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Certificate in

Pharmacy Technician


Gain the knowledge you need to make an impact in the medical field. Master the skills required to sit for the PTCB National Certification Exam and earn an entry-level position as a pharmacy technician.  

 
 

Expand Your Knowledge at Your Own Pace

Complete Cal Sate East Bay’s Pharmacy Technician Program and launch your career as a pharmacy technician. In this online course, you’ll gain the skills required to excel in hospital and retail settings. Whether you’re interpreting physician orders or performing pharmaceutical calculations, CSUEB’s program ensures you have the fundamentals required to succeed. Upon completion, you will be well-prepared to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board's (PTCB) National Certification Exam.

Exam Prep

Preparation to sit for the PTCB National Certification Exam

Walgreens Externships

Pharmacy Technician externships established with Walgreens

CVS Externships

Pharmacy Technician externships established with CVS

As a participant in Cal State East Bay’s online program, you’ll receive the same high-quality education available to traditional students. Most importantly, you can set your own pace and incorporate your learning experience in a way that works best for you.

You can expect a challenging curriculum as well as one-on-one interaction with your instructor. In addition to your online coursework, you will also have the option to gain hands-on experience by completing an externship or clinical rotations at retail and hospital pharmacies.

A Curriculum with Real World Application

As a student in the Pharmacy Technician Program, you will gain the knowledge required to succeed in the healthcare field. You will leave the program with an understanding of:

Medical and pharmaceutical terminology.

The pharmacology of medications in relation to the anatomy they affect.

The differences between hospital and retail pharmacy environments and how they operate.

Critical Care When Patients Need it Most

Pharmacies, whether in hospital or retail settings, are indispensable. So are the pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who work in them. As a pharmacy technician, you play an important role in ensuring patients have the proper medications needed for long-term good health. You’ll assist pharmacists in ordering, stocking, packaging, and preparing medications. With the knowledge and hands-on experience gained in CSUEB’s Pharmacy Technician program, you can set yourself apart to employers and apply the skills you’ve learned with confidence.


As a pharmacy technician, you play an important role in ensuring patients have the proper medications needed for long-term good health.

Occupational Trends

9% Growth

Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.
– Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

$45,000+

In May 2015, the top 10 percentile of pharmacy technicians earned more than $45,030.
– Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

Top Employers

In 2014, the top two industries that employed the most pharmacy technicians were pharmacies and drug stores (52%) and hospitals (13%).
– Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

An Education You Can Rely On

Healthcare continues to be a growing field. With an aging population and higher instances of chronic diseases, the demand for prescription medications will increase. Other factors, such as advances in pharmaceutical research to fight diseases and federal healthcare reform, suggest that more and more people will need medical prescriptions filled. As a pharmacy technician, you’ll play a critical role in this evolving field.


Play a critical role in this evolving field.

Graduates of CSUEB’s program put their knowledge to work in pharmacies as well as hospitals or clinics. They are entrusted with a variety of responsibilities to support pharmacy operations such as interpreting physician orders and prescriptions, preparing and distributing medications, and performing pharmaceutical calculations. They also process insurance billing for patients and assist with managing inventory.

Program Objectives

Completing Cal State East Bay’s Pharmacy Technician Program will provide you with:

An understanding of federal and state laws that govern pharmacy.

Insight into HIPAA requirements and their application to the pharmacy.

The ability to communicate effectively with patients and medical professionals.


Find out what you’ll learn in the program. »

A Curriculum with Emphasis on Real World Application

To earn your Pharmacy Technician certificate, you must complete one required course containing the learning units detailed below. You must also complete a comprehensive final exam.

  1. Orientation to Pharmacy
  2. Pharmacy Law and Ethics
  3. Medical and Pharmaceutical Terminology
  4. Pharmaceutical Calculations
  5. Pharmacology
  6. Communication Skills
  7. Insurance and Inventory Procedures
  8. Lab Module
  9. Clinical Rotations
  10. Final Comprehensive Exam

Program Format

For your convenience, the Pharmacy Technician Certificate Course is offered online.

