Pharmacy technicians are in demand, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those demands will continue to increase by 5 percent through the year 2031. The rising need for medications and the expansive pharmaceutical industry means more jobs for pharmacy technicians nationwide. Pharmacy technicians do a lot more than ever before, but regulations demand that they work under the supervision of a registered pharmacist in community pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities and home infusion pharmacies.
Pharmacy technicians mix, count, and label prescriptions in preparation for dispensing. They also stay on top of inventory and manage administration and billing. Most of all, pharmacy technicians ensure the safety and timely delivery of medication, and in collaboration with the pharmacist promote public health and wellness. In order to protect the public’s health, the Massachusetts Department of Registration in Pharmacy requires pharmacy technicians to register with the state before working in state-licensed pharmacies. Professional Credentialing Services, Inc processes all applications for registration.
Pharmacy Technician Schools in MA
- Pharmacy Technician Programs Boston, MA
- Pharmacy Technician Programs Brockton, MA
- Pharmacy Technician Programs Fall River, MA
- Pharmacy Technician Programs Lowell, MA
- Pharmacy Technician Programs Medford, MA
- Pharmacy Technician Programs Roxbury Crossing, MA
- Pharmacy Technician Programs Worcester, MA
Massachusetts Pharmacy Technician Requirements
The Department of Registration in Pharmacy requires all pharmacy technicians and trainees to register with the Board. Non-certified pharmacy technicians can apply for registration after completing up to 500 hours of employment and respective training at a registered pharmacy. The employer must verify employment and details of the training. Certified pharmacy technicians are those who have completed the PTCE or ExCPT exam for national certification.
Pharmacy technicians must obtain appropriate training as a requirement for registration. Candidates should complete a Board-approved training program, which covers pharmacy security, job descriptions, medical abbreviations, product selection and other key topics. The following are examples of programs the Board approves:
- Programs accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
- Programs provided by a branch of the US Armed Services of Public Health Service
- Board-approved programs containing a minimum of 240 hours of didactic and practical training
After completing the necessary training, pharmacy technicians must demonstrate their work-readiness by achieving a passing score on a Board-approved assessment examination. The exam will cover five knowledge domains; practice settings, medical abbreviations and symbols, dosage calculations, identification of drugs, and duties and responsibilities of a pharmacy technician. In lieu of employer-based assessments, pharmacy technicians can take PTCE or ExCPT for national certification.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old to register as a pharmacy technician in Massachusetts.
Pharmacy technicians looking to register with the Board of Pharmacy must be a high school graduate or have equivalent education. If you don’t have a high school diploma, you must be enrolled in a program that rewards a degree or certificate.
Along with your application for registration, you’ll need to submit any of the following as proof of completing high school.
- Copy of your high school diploma
- Copy of your high school transcript with graduation date included
- GED certificate or test results
Like other states, pharmacy technicians in Massachusetts must have a good moral character. Applicants with drug-related felonies will not qualify for renewal. Admission of prior convictions could delay the processing of your application as PCS reviews your applications, documents and circumstances surrounding your conviction before making a final decision.
Applicants for Certified Pharmacy Technician registration must have PTCB or ExCPT certification.
The Pharmacy Technician Program
Pharmacy technician training provides students with the safety, communication and patient care skills required to obtain entry-level employment in various health care settings. Accredited programs also prepare students for PTCB certification. Most programs cover classroom sessions plus a clinical externship at a retail or hospital pharmacy (or sometimes, both). Key topics include pharmacy abbreviations, pharmacy technician role and responsibilities, drug regulation and control, pharmacy calculations, pharmaceutical terminology, basics of IV solution, Parenterals, and compounding. Students also learn basic administration, such as inventory management, customer service, patient records and pharmacy billing.
The externship highlights the major topics covered in the classroom from a practical perspective. For most programs, the externship is a requirement for graduation. Basic requirements for working as student technicians in most pharmacies include up-to-date vaccinations, TB clearance, drug screen, and criminal background check.
Duration and Cost
Massachusetts’ accredited pharmacy technician training programs cost $2,700 on average. Programs are available at colleges, universities, vocational schools, private institutions, and employer-based programs. For free training that leads to Board registration, you should seek out employer/training opportunities at community pharmacies. After completing 500 hours of employment, training, and an assessment, you will meet the requirements for Board registration. You’ll also have the basic knowledge needed to succeed at the national PTCB exam.
The average cost of training at paid institutions will cover tuition and textbook only. You must budget for other expenses, such as registration, immunization, background check, drug screen, TB test and PTCB certification. Board-approved programs must supply a minimum of 240 theoretical and practical instruction. Based on those requirements, programs typically last 2 to 8 months based on the schedule.
Assessment exams, whether national or local to Massachusetts, evaluate candidates’ competency related to their role as pharmacy technicians. The Department of Registration in Pharmacy requires Certified Pharmacy Technicians to take the PTCE or ExCPT exam prior to registration. The DRP accepts both national certifying exams; the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) administered by the PTCB and the ExCPT exam developed by the National Health Career Association (NHA).
