How to Get a Pharmacy Tech License


Pharmacy techs assist pharmacists in general operations. They may help prepare prescriptions, provide clerical help or assist customers. Many states require pharmacy techs to become licensed before working. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the middle 50 percent of pharmacy techs earn between $10.10 and $14.92 per hour (2006), with the majority of high earners working in hospitals.

  • Check with your state's licensing division to determine whether you need a license to work as a pharmacy tech. There are 21 states in the United States that do not require special licensing or training for pharmacy techs. In these instances, many employers offer on-the-job training.

  • Register for a pharmacy tech preparation course. Although there is no pre-licensing test requirement to take the national exam, doing so will give you the knowledge needed to pass. Gatlin Education Services offers a program available at many public universities nationwide.

  • Register with the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board to take your examination.

  • Spend a few weeks preparing for the examination. The national pharmacy exam consists of 90 questions regarding the ethics and practices of pharmacies. See to find a test location near you.

  • Pass the examination to receive your certification. The minimum passing score is 650 (out of 900).

  • Register with your state to receive your pharmacy tech license. Include your certification from PTCB.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some applicants choose to self-study rather than enroll in a course. See the resources for training materials and books related to the certification exam.
  • Most hospitals require two years of experience before hiring pharmacy techs. Retail pharmacies are recommended for inexperienced techs.

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