is an additional resource.


Pharmacy technician wages are often dependent on experience, qualifications, work environment, geographic location and employer. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook 2012 Edition, the median hourly wage of pharmacy technicians in May 2012 was $14.10, and the annual median pay was $29,320. The lowest 10% earned less than $20,580, and the highest 10% earned more than $42,400. 

Employment Resources

The American Association of Pharmacy Technicians (AAPT) and the National Association of Pharmacy Technicians (NPTA) have developed free Career Centers to assist pharmacy technicians in their job search. The Career Centers are available to both job seekers and employers.

Quick facts

CPhTs support pharmacists, keep pharmacies running smoothly, and provide quality care to patients in hospital, health-system, and retail settings.