Pharmacy Technicians support licensed pharmacists with the distribution of prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and other health care products and services. They ensure that patients receive the right medications when they need it most and are typically the first point of contact for customers. They receive prescriptions electronically or directly and verify its accuracy before they process the order for distribution. Technicians must be detail-oriented, precise, and organized to manage the daily pharmacy routine, minimize medication errors, and ensure public safety.
Pharmacy technicians measure and weigh medications, package and label products, verify prescription orders, update patient profiles, maintain medication inventory, enter and receive orders, receive payments at the cash register, and process medication insurance claims. They also assist pharmacists with general administrative duties and educate patients. While the technician may receive and prepare prescription orders, they must have a pharmacist check the order before it can be dispensed to the patient. Pharmacy technicians usually work in a retail pharmacy or hospital pharmacy. Other places of employment include research laboratories, nursing homes, chain drug stores, wholesale drug companies, manufacturing companies, and call centers.
Pharmacy technician programs prepare students with the technical skills and knowledge to work efficiently within the guidelines for pharmacy technicians. Graduates will be prepared to take the National Certification Examination administered by the Pharmacy Technician Board. They will fill the demand for these professionals in various health care settings. The constant demand for medications from the aging population and the development of new drugs create numerous employment opportunities for nationally certified technicians. Recent reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the median wage for pharmacy technicians is $15.72 per hour ($32,700 per year). The salary depends on experience, certification, education, and other factors.
Vance-Granville Community College
Vance-Granville Community College offers a Pharmacy Technician Certificate program, a Pharmacy Technician Diploma program, and an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Pharmacy Technology program. The Certificate and Diploma provide students with the skills and knowledge to work alongside a pharmacist is a wide variety of settings. The Associate in Applied Science in Pharmacy Technology prepares students to fill the role of a Validating Technician as defined by the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy Rules, Statutes and Board Policies. Graduates will also be able, upon Certification, to work in specialty areas such as Inventory Management, Medication Therapy Management, Medication Reconciliation, and Pharmacy Technician Administration. All graduates will be prepared to assist the pharmacist with the duties a technician can legally perform. These include maintaining patients’ records, maintaining inventories, packaging and labeling medication, filling prescriptions, preparing solutions and intravenous admixtures, billing, insurance, and third-party reconciliations, and performing other clerical duties. They will be eligible to apply to take the National Certification Exam offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.
Pharmacy Technician Certificate (13 credits): Introduction to Pharmacy, Pharmacy Practice, Pharmacy Calculations, Pharmacy Calculations II, Trends in Pharmacy
Pharmacy Technician Diploma (37 credits): Principles of Biology, Introduction to Pharmacy, Pharmacy Practice I, Pharmacy Calculations, Pharmacy Calculations, Expository Writing, Community Pharmacy, Pharmacology I, Pharmacy Clinical or Pharmacy Practice II or Pharmacy Clinical and Work Based Learning, General Psychology or Introduction to Sociology, Pharmacy Clinical or Work Based Learning, Trends in Pharmacy, Pharmacy Prof Practice
Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Pharmacy Technology (66 credits): Principles of Biology, Introduction to Pharmacy, Pharmacy Practice I, Pharmacy Calculations, Pharmacy Calculations Lab, Expository Writing, Community Pharmacy, Pharmacology I, Pharmacy Clinical or Pharmacy Practice II or Pharmacy Clinical and Work Based Learning, General Psychology or Introduction to Sociology, Pharmacy Clinical or Work Based Learning, Trends in Pharmacy, Pharmacy Prof Practice, Public Speaking or Writing/Research in the Disc, Hospital Pharmacy, Pharmacy Clinical or Critical Thinking, Pharmacology II, Pharmacy Dosage Forms, Pharmacy Clinical or Pharmacy Clinical and Work Based Learning
- Be 18 years or older
- Submit high school and any college transcripts
- Submit a completed application for admission
- Apply for financial aid
- Attend a new student orientation
- Take a placement test
- A criminal background check, drug screen, and immunization may be required for participation in the pharmacy externships
The cost of the AAS program is $5,016, the diploma costs $2,812, and the certificate program costs $988.
