Pharmacy Technician Schools

by Nancy

In the medical field, you are not short on options in terms of what you can do for your career. There is much more to the medical field than being a doctor or a nurse. Learn more below.

Many are discouraged by these careers by the length of schooling it takes or the simple fact that one specific career just isn’t for you. There are a wide variety of jobs to choose from within the medical field that are usually attached to programs and community colleges where the length of time in school is significantly shorter.

Become A Pharmacy Technician

One great option of getting into the medical field is becoming a Pharmacy Technician. They work directly under a licensed pharmacist. The main job is measuring medicine doses and packing it to hand out to the patient. They are directly behind the counter taking prescriptions orders, filling them, and selling the prescriptions to patients. Pharmacists do it all, whether it be assisting a patient in person, over the phone, filling prescriptions, and just overall serving the customer.

Pharmacy Technician Requirements

For the most basic pharmacy technician, the requirements are relatively low, meaning in some states all you need is a high school or GED equivalent to become a pharmacy tech. That’s just at the entry level where the starting salary will begin at about $24,000. However, with the help of school coupled with an industry that only growing, the salaries are getting close to $55,000 and up. It also comes down to the state that you live in, different rules are applied per state. Some programs will not require you to go to school and enter straight out of high school. If your state offers this route often the company you work for will put you directly into a training program that is the equivalent of schooling. Other states will require you to attend vocational school or a community college that offers a pharmacy technician program. Pharmacy technician degrees are usually offered as an associate degree, or through a vocational or trade school which offers a certificate of completion to prove you have the skills and knowledge to complete the task. Many schools across the country though offer pharmacy programs. Through these programs, they ranged anywhere from as short as 6 months ranging all the way to two years.

Top Pharmacy Tech Schools in the Country:

  • Clover Park Technical College – Students who enroll in the Pharmacy tech program will begin to work toward an Associate of Applied Technology (AAT). It’s offered in a five to six quarter session. It’s an all-around program so students are immersed in clinical, laboratory, and classroom sessions. Another option if tight on time is to go the certificate route which is offered in a three to four quarter session. Procurement technical associate center (PTAC) Certified


  • Cleveland Clinic – This program is based completely in a hospital, and if you are a hands-on learner this may be the program for you! Since its one of the few of its kind since it Is hospital-based, the requirements for acceptance are a bit stricter. You are required to have a high school or GED equivalent, two semesters of college-level coursework or five years of work experience or ACT or SAT scores that are deemed acceptable. It is a 20-week program that also requires 160 hours of externship after completion of course.


  • Pima Medical Institute Those that live on the West coast and are interested in Pharmacy tech, Pima Tech is a great option! Simply because they are in many different states and offer a competitive program that can compete with the best! They have locations in California, Washington, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. 840 Hours of credited work plus an externship once the course is completed.


After completing the program, you can decide to take the PTCE before or after you apply for a position. The PTCE is commonly known as the Physician Technician Certified Exam. This exam is not free, so prepare yourself to pay a fee of at least $129. If the test is not passed on the first time you are not limited by how many times you can take it. The test can be taken as many times until a passing score is earned and are able to practice as a pharmacy technician freely!