Required Courses

CourseUnitsFallWinterSpringSummer
EXSP 8519: Pharmacy Technician Certificate
33 CEUs/330 hours
X
X
X
X

Pharmacy Externships

As a participant in the Pharmacy Technician program, you will have the opportunity to participate in externship programs with CVS and Walgreens. You will gain hands-on experience including assisting pharmacists with prescriptions, answering patient questions about medications, and managing a variety of administrative duties.

In order to qualify for an externship, you cannot have a criminal record. You must:

  • Pass a drug screening test
  • Complete a background check and employment verification
  • Meet current immunization standards
  • Obtain professional liability insurance
  • Conform with and complete any state mandates such as registration, fingerprinting, and licensing.
  • Additional forms may be necessary for externships with certain pharmacies.

NOTE: An externship is not guaranteed. You must apply to the program and complete the prerequisite criteria before being accepted. Positions in the externship program are contingent on availability at each pharmacy location. You may also arrange your own externship at any retail or hospital facility.

At this time, Walgreens is not able to place externship students in Arizona and Florida because a POWER project is being piloted in both states. An alternate externship may be available in these states.


Learn about your instructors. »

As a participant in Cal State East Bay’s Pharmacy Technician Program, you will learn from experienced pharmacists and pharmacy technicians as well as benefit from their knowledge and personal insights as seasoned professionals. The program’s faculty has one primary goal – to give you the foundation needed to effectively apply your knowledge and skills in any pharmacy setting.

Melissa Dunworth

ed2go instructor

Melissa Dunworth has been a pharmacy technician for over 13 years. She lives in Albuquerque, NM.  She has worked in all pharmacy arenas (retail, closed pharmacy, and training/education) during her pharmacy career. Dunworth currently holds a Bachelors degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences and works as a Developmental Specialist in Early Intervention for children ages 0 to 3 years.  She has been a certified pharmacy technician since 1997.  Dunworth is also registered with the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy.

Betty Stahl

ed2go instructor

Betty Stahl has a doctorate in pharmacy from Shenandoah University. She has taught pharmacy technician programs at ASA College in New York City and ACT in Arlington, Virginia, over the past several years. Stahl has also worked as a pharmacist at CVS and in hospital settings.

Lorraine C. Zentz

ed2go instructor

Lorraine Zentz has been a pharmacy technician since 1981. She lives in the small mountain town of Mesa, Colorado, population 400, and currently works on-call at the regional hospital in the oncology pharmacy in Grand Junction, Colorado. She has worked in all pharmacy arenas (retail, home health, hospital, oncology, and training and education) during her pharmacy career.

Zentz received her bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in chemistry, and her master's degree in education with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction. She also completed her doctorate studies in adult education. She has held the position of Colorado state coordinator for NPTA and chairman of the Colorado Pharmacist Society Technician Academy, and she’s been certified since 1985. In 2004 she was the recipient of the Outstanding Leadership Award and was also named Technician of the Year for the state of Colorado. Zentz conducts continuing education programs for technicians throughout Colorado and nationally at the annual NPTA convention.

 
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Melissa Dunworth

Melissa Dunworthed2go instructor

Betty Stahl

Betty Stahled2go instructor

Lorraine C. Zentz

Lorraine C. Zentzed2go instructor

Ready to Enroll?

Admission to the Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is open to any interested student with a high school diploma or equivalent. You must be proficient in keyboarding, have a basic understanding of a word processing computer program (Microsoft Word recommended), and have a command of English grammar and punctuation. It is also recommended that you have a basic understanding of high school math including percents and proportions at the algebra level. No healthcare or medical office work experience is required.

Enrollment Deadlines

CSUEB’s Pharmacy Technician Program is an open enrollment program. You can register and start the program at any time.

Common Questions

How can I find my state's requirements for certification?

All states have a website with Board of Pharmacy information. You can access this information directly from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) website. Click on their "Who we serve" link, then the "State Associates and Boards" link for information.

What if my state requires more than what's offered in this program?

Most states still offer employment prior to certification. This employment comes with the stipulation that certification be acquired within a period of time, typically within a year. During this period, you'll work as an unlicensed personnel member, clerk, or aide.

Many states require a minimum number of hours worked before you can be registered or certified with the board. On-the-job training or externships are a great way to obtain these hours. If your goal is to work in a hospital pharmacy, finding that job while you’re still a student will help you reach your employment requirements as well as the educational clinical requirements.

When can I start the program?

