Pharmacy technician training is an essential part of the preparation for the role and responsibilities of a pharmacy technician. The training provides all the education and practical skills students need to dispense prescriptions and perform administrative functions under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. The expanded role of pharmacy technicians allows them to assume a wide range of responsibilities with the exception of those duties that require the proficiency of a licensed pharmacist. In most retail and institutional pharmacies, they might collect prescription information, package and label prescriptions, organize inventory, measure, pour, count, and mix medications, accept payments, update patient profiles, answer phones and respond to customer queries, and prepare insurance claims. In California, technicians must be licensed by the State Board of Pharmacy. Upon licensure, technicians may work in retail or community pharmacies, hospitals, home health care, and home infusion pharmacies.
California State University, Long Beach
The comprehensive pharmacy technician program at California State University prepares students for employment in a retail or other pharmacy settings. Through 50 hours of classroom lecture and hands-on labs, students develop the essential skills to assume a supportive role in a pharmacy. Course topics include drug classifications, IV flow rates, dose conversions, aseptic techniques, sterile compounding, dosage calculations, dispensing of prescriptions, total parental nutrition, inventory control and billing and reimbursement. Graduates will receive a Pharmacy Technician Certificate and will be prepared for success on the PTCB or NHA exam. Classes meet for approximately 6 weeks. New students are accepted in the Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters. The program is a non-credit certificate program so there are no prerequisites for entry.
- Must have a high school diploma
- Register for the program
Tuition for the program is $1,399. The cost of textbooks is included.
- Website: https://www.cpie.csulb.edu/
- Address: 6300 E. State University Dr. Suite 104, Long Beach, California 90815
- Phone: (800) 963-2250
North-West College – Long Beach Campus
The Pharmacy Technician program at North-West College covers the hands-on training and education students need to assume an entry-level position in a retail or institutional pharmacy. Instructors cover drug labeling, pharmaceutical calculations, prescription processing, sterile and non-sterile compounding, dispensing medications, medical terminology, pharmacy laws and regulations, ethical codes of conduct, and pharmacology. The curriculum is divided into 8 modules: Seminar for Success, Drug Distribution, Admixture I and II, Pharmacology, Retail Communications, Home Health/Closed Door, Career Seminar and Clinical Externship. It covers a total of 900 hours including 132 outside hours. During a 240-hour clinical externship, students will have an opportunity to apply skills learned in a classroom in a real-world environment. Students who successfully complete the program will have 25.5 semester credits. The content is delivered on residential/blended formats.
- Complete an admissions interview and tour the College
- Provide or request official high school graduation or equivalent documentation
- Take and pass a standardized basic skills assessment
- Complete Distance Education Readiness Assessment questionnaire
- Attend an interview with a Financial Aid Advisor
- Submit a completed application for admission and sign the College Enrollment Agreement
- Pay the registration fee of $100
- Pass a background check and drug screen
- Pass a physical exam
The program cost of $16,315 includes tuition, books, supplies, and registration fee.
- Website: https://www.nw.edu/
- Address: 3799 E Burnett St., Long Beach, CA 90815
- Phone: 562-546-5171
Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC) prepares pharmacy technician students for employment in outpatient, inpatient, and home health care pharmacy settings. It is one of the first programs to be accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). The College offers three training options – the Basic Certificate (16.5 units), Advanced Certificate (26 units), and Associate Degree. Course modules include an introduction to pharmacy technology, body systems I and II, pharmacy calculations, pharmacy operations, inpatient pharmacy services, sterile products, pharmacy technology skills lab, pharmacy calculations review, sterile products update, and pharmacy technology externship. The program is open for new admissions in the Fall or Spring semester. A summer intake is also available. Students have the choice of attending day or evening classes in the Fall and Spring semester. Summer sessions are evening only. The duration of the basic certificate is 8 to 12 months. The advanced certificate may be completed in 3 to 4 semesters.
- Attend an information session where advisors will answer the most commonly asked questions
- Must apply for admission to Santa Ana College – a separate application for the Pharmacy Tech program is not required.
The cost per unit for California state residents is $46. Textbooks and supplies cost approximately $400.
- Website: https://www.sac.edu/Pages/default.aspx
- Address: 1530 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706-3398
- Phone: (714) 564-6000
Downey Adult School – Career and Education Center
The Pharmacy Technician program at DAS provides students with the skills and knowledge in preparation for a pharmacy technician position. The program includes theory and hands-on instruction. Course topics include basic concepts of pharmacology, pharmacy law and regulation, basics in sterile and non-sterile compounding, medication safety, pharmacy quality assurance, medication order entry and fill process, pharmacy inventory management, pharmacy billing and reimbursement, pharmacy information system usage and application, and job preparation skills. In addition to the topics covered in the classroom, students must complete a 120-hour externship at an affiliate facility where they will apply the educational principles learned. Graduates will be eligible for State Registration with the California State Board of Pharmacy and National Certification with the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Day and evening classes are available.
- Attend a program orientation to receive details of the program
- Must have a high school diploma or GED
- Provide a copy of a TB skin test and Hepatitis B immunization records
- Must have Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers
Tuition for the program is $3,999. It does not include books, uniforms, and additional program requirements.
- Website: https://www.das.edu/
- Address: 12340 Woodruff Avenue, Downey, CA 90241
- Phone: (562) 940-6200
American Career College
American Career College’s Pharmacy Technician program prepares students to work with licensed pharmacists. They learn to label and dispense prescriptions, rotate inventory, and update patient information. Course modules include Pharmacy Law, Drug Fundamentals, Pharmacology, Drug Distribution, IV Preparation, Retail Pharmacy, and Pharmacy Technician Externship. During the externship, students will have the opportunity to demonstrate and reinforce the knowledge and skills presented and practiced throughout the program under the supervise of qualified personnel. The curriculum covers a total of 1185.5 including 780 in the classroom and 405.5 of outside hours. The blended program covers 46 quarter credits. At the conclusion of the program, graduates will understand the role and responsibilities of a pharmacy technician, know the trade and generic names of select drugs, practice within the limits of pharmacy law, apply the principles of chemistry and pharmacology in practice, prepare prescriptions for dispensing, and understand anatomy and pathological conditions. The duration of the program is 36 weeks.
- Meet with an admission advisor
- Take and pass an entrance exam or participate in the College;s Professional Readiness Program
- Complete an Enrollment Agreement
- Pay the non-refundable application fee
- Applicants under 18 years of age must reach their 18th birthday by the expected graduation date
- Obtain background clearance at the time of enrollment
- Demonstrate proficiency in math
- Must have a high school diploma or GED – official transcripts required
The program cost of $19,930 includes tuition, application fee, fees, books, and supplies.
- Website: http://americancareercollege.edu/programs/pharmacy-technician.html
- Address: 1200 North Magnolia Ave., Anaheim, CA 92801
- Phone: (714) 763-9066
The pharmacy technician program at Cerritos College is approved by the ASHP. The curriculum includes classroom instruction and practical learning experiences in the lab and pharmacy externship to prepare students for success on the national certification exam and state licensure. Course modules include pharmaceutics, pharmacy introduction, pharmacy skills lab, pharmacy operations, non-sterile compounding, over-the-counter products, pharmacology, and clinical experience. At the conclusion of the program, students receive a Certificate of Achievement. Students also have the option to complete electives and general education courses to earn an Associate in Arts degree. The duration of the program is three to four semesters. Day and evening classes are available.
- Must have a high school diploma or equivalent
- Obtain acceptable scores on the placement tests for writing, mathematics and reading
- Meet the writing proficiency requirements
- Must have good vision and hearing
- Demonstration sound physical fitness and ability to perform the duties of a pharmacy technician
- Submit immunization records that meet the standards of the clinical site
- Clinical sites may require clearance of a criminal background check
- Submit verification of TB clearance
Tuition costs $46 per unit. Student activity fee, lab fee, and expenses for books and supplies are not included in the cost.
- Website: https://www.cerritos.edu/
- Address: 11110 Alondra Blvd., Norwalk, CA 90650
- Phone: (562) 860-2451