Becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Illinois

The demand for healthcare services in Illinois and throughout the country continues to skyrocket. Becoming a pharmacy technician gives you the opportunity to work under the supervision and direction of a pharmacist, preparing and delivering medication. Your tasks will include counting, mixing, labeling and recording dosages based on prescriptions, as well as taking inventory and responding to inquiries. [Leer en español]

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In this field, you might also be called a pharmacy tech, inventory specialist or compounding technician. If you decide to pursue this career in Illinois, you’ll have many opportunities for employment.

Requirements for Becoming a Pharmacy Technician

To become a pharmacy tech in Illinois, you’ll have to be at least 18 years old. You’ll need a high school diploma or GED, or be in the process of completing it. Training to become a pharmacy technician in Illinois can be obtained through an approved educational program or verified by a licensed pharmacist where you are employed.

Important qualities to have as a pharmacy tech include math skills, organizational abilities and customer service skills, including good listening skills. Passing a national certification exam is required to work as a pharmacy technician in Illinois.

Pharmacy Tech Educational Programs in Illinois

To obtain the skills you need to start a pharmacy tech career, there are several schools to choose from within the state. Training must be obtained through a school approved by a nationally recognized accreditation agency. Some pharmacy tech education programs in Illinois include:

  • Malcolm X College. This three-semester program in pharmacy technology offers students in Chicago communities thorough academic training, which prepares you for the national certification exam.
  • Midwest Technical Institute. With locations in both Springfield and East Peoria, this 35-week diploma program includes classroom training and practical lab work, along with 219 externship hours.
  • South Suburban College. This school offers a 39-credit certificate program in South Holland and Oak Park, which can be taken on a part-time or full-time basis. Students perform 300 supervised hours in pharmacy settings. Additional coursework can be taken to obtain an associate’s degree.
  • Penn Foster Career School. Penn Foster offers an affordable, ASHP Accredited online Pharmacy Technician training program. More information.

Pharmacy Tech Certification and Licensing in Illinois

Pharmacy technician requirements are dictated by the Illinois Board of Pharmacy. After completing a pharmacy technician training program, you’ll need to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) or the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT).

Passing a certification exam qualifies you to be a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). Once you’re certified, you’ll need to take continuing education and recertify every two years.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

As the population continues to age, the healthcare field continues to grow rapidly. Working as a pharmacy technician, you’ll be in a field that is projected to grow at a rate of approximately 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual pay in 2018 for pharmacy technicians was $32,700, or a median hourly pay of $15.72. In Illinois, the annual mean salary is $33,140, and the hourly mean is $15.93 per hour.

Working as a Pharmacy Technician in Illinois

Once you’re trained and certified to work as a pharmacy tech, you’ll be able to work in a variety of settings such as pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and independent drug stores. Many pharmacies and healthcare settings are open long hours, sometimes 24 hours a day, so you may be working days, nights and weekends.

The current trend is for pharmacy technicians to take on some of the work formerly done by pharmacists, since pharmacists are taking on new tasks such as giving flu shots. Job outlook for pharmacy technicians appears promising throughout the state of Illinois.

FAQs

What are best pharmacy technician schools in Illinois?

  1. Oakton Community College, Des Plaines
  2. City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College, Chicago
  3. Coyne College, Chicago
  4. College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn
  5. Rasmussen College, Rockford                  

How do you become a pharmacy technician in Illinois?

  1. You must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.
  2. Attend an approved training program or receive on-the-job training from a licensed pharmacist
  3. Pass the national certification exam, the PTCE
  4. Apply to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician

How much do pharmacy technicians make in Illinois?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of Illinois made an average of $33,140 per year in 2018. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $22,530 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $46,480.

All School Listings

Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL Metropolitan Division Area

City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College

30 E Lake St, Chicago, Illinois 60601-2449Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Harold Washington College can be taken at their campus in the city of Chicago, IL. Most of the school’s 9,036 students are on 2-year programs. City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Tuition fees for in-district students are generally around $3,070 and are $5,961 and $7,498 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost around $2,310, although this will depend on the program.

City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S Truman College

1145 W Wilson Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60640-6063Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Harry S Truman College can be taken at their campus in the city of Chicago. Most of the school’s 11,800 students are on 2-year programs. The school has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Tuition fees for in-district students are usually around $3,070 and are $5,961 and $7,498 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost in the order of $2,310, as necessitated by the chosen program.

City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College

6301 S Halsted St, Chicago, Illinois 60621-2709Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Kennedy-King College’s Certificate-level Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their campus in the city of Chicago, Illinois. The majority of of the school’s 5,860 students are on 2-year programs. City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Tuition fees for in-district students are likely to be around $3,070 and are $5,961 and $7,498 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost about $2,310, although this varies from program to program.

City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College

1900 W Van Buren, Chicago, Illinois 60612-3197Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Malcolm X College’s Certificate-level Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their campus in the city of Chicago. The college has in the order of 6,842 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, and the program itself is accredited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* The cost of tuition for in-district students is likely to be in the order of $3,070 and are $5,961 and $7,498 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Learning materials may cost about $2,310, although this varies from program to program. This program is ASHP accredited. The school offers start dates in August (fall) each year. Candidates must undergo an interview. Class scheduling: full-time, daytime. Acceptance Requirements: High School diploma or GED certificate, successful completion of English/Math/Reading placement tests, college transcripts, three letters of recommendation and no felony crime conviction. General Location Training Sites: Chicagoland area and outlying Suburbs.. They say: Hands-on skill development; computer experience, with complete prescription processing software for retail, health care, and hospital pharmacies; state-of-the-art lab simulated for retail and hospital pharmacy; financial aid; job placement; assistance with state registration; preparation for certification examination.

City Colleges of Chicago-Olive-Harvey College

10001 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60628-1696Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Olive-Harvey College is based at their campus in the city of Chicago, Illinois. The majority of of the school’s 5,298 students are on 2-year programs. City Colleges of Chicago-Olive-Harvey College is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Fees for tuition for in-district students are usually about $3,070 and are $5,961 and $7,498 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost in the order of $2,310, as necessitated by the chosen program.

City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College

7500 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, Illinois 60652-1299Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Richard J Daley College is offered at their campus in the city of Chicago, IL. This public college has roughly 9,384 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The school has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Fees for tuition for in-district students are likely to be about $3,070 and are $5,961 and $7,498 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while study materials may cost about $2,310, although this will vary with the program.

City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College

4300 N Narragansett, Chicago, Illinois 60634-1500Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Wilbur Wright College can be taken at their campus in the city of Chicago, IL. This public college has about 12,640 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The school has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Fees for tuition for in-district students are generally about $3,070 and are $5,961 and $7,498 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while study materials may cost around $2,310, although this varies from program to program.

Coyne College

330 North Green Street, Chicago, Illinois 60607-1300Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Coyne College is offered at their campus in the city of Chicago, IL. The college has about 590 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.* Tuition fees are usually around $14,956 annually. Study materials can cost around $124, depending on the program chosen.

Everest College-Bedford Park

7414 South Cicero Avenue, Bedford Park, Illinois 60629-5819Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Everest College can be taken at their Bedford Park campus in Bedford Park in Cook County, Illinois. Most of the school’s 705 students are on short programs of under two years. Tuition fees for the Medical Assisting program are usually around $16,973 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,021. Typically, the program is completed in 8 months.

Everest College-Burr Ridge

6880 N Frontage Rd. Suite 400, Burr Ridge, Illinois 60527Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Everest College can be taken at their Burr Ridge campus in Burr Ridge in Dupage County, Illinois. The majority of of the school’s 288 students are on short programs of under two years. The school is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.* Tuition fees for the Medical Assisting program are generally around $16,973 yearly. Books and supplies can cost about $1,007. The typical program completion time is 8 months.

Everest College-Melrose Park

1101 West North Avenue, Suite 1, Melrose Park, Illinois 60160-1526Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Everest College can be taken at their Melrose Park campus in Melrose Park in Cook County, IL. The college has roughly 545 students in total, with most students on < 2-year programs. The program is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* The cost of tuition for the Pharmacy Technician program is likely to be in the order of $16,973 yearly. Learning materials may cost about $999. Program completion is usually 8 months. This program is ASHP accredited.

Everest College-Merrionette Park

11560 S. Kedzie, Merrionette Park, Illinois 60803Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Everest College’s Certificate program is imparted at their Merrionette Park campus in Merrionette Park in Cook County, Illinois. The majority of of the school’s 420 students are on short programs of under two years. Everest College-Merrionette Park has institutional accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, and the program itself is accredited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* The cost of tuition for the Pharmacy Technician program is usually about $16,973 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,023. Typically, the program is completed in 8 months. This program is ASHP accredited.

Joliet Junior College

1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, Illinois 60431-8938Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Joliet Junior College’s Certificate-level Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their campus in Joliet in Will County, Illinois. This public college has about 16,869 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* The cost of tuition for in-district students is generally about $3,330 and are $8,414 and $9,012 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while study materials may cost around $1,350, although this varies from program to program.