This program has open enrollment, so you can register and start the program as soon as you are ready.  Once you have accessed the program curriculum or received a material shipment confirmation, refunds cannot be issued.

Can I register for programs if I am an international student?

Yes. You can enroll in and take the program from your home country as long as you have access to a computer with a fast internet connection such as DSL or cable.

Can I enroll in this program if I have a criminal record?

No, you cannot. To participate in the externships, you must not have a criminal record. Background checks will be conducted prior to admittance into the externship program.

How long does it take to complete the program?

This program is self-paced with open enrollment, so you can start when you choose and complete the course at your own pace. Upon registering, you're given an initial six months to complete the program. If you need additional time, you may receive an extension of six months at no additional cost.

Who will be my instructor?

All facilitators are successful working professionals with pharmacy experience. You will be paired up with a facilitator for one-on-one interaction. The facilitator will be available to answer any questions you may have and provide feedback on your performance.

Do I have to buy additional materials?

No. Your tuition covers all course material. ed2go will provide the following course materials after enrollment:

  • Pharmacy Practice for Technicians, 4th Edition
  • Pocket Guide for Pharmacy Technicians
  • Math for Pharmacy Technicians
  • Pharmacology for Technicians: Understanding Drugs and Their Uses, 4th Edition
  • Pharmacology for Technicians Workbook
  • Virtual Pharmacy Externship for Technicians CD-ROM
  • Pharmacy lab kit
  • Externship packet and lab coat will be provided upon acceptance into the Externship Program

What software or hardware do I need in order to take online programs, and what are the system requirements?

To participate in the online program, you must have access to a computer and the Internet. You may use a Mac or a PC. Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Acrobat Reader are required for this program.

How are externships and clinical rotations established?

ed2go has established a national contract with Walgreens and CVS for Pharmacy Technician externships. Externships are based on availability. ed2go will work with you to set up Walgreens or CVS externships for 100 hours. You may be required to provide proof of professional liability insurance for the externship program.

If you do not participate in the externship, you'll want to initiate clinical rotations. You know best what facilities are in your area. Once you've located a hospital or retail store and made contact, please notify your instructor. After the instructor receives the contact information for the facility, he or she can ensure you'll get the necessary training to complete your program.

Please note that there’s no guarantee for the timeframe in which your clinical rotations will be established. If you’re currently working in a pharmacy setting, that will qualify. With the increase in confidentiality and privacy regulations as well as liability issues related to health information, clinical rotations could be difficult to arrange. In the event you cannot arrange a rotation, you can complete a research project.

What happens when I complete the program?

Upon successful completion of the program, you will be awarded a certificate of completion from California State University, East Bay.

Am I guaranteed a job?

CSUEB’s partner, ed2go, does not provide direct job placement services. However, ed2go's facilitators and career counselors will help you build your resume and are available to give advice on finding your first job. Facilitators will also be available to use as a professional reference upon completion of the program.

How can I get more information on the program?

For additional information, visit ed2go. If you have questions not answered on the website, please contact ed2go via the LIVE chat feature or “Contact Us” form on the website. You may also contact the ed2go team at 1-855-520-6806. All questions will be answered promptly.

Financing

How much does the program cost?

The total estimated cost of the Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is $2,025. Please note that program tuition and fees are subject to change at any time.

What is the program’s refund policy?

This program is offered in partnership with ed2go. According to ed2go’s refund policy, you are ineligible for a refund of course registration fees after you obtain course materials and have been given access to the online class.

What financing options are available to me?

Traditional financial aid (such as completing the FAFSA, Pell Grants, etc.) is not applicable for Continuing Education certificate programs. Learn more about other financial aid options.

Search Results

At Cal State East Bay, we pride ourselves on putting students first, from the moment you inquire until you graduate. We hope you've found answers to your questions in this support center, but if not, please get in touch.

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At a Glance

Area of Study: Certificate in Pharmacy Technician

Ideal for: Individuals interested in becoming pharmacy technicians

Program format: Online

Program length:  330 hours, self-paced

Number of courses: 1 course

Tuition cost: $2,025 (Tuition fees are subject to change at any time.)

Questions?

Please let us know if we can answer any questions about the Pharmacy Technician program. Many answers can also be found in our online Support Center.

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