Pharmacy Technician Schools in Los Angeles, CA

In response to increased demands for training, pharmacy tech schools are popping up all over California, including the busy city of Los Angeles. Enrolling in a training program is just one way to obtain certification as a Pharmacy Technician. Years ago, one could work as an apprentice under a licensed pharmacist and get a license after completing 1200 to 1500 hours of work. Since 2004, the California Board of Pharmacy offers four routes for candidates to qualify for pharmacy technician registration within the state:

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  • Obtain an AA in Pharmacy Technology
  • Complete a board-approved training program
  • Graduate from the American Council of Pharmaceutical Education-approved school of pharmacy
  • Apply for certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). In this latter case, applicants must present a high school diploma and have no felony conviction.

Following is a summary of the best pharmacy technology classes in Los Angeles, California.

American Career College

Students complete ACC’s pharmacy technician training in just nine months and receive a diploma at the end of the training. The objective of the program is to prepare students with the skills and knowledge for a pharmacy tech career related to the manufacturing and distribution of pharmacy products. Graduates are also prepared for real-world scenarios through training in basic computing, methods of data input and maintaining patients’ records. The course curriculum covers several modules including pharmacy law, drug fundamentals, drug distribution, pharmacology, retail pharmacy, I.V. preparation, and pharmacy externship. The program covers a total of 1185.5 contact hours – 780 hours in class and 405.5 outside the classroom. The content is delivered in a blended format. Students must complete 46.0 quarter credits to receive the Pharmacy Technician Diploma. The program is designed to be completed in 36 weeks.

Admission criteria:

  • Visit the College prior to enrollment
  • Meet with an Admissions Advisor
  • Take and pass a standardized entrance exam to participate in the College’s Professional Readiness Program
  • Submit a completed application with the non-refundable application fee
  • Must have a diploma from an accredited high school or recognized equivalent
  • Complete the enrollment agreement – must be signed by a parent if the applicant is under 18 years
  • Secure background clearance at the time of enrollment
  • Be proficient in math
  • Provide two sets of official high school transcripts of a copy of GED/HSE

The estimated total for the program is $19,450 including tuition, application fee, other fees, books and supplies. Financial aid may be available through grants, scholarships and loans.

Cal State LA

Cal State L.A.’s comprehensive Pharmacy Technician program provides students with 50-contact hours of training. Instructors prepare students to take and pass the PTCB exam and assist a licensed pharmacist at a hospital or community pharmacy. Classroom lectures cover areas such as pharmacy medical terminology, generic and brand name drugs, I.V. flow rates, dosage calculations, inventory control, billing, insurance claims, dispensing prescriptions, drug classifications, children’s dosages and total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Graduates will be prepared to function within the scope of practice for pharmacy technicians, identify the most common drugs used in the United States, apply pharmacy laws and regulations, convert quantities and dosages to fill prescriptions and enter orders, and manage inventory and billing using pharmacy information systems. Classes, taught by a licensed pharmacist, meet two evenings a week from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm.

Admission criteria:

  • A high school diploma or GED

Tuition is $1,399. Students must purchase the required textbook. Unemployed adults may enroll in the program for free.

CBD College

Graduates of CBD College’s Pharmacy Technician program have the knowledge and skills to work under the direction of a licensed pharmacist. Apart from classroom lectures, students get the opportunity to practice their skills through labs and a clinical externship at local hospitals, pharmacies, and retail chains. The program offers 720 hours of training over the course of 9 months. Course content includes CPR, cancer and oncology agents, pharmacy calculations, pharmaceutical procedures, federal and state laws, general concepts of pharmacy, inventory and billing, sterile products, repackaging and compounding, anti-inflammatory drugs, career development, and clinical externship. The curriculum covers nine modules in total. CBD College offers students preparation for the PTCB exam, state-of-the-art skills lab, committed faculty and staff, clinical experiences in multiple health care facilities, financial aid for qualifying students, and job placement assistance. The program is accredited by ABHES. Upon completion of the program, students can apply for licensure as a Pharmacy Tech within the state.

Admission criteria:

  • Be at least 17 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Attend an interview with an Admissions Representative
  • Have a valid government ID
  • Pass the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam

Tuition is $12,398 for students completing the program in normal time. The cost of textbooks, fees, uniforms, background check, and registration is not included in the cost.

Evans Community Adult School

Evans Community Adult School provides an affordable way for California residents to begin a career as a pharmacy technician. The competency-based course provides 540 hours of instruction including theory and clinical training. The contact hours are divided into 300 classroom hours and 240 hours for externship at a local pharmacy. Course topics include medical terminology, CPR, duties and responsibilities of the pharmacy technician, record keeping, receiving and dispensing prescriptions, packaging and labeling prescriptions, pharmacy terminology, drug manufacturing, metric and apothecary, and maintaining inventory. Classes run from Monday to Friday; 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Admission criteria:

  • Attend a mandatory pharmacy technician orientation
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Demonstrate a 9-grade reading level

Tuition is $1,218 including the cost for textbooks and licensing.