- Website: https://www.vgcc.edu/program/pharmacy-degree/
- Address: 200 Community College Road, Henderson, NC 27537
- Phone: (252) 492-2061
Athens Drive Magnet High School
The Kaduceus Pharmacy Technician Program prepares students with the technical skills and knowledge to assume an entry-level position in various pharmacy settings. The curriculum covers 180 hours of theory and practical training in 18 weeks. Experienced instructors will use interactive discussions, lab practice, simulations, field trips, seminars, lectures, demonstrations, and projects to ensure students develop the work habits to perform their function as a technician and assimilate knowledge of their role and responsibilities as a pharmacy technician. There will be an emphasis on professionalism, ethics, accountability, and commitment to lifelong learning. Course topics include sterile products, pharmacy law and ethics, retail and institutional pharmacies, chemotherapy, pharmacology and body systems, TNP preparation, dosage calculations, pharmacy billing, nutritional and alternative substances, and career development. Students will receive Sterile Products (IV) training and will be eligible to sit for National Sterile Products (IV) Certification. They will also have the option to sit for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician.
- Schedule a registration meeting
- Provide a copy of a birth certificate
- Provide proof of Wake County address
- Provide a photo ID or parent or guardian
- Provide a copy of immunization documents and school records
The program is available to high school students only.
- Website: https://www.wcpss.net/Page/19597
- Address: 1420 Athens Drive, Raleigh NC 27606
- Phone: 919-233-4050
The Pharmacy Technology Program at Durham Tech prepares adults to assume an entry-level role alongside a pharmacist in a retail or institutional pharmacy. Students will learn how to function in the role as outlined by the North Carolina Board Pharmacy. They will learn how to prepare medications, update patient profiles, mix intravenous solutions and specialized medications, manage inventories, package medications in unit doses or med-card, and gather information for the monitoring of drug therapy. The Pharmacy Technology Associate Degree requires completion of 70 to 73 credit hours. Course topics include College Transfer Success, Anatomy and Physiology, Introduction to Pharmacy, Pharmacy Practice I, Pharmacy Calculations, Sterile Products, Pharmacology I, Pharmacy Trends, Pharmacy Professional Practice, Writing and Inquiry, Computer Basics, Pharmacology II, Pharmacy Clinical, Principles of Management, Writing/Research in the Disciplines, Pharmacy Clinical and Dosage Forms. Final semester courses include Introduction to Ethics, Hospital Pharmacy, Community Pharmacy, and General Psychology. Students will participate in a pharmacy externship at Dule University Medical Center, Durham Regional Hospital, Rex Healthcare, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Person Memorial Hospital, and selected retail pharmacies. The program is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Interested persons can submit applications throughout the year.
- Attend a PHM Information Session
- Submit an application for enrollment at Durham Tech
- Request official transcript (high school and college) to be sent directly to Durham Tech
- Apply for Financial Aid
- Attend a ConnectSession (Student Orientation) – applicants with 12 or more college credits do not need to attend the student orientation
- Demonstrate College readiness – a high school GPA of 2.8 or higher or transfer college credit for English and math or proof of completing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree or satisfactory scores on the ACT, SAT, GED, COMPASS, ACCUPLACER, ASSET, or take and pass the English or Math placement tests
- Submit and complete the Essential Skills and Clinical forms
The estimated cost of tuition and fees is $5092.
- Website: https://durhamtech.edu/academic-programs/pharmacy-technology
- Address: 1637 East Lawson Street, Durham, NC 27703
- Phone: 919-536-7200
Harmony Health Career Training LLC
The pharmacy technician training program at Harmony Health Career Training LLC prepares adults for the competitive and in-demand field of healthcare. Students who successfully complete the requirements will receive a Pharmacy Technician Certificate and will have the confidence to take and pass the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam and prepare and dispense prescriptions under the direction of a licensed pharmacist. They will qualify for entry-level employment in hospitals, community pharmacies, and other health care settings. The program is offered in a hybrid format and includes online course work, practical on-campus activities, and a pharmacy externship. Areas of study include inventory management, pharmacology, pharmacy calculations, anatomy and physiology, receiving and preparing prescriptions, dosage calculations, unit dosages, trends in pharmacy, and pharmacy practice.