East Central Illinois nonmetropolitan area Area

Lincoln Trail College

11220 State Hwy 1, Robinson, Illinois 62454Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Lincoln Trail College is taught at their campus in Robinson in Crawford County, Illinois. The majority of of the school’s 972 students are on 2-year programs. The school has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Tuition fees for in-district students are generally around $2,954 and are $8,873 and $10,811 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost around $1,000, depending on the program chosen.

Rockford, IL Area

Madison Media Institute-Rockford Career College

1130 South Alpine Road, Rockford, Illinois 61108Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program, Pharmacy Technician – Associate Program

Madison Media Institute – Rockford Career College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are based at their campus in the city of Rockford. This private, for-profit college has about 484 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Tuition fees are around $10,352 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,500, depending on the program chosen.

Peoria, IL Area

Midwest Technical Institute-East Peoria

280 High Point Ln, East Peoria, Illinois 61611Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Midwest Technical Institute’s Certificate-level Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their East Peoria campus in East Peoria in Tazewell County, Illinois. The college has round 849 students in total, with the majority of students on < 2-year programs. Midwest Technical Institute-East Peoria has institutional accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, and the program itself is accredited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* The college’s retention rate for full-time students is 86%. Tuition fees for the Medical Assisting program are around $12,911 yearly. Books and supplies can cost about $989. The typical program completion time is 9 months. This program is ASHP accredited. The program staff includes a technician.There are starting dates every nine weeks. Candidates must undergo an interview. Class scheduling: Full time (AMand afternoon). Acceptance Requirements: H. S. diploma or GED equivalency, admissions testing, interview, background affidavit, compliance of State office of Financial and Professional Regulation. General Location Training Sites: Within 40miles of the school. Academic award: Pharmacy Technician Diploma. They say: Hands-on lab experience from order entry to Chemotherapy preparation. Order entry for each body system and medication form. State of the art Inpatient and Outpatient lab experience., Supportive and interesting network of externship sites. Financial aid, job placement, License application, preparation for National Certification Exam

Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL Area

Midwest Technical Institute-Moline

3620 Avenue of the Cities, Moline, Illinois 61265-4421Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Midwest Technical Institute is based at their Moline campus in the city of Moline, IL. The college has about 313 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The program is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* The cost of tuition for the Pharmacy Technician program is in the order of $13,630 yearly. Learning materials may cost about $270. Program completion is usually 9 months. This program is ASHP accredited. The program staff includes a technician.A new class starts every nine weeks. Candidates must undergo an interview. Class scheduling: Full-time (am and afternoon). Acceptance Requirements: H.S. diploma or GED equivalency, admissions testings, interview, background affidavit, compliance of State Office of Financial and Professional Regulation and Iowa Board of Pharmacy. General Location Training Sites: Illinois and Iowa quad cities and surrounding areas.. Academic award: Pharmacy Technician Diploma. They say: Hands-on lab experience from order entry to chemotherapy preparation. Order entry for each body system and medication form. State of the art inpatient and out-patient lab experience. Supportive and interesting network of externship sites. Financial aid, job placement, Illinois and Iowa license application, preparation for National Certificate Exam.

Springfield, IL Area

Midwest Technical Institute-Springfield

2731 Farmers Market Road, Springfield, Illinois 62707Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Midwest Technical Institute’s Certificate-level Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their Springfield campus in the city of Springfield. This private, for-profit college has about 464 students in total, with the majority of students on < 2-year programs. Midwest Technical Institute-Springfield has institutional accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, and the program is separately accredited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* The cost of tuition for the Pharmacy Technician program is about $12,811 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $989. Typically, the program is completed in 9 months. This program is ASHP accredited. The program faculty includes 2 technicians. A new class starts every 9 weeks. An interview is required. Class scheduling: AMand Afternoon Classes. Acceptance Requirements: H.S. diploma or GED equivalency, admissions testing interview, background affidavit, compliance of State Office of Financial and Professional Regulation. General Location Training Sites: Springfield, IL and surrounding area. Academic award: Pharmacy Technician Diploma. They say: Hands-on lab experience from order entry to Chemotherapy preparation. Order entry for each body system and medication form. State of the art Inpatient and Outpatient lab experience. Supportive and interesting network of externship sites. Financial aid, job placement, license application, preparation for National Certification Exam.

Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL Metropolitan Division Area

Midwestern Career College

20 North Wacker Drive Ste 3800, Chicago, Illinois 60606Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Midwestern Career College is based at their campus in the city of Chicago, IL. The majority of of the school’s 45 students are on 2-year programs. Midwestern Career College has institutional accreditation from the Council on Occupational Education.* The college’s retention rate for full-time students is over 80%. Fees for tuition are about $21,060 yearly, while study materials may cost about $1,600, although this will vary with the program.

