Pharmacy Technician Schools Chicago, IL

Pharmacy technicians in Illinois must register through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation before commencing practice under the direction of a registered pharmacist. There are three designations – Registered Pharmacy Technician, Pharmacy Technician Certified, and Student designation (for those enrolled in a School of Pharmacy). Registration requires completion of a formal pharmacy technician program and certification from the PTCB or NHA. Certification is not required for initial registration under the Registered Pharmacy Technician designation but will be required for renewal in the second year. All registrations expire annually and must be renewed by March 31 regardless of the date of issue. Pharmacy technician programs not only prepare you for employment in various pharmacy settings but also for success on a national certification exam. The following is a summary of the best Pharmacy Technology classes in Chicago, IL.

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Malcolm X College

Malcolm X College offers an Advanced Certificate in pharmacy technology. The program provides students with the academic knowledge in pharmacy that will allow them to practice as a certified pharmacy technician. They will also have a level of understanding in pharmacy that will enable them to pursue further studies to become a pharmacist. The curriculum covers several modules including Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology, Pharmacology Allied Health, Basic Science for Allied Health Personnel, Intro to Pharmacy Technology, Pharmaceutical Calculations, Prescription Professing, Pharmacy Communication, Introduction to Pharmacy Law, and Pharmacy Operations. Required work-based courses include Clinical Practicum I and Clinical Practicum II. The program is accredited by the American Society of Health- System Pharmacists.  Students must complete 37 credit hours to earn the advanced certificate. It is designed to be completed in three semesters.

Admission criteria:

  • Submit a special application for entry to the program
  • Have no conviction of felony crime
  • Provide official high school transcripts or GED certificate
  • Provide official results of the College placement exam – must indicate college-level scores in Mathematics, English and Reading Comprehension
  • Complete the prerequisite courses with a grade C or better – Anatomy and Physiology
  • Submit three letters of recommendation
  • Attend an interview with the medical director
  • Must have a minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Complete the immunization, drug screening, background check, physical, and TB test requirements

Tuition for the program is $5,402 for resident students and does not include the cost for textbooks, lab fee and other related costs.

South Suburban College

Students enrolled in the pharmacy technician program at South Suburban College will acquire the skills to assist pharmacists in the preparation and dispensing of medication. Instruction will cover medication order processing, aseptic IV preparation, inventory management, updating pharmacy database, compounding, and packaging and labelling medications. It will also include pharmacy math, pharmacy law, pharmacy operations, and pharmacology. Students will also be expected to complete 150 to 300 supervised hours in various pharmacy settings. The externships are scheduled in the daytime hours. Students must arrange transport to and from the clinical sites. At the program’s conclusion, they will be able to explain pharmacy terminology, understand the laws concerning pharmacy practice, participate in purchasing and inventory control, interpret medication orders and prescriptions, read and interpret prescriptions, and prepare medications for dispensing. Graduates will receive a Basic Certificate and will be eligible to take the PTCB exam. They have the option to enroll in the Full Certificate program or obtain an Associate Degree in General Studies. The program is offered on a full-time and part-time schedule. New programs begin each semester. The ASHP/ACPE-accredited certificate program prepares students for national certification in just 16 weeks – one semester.

Admission criteria:

  • Submit an application for admission to SCC
  • Request high school transcripts and any college transcripts to be sent to the Office of Admissions
  • Submit an application to the Pharmacy Technician program
  • Meet with the program coordinator
  • Take the school’s placement test
  • Submit a copy of the student’s current health care insurance
  • Gain licensure approval from the State of Illinois before beginning the externship
  • Complete a criminal background investigation
  • Complete a drug screen
  • Have current CPR certification

Tuition costs $6,068 for in-state students who complete the program in the normal time. Books and supplies will cost an additional $2,400.

