Pharmacy Technician Schools, Salaries & Certification in California
A pharmacy technician training program will equip with the knowledge and training you need to begin your pharmacy career and the self-confidence you need to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s National Certification Exam. A high school diploma or equivalent is required to enroll in any of the following available training programs:
- Two year associate degree in health, pharmacy technology , biological or natural sciences
Graduation from a school of pharmacy accredited by ACPE ;
- Pharmacy Technician training program accredited by the (ASHP) American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
Top California Pharmacy Technician Schools
Listed below is a functionality to search for schools (on-campus, online and correspondence) that offer Pharmacy Technician programs in the state of California. As a general rule, you should request information from more than one school during the course of your research as there are important differences between the training programs offered in each school i.e: cost, admissions requirements, courses and curriculums as well as starting dates.
Salary for Pharmacy Tech working in California
Pharmacy Technicians who completed a formal training program and have acquired certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT) claim the highest salaries. Pharmacy technician wages tend to be higher on the East and West Coasts. So California is a great place to start a career as a pharmacy tech. Employers generally also offer medical and dental insurance, retirement savings plans, paid sick, personal and vacation days as part of the overall salary pack.
The average pharmacy technician hourly salary in California for 2014 is *$19.09 or $39,710 per year. Hospital Pharmacy Technicians earn between $38,000-$43,000 and those in federal executive branch of the government settings earn upwards of $48,000 depending on the number of years of experience and qualifications held.
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment for pharmacy technicians will grow faster than the average for all other healthcare careers. California is a great hub for employment for pharmacy technicians due to a growing older population. In areas with an older population generally there is a need for more medical services.
California Pharmacy Technician Certification
The State of California requires certification for pharmacy technicians that wish to work in this capacity. A national pharmacy technician certification exam is available through the pharmacy technician certification board (PTCB). It offers the title of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). The examination is divided into three areas of competence:
- Assisting the pharmacist
- Maintenance of medication/inventory control systems
- Helping with the admin. and overall management of the pharmacy.
Once you pass the examination which focuses on drug names and classifications, federal pharmacy law, maths and pharmacy operations, you may use the initials “CPhT” after your name.
Renewal of your California Pharmacy Technician Certification (CPhT) requires continuing education. In order to have your certification renewed, a pharmacy technician must complete 20 hours of continuing education credits every 2 years accompanied by a renewal application ($100) to the pharmacy board annually.
The other nationally accredited pharmacy technician certification exam is ExCPT. The exam consists of a 110 multiple-choice questions, certifies each applicant who passes for 2 years after which re certification is required.
CA Pharmacy Technician Registration/Licensure
Pharmacy technicians need to register with the California Board of Pharmacy. Being registered allows you to practice as a pharmacy technician in CA. To be able to register with the CA Board of Pharmacy you need to have completed either:
- Associate degree in Pharmacy Technology or a training course accredited by ASHP or graduation from a school of pharmacy accredited by ACPE
- If certified with PTCB, a copy of your PTCB certificate
- If qualifying by training assigned by a branch of the federal armed services a copy of your DD214.
For further information on the registration procedure contact:
California State Board of Pharmacy,
* Salary Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Employment & Wages database