Northwestern College-Chicago Campus

4829 North Lipps Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60630Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Northwestern College’s Certificate-level Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their Chicago Campus campus in the city of Chicago. This private, for-profit college has in the region of 430 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The school has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* The cost of tuition is likely to be in the order of $16,545 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,500, as necessitated by the chosen program.

Northwestern College-Southwestern Campus

7725 South Harlem Avenue, Bridgeview, Illinois 60455Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Northwestern College’s Certificate-level Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their Southwestern Campus campus in Bridgeview in Cook County. Most of the school’s 756 students are on 2-year programs. Northwestern College-Southwestern Campus has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Tuition fees are around $16,290 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,500, depending on the program chosen.

Northwestern Institute of Health and Technology

4641 North Ashland Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60640-4785Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Northwestern Institute of Health and Technology can be taken at their campus in the city of Chicago, IL. The school is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, Board of Trustees.* Tuition fees are around $24,875 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,300, depending on the program chosen.

Oakton Community College

1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, Illinois 60016-1268Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Oakton Community College is based at their campus in the city of Des Plaines, IL. This public college has round 10,866 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Oakton Community College has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Tuition fees for in-district students are usually around $2,829 and are $8,220 and $10,520 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,200, as necessitated by the chosen program.

Rockford, IL Area

Rasmussen College-Illinois

6000 East State Street, 4th Floor, Rockford, Illinois 61108-2513Pharmacy Technician – Associate Program, Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Rasmussen College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their Illinois campus in the city of Rockford, Illinois. The college has in the order of 1,851 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. The school has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Tuition fees are around $10,764 yearly. Books and supplies can cost about $1,350, although this varies from program to program.

Decatur, IL Area

Richland Community College

One College Pk, Decatur, Illinois 62521-8512Pharmacy Technology – Certificate Program

Richland Community College’s Certificate Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their campus in the city of Decatur. The majority of of the school’s 3,340 students are on 2-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Fees for tuition for in-district students are usually about $3,234 and are $7,014 and $12,084 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,250, as necessitated by the chosen program.

Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL Metropolitan Division Area

South Suburban College

15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois 60473-1200Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at South Suburban College is offered at their campus in South Holland in Cook County. This public college has round 5,212 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. South Suburban College has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, while the program itself is accredited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* Tuition fees for in-district students are generally around $4,133 and are $10,073 and $11,723 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost around $1,200, depending on the program chosen. This program is ASHP accredited. The school offers start dates in the fall (August) and spring (January) semesters. Candidates must undergo an interview. Class scheduling: evening, full-time, part-time. Acceptance Requirements: Candidates must be high school graduates or equivalent (GED) and must successfully complete reading and mathematics placement tests; proficiency above the elementary algebra level. Typing/computer experience are required. General Location Training Sites: Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana area.. Academic award: Certificate. They say: South Suburban College (SSC) has offered the 39 credit hour pharmacy technician certificate program on either a full- or part-time evening program since 1983. This ASHP accredited program is a comprehensive curriculum covering didactic as well as hands-on laboratory exercises in prescription filling, unit dose, sterile product preparation, computerized order entry, profile maintenance, and computerized information retrieval. The up-to-date pharmacy lab is located on SSC’s South Holland campus. Financial aid is available for qualified students. Assistance is available for job placement each semester. SSC offers programs for interested as well as certified pharmacy technician continuing-education programs for interested as well as certified pharmacy technicians.

South Illinois nonmetropolitan area Area

Southeastern Illinois College

3575 College Road, Harrisburg, Illinois 62946Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Southeastern Illinois College’s Certificate Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their campus in Harrisburg in Saline County, IL. Most of the school’s 1,930 students are on 2-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Tuition fees for in-district students are usually around $2,850 and are $4,470 and $4,680 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost in the order of $892, as necessitated by the chosen program.

Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metropolitan Division Area

Walgreen Co.

200 Wilmot Road MS#2194, Deerfield, IL 60015Pharmacy Technician – Program

The program is taught at their location in Deerfield. The program is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* This program is ASHP accredited. Acceptance Requirements: Participants must be Walgreens employees They say: The Walgreen Pharmacy Technician Training Program is designed to provide Technicians with the skills and knowledge they need to contribute to the practice of pharmacy. The Program incorporates computer-based training, on-the-job experience, and classroom learning to create an integrated Technician curriculum.

* Accredition status and tuition fees are correct at the time of last update and are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with college or university prior to application.

Out-of-State Options

Students may also wish to review their options in Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana.