Train for a Career as a Pharmacy Technician
Career Step’s Pharmacy Technician ASHP/ACPE program prepares you to work under the direction of a pharmacist in a community or hospital setting. Pharmacy technicians create and update patient profiles, work as part of a team to fill prescriptions, and more. The career path offers many benefits:
Employment for pharmacy technicians is expected to grow by 12%, or over 47,000 jobs, by 2026, ensuring a high job placement rate.
Pharmacy technicians enjoy competitive salaries, averaging between $26,000 and $39,000 annually, and the potential for traditional employment benefits.
Career Step has partnerships with Walgreens and CVS Pharmacys that offer the chance for students to gain experience in pharmacy tech that will make them more employable.
The knowledge you need to be a good pharmacy technician is an excellent start for further education required for a variety of other healthcare careers.
Quick graduation timeline
The program is designed so you can be trained and working in as little as four months with Career Step’s flexible, online course.
ASHP/ACPE candidate status
Career Step’s program is designed to meet the high standards established by ASHP and includes an externship through Walgreens or CVS pharmacy.
Over 100,000 Career Step students can’t be wrong. Choose Career Step and train to become a pharmacy technician in a community or hospital setting from the comfort of your home with our flexible program and change the course of your life.
Pharmacy Technician Job Description and Earning Potential
What will I be doing as a pharmacy technician?
Pharmacy technicians are crucial to keeping a pharmacy running smoothly, and their role is evolving due to the rapidly growing healthcare industry. As the duties of a pharmacist expand—taking a more active role with patient consultations and offering flu shots in some pharmacies—pharmacy technicians are also taking on more responsibilities.
As a pharmacy technician, you will prepare prescription orders, verify prescription information and dosage, enter patient and order information into the pharmacy system, process and submit insurance claims, and provide quality customer service to patients and other healthcare providers.
Most pharmacy technicians work in neighborhood pharmacies or grocery stores. Positions are also available in hospitals, clinics and outpatient centers, specialty pharmacies, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, mail-order pharmacies, tele-pharmacies, and nuclear medicine pharmacies.
How much can I earn as a pharmacy technician?
Pharmacy technician pay rates vary by employer, geographic location, and experience as in any other field. You can increase your job earning potential by sitting for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) offered through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) to become nationally certified.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, reports that the middle 50% of pharmacy technicians earn between $26,000 and $39,000 a year.
Pharmacy technicians who earn national certification by taking the PTCB Exam or the ExCPT exam are often paid more by their employers. Preparation for the PTCB Exam, the most recognized and respected national certification, is built in to your Career Step training.
Is Pharmacy Technician the Career for You?
Learn everything you need to know to decide if you want to become a pharmacy technician. Find out what they do on a daily basis, what the job market looks like, and how you can get started.
Online Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE) Training Program
How do I become a pharmacy technician?
The best way to become a pharmacy technician depends on the state you live in. Some states have no guidelines, while others have a variety of regulations and requirements you need to meet. However, Career Step's Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE) program ensures that our students will be ready to start working no matter where they live (Washington and North Dakota are the only states where Career Step's Pharmacy Technician courses will not prepare you for this career).
Even if your state has no requirements, formal training at a pharmacy technician school like Career Step is the best way to become a pharmacy technician. You'll gain the knowledge and skills required to pass the national certification exam, which can make it easier to stand out from other applicants in the job market and increase your pay. As part of achieving candidate status for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)/Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accreditation credential, Career Step's program content has been verified by an ASHP/ACPE-credentialed Pharmacist and is required to meet 41 objectives set by ASHP/ACPE. Start your journey toward a new career today by becoming a pharmacy technician online with Career Step!
How long will the training take?
The Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE) training program includes 400 hours of curriculum and 200 hours in an externship. The programs is designed to be completed in 4 months of full-time study. However, the online training format allows you to study on your own schedule and at your own pace, so your enrollment includes 12 months of program access in case you need extra time.
What will I be learning?
The Career Step Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE) training program covers:
- Pharmacy law, regulations, and standards
- Business of a pharmacy (both retail and hospital)
- Pharmaceutical Calculations
- Nonsterile Compounding
- And more
The online Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE) courses include images, videos, simulations, and interactive games to help you learn the material and develop your skills as a pharmacy technician. The program's focus is on helping you gain the skills you need to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Exam and start working as soon as you graduate.
Is an externship included in my training?
Yes, Career Step has partnerships with Walgreens and CVS Pharmacys to help you fulfill your externship requirements. These partnerships provide eligible Career Step students the opportunity to participate as long as positions are available in their local areas.
The externship program offers the chance to for students to gain experience in pharmacy tech that will make them more employable. Students will complete their externship before they graduate—smoothing the transition from classroom to workplace and helping to cement the skills they're learning in the training program with hands-on experience.
Want more details about exactly what's included in the program? Download the brochure to learn more or review the learning objectives for each module.
Pharmacy Technician: Is it Right for You?
You can be trained and working as a pharmacy technician in just a few months. With the aging population growing, the demand for prescriptions—and the need for pharmacy technicians—is going up, so this is a great career choice. Learn more about becoming a pharmacy technician by watching this video.
Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE) Online Course Tuition
How much does the Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE) course cost?
Everything you need to succeed is included in one, low tuition payment of
This tuition fee entitles you to an initial 12 months of access to the Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE) course. The program is designed to be completed in 4 months of full-time study, and we provide you 12 months of access to ensure you have the time you need.
Are payment plans or tuition assistance available?
Yes, Career Step is committed to providing you with an affordable educational experience. To provide flexibility, several payment options are available.
What is included with my training course?
Everything you need to succeed is included with your Career Step program. You'll have:
- Complete online access to expert-created curriculum
- Complete ebook library
- One-on-one help from your instructors and our technical support team
- Externship opportunity with Walgreens or CVS*
- A voucher to take the PTCB national certification exam upon graduation (a $129 value)
- Graduate support designed to help you turn your education into a job
- A laboratory kit to complete hands-on experiences such as filling a prescription bottle
- A skype consultation with our pharmacy expert to help ensure you complete the laboratory kit exercises accurately.
The Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE) program includes 400 hours of curriculum and 200 hours of required externship experience.
*An externship opportunity through Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy is available to students in their local areas based on local availability.
Do MyCAA grants cover the Pharmacy Technician program?
Yes. Military spouses can receive a MyCAA grant covering up to $4,000 in program expenses. The MyCAA program covers 100% of the cost of Career Step's approved courses, so you can go to school with no out-of-pocket expense. If you have questions about this program, please call 855-261-7366 to speak with a dedicated military academic advisor.
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Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE) Program FAQs
Get answers to the most common and important questions about enrolling in the Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE) course at Career Step. Our FAQs section provides answers to help you make an informed decision about your education.
Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists in formulating, labeling, and dispensing medications. As the role of a pharmacist expands—taking a more active role with patient consultations and offering flu shots in some pharmacies—pharmacy technicians are also taking on more responsibilities.
The pharmacy technician field is a part of the growing healthcare industry, and the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics projects:
- A rapidly expanding job market as the field is predicted to grow by 12%, or over 47,000 new jobs, before 2026.
- High demand and good job prospects for pharmacy technicians with formal training or certification.
- A growing number of professionals needed in the field to meet the high demand for prescriptions fueled by an aging population and continued scientific advances.
Learn all about the pharmacy technician career in just a few minutes in our quick video!
The U.S. Department of Labor report states that the middle 50% of pharmacy technicians nationwide earn between $26,000 and $39,000 annually. You may also qualify for benefits as a pharmacy technician. The Career Step Pharmacy Technician program prepares students for the national certification exam after graduation, which increases earning potential, marketability, and flexibility.
Learn all about the pharmacy technician career in just a few minutes in our quick video!
Career Step graduates are prepared for national certification offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)—you'll even receive a free exam voucher to take the certification exam after graduation (a $129 value)!
To determine whether your state of residency requires national certification, please refer to your state board of pharmacy's website or our State Requirements pdf.
Career Step has been training quality healthcare professionals for over 25 years and offers a comprehensive training program that prepares students to work as pharmacy technicians. You will study online, on your own schedule and at your own pace, and with Career Step you know you're getting the right education; the personal, ongoing support; and the resources and guidance you need to turn your education into a job. Career Step has externship partnerships with Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy to help students fulfill their externship requirements in their local areas. Career Step’s Pharmacy Technician education is one of the few online programs that is in candidate status for American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)/Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accreditation.
Take a peek inside the Career Step training program and find out what sets our training apart in our quick information session video.
In order to be admitted, you must be at least 18 years of age and either a) have a high school diploma or a General Education Development Certificate (GED), or b) pass the Career Step Pre-Enrollment Assessment Test. There are no specific skills or experience that are considered prerequisites for entry into the Career Step training program.
The Career Step program is offered online and includes a laboratory kit so students can complete hands-on experiences such as filling a prescription bottle. With 24/7 access to all material, you can progress through the curriculum on your own schedule and at your own pace. The program is broken into modules, or course subjects, all of which focus on helping you build the essential knowledge and skills of a pharmacy technician. The final exam of the course is designed to provide an experience similar to that of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Exam, ensuring that you are as prepared as possible to sit for national certification immediately upon graduation. The Career Step Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE) program includes an externship through a Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy in your local area to help fulfill externship requirements.
