Carrington College Pharmacy Technician Review

Pharmacy tech is a still growing discipline within the medical field and one that statistics show offers ample employment opportunities to a wide range of people.

To open up the widest range of employment options, and the best salaries a student needs to become a certified Pharmacy Technician, even if they do not practice in a state where it is required by law. To do that you will need to pass a certification exam, and complete the education needed to do so.

While there are a number of online schools that offer Pharmacy Tech diploma and even degree programs, Carrington College's programs are based at physical campuses across the US. Is that a better option? Does completing a physical course give new pharmacy techs an advantage?

These are just some of the questions we are going to discuss here.

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Why Carrington College

Why Carrington College?

Carrington College Mesa, Arizona campus.

Carrington College, which maintains a number of campuses across the Southern and Western US, focuses on healthcare education and offers a range of diploma and Associate Degree programs in a wide range of technical and administrative medical field, including Pharmacy Technology.

Carrington College proclaims that its campuses offer an 'immersive small college experience' which can be more beneficial than bigger campuses with a wider teacher to student ratio.

Depending on the campus location, lecture class and laboratory class sizes can be as small as 25, as is the case in their Mesa, Arizona campus.

None of them are residential campuses however, so out of town students are responsible for finding their own accommodation.

Carrington College pharmacy tech courses

The Pharmacy technology program offered at Carrington College culminates in a Certificate of Achievement or an Associate of Science degree. Classes are held fulltime and during the daytime.

Graduates are eligible and prepared to sit for the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) national certification exam upon completion.

Here's a quick video on what you're expected to learn in a pharmacy tech course at Carrington college. 

Can you take the Carrington College pharmacy tech course online?

Carrington College does not offer online courses in Pharmacy Tech education, all of its offerings are based on physical campuses, of which Carrington has a number. The programs are currently offered at the following campus locations: 

  • AZ: Mesa, Phoenix, Tuscon
  • CA: Citrus Heights, Pleasant Hill, Sacramento, San Jose, San Leandro, Stockton
  • ID: Boise
  • NM: Albuquerque
  • OR: Portland
  • WA: Spokane

Is Carrington College pharmacy tech program accredited?

Ensuring that any pharmacy tech education program you are considering is recognized and accredited by appropriate organizations is a must.

The Carrington College Pharmacy Technology programs at the Albuquerque, Boise, Citrus Heights, Mesa, Pleasant Hill, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Jose, San Leandro, Spokane, Stockton, and Tucson campuses are accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists. The Spokane campus Pharmacy Technology program is approved by the Washington State Board of Pharmacy.

As an institution, Carrington College itself is accredited by is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

The Pharmacy Technology program offered at Carrington College offers two paths: a diploma and an Associate's Degree. 

How long does it take to do pharmacy tech Carrington College course

The diploma track, which prepares students to take their PTCE certification test to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician, can be completed in around 9 months. An Associate's Degree can be completed in two years. However, after 9 months degree candidates can apply to take the PTCE and begin working in their field while they also continue to study.

What it is important to remember is that while these programs provide students with the education and knowledge needed to pass the PTCE the school does not administer the test, and you cannot not be considered a Certified Pharmacy Technician until you do, even if you have passed the school's diploma program.

Carrington College pharmacy technician prerequisites

To be accepted into to the Carrington College Pharmacy Tech diploma program students need to be high school graduates or have a GED. To continue to the Associate's Degree students will need to have completed and passed the study modules included in the Diploma portion of the course.

Students will also be required to be interviewed prior to enrollment.

When taking the PTCE, students will need to meet other requirements, including passing drug and criminal background tests and providing proof of certain immunizations.

Carrington College pharmacy tech externship

Unlike online pharmacy tech courses students enrolled in the Carrington College program have access to working labs, staffed by qualified pharmacist instructors, throughout their studies.

This means they already meet the practical experience requirements to take the PTCE. 

Their program features didactic course work, laboratory course work and experiential training hours.  

Typical experiential training sites include:

  • Community pharmacy
  • Hospital
  • Home health care
  • Other: for example compounding

Upon graduation, however, the college offers the kind of placement assistance that most colleges do.

What do you learn in Pharmacy tech school?

The diploma portion of the Pharmacy Tech course gives students all the knowledge they need to pass the PTCE certification exam. According to the PTCB, the governing board that administers the test, while it changes every year, the required knowledge covers:

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacy Law and Regulations:
  • Sterile and Non-sterile Compounding
  • Medication Safety
  • Pharmacy Quality Assurance
  • Medication Order Entry and Fill Process
  • Pharmacy Inventory Management
  • Pharmacy Billing and Reimbursement
  • Pharmacy Information Systems Usage and Application

There is also a practical, hands on requirement as well, of at least 150 hours. That is covered in the Carrington College Pharmacy Tech course by the practical lab work students conduct throughout the course.

Those who take an Associate's Degree in Pharmacy Technology will also need to complete core requirements in mathematics, social studies, English composition and science.

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Carrington College pharmacy technician cost

Because it is a private college rather than a technical school the tuition rates for the Carrington College Pharmacy Tech program depends on a number of factors, including campus location, age, income, family size, whether you intend to apply for Federal financial aid and more. The college does offer a cost estimator here that you can use to determine what the cost of the course might be for you.

Here are the relevant fees for the Carrington College pharmacy technician degree program in Mesa, AZ: 

  • Tuition costs: $13,892.00
  • Book/Supply costs: $740.00
  • Uniform costs: $40.00
  • Lab/other fees: $255.00
  • Other: CPR First Aid : $ 20.00

What is Carrington College's pharmacy tech graduation rate?

Carrington College reports the graduation rates for both the Pharmacy Tech Diploma and Associate's Degree programs to various state authorities as they are required to to remain accredited.

The rates vary according to the particular Carrington College campus students attend but, on average, in 2018, 72% of diploma program candidates graduated and 72% of Associate's Degree candidates.

Why should you be a pharmacy technician?

If you are only just beginning to consider going to school to become a pharmacy tech you may be wondering if it is worth the effort.

 According to the Dept. of Labor all the following is true in 2019:




According to the average national hourly wage for a pharmacy tech nationwide is $16.08. Some people earn more, especially in hospital pharmacy settings, making it a career that offers the potential for a reasonable wage.

Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow by 7% nationally between 2018 and 2028.

Job Growth


Becoming a pharmacy tech can be an excellent career path for those who want to enter the pharmaceutical field but do not want to do the several years of study it takes to become a pharmacist.

Some pharmacy techs do go on to qualify as a pharmacist, studying part-time while working.

A typical career path of a pharmacy technician is: 




There are a wide range of job opportunities for pharmacy techs too. Many work in community and commercial pharmacies, but others work in hospital pharmacies and even in nursing homes and urgent care centers.

Final Word

Attending Carrington College and enrolling in their Pharmacy Tech program is one of the many options you can consider if a career as a Pharmacy Tech appeals to you. As is the case for enrolling in any school make sure that you do your homework and fully understand everything involved, including tuition rates, before you do.

carrington college

Carrington College is a network of for-profit private colleges.


T: 916-361-5100

HQ: 8909 Folsom Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95826


Search Pharmacy Technician Programs

Get information on Pharmacy Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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