How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Pennsylvania

If you’re interested in a rewarding career in the healthcare field, consider becoming a pharmacy technician. Other names for this profession include compounding technician or pharmacy tech. It involves doing a variety of important tasks under the direction of a pharmacist, relating to the preparation of prescriptions. [Leer en español]

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Daily tasks will include recording, labeling, mixing and counting medications prescribed to patients or customers. If you pursue this career choice in Pennsylvania, you’ll find that your skills will be in very high demand.

Requirements for Becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Pennsylvania

To become a pharmacy tech in Pennsylvania, you need to be at least 18 years old. You should have a high school diploma or GED and be able to pass a criminal background check.

You aren’t required to complete a formal training program in this state, and you’re also not required to obtain certification. Many pharmacies provide training on the job; however, completing formal training or passing a national certification exam may make you more attractive to potential employers.

Pharmacy Tech Educational Programs in Pennsylvania

Completing formal training to become a pharmacy technician can help you to be thoroughly prepared to fill this role. Pharmacy tech education programs in Pennsylvania include the following:

  • Community College of Allegheny. This community college offers a certificate program consisting of classroom sessions and an externship in a pharmacy environment. Completion of 40 credits is required to earn your certificate.
  • Bidwell Training Center. Located in Pittsburg, PA, Bidwell Training Center offers a 10-month program that includes classroom and lab training as well as hands-on experience during a field externship.
  • Laurel Business Institute. This program is located in Uniontown, PA, and includes thorough classroom and practical training. Also included is 150 hours of internship experience to build a bridge from school to work.
  • Penn Foster Career School. Penn Foster offers an affordable, ASHP Accredited online Pharmacy Technician training program. More information.

Pharmacy Tech Certification and Licensing in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania doesn’t require licensing or registration of pharmacy technicians. You’ll work under the direct supervision of a pharmacist. The pharmacist is responsible for providing a written protocol that specifies what duties pharmacy technicians may perform.

While passing a national certification exam isn’t required in Pennsylvania, it can help make you more marketable to potential employers. The Pharmacy Tech Certification Exam (PTCE) is offered through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. It’s a two-hour multiple choice exam that can demonstrate you have the knowledge needed to work as a pharmacy technician.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations of Pharmacy Technicians

In the state of Pennsylvania, career outlook for pharmacy technicians is very good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts faster than average growth for all occupations at a rate of approximately of 12 percent between 2016 and 2026.  The demand for prescription meds continues to increase, partly due to growing rates of chronic diseases and an aging population.

The median annual salary for pharmacy technicians was $32,700 as of 2018, which means half of all pharmacy technicians earned less than that and half earned more. The annual mean salary for Pennsylvania pharmacy technicians is $30,000 and the hourly mean is $14.42.

Working as a Pharmacy Tech in Pennsylvania

Once you’ve obtained the skills you need to be a pharmacy tech, you’ll find job opportunities in several different settings. Some of the places you may work include retail drugstores, pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Since a large number of healthcare facilities are open around the clock, there’s a good chance you’ll be working a variety of hours including days, nights and weekends.

The roles of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians continue to evolve. Pharmacists are picking up expanded roles that include new responsibilities such as giving flu shots. Because of this, pharmacy techs may need to take on some of the work formerly done by pharmacists.  Throughout Pennsylvania, the job outlook for pharmacy technicians appears very encouraging.

FAQs

What are best pharmacy technician schools in Pennsylvania?

  1. Pennco Tech, Bristol, PA and Blackwood, NJ
  2. Lansdale School of Business, North Wales
  3. Pennsylvania Institute of Technology, Media
  4. Community College of Allegheny County, Pittsburg
  5. Community College of Beaver County, Monaca

How do you become a pharmacy technician in Pennsylvania?

  1. You must be at least 18 years old
  2. You must have a high school diploma or GED
  3. Pass a criminal record check
  4. No certification or formal training is required in Pennsylvania

How much do pharmacy technicians make in Pennsylvania?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of Pennsylvania made an average of $30,000 per year in 2018. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $20,890 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $41,190.

All School Listings

Pittsburgh, PA Area

Bidwell Training Center Inc

1815 Metropolitan St, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15233Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Bidwell Training Center Inc is taught at their campus in the city of Pittsburgh, PA. The college has about 159 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Bidwell Training Center Inc has institutional accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, while the program is separately accredited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* The college’s retention rate for full-time students is over 80%. Tuition fees for the Medical Assisting program are in the order of $12,000 annually. Program completion is usually 9 months. This program is ASHP accredited. The school offers starting dates in Spring and Fall. Candidates must undergo an interview. Class scheduling: Daytime, full-time. Acceptance Requirements: High school diploma or GED, 12th grade level on reading comprehension and vocabulary tests, 50% advanced math test, and interview with panel. Previous chemistry, biology, and algebra studies recommended. General Location Training Sites: Greater Pittsburgh and surrounding areas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.. Academic award: Noncredit diploma program. They say: Intense course designed to develop maximum amount of hands-on working skills to enable employment in minimal time. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. Academic refresher courses for math and reading available at no cost prior to vocational training. Job placement assistance is available to those successfully completing course work (2.0 minimum GPA).

Community College of Allegheny County

800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15233-1895Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program, Pharmacy Technician – Associate Program

Community College of Allegheny County offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Pittsburgh. This public college has about 18,229 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Community College of Allegheny County has institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, while the programs themselves are accredited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* The cost of tuition for in-district students is generally in the order of $3,540 and are $6,792 and $9,784 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Learning materials may cost around $1,000, although this will vary with the program. This program is ASHP accredited. The school offers start dates in August. Class scheduling: day-time, evening, full-time, part-time. Acceptance Requirements: College acceptance and placement testing in math, reading, and English. General Location Training Sites: Most sites are located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Other county sites also available.. Academic award: Certificate: A.S. (Associate in Science) available upon completion of college degree requirements. They say: A 3-semester program with a strong 8-week externship. New lab facilities provide excellent hands-on skill development with associated computer applications. Program courses are transferrable to other colleges and universities for more advanced degrees. Active job placement. Financial aid available.

Community College of Beaver County

1 Campus Drive, Monaca, Pennsylvania 15061-2588Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Community College of Beaver County is based at their campus in Monaca in Beaver County. The college has roughly 2,335 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Community College of Beaver County has institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.* Tuition fees for in-district students are usually around $4,380 and are $8,430 and $12,480 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,200, depending on the program.

Pittsburgh, PA Area

Laurel Business Institute

11 East Penn St, Uniontown, Pennsylvania 15401Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Laurel Business Institute’s Certificate program is imparted at their campus in Uniontown in Fayette County, PA. The college has in the region of 212 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Laurel Business Institute is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.* Tuition fees are around $9,444 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,350, depending on the program.

Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA Area

Laurel Technical Institute

200 Sterling Avenue, Sharon, Pennsylvania 16146Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Laurel Technical Institute’s Certificate Pharmacy Technician program is based at their campus in Sharon in Mercer County, PA. The college has in the order of 285 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Laurel Technical Institute is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.* Tuition fees are around $9,444 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,400, although this will depend on the program.

Pittsburgh, PA Area

Penn Commercial Business/Technical School

242 Oak Spring Road, Washington, Pennsylvania 15301-6822Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Penn Commercial Business/Technical School’s Certificate program is based at their campus in Washington in Washington County, PA. The college has in the region of 346 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.* Tuition fees are generally around $20,800 for each academic year. Books and supplies can cost roughly $2,500, although this will depend on the program.

Philadelphia, PA Metropolitan Division Area

Pennco Tech-Bristol

3815 Otter St, Bristol, Pennsylvania 19007Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Pennco Tech’s Certificate Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their Bristol campus in Bristol in Bucks County, PA. Most of the school’s 551 students are on 2-year programs. Pennco Tech-Bristol is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.* The college’s retention rate for full-time students is over 80%. The cost of tuition is in the order of $21,095 annually. Learning materials may cost around $1,150, although this will vary with the program.

Johnstown, PA Area

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College

101 Community College Way, Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15904Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is taught at their campus in Johnstown in Cambria County. The majority of of the school’s 2,506 students are on 2-year programs. Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.* The cost of tuition for in-district students is generally in the order of $4,460 and are $7,660 and $10,630 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost in the order of $900, depending on the program.

Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA Area

Rite Aid Pharmacy

30 Hunter Lane, Camp Hill, PA 17011Pharmacy Technician – Program

The program is taught at their location in Camp Hill. The program is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* This program is ASHP accredited. There are starting dates upon hire. Candidates must undergo an interview. Class scheduling: Variable depending on needs of students and availability of classroom site. Acceptance Requirements: Participants must be Rite Aid associates and 18 years of age. General Location Training Sites: Within the associates pharmacy district.. Academic award: Rite Aid Certified Technician Certificate. They say: Rite Aid’s Technician Certification Program is available to our associates free of charge and is to be completed during scheduled work time. Our Program is a blended learning format designed to enhance the learners’ educational experience. The Program includes over 600 hours of practical experience, computer based training courses, small instructor led classes, engaging workbook exercises, and hands on training with IV bags and syringes. Successful completion of our Program prepares the associate to sit for National Examination as well as state exams.

Philadelphia, PA Metropolitan Division Area

Sanford-Brown Institute-Trevose

3600 Horizon Blvd., Suite GL1, Trevose, Pennsylvania 19053Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Sanford-Brown Institute can be taken at their Trevose campus in Trevose in Bucks County. The majority of of the school’s 161 students are on 2-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.*

Pittsburgh, PA Area

Sanford-Brown Institute-Wilkins Township

777 Penn Center Boulevard, Building 7, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15235Pharmacy Technician – Associate Program

The Associate’s program at Sanford-Brown Institute is offered at their Wilkins Township campus in Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, PA. The majority of of the school’s 96 students are on 2-year programs. Sanford-Brown Institute-Wilkins Township is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.*

Altoona, PA Area

YTI Career Institute-Altoona

2900 Fairway Dr, Altoona, Pennsylvania 16602Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

YTI Career Institute’s Certificate-level Pharmacy Technician program is based at their Altoona campus in the city of Altoona. Most of the school’s 405 students are on 2-year programs. YTI Career Institute-Altoona has institutional accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.* The cost of tuition is in the order of $23,884 annually. Learning materials may cost around $2,800, although this will vary with the program.

Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA Area

YTI Career Institute-Capital Region

401 East Winding Hill Road Suite 101, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania 17055Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

YTI Career Institute’s Certificate Pharmacy Technician program is based at their Capital Region campus in Mechanicsburg in Cumberland County. The college has about 109 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. YTI Career Institute-Capital Region is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.* The cost of tuition is in the order of $23,884 annually. Learning materials may cost around $2,800, although this will vary with the program.

* 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

Residents of Pennsylvania may also wish to review their options in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio.