Pharmacy technicians dispense medications, update patient profiles, manage inventory and billing, and attend to customer service issues in hospitals, clinics, retail pharmacies, nursing homes, chain pharmacies, and other specialty pharmacies within the wider health care system. Apart from medical settings, pharmacy technicians may also work in non-healthcare settings, such as medical insurance companies, drug wholesale companies, and schools.
A pharmacy technician’s duties depend on the setting. In community pharmacies, the duties might include receiving written prescriptions, confirming requests for refills, verifying the prescription for accuracy, preparing medications for distribution, and responding to customer queries. Technicians employed in hospitals read and update patients’ charts, prepare 24-hours medication supplies, prepare IVs, and deliver medication to patients’ rooms after a pharmacist checks for accuracy. Pharmacy technicians in nursing homes and assisted living facilities may perform many of the same duties as technicians in hospitals. Whether working in an institutional or community pharmacy, all technicians must be attentive to detail, be committed to accuracy and precision, and be knowledgeable of the laws and ethics that govern practice and their relation to patient health and safety.
As a segment of the growing healthcare industry, pharmacy technicians’ jobs are among the fastest growing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 402,500 pharmacy technicians in 2016. The workforce is expected to increase by 12 percent in the next decade.
Pickens Technical College
The Pharmacy Technician Certificate program prepares students to dispense medications under a pharmacist’s supervision. The ASHP accredited program covers 30.5 credit hours or 600 clock hours. Areas of study include CPR for professionals, pharmacy law and ethics, pharmacy calculations and compounding techniques, pharmacology, community and institutional pharmacy clinical, medical insurance procedures, and drug classification. Graduates will be eligible to sit the PTCB exam to become Certified Pharmacy Technicians. The morning schedule meets Monday through Friday from 7:50 am to 10:40 am. The evening schedule meets Monday through Friday from 12:05 to 2:55 pm. The duration of the program is two semesters.
- A high school diploma or GED
- Must be a minimum of 18 years of age
- Must demonstrate English and math proficiency – a minimum level of 9th grade for math and 10th grade for reading and writing
- Must pass a criminal background check and drug screen
- Must be willing to comply with State Board of Pharmacy and employers’ immunization requirements which includes yearly influenza, flu vaccination for COVID 19, Hepatitis B series, and TB test current within one year
- Must be able to lift 30 pounds and sustain activity for 5 hours at a time
The estimated total cost of attendance is $8,276 inclusive of tuition, CTSO charge, student ID, CPR certification, and books and supplies. Tax is not included.
- Website: https://www.pickenstech.org/
- Address: 500 Airport Blvd., Aurora, CO 80011
- Phone: (720) 502-8544
United College of Health and Beauty
The Pharmacy Technician Program at United College Health and Beauty prepares students with the occupational and training skills to qualify for entry-level positions in various pharmacy operations. The program includes preparation for national certification and may also serve as a starting point for other health care jobs. The curriculum covers 500 hours of the instruction – 260 hours in the classroom and 240 hours in the lab. The lab hours are inclusive of 140 hours of rotation in a community pharmacy. Areas of study include fundamentals of pharmacy technician, basic anatomy and physiology, physiology and medical terminology, infection control, standard precautions, applied pharmacology, pharmacy math, pharmacy practice, pharmaceutical compounding, pharmacy operation and management, institutional pharmacy, and non-prescription drugs and devices. The duration of the program is 36 weeks.
- Must be 17 years or older
- Must have graduated from high school or have a GED
- Applicants who are currently enrolled in high school must pass a qualifying interview with United College of Health and Beauty’s Director
- Must submit a driver’s license or another government-issued picture ID and social security card
- Must pass a background check through CBI – at the student’s expense
- Submit a completed application for admission
- Complete an Enrollment Agreement and make financial arrangements before admission
- Must sign a waiver verifying all immunizations are up to date
- Must be able to speak, read, and write English fluently
The program will cost $3,550 if completed in the normal time.
- Website: https://www.unitedcollegeofhealthandbeauty.com/
- Address: 4219 S Broadway, Englewood, CO 80113
- Phone: 303-798-5555
SCL Health Lutheran
SCL Health Lutheran prepares students for a career as a pharmacy technician in less than four months. The hospital-based program is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. By enrolling in the program, students have a unique opportunity to study at the Medical Center where they will come into contact with pharmacists, pharmacy interns, pharmacy residents, and certified pharmacy technicians. SCL offers personalized instruction as each class size is limited to 10 students. No medical training is required for enrollment in the program. The curriculum covers 160 hours of clinical rotation, 96 hours of on-site lab simulation, and 348 hours of online didactic training and evaluation. While the majority of the coursework will be completed online, students must be available at least 8 hours a week – on Fridays – for the lab sessions. The duration of the program is approximately 16 weeks including 4 weeks of clinical rotation.
- Submit a completed application via mail or mail
- Provide a typed 500-word essay on your interest in the profession
- A high school diploma or equivalent
- Provide background check report
- Complete a drug screen
- Be prepared to attend labs and clinical rotations
Tuition for the program is $3,000.
