Pharmacy Technician Programs in Renton, WA

Did you know that it takes a minimum of five years to become a pharmacist? For some that much schooling is impractical or just not something they want to undertake. However, as the pharmacy field continues to grow it is still one that many would like to get into. By becoming a Pharmacy Technician, a role that calls for far less formal schooling but is still vitally important you can do just that.

The demand for trained, certified pharmacy techs in Washington State is high, including for those living in Renton, WA. However, before you can begin working in what is an exciting and challenging field you do need to get the schooling you need to obtain certification and licensing. Which is where pharmacy technician programs in Renton, WA come in.

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Renton vs Washington Pharmacy Technicians Employment



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Pharmacy Techs employed in Renton, WA represents 53% of all PT's employed in the state of Washington (2018, BLS) 

Total Pharmacy Technicians employed in Washington state (2018, BLS)

Renton, although demographically considered a suburb of Seattle, is a small city in its own right. And its industry is world-famous. In addition to being the place where the final touches are put on all new Boeing 747 airplanes it is also home to Kaiser Permanente, and Providence Health & Services, two healthcare giants.

According to official government statistics in 2018 there were 6950 certified and licensed pharmacy technicians living and working in the State of Washington. Of those, 3740 work in the geographical area that Renton falls under. These professionals work in a number of different settings, not just retail pharmacies. Pharmacy techs are employed at hospitals, nursing homes, mail order pharmacies and more.

Salary Percentiles for Pharmacy Technicians in Renton

In terms of salary the Pharmacy Tech profession offers competitive compensation. In 2018 the average salary paid to Renton, WA pharmacy tech was $20.89 per hour, or $43,450. As is the case for every profession salaries vary according to role, and while the lowest paid pharmacy techs earned an average of $15.67 in 2018 the highest paid made $27.63 per hour, translating to an annual salary of $57,480.

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Pharmacy Technician Schools in Renton, WA


Many of Renton's pharmacy technicians are graduates of the 4 accredited pharmacy technician school in the city.

Washington State mandates that in order to work as a pharmacy tech in the state you must be both certified and licensed. Certification comes via passing the PTCB exam, and licensing is then issued. In order to take that exam would be pharmacy techs need to learn quite a lot, as well as complete a practical experience requirement that can only be fulfilled by working in a pharmacy in the 'real world'.

There are 4 schools - and 5 campuses - within 25 miles of Renton, WA that offer Pharmacy Technician Certificate Programs that give students all they need to pass the PTCB exam, including the externship experience.

As each has something slightly different to offer here is a comparative look at these schools and programs to help you decide which one might be the best choice for you.

Renton Campus: 555 S. Renton Village Place, Renton, WA 98057 |Phone: 800-477-PIMA

A private vocational college, Pima Medical Institute boasts campuses across the country, including two within the easy reach of Renton, WA students. One is located in Renton itself, while the other is a little further afield in Seattle proper. Both are a relatively easy commute for Renton residents to make though.

Pima Medical Institute Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program

Estimated program cost

‚ÄčNo matter which campus students prefer to enroll at, the current cost of completing the Pima Institute Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program is $14,106. That figure, however, does not take into account the cost of mandatory testing, background checks or other school fees, which add approximately another $1,000 to the final costs students will incur.

Just how much you might pay may differ slightly as there are some grants available to certain students and, for those who qualify, Federal and state financial aid is available too.

Basic admissions requirements

The requirements for admission to Pharmacy Tech program at either the Renton or Seattle campuses are minimal, and less stringent than those of some other schools. They include all the following:

  • Students must be over the age of 18, although in some exceptional circumstances students aged 16-18 may be admitted with parental permission and support.
  • Students must be able to prove their legal status
  • Students must pay for, and pass a background check. Later on drug testing and proof of vaccinations will be required by both the PTCB and most externship employers, so students are advised to meet those requirements as early in their training as possible.
  • Students must pass a basic entrance test and on that test must prove they have basic English proficiency and can score 60% or better on the basic math portion.


Pima Institute is a private vocational school, so is not bound by traditional semesters. Classes form year round at both campuses in the Renton area and begin every two to three months. Students can choose to take day or evening classes which does allow adults who are already working to better fit their schooling into their schedule.

The program takes approximately 35 weeks to complete for students attending daytime classes and 40 weeks for those who choose to attend the school at night. Students also have to complete a 250 externship with a local employer before graduation. This can be arranged for students by the school or they can choose to find their own.


The Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program follows the same time frames and curriculum no matter which of the two campuses you choose and the programs are accredited by the same governing bodies.

