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Can I Pass the PTCB Without Sitting for Class and Study the Textbook Instead?

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Pharmacy technician is budding lately as one of the most prosperous career options.

With great scopes and opportunities, this is one of the courses that’s in great demand nowadays.

With this job you may have to perform certain sets of tasks.

For example, you have to receive prescription request from the doctor’s offices as well as from patients.

You also have measure the amount of medication accurately.

Packaging and labeling the prescriptions along with maintaining patient records and managing the inventory is a part of this job.

You also may have to accept the payments for medical prescriptions and even process the insurance claims.

All these tasks involve huge responsibilities. You have to be well-trained and certified for this job. This is a job requires sought-after professionals.

With proper certification, you can get jobs at hospitals, doctor’s offices, grocery stores and at drug stores. But for all these, you must get a form of certificate and/or licensing first.  If you are wondering how you can get this certificate, then read on.

Here is the detailed information about everything you need to know.


Can I Become a Pharmacy Technician Without Going to School?

Contrary to pupular belief, yes you can become a pharmacy technician without actually attending a college institution.  Now let’s talk about how this can work.  


How to Become a Pharmacy Technician Without Going to School?

If you have researched about the roles and responsibilities of a technician in pharmaceutical industry, then you probably know you need to know what you’re doing when you’re getting this job.

You cannot simply become one technician without proper training and knowledge.

Of course, there are many schools which provide proper training and knowledge about this field of work.  But if you are already working, then going to school regularly and sitting for every class of a gull degree course to get a certificate can be quite difficult for you.

But if you want to study at home instead of going to school and attending classes, then there are several ways.

You need to find an online training program that will help you to train you for this certification. Without professional guidance, clearing the PTCE is not easy. The Certificate online training programs are a great choice for the interested candidates who are either working or going to college.

A professional training course can guide you through this. They will also recommend you the books and provide you with study materials that you must go through before you plan to take the certification exam.

PharmacyTechLessons.com online pharmacy tech program helps a huge crowd of people to go into this profession. Be aware that enrolling yourself to a school for a full-time course can be expensive too.

So, if you are finding ways to become a certified pharmacy tech without going to school, then online programs will give you a chance. But before you enroll yourself to an online course make sure to consider these important factors:

  • Reliable: Make sure to choose a reliable online program. There are many online training programs. But before you enroll, just check the feedback or testimonials about them online. This will help you to know how much efficient the instructors are.
  • Flexible timing: The main factor of choosing an online course is because of the flexibility. If you are already working somewhere or studying somewhere, it can be difficult for you attend the classes on time. So, flexibility of time must be there.
  • Study materials: Before enrolling yourself to any online training program, make sure that they provide you with all the essential study materials. You need those to prepare for the test. Also there are certain books that they will surely recommend you.


Can You Get a Pharmacy Tech Job Without Being Certified?

The answer to this question is yes.  

Now technically you can become a pharmacy technician without actually being certified.  

In most states you can get what’s called a “temporary license” or a “trainee license”.  

You can use this license and work in the pharmacy for a certain amount of time.  

This comes in handy when you would like to buy some time to get your pharmacy technician certification.

Pharmacy tech jobs require high level of skills and knowledge. The technicians have a very significant role and some major responsibilities. So, it is important to have a proper knowledge and skills before taking over these responsibilities.

Having a certification is an assurance that the technician is aware of all the roles and responsibilities. They know their job well and have proper knowledge about everything. Majority of the states in the United States of America has a minimum requirement of certification for pharmacy technicians before hiring them.

Even though certification is not required in some of the states, most of the employers prefer to hire pharmacy technicians with certificates. Everyone takes this certificate as an assurance that the employee is well trained and has proper knowledge about this job. The PTCB or Pharmacy Technicians Certification Board conducts certification exams for the interested candidates. If you want to get a job in a renowned and trusted company with which is their in the industry for several years, then having a certificate is essential.

You will never get a pharmacy tech job without being certified in the states that requires a certification. But in the states that doesn’t require certification you will find it difficult to get a job.

Majority of the renowned and trusted hospitals, doctor offices and pharmaceutical companies will appoint professional pharmacy technicians who have a valid certification either by appearing at PTCE or ExCPT.

So, if you are planning to get a pharmacy tech job without being certified, then you have to know whether or not your state allows that. Even if they do, you have to first know which offices and hospitals hire technicians who don’t have a certificate.

Being at a pharmacy tech job, you must do a lot of things. Working with IV medications and working at laboratory is not possible if you do not have proper knowledge. Even the retail pharmacy technicians deal with the patients directly who are looking for medications.

