Is Becoming a Pharmacy Tech Hard?

So you want to become a pharmacy technician? It’s a great career choice! But you might be wondering, is becoming a pharmacy tech hard? We’ve got the answer.

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The Basics of the Job

Pharmacy technicians play an important role in pharmacies. They are the ones who help fill prescriptions and provide customer service. But is becoming a pharmacy tech hard? Let’s take a look at the basics of the job.

What They Do

Pharmacy technicians are key members of a pharmacy team. They help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to patients and customers. They also perform administrative duties in pharmacies. Most pharmacy technicians work in retail pharmacies, including drugstores, grocery stores, and mass merchandisers. Some work in hospitals, clinics, mail-order pharmacies, or pharmaceutical companies.

The Work Schedule

Most pharmacy technicians work full time, but some work part time. Pharmacy hours may be long and include evenings, weekends, and holidays. Because hospitals and pharmacies are open 24 hours a day, workers may have to work rotating shifts.
Be prepared for on-the-job training to learn pharmacy technician duties if you are not already certified. Some states require Certification by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcare Association (NHA).

The Education

You might be wondering how much education is needed to become a pharmacy technician. The requirements can vary by state, but in most cases, you will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some states also require you to pass a certification exam. In this article, we will talk about the education requirements in more detail.


There is no formal education required to become a pharmacy technician. However, most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a postsecondary pharmacy technician training program. These programs are typically offered by community colleges, vocational schools, and private trade schools. Some programs last as little as four months, while others take up to two years to complete.

While enrolled in a pharmacy technician program, students take courses such as medical ethics, pharmaceutical calculations, and pharmacy law. In addition, they receive on-the-job training through internships or externships at local pharmacies. Most states require pharmacy technicians to be certified before they can begin working. Certification is typically obtained by passing a national exam offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).


There are a few different educational routes you can take to become a pharmacy technician. You can either attend a traditional brick-and-mortar school, or you can opt for an online pharmacy tech program.

If you choose to attend a brick-and-mortar school, you’ll generally need to complete a one- or two-year program at a community college, vocational school, or technical institute. The courses you’ll take will cover topics like medical ethics, anatomy and physiology, pharmaceutics, and pharmacology.

If you opt for an online program, you’ll be able to complete your coursework remotely, at your own pace. Many online programs can be completed in as little as six months. And because you won’t need to commute to campus, you’ll save time and money on transportation costs.

The Training

You might be wondering how hard it is to become a pharmacy technician. The answer is that it depends on how you approach the training. There are various ways to become a pharmacy technician, but most people complete a pharmacy technician program at a community college or vocational school. The training generally takes about 1-2 years to complete.

On-The-Job Training

Most employers provide on-the-job training for pharmacy technicians. Large retail or hospital pharmacies may require certification and additional training. Some community colleges offer certificate programs for pharmacy technicians that usually last a semester or less. These programs can help you prepare for the certification exams.


In order to become a certified pharmacy technician, you will need to complete a formal training program and an externship.

Most formal training programs for pharmacy technicians are offered at community colleges and technical schools. These programs typically take one to two years to complete and include both classroom and laboratory instruction.

After completing a formal training program, you will then need to complete an externship. An externship is a period of on-the-job training that allows you to apply your knowledge and skills in a real-world setting. Externships are typically completed at a hospital or retail pharmacy.

Becoming a pharmacy technician is not an easy process, but it can be very rewarding. With the right training and externship, you will be well on your way to a successful career in this exciting field.

The Exam

To become a pharmacy technician, you must first pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). The PTCE is a computer-based exam that consists of 90 multiple-choice questions. You will have 2 hours to complete the exam.

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is a computer-based exam administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). The PTCE assesses a pharmacy technician’s knowledge of pharmacy practice. Candidates must complete a training program and pass an exam to earn certification.

The PTCB offers two types of exams: the traditional PTCE and the PTCB Exam for Military Personnel. The traditional PTCE is taken at testing centers nationwide, while the PTCB Exam for Military Personnel is offered at select military bases.

To be eligible to take the PTCE, candidates must:

– Be at least 18 years of age
– Have a high school diploma or equivalent
– Complete a pharmacy technician training program or have equivalent work experience
– Pass an exam


With any career, you want to make sure that you have what it takes to excel. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure by choosing a field that is too challenging or that you’re not adequately prepared for. So, is becoming a pharmacy technician hard? Let’s take a look at the facts.

The first thing you need to know is that becoming a pharmacy tech is not as simple as just completing a training program. You also need to pass the ExCPT exam, which is administered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). This exam is designed to test your knowledge of the pharmacy technician role and your ability to perform the essential skills required for the job.

To help you prepare for the ExCPT exam, most training programs include coursework and/or externships where you can get hands-on experience in a real-world pharmacy setting. In addition, there are many study aids available, such as review courses and practice tests.

So, while becoming a pharmacy technician may require some effort on your part, it is certainly possible to achieve success if you are willing to put in the work. With proper preparation and instruction, passing the ExCPT exam and beginning your new career as a pharmacy technician can be well within reach.

The Job Outlook

Many people are interested in becoming a pharmacy technician but are not sure if they have what it takes to succeed in the field. The job outlook for pharmacy technicians is positive, with an expected 15% growth in job opportunities between now and 2026. The median annual salary for pharmacy technicians is $32,700, which is a good wage for many families.


In May 2019, the median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $33,950. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,290, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $47,490.

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