See what makes Career Step different in our quick introduction.
Career Step student support includes access to:
- Student Support Instructors and Advisors who have professional experience in the industry and are uniquely qualified to answer questions about both the curriculum and the industry. They provide timely answers to questions about the program material and offer a number of personal consultations throughout the training to help students master important concepts.
- Technical Support Advisors who are knowledgeable, experienced, and available six days a week to help you work through any technical or computer issues encountered within the training program.
- Graduate Support Advisors who help you transition to the workforce after graduation. Your Graduate Advisors will help prepare the best resume, develop solid interview skills, and teach you valuable job search techniques.
Though the course is entirely online, you'll never be on your own. Career Step's student support team is available to offer personal, ongoing support all the way through the training program.
See what a few Career Step students had to say about their experiences with Career Step’s student support.
The Career Step Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE) training program has 400 hours of curriculum with an additional 200 hours of required externship experience. Since the program is completely self-paced and the online training format allows you the flexibility to study as much or as little as your schedule allows, the time it takes you to complete the course will vary from other students. Some students are able to complete their training program in as little as 4 months (working on the course full-time, 8 hours a day 5 days a week) and others, who are more limited in the time they can devote to the course, take longer (for example, students who can devote about 15 hours a week may finish in about 10 months).
Every student who enrolls in a Career Step training program receives an initial 12-month period of enrollment. Though the program is designed to be completed in 4 months of full-time study, you'll have a full 12 months to complete your training. If you need extra time to complete the course after your initial 12-month enrollment, 4-month extensions are available for purchase.
Get an idea of how long the course took other students by checking out a few of the stories in our Graduate Success Library!
Yes, Career Step has partnered with Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy to help students complete their required externships in their local areas. After students reach a certain point in the training program, they will be eligible for an externship, which is subject to local availability. Students will complete their externships prior to graduation, providing the opportunity for them to cement the skills they’re learning in the course and smoothing the transition from classroom to workplace.
As a pharmacy technician, you will be providing patient care and handling medications. It is essential that pharmacy employees are not addicted to medications. In addition, those working in a pharmacy cannot have been convicted of a felon or of Medicare fraud.
We complete these tests prior to enrollment to ensure that you can gain employment in the pharmacy field once you graduate.
Career Step offers personalized, post-graduation resources for your job search, including:
- Externship opportunity with Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy (available before graduation)
- Personal consultation with a Graduate Advisor
- Personalized interview tutorials and training
- Individual resume and cover letter review, tips, and advice
- A PTCB national certification exam voucher upon graduation (a $129 value)
- Access to Career Step's help hotline for six months after graduation
These resources offer the personalized help you need after graduation to transition to the workplace. With this individualized help and attention, the majority of our graduates are hired within a few months of graduation.
Before you graduate from the program, you will also complete a module that is designed to prepare you for the workforce. For more information on the requirements of each state, please view our State Requirements pdf.
Learn more about Career Step’s graduate support in this quick interview with several of our Graduate Advisors.
Your enrollment includes everything you will need to train for a successful pharmacy technician career. Your enrollment includes:
- Access to expert-created curriculum
- Complete ebook library
- One-on-one help from student and technical support
- A PTCB national certification exam voucher upon graduation (a $129 value)
- A laboratory kit
- Valuable graduate resources
Since the course is completely online, your computer will play an important role in your learning experience. We recommend the following minimum computer system specifications:
- Active internet connection (High speed/Broadband connection recommended)
- 800 X 600 minimum resolution (1024 X 768 or higher recommended)
- Sound card and speakers (Earphones recommended)
- Available USB port
- Adobe Flash Player (ver. 10 or higher)
- Windows Media Player (ver. 10 or higher) or Quicktime Player (ver. 7 or higher)
- PDF reader
- Internet Explorer 9.x/10.x/11.x
- Firefox 3.x or greater*
- Safari 3.1 to 8.0 (Mac only)*
- Microsoft Windows (XP®, Vista®, 7 with latest service pack)
- Mac OS X (10.4.11 or greater)*
Note: Mobile browsing devices are not currently supported. However, Career Step is investigating the implementation of mobile device support, and these specifications will be updated once a decision has been reached.
We realize that one of the most important questions tied to education is how it will be paid for. Because this is such a big part of the decision of whether or not to go back to school, Career Step has designed several tuition assistance and payment options. Please visit our Tuition Assistance page for more information.
It takes 2-3 business days to process the application, depending on method of payment. Once the payment is processed you will be emailed your course login and password and can start training immediately. Additional course materials are shipped UPS Ground after the payment is processed. The average wait is about 7-10 days.