- Submit a completed enrollment form
- Provide documentation of completing high school or GED
- Complete a satisfactory criminal background – a felony conviction will result in clinical site rejection
- Submit a valid state-issued photo ID and social security card
- Complete a satisfactory drug screen
- Provide documentation of up-to-date immunization
Tuition for the program is $390. Registration costs $100.
- Website: http://www.harmonyhealthcareertraining.com/healthcare-training-course-offerings/pharmacy-technician
- Address: 1631 Midtown Place, Suite 104, Raleigh, NC 27609
- Phone: 919-841-2465
Wake Technical Community College
Wake Technical Community College prepares students enrolled in the Pharmacy Technology program to become efficient pharmacy technicians. The curriculum includes theory and practical courses that will enable graduates to assist pharmacists with those duties that a technician can legally perform and practice within the guidelines specified by the pharmacist and employer. The program leads to an associate degree and includes basic pharmacy technician courses with general education courses. The degree will be beneficial for graduates who plan to pursue further education. Through a balance of knowledge-based courses and technical skills development, students will meet the established goals of the profession. Some areas of emphasis will be drug delivery systems, purchasing and inventory control, anatomy and physiology, pharmacy calculations, drug uses, interactions and side effects, and pharmacy law and regulations. Simulated lab activities will cover interpreting prescriptions, compounding medications, veterinary dosages, processing medication orders, using pharmacy software, and managing pharmacy options. The clinical experiences will support the development of essential skills, such as filing insurance claims, maintain patient profiles, customer service, reconciling medications, managing automated medication dispensing systems, and leading quality improvement programs. Students must pass the PTCB national exam during the second semester to become nationally certified before graduation.
- Attend the NC RESIDENCY DETERMINATION INTERVIEW – residency determination will be completed within 3 business days
- Submit a completed Application for Admission to Wake Tech
- Submit official transcripts of all previous education – must be submitted in a sealed envelope and include high school transcripts
- Apply for financial aid
- Submit a Satisfaction of Admissions Requirements checklist to an advisor to be considered for the PHM program
- Must be 18 years or older by the second semester of PHM courses
- Submit a completed Wake Tech Health form including documentation of physical exam and immunization
- Complete a satisfactory criminal background check and drug screen
- Provide documentation of current healthcare provider CPR certification
- Agree to complete with the Technical Standards of the Pharmacy Technology program
- Have valid CPR certification
- Provide documentation of health insurance
- Attend a mandatory departmental orientation once admitted to the program
The estimated cost of the program is $8,300. The cost includes tuition, textbooks, student administration fee, computer technology fee, professional liability insurance, CPR certification, background check and drug screen, PTCE exam, graduation fee, immunization exam, TB test, physical exam, and uniforms and equipment.
- Website: https://www.waketech.edu/programs-courses/credit/pharmacy-technology
- Address: 2901 Holston Lane, Raleigh, North Carolina 27610
- Phone: 919-866-5000
McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education
The pharmacy technician program is an online, self-paced course of study that prepares adults for entry-level employment in various health care settings. Students will learn how to receive and process prescription requests, measure medications, package and label prescriptions, update patient records, and process medication insurance claims. Graduates will receive a Certificate of Completion and be prepared to take the PTCB exam for national certification. Preparation for the exam and an exam voucher will be included in the cost of the program. Key areas of study include pharmacy calculations, identifying drugs by generic and brand names, reading and interpreting prescriptions, dosage calculations, the top 200 drugs, medical terminology, inventory control, IV flow rates, dose conversions, drug compounding, and billing and reimbursement. The curriculum will cover five modules, each comprising of approximately six topics. Some of the topics are History and Pharmacy Practice, Communication and Customer Care, Pharmacy Law and Ethics, Terminology and Abbreviations, Retail Pharmacy, Health-System Pharmacy, Introduction to Compounding, Introduction to Sterile Products, Measurement Systems, Basic Math Skills, Concentrations and Dilutions, Parenteral Calculations, The Body and Drugs, and much more.
All registered students will receive the course textbook and workbook. Applicants must have a computer and reliable Internet. No other prerequisites are required for the program. All students will have access to the online course for a period of 6 months. An extension is available for an additional fee.
Tuition for the program is $3,245.