Course Code: GES117
I. Orientation to Pharmacy
B. Foundations and Roles
C. Reference Materials
D. Terminology Words and Abbreviations
E. Terminology – Body Systems
F. Community Pharmacy
G. Hospital Pharmacy
H. Advanced Pharmacy Environments
II. Pharmacy Law and Ethics
A. Introduction to Law
D. Federal Regulations
E. Controlled Substances
G. Safety Laws
H. State Laws
I. State Boards of Pharmacy
III. Pharmaceutical Calculations
A. Number Systems
B. Math Skills Review
C. Dosage Calculations
D. Percentage of Error
E. Business Math
F. Dilutions and Concentrations
G. Oral Medications and Reconstitutions
H. Parenteral Doses
I. Intravenous Flow Rates
J. Pediatric Doses
IV. Pharmacology I: Basics and Specific Populations
A. Legislation and Regulation
B. Sources and Forms
D. Pregnancy and Lactation
E. Pediatric Patients
F. Geriatric Patients
G. Misused/Abused Drugs
V. Pharmacology II: Body Systems – Neurological
C. Autonomic Nervous System
VI. Pharmacology III – Body Systems – Muscles, Heart, Lungs
VII. Pharmacology IV: Multi-body Systems
A. Hormones – Endocrine
B. Hormones – Reproductive
C. Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutritionals
VIII. Communication Skills and Billing
C. Financial Management
E. Billing and Collections
F. Inventory Control
IX. Lab Practice I – Retail
X. Lab Practice II - Hospital
XI. Final Comprehensive Exam
Melissa Dunworth has been a pharmacy technician for over 13 years and has worked in retail, closed pharmacy, and training/education areas during her career. Melissa holds a Bachelor’s 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. Melissa is also registered with the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy.
Betty Stahl holds a doctorate in pharmacy from Shenandoah University. Over the past several years, she has taught pharmacy technician programs at ASA College in New York City and ACT in Arlington, Virginia. Stahl has also worked as a pharmacist in independent and hospital settings.
Lorraine Zentz has been a pharmacy technician since 1981. She currently works at a hospital pharmacy and has worked in all pharmacy areas (retail, home health, hospital, oncology, and training/education) during her pharmacy career. Lorraine 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 (the design and implementation of educational materials). She also completed her doctorate studies in adult education. She has held the positions of Colorado State Coordinator for NPTA and Chairman of the Colorado Pharmacist Society Technician Academy and has 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. Lorraine conducts continuing education programs for technicians throughout Colorado and nationally at the annual NPTA convention.
If you're interested in becoming a pharmacy technician, this course is for you! No healthcare or medical office work experience is required.
You should be proficient in keyboarding (approximately 35 words per minute), have a basic understanding of a word-processing computer program (Microsoft Word is recommended), and have a command of English grammar and punctuation.
You are encouraged to have a basic understanding of high school math including percent’s and proportions at the algebra level. This course will provide a review of fractions and decimals, in addition to covering more advanced pharmacy equations.
In order to sit for the national certification exam, you must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent; therefore, it's recommended you have this within 6 months of enrolling for this course.
To participate in the retail externships, you must apply and fulfill all state and local pharmacy requirements. This will include a background check and drug test. There is no guarantee for externship placement.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment. The following textbooks will be shipped to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment:
After successfully completing your course, you’ll also receive access to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) practice tests, to help you study for your certification exam.
While you’ll learn everything you need to know to pass the PTCB National Certification Exam, you'll still need to make sure that the Pharmacy Technician course will meet your state's requirements. To check, visit your state's Board of Pharmacy site. You can access this information directly from the PTCB website at www.ptcb.org. You can also call your state board and ask for the current technician regulations.
Our Pharmacy Externship Program*
As a part of the Pharmacy Technician Online Certification Training course, you are required to complete a Virtual Externship. You will also have an option to perform an actual hands-on, 100-hour clinical externship. Clinical externships are based on individual state board requirements.
ed2go has reached a nationwide agreement with several pharmacies that will give our Pharmacy Technician Program students an important leg-up in the job market. These pharmacies will offer their renowned externship programs to you, provided you meet basic qualifications. Externs will get hands-on experience that includes assisting pharmacists with prescriptions, answering patient questions about medications, and a bevy of administrative duties.
In order to qualify for an externship, you'll have to pass a drug screening test, obtain professional liability insurance, complete a background check and employment verification, meet current immunization standards, and conform with and complete any state mandates, such as registration, fingerprinting, licensing, etc. Additional forms may be necessary for externships with certain pharmacies. It may take up to 12 weeks to find an available opening.
*Disclaimer: An externship with these pharmacies 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 set up your own externship at any other retail or hospital facility.
PLEASE NOTE: Walgreens is not currently able to place externship students in Arizona and Florida because they're piloting a POWER project in those states. An alternate externship may be available in these states.
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is an organization established by the American Pharmacists Association, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists, and Michigan Pharmacists Association more than 20 years ago. It was joined by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy in 2001. The organization advances the interests of industry professionals and the public health as it seeks to establish a national standard for pharmacy technician certification. The Board is at the forefront of medication safety and pharmacy technician training, ensuring that professionals in the field have the skills they need to do their jobs well in any practice setting.
I could complete it taking my own time as I had a lot of other things going on and definitely could fit this into my schedule by working around it."
I loved the online course with a busy schedule, it helped a lot. I had a great teacher."
I never thought I would be able to complete a course such as Pharmacy Technician online. At times the course became challenging, especially when it came to the calculations, but the books and CD's really explained the material thoroughly. Everyone from Central Michigan/Gatlin Education was extremely helpful and always responded back to me in a timely manner. I was encouraged throughout the course with positive and constructive feedback."
It was a great experience learning about the course. My facilitator was very supportive. I enjoyed the books because they were very informative and detailed."
I was able to study on my own time. I received support and answers to my questions and in a timely manner. For me, the online experience with this course went very smoothly. Thank you."
Being able to do the coursework at my own pace was the best part!"
I just wanted to thank all of you for your course and the help you gave me throughout. I just passed my certification yesterday and I am looking forward to the future as a Pharmacy Technician."
My learning experience was awesome. My facilitator and student support personnel were obviously masters of their craft! The program was user friendly and in real time. I had big fun!"
In general, I love learning. I got good feedback on all of my reports. The support that I received from Joshua (support staffer) went above and beyond my expectations."
Yes, ed2go courses are completely online. However, keep in mind that not all certifying bodies or industry-specific certifications are recognized internationally. Please review your country’s regulations prior to enrolling in courses that prepare for certification.
Yes, this course does prepare you for a certification. You will be prepared to sit for the National Certification exam titled Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course as soon as you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.
This course is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. When you register, you'll receive twelve (12) months to complete the course.
The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact your Student Advisor to help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.
You may be assigned with an instructor or team of industry experts for one-on-one course interaction. Your support will be available (via e-mail) to answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback on your performance. All of our instructors are successful working professionals in the fields in which they teach. You will be assigned to an Advisor for academic support.
Upon successfully completing the course and fulfilling the financial obligation, you'll be awarded a certificate of completion. In addition, you will receive an exam voucher to sit for the National Certification Exam which is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), offered by Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
This course will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.
ed2go courses are non-credit, so they do not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses. Additionally, some students may qualify for financial assistance when they enroll, if they meet certain requirements. Financing is available from select schools. Learn more: https://www.ed2go.com/career/financial-assistance
If you have questions that are not answered on our website, representatives are available via LIVE chat. You can also call us at 1-877-221-5151 during regular business hours to have your questions promptly answered. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please send us a question using the “Contact Us” form.
Online is a great resource for finding your 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 at www.ptcb.org. Click on the “Who we serve” link, then the “states” link for information. You can also call the state board and ask for the current technician regulations.
Most states still offer employment prior to certification. This often comes with the stipulation that certification is acquired within a period of time (usually a year). During this period, you’ll work as an unlicensed personnel member, clerk, or aide. On-the-job training or externships are a great way to obtain the number of hours required (many states require a minimum number of hours worked before you can be registered or certified with the board). 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, along with the educational clinical requirements.
ed2go has established a national contract with Walgreens and CVS for Pharmacy Technician externships. Externships are based on availability and cannot be guaranteed. Our Externship coordinator will work with you to set up a retail pharmacy externship. If you are interested in applying for an externship in a local pharmacy that is not a Walgreens or CVS, you may discuss these other options with your externship coordinator. If you’re currently working in a pharmacy setting, that will qualify. With the increase in confidentiality and privacy regulations and liability issues in relation to health information, externships could become difficult to accomplish. In the event that you can’t arrange an externship, you will complete the Virtual Pharmacy Externship for Technicians provided with the course.
*By state regulation, you may be required to apply for your pharmacy technician license or register with the State Board of Pharmacy before you can apply for the externship. Please check the website for your state’s Board of Pharmacy regulations and additional information. The state’s Board of Pharmacy has the most accurate and up to date information.
Unfortunately, you will not qualify for the externship course if you have a criminal record. While you can still enroll in the course, to participate in externships, students must not have a criminal record. Background checks will be conducted prior to the student’s admittance into the externship course.
Pharmacy assistants and technicians order and stock medications; prepare and package medications for distribution to patients; and provide information to patients. Pharmacy technicians may perform many of the same duties as a pharmacist; however, all of their work must be checked by a pharmacist before medication can be dispensed to a patient.
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) administers the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), which determines an individual’s pharmacy technician knowledge. When you pass the exam, you become certified and may use the designation “CPhT”. You will need to sit for the exam after this course; certification is not included.
Our pharmacy technician courses are self-paced and completed in 12 months or less. You will then complete a 100-hour externship, if you qualify. Finally, you will sit for your certification exam. Once you are certified, you’ll have the qualifications you need to find an entry-level job.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pharmacy Technicians earn a median wage of $15.90 per hour, which equates to an annual salary of $33,000. Top earners in this position can make nearly $47,000 per year. Wages vary greatly by location, but the top paying states for pharmacy technicians include Washington, California, Oregon and Alaska.
Pharmacy technicians can’t perform certain jobs without the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist. They aren’t allowed to make judgement calls related to drug substitutions, interpret of prescriptions, or give instructions for preparing prescriptions. In most areas, they also can’t take a chart order or a new prescription over the phone. They also can’t dispense medication unless the order for the prescription has been verified by a pharmacist.
Yes, Pharmacy Technicians are currently in demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the jobs for Pharmacy Technicians with certification will increase by 12 percent over the next several years which is faster than average. Increased demand for prescription medications will be the primary driver of the growth in number of positions. The BLS also suggests that people with formal training or certification will be more sought after to fill open positions.
In order to become a Pharmacy Technician, you’ll need to first have an interest in helping people from a wide range of backgrounds. You’ll also need a love (or at least a strong like) of biology, chemistry, and math. Next, you’ll need to check the requirements for your state’s board of pharmacy as each state has different requirements. You’ll then need to find a course that will help you get certified as a Pharmacy Technician. The best courses, like this one, will also include an externship component. Study for and earn your certification, gain experience, and apply for positions in the pharmacy environment that best suits you.