Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

How to get your pharmacy tech license in California

How to get your pharmacy tech license in California

Do you like math, anatomy, physiology, and taking care of people? Would you like to find a job that involves all of these things? Then you might be interested in pharmacy technology.

Pharmacy Technician programs can prepare you to work as a pharmacy technician. A pharmacy technician works under the supervision of a pharmacist to help customers and health professionals get the prescription drugs they need. Pharmacy technicians are good with people and have good organizational and people skills. They work in places like pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, drug companies, and more.

This guide tells you everything you need to know about pharmacy technology and how to become a pharmacy technician in California, such as:

  • Job growth
  • Required skills
  • Licensure requirements
  • Information about certification
  • Courses and programs for education

Why should you work as a pharmacy technician in California?

In May 2020, the BLS says that California will have the second-most pharmacy technicians working there.

How to get your pharmacy tech license in California

What’s causing the number of jobs for pharmacy technicians to grow?

Why do people think there will be more jobs for pharmacy technicians? The BLS says these things:

  • Aging population: These individuals need more prescription medicines than younger people.
  • Growth of chronic diseases: As the rate of chronic diseases increases, more prescription medications will be needed. Examples of chronic diseases include diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and asthma.
  • Pharmaceutical research advances: Progress in pharmaceutical research will lead to more opportunities for medications to combat diseases.
  • Expanding the role of pharmacists: Pharmacists’ roles are expanding, requiring them to perform more patient care activities, like administering flu shots. Pharmacy technicians will be needed to take on activities that were generally performed by pharmacists. Such activities include gathering patient information, preparing a broader range of medications, and confirming other technicians’ work.

Where do pharmacy techs get their jobs?

Most pharmacy technicians work in hospitals and pharmacies. The pharmacy could be in a grocery store, a general store, or a drug store. According to the BLS, the top three places that hire pharmacy technicians are:

  • 50% come from pharmacies and drugstores.
  • Hospitals: 17%
  • 10% goes to food and drink stores.
What does a person who works in a pharmacy do?

A pharmacy technician works with a pharmacist to help patients or other health professionals get the prescription drugs they need. Their jobs include things like measuring medications and putting the stock in the pharmacy in order.

Even though a pharmacy technician’s duties can change depending on where they work (e.g., a retail pharmacy, a hospital, a compounding pharmacy, etc.), these are some of the most common ones:

  • Find out what you need to know to fill prescriptions.
  • Find out how much of a prescription drug is needed.
  • Make, wrap, and label prescriptions.
  • Keep inventory in order and let pharmacists know when there are shortages.
  • Answer customer calls and makes them happy.
  • Answer customers’ questions about their medications and set up a time for them to talk to pharmacists if they need to.
  • Use a computer system to handle information about customers.
  • Accept payments for prescriptions and help insurance companies process claims.
  • Help run automatic machines that give out medicines.

Pharmacy technicians are vital members of their pharmacy teams wherever they work.

Skills Required for Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy technicians need both technical and soft skills. They can learn technical skills in the classroom and develop soft skills through hands-on training. Most of the technical skills you need to become a pharmacy technician are:

  • Words used in pharmacies
  • processing of prescriptions
  • Lab equipment and materials
  • Math and adding up

The BLS lists the following as important soft skills or qualities for a pharmacy technician:

  • Customer-service skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Listening skills
  • Organizational skills

How to Work in California as a Pharmacy Technician

In California, you need a license from the California State Board of Pharmacy to work as a pharmacy technician. To get a license, you have to go to school, get training, and fill out a long application.

The education requirements start with a high school diploma or a certificate that shows you have the same level of education as a GED. The California State Board of Pharmacy also requires that you finish pharmacy school and show proof of one of the following:

  • Pharmacy technician with an associate’s degree
  • Section 1793.6(c) of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations says that you must have taken a training course that was approved by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and had at least 240 hours of required instruction (ASHP).
  • Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) certification; graduation from a pharmacy school approved by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
  • Certification through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Program (ExCPT) of the National Healthcare Association
  • completed a program for pharmacy technicians offered by a branch of the U.S. military.

How to get a license to work as a pharmacy technician in California

The California State Board of Pharmacy is where you can apply for a license to work as a pharmacy technician once you have finished the required education. The application needs the following:

The application has been completed: Read the instructions carefully and fill out the application in its entirety.

  • Fee for the application: Send in the $195 application fee.
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or U.S. Social Security Number (SSN): You must give your SSN or ITIN when you apply for a license.
  • Photo: Include a 22-inch color photo of yourself in the style of a passport with your application.
  • Proof of basic education: Show that you have a high school diploma or something similar.
  • Proof of pharmacy technician education: Show proof that you have the education you need to be a pharmacy technician. Check the list above to see what documents a pharmacy technician can use.
  • Self-Query Report: Include a copy of the Self-Query Report from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) that is still sealed and in its original form.
  • Fingerprints: Use Live Scan to send in fingerprint cards.

Do You Need to Be Certified as a Pharmacy Technician?

You don’t need to be certified as a pharmacy technician, but certification can make it easier to find a job. Some employers will even pay for you to become certified. The California State Board of Pharmacy also accepts a PTCB certification as adequate proof of pharmacy education.

PTCB certification

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board offers a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential. To earn your PTCB CPhT certification, you must meet a few different requirements—one of which is to complete a PTCB-recognized education/training program or equivalent work experience.

Once you’ve met the requirements, you can take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) to earn your PTCB CPhT certification. Many pharmacy technology programs incorporate material to prepare you for the PTCE.

ExCPT exam and CPhT certification

Taking the ExCPT exam and earning a CPhT certification through the National Healthcareer Association is another path to certification. This is another test that can prove what you’ve learned in a pharmacy technology program.

Pharmacy Technician License vs Certification

A licensed pharmacy technician meets requirements set by the state’s pharmacy board, while a certified pharmacy technician meets requirements set by an outside agency and passes an exam. States have varying license and certification requirements. For example, some require licensure and national certification, while others don’t. California pharmacy technicians are required to be licensed but do not need certification.

What to Look for in a Pharmacy Technology Program

Choosing the right Pharmacy Technology program for you requires a lot of research. What factors should you consider? We created the below list of factors to help guide your search for Pharmacy Technology programs. Consider that the best programs usually offer a combination of classroom knowledge and hands-on experience.

  • Reputation: It’s important to make sure the program has a good reputation. Also, check that the program directly prepares you for state licensure and certifications.
  • Coursework: Examine the courses offered by the program and make sure it aligns with the pharmacy technician skills you want to learn.
  • Hands-on experience: Consider looking into schools that offer hands-on training. This will help prepare you for pharmacy technician jobs.
  • Location: Location is an important factor to consider. How far are you willing to commute to your school? Explore Pharmacy Technology/Technician programs in your area.
  • Duration: How quickly do you want to become a pharmacy technician? Pursuing an associate degree or certificate will impact the amount of time it takes. Generally, associate degrees take longer to complete.
  • Cost and financial aid: Education is an important investment. As you research pharmacy technician programs, ask about financial aid, flexible payment plans, and available scholarships.

Should I Get an Associate Degree or Certificate in Pharmacy Technology?

Pursuing an associate degree or certificate when studying pharmacy technology depends on your career goals. Both can help you become a pharmacy technician, but at different costs and within different timeframes.

Certificate programs tend to be more cost-effective and enable you to become a pharmacy technician sooner, for example. Most associate degree programs take two years to complete, while certificates can usually be earned within a year. However, associate degrees can provide more comprehensive education and higher earning potential, leading to more career opportunities over time. These are some of the factors to weigh as you consider an associate degree or certificate.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Pharmacy Technician?

Program length varies by school and program of study. It can take anywhere from nine months to two years to complete the training to become a pharmacy technician, depending on your career path. Certificate programs can generally be completed in a year or less, while associate degree programs take closer to two years to complete. Pursuing on-the-job training or internships could also impact the amount of training it takes to become a pharmacy technician.

What Classes Would You Take in a Pharm Tech Program?

Pharmacy tech classes equip you with the knowledge necessary to help pharmacists dispense medications and keep pharmacy practices running smoothly. Pharmacy tech classes may cover topics like:

  • Pharmacy law and ethics
  • Pharmacy and medical terminology
  • Computer data entry
  • Pharmacology
  • Prescription processing
  • Math and arithmetic
  • Recordkeeping
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Pharmacy clinical applications

What Will I Learn in a Pharmacy Technology Program?

As you complete your pharmacy technology program, you can expect to learn how to:

  • Determine and dispense medication dosages
  • Interpret prescriptions
  • Fill, refill and label prescriptions
  • Organize and manage prescription orders
  • Handle pharmacy lab materials
  • Use pharmacy databases
  • Process payment and insurance


  1. How and When to Limit Kids’ Tech Use
  2. New Over Place Tech Companies Expand
  3. Best New Tech Stocks 2022
  4. The Five Biggest Gaming Technology Trends In 2022:
  5. What Does a Pharmacist Tech Make:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *