The Pharmacy Technicians Certification Board

Many students looking to start a career in health are keen to find information about various healthcare industry sectors.

Applicants interested in becoming pharmacy technicians are no different; needing information on standard pharmacy practice, eligibility requirements, the administration and application fee for the course, the certification they’ll receive, and other information necessary to pursue a rewarding career as a certified pharmacy tech.

One of the fundamental obstacles standing between a student and advanced certified pharmacy technician status is passing the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam. So what is the Pharmacy Technician Certificprepare for this testation Board, and what role does it play in pharmacy technician certification and their professions?

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What is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board?

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is a governing body that controls, upholds, and designs the accredited pharmacy tech certification exam and program.

PTCB credential programs assess pharmacy technicians’ knowledge, assessing which are qualified to support patient care units and pharmacists in every practice setting. The board enables technicians to work with pharmacists more efficiently to offer improved and safer patient care. PTCB Certification Programs and PTCB Assessment-Based Certificate Programs have differing functions.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

The PTCB created the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination as a guideline to assess and accredit pharmacy technicians who attain the educational expertise to forge a career in the industry.

This certification ascertains whether pharmacy technician candidates can effectively assist pharmacists with timely customer service and valuable vocational training. Healthcare providers, industry members, and clientele benefit from the certification process and requirements.

Only when a technician has met all the requirements and completed the PTCB exam can they be afforded the title of CPhT. Once a CPhT-accredited pharmacy technician has spent over three years in the role and met specific other stringent qualifying requirements, they can become eligible for the advanced pharmacy technician, or CPhT-Adv, certification.

Learn how to prepare for this test.

Eligibility Requirements for PTCB CPhT Certification

Certification for the PTCB CPhT demands that every candidate complete either a PTCB-recognized education or training program or have built up at least 500 hours of work experience as a pharmacy tech.

Besides completing an education or training program recognized by the PTCB or completing the required field experience, a successful applicant must have passed the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam and completely comply with PTCB Certification policies.

Finally, an applicant must also completely disclose any criminal actions and registration or license actions concerning the State Board of Pharmacy.

What Constitutes a PTCB-recognized Training or Education Program?

Many schools and colleges offer pharmacy tech training and education programs certified by the PTCB. These centers generally provide online tuition and include PTCE registration and exam fees in their packages. You can find a list of pharmacy tech schools in our resources section.

Pearson VUE hosts the PTCE at PTCB-recognized test centers across the US.

Pharmacy Technician Registration

The Pharmacy Technicians Certification Board (PTCB) provides a national pharmacy tech standard, but each US state sets its minimum requirements for pharmacy tech employment. Present and future technicians should consult with their State Pharmacy Board if they are unsure how to license as a pharmacy tech in their specific state.

Pharmacy techs should understand that being licensed in their state does not mean they are PTCB-certified. Only after successfully passing the PTCE will the pharmacy technician be afforded the CPhT title.

PTCB Assessment-Based Certificate Programs

PTCB Assessment-Based Certificates programs assess the outcomes from a recognized education or training program or work experience for the certificate in question. These certificate programs don’t expire or need maintenance while not awarding any acronyms after the name.

PTCB offers several certificate programs, which we’ve detailed below.

  • Billing and Reimbursement: This program indicates whether CPhTs have the required foundational billing and reimbursement knowledge for a pharmacy and can play a leadership role in this administrative function to assist with patients’ access to medications.
  • Controlled Substances Diversion Prevention: A CSDP program demonstrates advanced commitment and competency to assume advanced responsibilities in avoiding diversion, with knowledge of security control measures in high-risk sectors of a pharmacy, medication safety, and the motivations to divert.
  • Hazardous Drug Management: This program defines whether CPhTs know the guidelines and requirements to manage hazardous drugs while being prepared to play an essential role in ensuring a facility’s safety.
  • Immunization Administration: An IA program identifies and recognizes CPhTs who show an understanding of how to minimize the spread of diseases through the safe management and delivery of immunizations.
  • Medication History: This program shows whether a CPhT has demonstrated the necessary knowledge, experience, and training to collect patient medication histories accurately and identify possible medication errors in a pharmacy practice setting.
  • Medication Therapy Management: The MTM program confirms advanced medication understanding, utilization and medication-related issues on a CPhT’s part while assessing prescribing accuracy, medication therapy administration management, and patient safety.
  • Point-of-Care Testing: This program showcases a CPhT’s advanced knowledge in the collection, reporting, and safe and accurate use of a range of point-of-care tests in a pharmacy.
  • Regulatory Compliance: The RC program highlights expert knowledge of regulatory compliance, incorporating pharmacy law and legal requirements, regulations and practice standards on a CPhT’s part.
  • Supply Chain and Inventory Management: The program targets the knowledge of supply chain processes and inventory management services in respect of a CPhT protecting a pharmacy and its patients.
  • Technician Product Verification: TPV courses offer CPhTs the chance to demonstrate and gain recognition for competency in completing final verification duties, detail-oriented work management, administrative tasks and accuracy-gauging medication dispensing verification checks for medications dispensed by other personnel or systems.

Find more information for test-takers on the various PTSB examinations and assessments on the official Pearson VUE website.


The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board has granted over 600,000 Certified Pharmacy Tech certifications since its formation in 1995. The PTCB currently services over 280,000 active CPhTs across the US.

The PTCB’s mission is to advance medication safety by certifying qualified technicians to support pharmacists and patient care teams in all practice settings.


Q: What is the highest level for a pharmacy technician?

A: A pharmacy technician III is the most qualified pharmacy technician, requiring the most training and experience.

Q: What is the next step up after a pharmacy technician?

A: Pharmacy technicians with plenty of training or experience can become pharmacy supervisory positions. They can also become specialist technicians like chemotherapy or nuclear pharmacy technicians.

Q: Can a pharmacy technician become a pharmacist?

A: There is no standard route for a pharmacy tech to become a pharmacist. Currently, passing the MPharm degree remains the only way to become a pharmacist.