Pharmacy Technician Certifications
Getting a pharmacy technician certification can provide several benefits, including increased job opportunities, higher earning potential, professional recognition, continuing education, and career advancement. It can help you stand out in a competitive job market and demonstrate your skills and expertise in the field.
What are the Benefits of getting a Pharmacy Technician Certification?
There are several benefits to obtaining a pharmacy technician certification, including:
Increased Job Opportunities
Obtaining a pharmacy technician certification can improve job prospects by demonstrating to employers that an individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to provide high-quality patient care.
Pharmacy technicians with certification are often paid higher wages than those without certification. Certification can demonstrate to employers that an individual has the skills and knowledge necessary to perform their job effectively, making them more valuable to the organization.
Increased Opportunities for Career Advancement
Certification can open up new opportunities for career advancement, such as specialization in a particular area of pharmacy or management positions within the organization.
Certification is a mark of professional recognition, demonstrating to colleagues, patients, and other healthcare professionals that an individual is committed to providing high-quality patient care.
Enhanced Knowledge and Skills
Certification requires individuals to complete a formal training program and pass a rigorous examination. This process can enhance an individual’s knowledge and skills, making them better equipped to provide high-quality patient care.
Compliance with regulatory requirements
In some states, obtaining a pharmacy technician certification is a regulatory requirement for practicing as a pharmacy technician. Certification can help individuals meet these regulatory requirements and remain compliant with state regulations.
What is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Process?
Meet eligibility requirements
To be eligible for pharmacy technician certification, individuals must meet certain eligibility requirements. These requirements may vary depending on the certifying organization, but may include completion of a formal training program, work experience in a pharmacy setting, and/or a high school diploma or equivalent.
Select a certifying organization
There are several organizations that offer pharmacy technician certification, including the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). It is important to research the different options and select a certifying organization that is recognized by employers and regulatory agencies in your state.
Apply for certification
Once you have selected a certifying organization, you will need to complete the application process. This typically involves submitting an application, documentation of your eligibility, and payment of a certification fee.
Prepare for the certification exam
After your application has been approved, you will need to prepare for the certification exam. This may involve studying relevant course materials, reviewing practice questions and study guides, and attending exam preparation courses or workshops.
Take and pass the exam
The certification exam typically consists of multiple-choice questions that test your knowledge of pharmacy law and ethics, pharmacology, medication dispensing, sterile compounding, medication therapy management, and other relevant topics. The exam may be computer-based or paper-based and is typically administered at a testing center.
If you pass the certification exam, you will receive your pharmacy technician certification from the certifying organization. This certification is typically valid for a certain period of time (e.g. two years) and may require renewal through continuing education or re-examination.
What Are The Best Pharmacy Technician Certifications?
There are two nationally recognized pharmacy technician certifications that are highly regarded in the field.
The PTCE is offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and is widely recognized by employers and regulatory agencies. The exam covers topics such as medication safety, pharmacology, pharmacy law and regulations, medication order entry and processing, and medication inventory management.
The CPhT certification is offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) and is another widely recognized certification in the field. The exam covers topics such as medication order processing, medication dispensing, inventory management, and pharmacy law and regulations.
Both of these certifications require passing a rigorous exam and meeting certain eligibility requirements, such as completion of a formal training program and/or work experience in a pharmacy setting.
Other pharmacy technician certifications that may be available include:
Exam for Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT)
Offered by the National Healthcareer Association, the ExCPT certification tests candidates’ knowledge of pharmacy regulations and medication safety.
Offered by the PTCB, the CSPT certification tests candidates’ knowledge of sterile compounding techniques and regulations.
Sterile Products Preparation Technician (SPPT): Offered by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS), the SPPT certification tests candidates’ knowledge of sterile compounding techniques and regulations.
Healthcare Technician – Certified (HTC): Offered by the National Association for Health Professionals, the HTC certification is a broader certification for healthcare technicians that includes pharmacy technician skills as well as other healthcare skills.
It’s important to note that some states may have their own specific requirements for pharmacy technician certification, so it’s important to research the requirements in your state before pursuing a certification. Additionally, some employers may prefer or require one certification over the other, so it’s important to research the preferences of potential employers in your area.
How Can I Prepare For the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam?
Preparing for the pharmacy technician certification exam requires a combination of studying and practice. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for the exam:
Review the exam content outline: Both the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) and the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) exam have content outlines that outline the topics that will be covered on the exam. Reviewing the content outline can help you focus your studying and identify areas where you may need more practice.
Study relevant course materials: There are many study materials available for pharmacy technician certification exams, including textbooks, online courses, and study guides. It’s important to choose study materials that are up-to-date and relevant to the exam you will be taking.
Practice with sample questions: Many study materials include sample questions and practice exams that can help you get a feel for the types of questions you will encounter on the actual exam. Practice questions can also help you identify areas where you may need more practice or review.
Utilize study groups or tutoring: Studying with a group of peers or working with a tutor can provide additional support and help you stay motivated. It can also be helpful to hear different perspectives and approaches to studying and test-taking.
Get hands-on experience: If possible, try to get hands-on experience in a pharmacy setting. This can help you understand how the concepts you are studying apply in a real-world context and can provide valuable experience and knowledge.
Take care of yourself: Preparing for a certification exam can be stressful, so it’s important to take care of yourself during the studying process. Get plenty of rest, eat well, exercise, and take breaks when needed to avoid burnout.
Stay motivated: Preparing for a certification exam can be a long and challenging process, so it’s important to stay motivated and focused on your goal. Keep reminding yourself of why you want to get certified and the benefits it can bring to your career.
Preparing for the pharmacy technician certification exam requires a combination of studying and practice. By reviewing the exam content outline, studying relevant course materials, practicing with sample questions, utilizing study groups or tutoring, getting hands-on experience, and taking care of yourself, you can increase your chances of passing the exam and obtaining your certification.
Pharmacy Technician Professional Associations
There are several professional associations for pharmacy technicians, including:
National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA): The NPTA is a professional association for pharmacy technicians that offers resources such as continuing education, certification exam preparation, and networking opportunities. The NPTA also advocates for pharmacy technicians and provides a platform for members to voice their opinions and concerns.
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP): The ASHP is a professional organization for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians that offers resources and advocacy for the pharmacy profession. The ASHP offers a variety of resources for pharmacy technicians, including continuing education, certification exam preparation, and networking opportunities.
National Healthcareer Association (NHA): The NHA is a professional organization that offers certification exams for healthcare professionals, including pharmacy technicians. The NHA also offers resources such as continuing education and exam preparation materials.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB): The PTCB is the organization that offers the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), which is a nationally recognized certification for pharmacy technicians. The PTCB also offers resources such as exam preparation materials and continuing education.
State Pharmacy Technician Associations: Many states have their own professional associations for pharmacy technicians that offer resources and networking opportunities specific to that state. These associations may also offer advocacy and representation for pharmacy technicians at the state level.
By joining a professional association, pharmacy technicians can stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices, network with other professionals in the field, and advocate for the profession.