  • Website:
  • Address: 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois 60473-1200
  • Phone: (708) 596-2000

College of Lake County

The PTCB recognized pharmacy technician program at the College of Lake County equips students with the knowledge and skills to receive and fill prescriptions under the supervision of a licensed physician. The program is targeted to adults interested in becoming a certified pharmacy technician, pre-pharmacy students, and professionals with a health care background who want to strengthen their skills. The program is offered in an in-person, online and hybrid format. For the blended program, students will complete a total of 81 hours is completed in the classroom and 24 hours are completed online. Course topics include pharmacology, pharmacy law and ethics, pharmacy terminology, reading and interpreting prescriptions, inventory control, billing and insurance, and packaging and labeling medications. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the national PTCE exam. The duration of the program is 11 months.

Admission criteria:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be math proficient – Basic Algebra Readiness
  • Be proficient in English – College Reading and Writing Readiness
  • Have no prior criminal record
  • Submit a Pharmacy Technician Screening Form
  • Meet the Health Requirements/Proof of Immunizations
  • Obtain a negative drug screen
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Demonstrate satisfactory hand to eye coordination and finger agility

The estimated program cost is $4,178 for in-district tuit. Books and supplies are not included in the cost. The program is eligible for funding through the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WICA).

Prairie State College

Prairie State College’s Pharmacy Technician healthcare vocational certificate program includes intensive preparation for a career in the pharmacy field. The program is delivered in hybrid format with some in-person and some online classes. It is a non-credit course offered through Workforce Development and Community Education. The curriculum covers 50 hours of coursework in IV flow rates, dosage calculations, defining drugs by generic and brand name, drug compounding, medical terminology, reading and interpreting prescriptions, inventory control, dispensing of prescriptions, dose conversions, and billing and reimbursement. Graduates may be eligible to sit for the PTCB exam.

Admission criteria:

  • Attend an orientation session
  • Register and pay for continuing education courses through Instant Enrollment on WebAdvisor or register in person in campus
  • High school diploma or GED required for PTCE exam

Tuition costs $1459.  Students must purchase the required textbook and scrubs. The Pharmacy Technician Program is approved for WIOA funding for eligible individuals.

Chicago State University

The online pharmacy technician program at Chicago State University prepares adults for an entry-level position in the pharmacy field. The program will explore the many career setting where pharmacy technicians work as well as laws and regulations that govern practice. Communication, customer service, and preparation for certification are also essential aspects of the program. The syllabus will cover What Is a Pharmacy Technician, Pharmacology, Pharmacy Laws and Regulations, Pharmacy Operations, Pharmacy Terminology, Anti-Infectives, Anatomy and Physiology, Pharmacy Math, Communication, and the Future of Pharmacy Technicians. Students will receive access to the course for 12 months. The curriculum covers 400 course hours. Graduates will be prepared to sit for the PTCB exam.

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Admission criteria:

  • There are no prerequisites for admission
  • Students must have a computer and reliable internet connection

The program cost of $2,995 includes a voucher for the PTCE.

Morton College

The pharmacy technician program at Morton College prepares students for entry-level employment in a community or institutional pharmacy. The curriculum blends coursework in medicine, math, and chemistry to prepare students to mix intravenous solutions, manage inventory, provide medication and other health care products to patients, handle computer order entry of prescriptions, verify and complete accurate prescriptions, and receive written prescription requests for patient refills. Students will also gain experience with IV therapy essential for employment in hospitals. The program will cover a total of 180 hours in the classroom and a 120-hour externship experience. Graduates will be eligible to apply to sit for the PTCB exam. The duration of the program is 21 weeks.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must attend a virtual information session
  • Must be proficient in English and have adequate knowledge of 9th/10th grade algebra and arithmetic
  • Must complete drug testing and a criminal background check

The program cost of $1,499 does not include books and supplies.

Northwest Suburban College

Northwest Suburban College (NWSC) offers a Pharmacy Technician Certificate program that prepares students for employment in various pharmacy settings, including retail, hospitals, mail order, and home health pharmacies. The program is open to adults who are new to the field and those seeking to broaden their knowledge of the role and function of a pharmacy technician. Areas of study include pharmacology, sterile compounding, pharmacy law and regulation, third-party billing, pharmacy administration, prescription processing, infection control, OSHA regulation, 400 medications by brand, generic classification, and uses with relation to anatomy and physiology of the human body. Students will learn the administration of medication, aspects of retail pharmacy, aspects of hospitals, institutional, nuclear, and oncology pharmacy practice, medication errors and alternative medicines, pharmacy operations, and more. The curriculum requires completion of 360 hours of classroom time and 240 hours of a clinical pharmacy externship. Graduates will be prepared for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam (PTCB), and the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Classes meet Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 4:30 pm to 10:00 pm.

Admission criteria:

  • Provide an unofficial copy of the high school transcript at the time of application
  • Submit SAT or ACT scores if available
  • Submit proof of immunization – MMR, TDaP
  • Must submit to a background check
  • Must attend a Student Orientation
  • Must meet with a School of Allied Health representative

The program cost of $5,950 includes enrolment fee, tuition, graduation fee, CPR, OSHA, and HIPAA training.

  • Website:
  • Address: 5999 S. New Wilke Rd. Bldg. #500, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008-4504
  • Phone: 847-925-7224

Oakton College

The Pharmacy Technician program at Oakton College is designed to teach fundamentals of pharmacy technology for adults interested in becoming pharmacy technicians, pre-pharmacy students, or those interested in completing the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Examination. Theory and practical coursework will cover community and institutional pharmacy practice settings, drug classification, basic physiology, drug interactions, pharmacy calculations, and daily pharmacy operations. The curriculum will cover a total fo 10 credit hours. The pharmacy externship is 2 credit hours and requires completion of 250 contact hours at an assigned pharmacy. The program is open to those with no prior experience in pharmacy and those seeking to strengthen their current skills. Some of the coursework may be delivered online. Graduates will be eligible to sit for a national pharmacy certification exam.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must submit a completed application to the College
  • Must apply for admission to the pharmacy technician program
  • Must obtain a clear background check and drug screen

Tuition costs $136.25 per credit hour for resident students.


Address: 1600 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016

Phone: 847.635.1600

How Do I Get Free Pharmacy Technician Training in Chicago

JCFS Chicago provides free pharmacy technician programs from time to time. Check their website for a schedule of their upcoming classes.

How Long Does It Take to Become A Pharmacy Technician in IL?

Pharmacy technician programs typically run for 16 to 25 weeks.

How Do I Become A Pharmacy Technician in Illinois?

There are three different types of Pharmacy Technician License designations outline by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations.  The requirements for each designation vary as outlined below.

Registered Pharmacy Technician

A registered pharmacy technician may practice under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. The registration is time-specific and requires completion of a pharmacy technician program or completion of the requirements for national certification before the second renewal. The IDFPR recognizes certification from the National Healthcareer Association or the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.

Pharmacy Technician – Certified Designation

A registered pharmacy technician with the certified designation may assist in the practice of pharmacy under the personal supervision of a registered pharmacist. The designation is supplied to one who has successfully passed an exam accredited by the NCCA such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board or the National Healthcareer Association. Proof of passing the PTCB or ExCPT must be supplied with the application as well as proof of completing a pharmacy technician program.

Pharmacy Technician – Student Designation

A registered pharmacy technician who is also enrolled in a first professional degree program in pharmacy in a school or college of pharmacy or a department of pharmacy of a university approved by the Department.  To apply for this designation, you must provide a current letter from a school official on school letterhead that clearly indicates the name and status of the student in an ACPE school of pharmacy.

All applications for registration must be submitted online with the application fee of $40 and the accompanying documents.

Full details on the Illinois Pharmacy Technician Requirements available here.

What are the Requirements to Work as a Pharmacy Technician in Illinois?

Pharmacy technicians working in community and institutional pharmacies in Illinois must apply for one of the three designations from the IDFPR to practice.

How Much Does a Pharmacy Technician Make in Chicago?

Pharmacy Technicians Certified in Chicago earn an annual median wage of $45,490. Pharmacy technicians in hospitals may earn slightly more.



Search Pharmacy Technician Programs

Get information on Pharmacy Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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