Without proper knowledge about the medicines, they cannot advice the patients to enhance the quality of their life. Even they can the patients about the correct dosage of the medication that is required.


Can You Take the Pharmacy Tech Test Without Going to School?

Yes, you can take the exam without going to school.  

The exam is very hard to pass without any type of studying or proper preparation.  

Experience in the pharmacy can also help you when taking the actual exam because you have been exposed to the top 200 drug names, pharmacy processes, etc.

Becoming a pharmacy technician without going to school can be challenging but not impossible, but the laws and requirements may vary from one state to another.

The role of pharmacy technicians is quite significant. They must have proper training, knowledge and idea about each and every operation. Also, knowledge about medicines and regulations as well as prescription is important.

Majority of the states in the US are more concerned about the certification rather than the school degree. But having a proper training is essential, though that doesn’t mean you must attend school. Just like there are various ways to prepare for the exam, there are some ways to get trained.

Even though you haven’t attended a school for taking formal training of pharmacy technicians, you must pass the PTCE or ExCPT exam.

Without proper training, you may get a job as a trainee first where you can serve as an intern. Once you excel as a trainee and get a formal training and experience as one of the pharmacy technicians, then you can easily get a job as one in anywhere.

You must be very dedicated and committed towards your work as being a trainee is not easy. You may have to work somewhere without any being paid. But this is essential for you to gain experience and training.


How Long Does It Take to Become a Pharmacy Technician?

Here are the steps to becoming a pharmacy technician:  

  • Know the requirements
  • Decide when you want to take the exam (time frame)
  • Start studying
  • Schedule your exam date
  • Pass the exam (Certification)

For more detailed information on becoming a pharmacy technician, check out this post.  

You need to take the certification exam by the PTCB to become a pharmacy technician. General the school offers a 2-year degree course, but if you are studying at home and preparing for the exam, then you may take longer or even lesser. It completely depends upon you and your dedication.

Once you are completely prepared, you can apply for the test. The application will take few days to be approved. Once it is approved, you can take the exam and score a passing mark to get the certificate.

But it is not as easy as it may sound. It is a rigorous test and the course is too lengthy.


Your Options When Studying for the Pharmacy Technician Exam



Besides that, here are some of the textbooks that you may have already heard of for the pharmacy tech job certification test:

  • Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians

Along with this you can also buy the workbook which can help you in better preparation.

  • Mosby’s Pharmacy Technician Text and Workbook
  • Math Calculations for Pharmacy Technicians
  • Pharmacy Management Software for Pharmacy
  • Sterile Processing for Pharmacy Technicians


You can either choose to study at a college that provides special diploma or degree courses on the pharmacy tech certification and jobs or you can also opt for online.

If you want to enroll yourself to the regular college, then there are some popular colleges that provide you with Pharmacy tech job programs. Some of the colleges are:

  1. Ultimate Medical Academy
  2. Minnesota State Community & Technical College
  3. Allen Country Community College
  4. St Charles Community College
  5. Fayetteville Technical Community College

Learn Online From Home

You can learn online from home through various online training programs that are curated for pharmacy tech job certification.

If you want to study online, then they will definitely provide you with some suggestions of textbooks that you can buy for preparing for the test.

This pharmacy technician program will give you everything you need including 1 on 1 tutoring for specialized knowledge as you go through the curriculum.

Other Study Materials

Do not take the exam lightly as it is very rigorous and only has a pass rate of 58%. So, you must prepare for this. You have both the options available for preparing for this pharmacy tech job.

As the demand of this certification and job is increasing, many people are more interested in getting themselves prepared for the certification tests.

In both the cases, you must prepare on your own at home and for that you will need proper textbooks and study materials.

Besides these, you can also get the Online Course for Pharmacy Management which is an online course for this certification.

What’s on the Pharmacy Technician Exam?



To find out whats on the PTCE Exam Click Here


So, even getting a passing score at the ExCPT (Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians), will not be that easy. It is a nationally accredited certification exam for the aspired pharmacy technicians organized by National Healthcare Association (NHA). This exam has 100 questions along with 20 pretest questions. You will have 140 minutes in total to complete the test. You have to definitely study a lot as the contents of this exam are:

  1. Overview & Laws: This includes the scope of practice, role and the general duties of the pharmacy technicians. You will also learn laws and regulation as well as controlled substances in this section.
  2. Drug Therapy: In this section, you will learn about the different classification of drugs. You will also get to learn about the frequently prescribed medications.
  3. Dispensing process: This section is important as you will learn about the prescription and medicine order. You will also learn about preparing as well as dispensing prescriptions and do the calculations.