The National Healthcareer Association administers and scores the ExCPT exam. Applicants for the computer-based exam must be 18 years old and possess a high school diploma or GED equivalent. The two-hour exam contains 100 multiple-choice questions, which covers three key areas; pharmacy regulations and technician duties, dispensing medication and brand name and generic drugs. Applicants must pay $115 to take the national exam.
The widely accepted PTCB is the older and more recognized national certification exam. The PTCB has contracted with Pearson Vue to administer the computer-based exam at various testing centers across the nation, including several testing centers in Massachusetts. Applicants must present proof of completing high school or GED. In order improve the integrity of their certification and commit to public safety, the PTCB also requires candidates to pass a criminal background check. The two-hour exam comprises of 90 questions – 80 of which counts towards the final score. Applicants must apply for the exam online and submit the $129 fee with the completed application.
Acquiring Your State License
The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy has given the Professional Credential Services (PCS) the responsibility to process pharmacy technicians’ applications for registration. Applicants can register as a certified pharmacy technicians or pharmacy technician in training.
Following is a list of instructions for each option:
Certified pharmacy technician
- Download and fill out the pharmacy technician application.
- Provide proof of age – state issued ID. Must be at least 18 years of age
- Provide a copy of your high school or GED transcript.
- Provide proof of completing a Board-approved training program or at least 500 hours of employment as a pharmacy technician
- Submit proof of completing a Board-approved or employer-based pharmacy technician assessment examination.
- Include the application fee of $150 with your completed application (check, money order or credit card accepted).
- Your employer must fill out the Employer Verification of Experience and Examination (included in the application packet).
- Sign the application in the presence of a notary public and attach a 2×2 photo
- Complete the Criminal Offender Record Information Request Form if answer “yes” to any of the Good Moral Question
- Must have passed a Board-approved pharmacy technician assessment examination, administered by the employer or the employer’s agent, OR passed a Board-approved pharmacy technician certification examination to include a copy of your current registration for either
- the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technician (EXCPT) or
- the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
One the application is approved, PCS will send approval letter and the registration number will be posted on Board’s website within 3 days of approval.
The Board will mail registration card to applicant within 2 weeks.
Pharmacy Technician in Training
- Download and fill out the pharmacy technician in training application.
- Provide proof of age and legal U.S. residency.
- Must provide a social security number
- Enclose copies of your high school diploma or GED
- Identify all professional licenses, registrations, and certifications including professions other than pharmacy technician
- Sign the application in the presence of a notary public and attach a 2×2 photo.
The registration expires on the technician’s birth date every two years. You must renew your registration on time to continue practicing –failure to renew by the expiration date will result in penalties if you continue to work. If your renewal lapses, you can renew your registration after submitting an application, the renewal fee, and late fee. You may have to fulfill the requirements of a new registration if your license remains in lapsed status for more than two years.
You must notify the Board of changes in your residence, place of employment or name changes within 10 working days of finalizing the change.
How to renew:
- Use your online licensing username and password to renew online
- Provide your SSN
- Attest to completing the continuing education requirements
- Pay the license renewal fee of $60 using a credit or debit card online. For paper renewals, you may pay by check or money order
- The late renewal fee is $57
Massachusetts practices reciprocity with other states. If you’re currently registered in another state, you can apply for registration with the Board providing you meet the following requirements:
- Provide proof of good standing with another State Board.
- Compare the registration requirements in your old state with that of Massachusetts. The requirements should be equivalent to qualify for transfer.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Division of Health Professions Licensure
Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy
239 Causeway Street, Suite 500, 5th Floor,
Boston, MA 02114
Professional Credential Services
Professional Credential Services
Attn: MA Pharmacy Tech
PO Box 198788
Nashville, TN 37219
Pharmacy Technician Training Programs MA
Boston, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:
29 Winter Street
Boston, MA 02108
Canton, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:
Massasoit Community College
Pharmacy Technician Assessment Examination
900 Randolph Street
Canton, MA 02302
Chelsea, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:
Bunker Hill Community College
Pharmacy Technician Training Program and Assessment Examination
175 Hawthorne Street
Chelsea, MA 02150
Concord, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:
Pharmacy Technician Assessment Examination
133 Old Road to Nine Acre Corner
Concord, MA 01742
Danvers, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:
NSCC Community Education
1 Ferncroft Road,
Danvers, MA 01923
Fall River, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:
Health Care Training Services
657 Quarry Street,
Fall River, MA 02723
Lynn, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:
Spectrum Healthcare Training
441 Union Street,
Lynn MA 01901
Medford, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:
Lawrence Memorial/ Regis College
170 Governors Avenue,
Medford MA 02155
Springfield, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:
Premier Educational Group
1 Monarch Place, Suite 1130
Springfield, MA 01144
Stoughton, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:
Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Association
20 Paul David Way
Stoughton, MA 02072
Other accredited Pharmacy Technician training:
Pharmacy Technician University
3120 W. March Lane
PO Box 8190
Stockton, CA 95208