- Website: https://www.sclhealth.org/locations/lutheran-medical-center/
- Address: 8300 W. 38th Ave., Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
- Phone: 303-425-4500
Pharmakeia Pre-Pharmaceutical School, LLC
Pharmakeia Pre-Pharmaceutical school provides students with the knowledge and skills to work as competent pharmacy technicians in community, institutional, and specialty pharmacies. The curriculum also includes preparation for success on the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam. Students will benefit from comprehensive but short-term training, personalized instruction, and flexible schedules. The 40-clock hour program will cover I.V. flow rates, dosage calculations, medical terminology, reading and interpreting prescriptions, defining drugs by generic and brand names, dose conversions, billing and reimbursement, dispensing of medications, and drug compounding. Graduates will receive a Pharmacy Technician Certificate. Admission is on a first come, first served basis.
- Submit a completed application online
- Must deposit $75 to reserve a place in the class. The deposit is non-refundable but will be applied to the tuition costs.
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Must have a high school diploma or GED
- Must not have any drug or alcohol-related offense
Tuition, registration, books and supplies cost an estimated $1000. Options for payment include WIOA tuition assistance funding and payment plans.
- Website: https://www.pharmakeiaschool.com/
- Address: 720 S. Colorado Blvd PH North, Denver, CO. 80246
- Phone: 720-277-6528
- Fax: 720-590-4701
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PIMA Medical Institute
The pharmacy technician program at PIMA Medical Institute prepares students for entry-level employment as a pharmacy technician. Classroom theory and practical skills development in the areas of drug inventory management, preparing of prescriptions, customer care, sterile products, and aseptic techniques give students the competence and confidence to succeed in a wide variety of pharmacy settings. Course topics include anatomy, physiology, and terminology, pharmacy math, inventory maintenance, pharmacology, pharmacy law and ethics, pharmacy technician duties, principles of customer service, pharmacy lab skills, pharmacy computer applications, and fundamentals of chemistry. Students must also complete CPR and First Aid as part of the prep sequence. The duration of the program is 36 weeks for day classes and 41 weeks for evening classes. The curriculum covers a total of 840 contact hours: 350 hours of theory, 250 lab hours, and 240 externship hours.
- A high school diploma or GED
- Take an entrance exam and pass with the minimum score
- Attend an interview prior to acceptance
- Pass a criminal background check
Tuition for the program is $16,551. It does not include the cost of books and supplies.
- Website: https://pmi.edu/
- Address: 7475 Dakin Street, Denver, CO 80221
- Phone: 800-477-PIMA
Front Range Community College
Front Range Community College provides quality theory and practical training to produce professional pharmacy technicians who are capable of passing the national certification exam for pharmacy technicians. The 29-credit program may be completed in 2 semesters. Students learn how to assist pharmacists with the preparation of prescribed medications, manage customer service issues, and update patient profiles. During the first semester, students will cover three 5-week modules covering sterile and non-sterile compounded products, communication and interpersonal skills, medication safety, pharmacy law and ethics, the use of technology and informatics, and procurement, billing, and reimbursement. In the second semester, students will participate in two 5-week experiential modules in a hospital and community pharmacy. Graduates of the ASHP accredited program will be eligible to take the PTCB exam to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician.
- A high school diploma or GED
- Obtain TB clearance – valid for one year and must remain current throughout the program
- Report of up-to-date immunization – Tdap, Hepatitis B, MMR, Varicella, influenza
- American Heart Association BLS Provider CPR cards
- Pass a background check and 10-panel drug test
- Complete COVID-19 vaccine series
Tuition costs $4,474. Books and supplies cost $2,175.
- Website: https://www.frontrange.edu/
- Address: 3645 West 112th Avenue, Westminster, CO 80031
- Phone: (303) 404-5000
- Fax: (303) 466-1623
The pharmacy technician program at Emily Griffith Technical College prepares students to work in a drug store, long-term care, hospital, and other specialty pharmacies. The program is delivered in a hybrid format combining online coursework with onsite sessions. Course topics include introduction to pharmacy, pharmacy law, communication and professionalism, computer skills for pharmacy technicians, medical insurance procedures, pharmacology, community pharmacies, institutional pharmacy, pharmacy calculations and compounding techniques. After completing the online courses, students will develop clinical skills through practice in a simulated classroom followed by an internship in a real pharmacy setting. The program requires the completion of 30 credits. The duration of the program is 3 months.
- Submit the online application for admission
- Apply for financial aid
- Take the TABE assessment
- Meet with a program advisor
- Must have a high school diploma or GED
- Provide a copy of criminal background check
- Complete a 10-panel drug test
- Provide a copy of resume
- Submit current immunization records
- A signed Technical Standards and Essential Functions document
Tuition for the program is $3,433. Additional costs for books and fees will apply.
- Website: https://www.emilygriffith.edu/
- Address: 1860 Lincoln Street, Denver, CO 80203
- Phone: (720) 423-4700