PTCE and ExCPT Exam Tips

If you want some essential tips for PTCE or ExCPT, then here are some:

  • Make sure to prepare your personal notes from the pharmacy technician book and study materials from the online course.
  • There are many resources available online from where you can get essential information about any topic.
  • You must take mock tests to ensure that you are completing the entire exam on time as time is a very important factor in this certification exam.
  • Take the practice test regularly to revise what you have read and this will help you to know your position as well.
  • Prepare a schedule for studying and make sure to dedicate at least 3 hours daily to study without any distractions.
  • Lastly, do not forget to believe in yourself as confidence is also an essential factor to score well.

Best Pharmacy Technician Book in 2018, 2019, 2020, and beyond… 

Now, you must have the complete knowledge about the eligibility and any other questions related to the pharmacy technician exam for certification. If you have genuine interest on pharmacy and pharmaceutical jobs, then you will definitely find it quite interesting. As a career option, it is definitely one of the best choices as it has great scopes and opportunities. There are plenty of job options that you can choose from.

This is surely one of the most potential and ever-growing job opportunities. More and more pharmaceutical companies are cropping out and they need certified technicians to work for them.

Being certified pharmacy technician with proper training and a little externship experience can be a great opportunity for you to get a well-paid job at a hospital or a medical laboratory or even at doctor’s office. Even big pharmaceutical companies often look for an experienced and skilled technician for jobs.

So, if you are looking forward to take this course as a serious career option, then you must work hard with 100% dedication. Once you get the certificate, you can apply for an externship or internship job to gain experience.

How Do I Get Certified to Become a Pharmacy Technician?

Pharmacy Technician Certification

Why you need it, does it really matter?

Uhhhhhh, yes.  A pharmacy technician certification can get you 2X pay, you were getting when you weren’t a certified technician, and in a bunch of cases more than that.  

The technician certificate for pharmaceutical jobs is quite important. Besides being mandatory by the states, this certification will also help you greatly. Basically, it’s an assurance of your knowledge and skills.

You can get the certificate to become one of the Pharmacy technicians by taking either the PTCE (Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam) or ExCPT (Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technician).

According to the executive director of PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board), pharmacy technician certification is important. This certification is a computer-based examination which is administered by Pearson VUE test center.

Just in case you didn’t know here are some of the steps that you need to follow to get certified:

Step #1: Know the eligibility

If you are interested to sit for the certification exam, then you must ensure that you are eligible to become PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board) certified. There is no requirement for pharmacy experience for taking this exam. But you must have a high school diploma or any equivalent educational degree for this.

As an applicant, you also have to disclose if there are any criminal records. The criminal offenses are seriously taken by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, especially if it is a drug-related crime. But that doesn’t mean you will be disqualified straight away. There is a long procedure for that.

Step #2: Prepare for the certification exam

The significant requirement to get PTCB certification is scoring a good score on the PTCE (Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam).

In order to prepare for the pharmacy technician exam, it is better if you can enroll yourself in a training program or get in some type of group study. There are many courses out there by renowned institutes that you can attend online.

Of course, you do not have to go for regular classes. As you may know the PTCB even offers you with a practice exam online that you can take this will kind of help you how you are doing in particular areas.  

Step #3: Apply online

After taking the mock test, if you feel that you are ready to take the exam, then you have to register online for it with PTCB. Registering for the examination means applying for the certification.

The application fee along with the test will cost you around $129.

If you are already an employee then your pharmaceutical company may sponsor you (check on this with your the company that you work for).  Once you apply for it, you have to wait for the approval.

After the application is approved, you will have 90 days to take the exam through the Pearson VUE.

Step #4: Taking the test & awaiting for result

While you are going to take the exam, make sure to carry a valid government-issue photo identity proof.  Deposit all the personal items in the locker.   Just after the exam, you will get an unofficial test result. The official test result can be received by accessing online within 2 to 3 weeks.

If you pass the exam, you will receive the pharmacy technician certificate via mail within 4 to 6 weeks after the exam date.

Step #5: Maintaining the certificate

Getting this certificate is not enough.

You have to maintain it by completing a 20-hour of CE (Continuing education) in every 2 years. This is essential for all the certified technicians who want to maintain their certification.

If you fail to earn the 20 CE Credits after 2 years or every 2 years, then your certificate will expire. You will have a 1 year reinstatement period where you can renew the certificate again.

In case you fail to renew the certificate in that reinstatement period, you have to retake the PTCE again.


What is your #1 goal right now? 

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-O’neisha Biggs

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