The program is authorized and approved by the Washington Student Achievement Council. This means the program that meets the requirements established for degree-granting institutions under the Degree-Granting Institutions Act.

However, not all the credits earned at Pima Institute may be fully transferable to another school or college. So students are advised to check with any schools that they might consider attending in the future to continue their studies to determine if credits from Pima will be accepted.

The Pima Pharmacy Tech program is also fully recognized by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Students can take the PTCB certification exam at the end of the program, secure in the knowledge that the course meets all the educational and practical experience knowledge and requirements needed to have the best possible chance of passing it to obtain official CPhT status.

The instructors on the course are all experienced industry professionals and very helpful, even when it comes to prepping for the PTCB exam. But while the program ensures that students have the knowledge needed to pass the test and begin working it is up to the student to take what they've learned and do that for themselves.

Address: 9600 College Way North, Seattle, Washington 98103 | Phone206-934-3600

North Seattle College is a community college that serves a diverse student body and, as all community colleges do, offers a wide range of certificate and degree programs, many of which are designed to provide students with a high quality, practical education at a price that's more affordable than a standard four year college.

The campus, which occupies over 200 acres, is located in the Northgate section of Seattle. It's close to public transportation and major highways so is very accessible to Renton, WA residents.

As it is a traditional college in many ways students tend to be younger and the experience is a typical collegiate one, with lots of campus activities, clubs and associations that students can join in with outside the classroom.

North Seattle College Academics

North Seattle offers two Pharmacy Tech programs. Their Associates Degree program is a well respected program that those looking to pursue higher levels of education after certification may benefit from, but before they can enroll in that all students must take, and graduate from the Pharmacy tech Certificate Program.

North Seattle College Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program

Estimated program cost

The Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program at North State is charged for on a per credit basis. The cost will vary according to how many credits a student takes, their personal circumstances and more. However, the school estimates most students will incur approximately $4,500 in credit costs and an additional $800-$1000 for books, supplies and college fees.

Federal and state student financial aid is available to those who qualify, and there are grants available to some students as well.

Basic admission requirements

The school states that it's the mission of the Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program to make this education available to the widest range of students possible, so the entrance requirements are not as strict as they are to enroll in some of North State's other offerings. However, there are still formal requirements you should know about:

  • Students need to have graduated with a high school diploma or obtained an equivalent GED.
  • Students need to provide Government issued photo ID and prove their legal status
  • Students need to have passed certain prerequisite college level courses. These include English Composition, College Prep Reading and Writing and Elementary Algebra. If they did not take AP classes in high school they can choose to complete these courses at North Seattle or to take COMPASS exams that test the equivalent knowledge.
  • Pass a background check, the cost of which students are responsible for.
  • Acknowledge that they are aware that drug testing and vaccination proofs will be required by both externship employers and the PTCB and that they are willing and unable to undergo them prior to taking the certification test/being placed with an employer.
  • Students will also need to meet minimum fitness requirements. They will need to prove an ability to lift at least 25lbs and have vision and hearing correctable to an acceptable level.
  • Students will be asked to sign an acknowledgment that they will, in all professional dealings, treat patients with the same respect regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or sexual preference.
  • Students will be asked to take a typing test to demonstrate a typing speed of at least 40-45 WPM and to demonstrate a basic knowledge of computers.


North State College's Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program is accredited and licensed by the Washington State Board of Pharmacy and ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists). The program is also PTCB approved.

Students who later choose to further their education in the field, all the college credits earned as a part of the North State College Certificate program are fully transferable.


The Pharmacy Tech Certificate course offered at North State can be completed in nine months, the equivalent of one school year. Program admissions are made in the Fall and Spring semesters in line with the admissions schedule the college follows in general.

Hailed as one of the most comprehensive programs available to Renton, WA residents the North Seattle Certificate Program offers the chance to obtain all the academic knowledge and hands on work experience students will need to pass their PTCB Certification test and go on to work in their chosen field.

School statistics show that 99% of the students completing the Certificate program pass their PTCB certification exam on their first try. In addition many are eventually employed with the employer they do their 432 hour externship with. These are arranged by the school and include placements in both retail and hospital pharmacy environments.

Address: 4500 Steliacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499-4004 | Phone: 253-589-5800

Clover Park Technical College is another private educational institution that offers a wide range of vocational certificate and degree programs to Renton, WA students of all ages. One popular program offered at their Lakewood campus is their Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program. On completion of this program, and official certification by the PTCB, and licensing from Washington State, students can choose to continue on to take an Associates in Pharmacy Technology.

Clover Park Technical College Pharmacy Technician Certificate

Estimated program cost

While the school does not guarantee pricing at any time, on average students pay per credit for the 75-81 credit course. In 2019 the cost per credit for the program was approximately $7,308. This does not include the cost of books, supplies and fees which add an additional $1,500-$2,000 to the final bill. These costs are for in state students only, out of state costs are considerably higher.

Federal and state financial aid is available to students who qualify and there are also a limited number of state grants available. Payment plans are available for those who do not choose to take out loans.

Basic admission requirements

All students entering the program need to be able to meet all the following requirements:

  • Students must have a high school diploma or GED and be over the age of 18
  • Students must be able to provide proof of status and pass privately administered background and drug tests
  • Students need to meet minimum vaccination standards by the first day of class
  • Students need to have obtained an American Heart Association CPR for the Healthcare Professional certification. The school's advisors can help prospective students find out how to do that.
  • Students must complete completed a Computer Applications course or equivalent, and a Medical Terminology course and be college level math ready. These courses can be included at the beginning of the program if students have not completed them elsewhere and, provided they pass with a B or higher can continue to complete the remainder of the program.
  • Students will need to demonstrate a basic level of fitness and that they can type at a rate of 35 WPM.

Once these classes are complete they can apply to join the program. To enrol at Edmonds College in general students will need to follow the standard application guidelines for a state college, including meeting GPA requirements and proving their legal status.

As the state requires it for later licensing students will be asked to pass a background check and a drug test. They will also advise students to ensure that they are up to date on mandatory vaccinations, as this will be required by both employers during an externship and by the State of Washington before a license can be issued.


The Clover Park Technical College Pharmacy Tech Certificate program is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.


The Clover Park Technical College Pharmacy Tech Certificate is a five quarter program, taking just over a year to complete. Admissions to the program are made in the summer and winter and classes are scheduled primarily in the daytime, although there are some later classes available.

Some students take longer to complete the program as all classes must be passed with a B average before students can proceed to the next one. Retakes are allowed but at additional credit costs.

Students complete a 200 hour clinical rotation, or externship, with a local employer as a part of the program. During this time they may be allowed to complete some of their coursework online at home. When students are preparing to take their certification exam at the end of the program they are given access to online test prep resources to help, including past papers and flashcards.

Address: 3000 NE 4th St., Renton, WA 98056 | Phone: 425 235-2352

As the name suggests, Renton Technical College is located right in the city of Renton itself and is a great choice for those who do not want to have to travel too far to go to school.

The school offers more than 60 certificate programs, including a number of healthcare related courses. Their Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is among them.

Renton Technical College Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program

Estimated program cost

The program is a 77 credit program, and students are charged on a per credit basis. In 2019 the approximate cost of basic tuition for the Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program was $7,632. This does not include the cost of books, supplies or other fees, which add an additional $1,500 to $2,000 to the total cost.

Federal and state aid is available to those who qualify and there are a limited number of state grants that some students may be eligible for as well.

Basic admissions requirements

Before they can begin program classes, students must meet certain requirements for entrance. These include all the following:

  • Be over the age of 18 years old by the third quarter of the five quarter program
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be able to prove legal status
  • Pass a background check and drug test. Students must bear the cost of these tests themselves.
  • Provide proof of required vaccinations
  • Be able to demonstrate written and spoken English fluency.


The Renton Technical College Pharmacy Technician Certificate is accredited by the ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists) and the WA Department of Health.


The program is a five quarter program that accepts new students at the beginning of the Fall semester. The 77 credit curriculum consists of some basic education modules in Math, English and Computer Proficiency that must be completed at a B level before students can proceed to the remainder of the course and/or their externship with an outside employer.

By the end of the course students will be prepped and ready to sit their PTCB certification exam. Students are offered access to additional online study guides and materials to do this and faculty are available to offer their advice as well.

Should a student pass the program and successfully obtain certification and licensing they can opt to study for another two quarters - the equivalent of 20 credits - to complete and an Associates Degree in Pharmacy Technology.

Final Note

Still not certain that Pharmacy Tech is a career you would like to pursue? Renton WA residents can access a special course offered by Everett College to help them find out. The $119 online course covers many of the basic terms and duties a pharmacy technician undertakes and offers a broad overview of the profession.

This is not a course that will, in any way, give you anywhere near the knowledge needed to pass the PTCB certification exam, but it does offer great insights into what being a Pharmacy Technician entails so that you can decide if it's the right choice for you.

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