Requirements to Become a Pharmacy Technician in California

Requirements to become a pharmacy technician in California

The state of California features more than five thousand pharmacies, which currently employ a total of about 28,670 pharmaceutical technicians.  Of these, approximately three quarters are licensed by the California State Board of Pharmacy.  The rest are pharmacists' assistants whose permissible on-the-job tasks are primarily limited to administrative duties and customer service. 

California State Regulations for Pharmacy Technicians

The California Board of Pharmacy acknowledges two types of exams for its certification process. One exam is state approved by the Pharmacy Technicians Certification Board (PTCB). The other exam (known as ExCPT) is nationally accredited.  At the present time, Board certification is not required for employment as a pharmaceutical technician in the state of California.  Onsite professional activities of pharmacy technicians are regulated by the pharmacist on duty and by federal laws.  However, licensed technicians are clearly preferred in the pharmaceutical employment marketplace.  Aspiring pharmacy technicians must qualify for licensing and certification.  To qualify, the applicant must possess an Associates Degree (or its equivalent) in pharmacy practice.  Applicants must describe their qualifications and show supporting documentation.  All applications must have a passport-style photo attached to the first page.  The application processing fee is currently $50, payable to the California State Board of Pharmacy and renewable each year by check or money order.  All applicants must show valid ID and have high school diplomas (or GEDs), along with clean criminal background checks.  A typical background check includes fingerprinting and costs about another fifty dollars.  All associated costs are the sole responsibility of the applicant. 

California Training Programs for Pharmacy Technicians Include:

California residents pursuing careers as pharmaceutical technicians most often acquire training at Board certified local training facilities.  Pharmacy technician training is also available at Foothill College in Palo Alto, Cerritos College in Norwalk and American Career College with campuses in Anaheim, Los Angeles and Ontario.  Also noteworthy are North-West College, located in Glendale, Pasadena, Pomona and West Covina, as well as Western Career College, featuring facilities in Antioch, Citrus Heights, Emeryville, Pleasant Hill, Sacramento, San Jose, San Leandro and Stockton.  At the same time, many California-based pharmacy technicians acquire necessary skills through on-the-job training or by way of online education.  Popular accredited online schools for pharmacy technicians include National American University, Eagle Gate College, Medix School, Rasmussen College and Institute of Technology, to name only a few.