The Pharmacy Technician Program
CareerStep’s Pharmacy Technician 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 demand.
Pharmacy technicians enjoy competitive salaries, averaging between $26,000 and $39,000 annually, and the potential for traditional employment benefits.
CareerStep has partnerships with Walgreens and CVS Pharmacys that offer the chance for learners 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 training required for a variety of other healthcare careers.
Recognized by PTCB
Our status as a PTCB-Recognized Education/Training Program ensures your full preparation for the PTCB Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) exam.
CareerStep’s program is fully accredited by ASHP/ACPE, which means it meets the high standards established by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).
Over 140,000 CareerStep learners can’t be wrong. Choose CareerStep 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 CareerStep 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 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, CareerStep's Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE) program ensures that our learners will be ready to start working no matter where they live (Washington is the only state where CareerStep'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 CareerStep 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 becoming accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)/Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), CareerStep'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 CareerStep!
How long will the training take?
The Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE) training program includes 390 hours of training and 130 hours in an externship. The program 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 program includes 12 months of access in case you need extra time.
What will I be learning?
The CareerStep 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 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 finish.
Is an externship included in my training?
Yes, CareerStep has partnerships with Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy to help you fulfill your externship requirements. These partnerships provide eligible CareerStep learners the opportunity to participate as long as positions are available in their local areas.
The externship program offers the chance for learners to gain experience in pharmacy tech that will make them more employable. Learners will complete their externship before they finish—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 Online Course Pricing
How much does the Pharmacy Technician course cost?
Everything you need to succeed is included in one, low payment of
This fee entitles you to an initial 12 months of access to the Pharmacy Technician 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 financial assistance available?
Yes, CareerStep is committed to providing you with an affordable training experience. To provide flexibility, a finance options is available.
What is included with my training course?
Everything you need to succeed is included with your CareerStep program:
- Complete online access to expert-created training
- One-on-one help from your trainers and our technical support team
- Externship opportunity with Walgreens or CVS*
- Required drug test and background check
- A voucher to take the PTCB national certification exam upon completion (a $129 value)
- Career support designed to help you turn your training 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 program includes 390 hours of training material and 130 hours of required externship experience.
*An externship opportunity through Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy is available to learners 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 CareerStep'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 advisor.
Explore Pharmacy Technician Career Videos
Career Profile: Pharmacy Technician
CareerStep Reviews: Michael, Pharmacy Technician
CareerStep Reviews: Iris, Pharmacy Technician Learner and Military Spouse
CareerStep Pharmacy Technician trainers
Is Pharmacy Technician the career for you?
Pharmacy Technician Program FAQs
Get answers to the most common and important questions about signing up for the Pharmacy Technician course at CareerStep. Our FAQs section provides answers to help you make an informed decision about your training.
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.
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 CareerStep Pharmacy Technician program prepares learners for the national certification exam after completion, which increases earning potential, marketability, and flexibility.
CareerStep learners 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 completion (a $129 value)!
To determine whether your state of residency requires national certification, please refer to your state board of pharmacy's website .
If your program is thorough, you should get all the info you’ll need to pass the test. So hit the books, take solid notes, and cram before the big day. You’ll also find plenty of practice tests online—take advantage of these to get an idea of how you’ll do on the real deal.
If you’ve earned your pharmacy technician certification, there’s a handful of paths you could follow: Retail pharmacy, closed-door pharmacy, compound pharmacy, and hospital pharmacy. You could even become a pharmacy benefit manager—the path you choose all comes down to your strengths and primary interests.
CareerStep offers one of the only fully accredited pharmacy technician training programs in the U.S. The Pharmacy Technician program is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)/Accreditation Council fo Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
For over 25 years, CareerStep has been training quality healthcare professionals, providing a comprehensive training program that prepares learners to work as pharmacy technicians. You will study online, on your own schedule and at your own pace, and with CareerStep you know you're getting the right training; the personal, ongoing support; and the resources and guidance you need to turn your training into a job.
CareerStep has externship partnerships with Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy to help learners fulfill their externship requirements in their local areas.
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 CareerStep Pre-Training Assessment Test. There are no specific skills or experience that are considered prerequisites for entry into the CareerStep training program.
The CareerStep program is offered online and includes a laboratory kit so learners can complete hands-on experiences such as filling a prescription bottle. With 24/7 access to all material, you can progress through the program 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 completion. The CareerStep Pharmacy Technician program includes an externship through a Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy in your local area to help fulfill externship requirements.
CareerStep support includes access to:
- Program Support Trainers and Advisors who have professional experience in the industry and are uniquely qualified to answer questions about both the program 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 learners 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.
- Career Support Advisors who help you transition to the workforce after completion. Your Career 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. CareerStep's support team is available to offer personal, ongoing support all the way through the training program.
The CareerStep Pharmacy Technician) training program has 390 hours of training with an additional 130 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 learners. Some learners 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, learners who can devote about 15 hours a week may finish in about 10 months).
Everyone who signs up in a CareerStep training program receives an initial 12-month period of program access. 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 access, 4-month extensions are available for purchase.
Yes, CareerStep has partnered with Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy to help learners complete their required externships in their local areas. After learners reach a certain point in the training program, they will be eligible for an externship, which is subject to local availability. Learners will complete their externships prior to completion, 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 signing up to ensure that you can gain employment in the pharmacy field once you finish.
CareerStep offers personalized, post-training resources for your job search, including:
- Externship opportunity with Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy (available before completion)
- Personal consultation with a Career Advisor
- Personalized interview tutorials and training
- Individual resume and cover letter review, tips, and advice
- A PTCB national certification exam voucher upon completion (a $129 value)
- Access to CareerStep's help hotline for six months after completion
These resources offer the personalized help you need after completion to transition to the workplace. With this individualized help and attention, the majority of our learner are hired within a few months of completion.
Before you finish the program, you will also complete a module that is designed to prepare you for the workforce.
Your training includes everything you will need to train for a successful pharmacy technician career. Your program includes:
- Access to expert-created training
- One-on-one help from program and technical support
- A PTCB national certification exam voucher upon completion (a $129 value)
- A laboratory kit
- Valuable career 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, CareerStep 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 additional training 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, CareerStep has designed several financial assistance and payment options. Please visit our Financial 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.