Los Angeles City College

Students enrolled in Los Angeles City College’s pharmacy technician program learn the fundamentals of mixing and packing prescriptions, collecting payments, insurance claims, managing inventory, purchasing, referrals, and dosage calculations. The course includes 23 modules – a new module begins each week. Students must attend all classes to get the most out of the class and to fulfill the Board of Pharmacy’s mandated hours for training. Students are expected to schedule their externships. Assistance from the program’s faculty will be available.

Admission criteria:

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old and understand basic computer operations
  • A high school diploma or GED and background check are not required. However, these will be required for the licensing exam

Tuition for the program is $1,799. A flexible payment plan is available for all students.

LA Vocational Institute

LA Vocational Institute offers a Pharmacy Technician Certificate program to prepare students for national certification and employment as a pharmacy technician in retail and institutional pharmacies. The curriculum will cover 650 contact hours of instruction in pharmaceutical terminology, pharmacy calculations, record keeping, IV admixtures, compounding medications, common drugs and their effects, and other vital areas. Course modules include Terminology, Prescription Accuracy, Calculating Dosages, Inventory Maintenance, Assisting Customers, Prescription Drugs Familiarity, and Pharmaceutical Ethics.

Admission criteria:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have a high school diploma or GED certificate
  • Attend an orientation session
  • Attend an interview with a program coordinator
  • Pass a fingerprinting and criminal background check – for registration with the Board of Pharmacy
  • Two current letters of recommendation – must include contact information for the references
  • A current resume
  • Copy of driver’s license
  • A letter of intent

Tuition costs $6,500. Textbooks, supplies, uniforms, and fees are not included. Financial aid is available for eligible students.

North-West College

The Pharmacy Technician program at North-West College provides adults with hands-on skills and education to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician. Instructors will cover the skills needed to practice in hospitals, pharmacy labs, and retail pharmacies. The curriculum covers a total of 900 clock hours – 768 classroom hours and 132 outside hours. Students will earn 25.5 semester credits. Required courses include Seminar for Success, Drug Distribution, IV Admixture, Pharmacology, Retail/Community Pharmacy, Home Health/Closed Pharmacy, Career Seminar, and Clinical Internship. The duration of the program is 40 weeks – approximately 9 months. NW College offers day and evening classes for students’ convenience. New classes begin throughout the year.

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

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Admission criteria:

  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent or establish Ability to Benefit
  • Complete an admission interview and tour the College
  • Take and pass a standardized basic skills assessment
  • Attend an interview with a Financial Aid Advisor
  • Complete the necessary paperwork for admission including an Enrollment Agreement
  • Pay the registration fee of $100
  • Pass a background check
  • Complete a physical exam
  • Complete a drug screen

Tuition, books, supplies and registration cost $16,315. Financial aid is available for eligible students.

Venice Skills Center

The Pharmacy Technician Certificate program at Venice Skills Center prepares students for employment in a pharmaceutical setting. The program includes theory and practical instruction in medical terminology, pharmacology, the role and responsibility of the pharmacy technician, CPR, pharmaceutical terms and abbreviations, drug requirements, record keeping, packaging and labeling products, dispensing prescriptions, and metric and apothecary systems. Students must complete 540 hours to graduate from the program – 300 hours in the classroom and 240 hours for the clinical externship. Classes meet Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. The duration of the program is five months. Graduates will be qualified to register with the California State Board of Pharmacy as a Pharmacy Technician.

Admission criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a high school diploma or AA Degree
  • Have a Social Security Number
  • Have no misdemeanors or felonies
  • Obtain a minimum reading score of 8.0 and a math score of 7.0

Tuition for the program is $650. Books and supplies cost $355. Additional expenses include uniform, CPR certification, pharmacy application fee, live scan fee, and state license.

West Los Angeles College

The West Los Angeles College Pharmacy Technician Program prepares adults for an exciting career in pharmacy. The school offers a Basic Pharmacy Technician Certificate of Achievement for beginners. Graduates can then follow through with the Advanced Certificate of Achievement Program and an Associate of Science Degree Program. The Basic program covers 490 hours of instruction including 80 hours of clinical practice in a health care setting. Required courses are Retail Products for Pharmacy Clerks, Introduction to Pharmacy, Body Systems I, Body Systems II, Pharmacy Calculations, Pharmacy Operations, and Community Pharmacy Services, Communication and Customer Service in Healthcare, and Computers in Health Occupations. The curriculum meets the requirements of the Association of Health Systems Pharmacists (ASHP).

Admission criteria:

  • Submit a completed application to West Lost Angeles College
  • Complete the Pharmacy Technician Student Information Sheet
  • Place at English 28 and Math 125 on the Admissions Assessment
  • Must be at least 18 years old Must be eligible to work in the United States
  • Obtain a clear drug screen
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Have a high school diploma or GED

Tuition costs $46 per unit for residents. Additional costs include a background check, drug screen, textbooks, livescan, uniforms, and Board of Pharmacy Application.

Los Angeles Career College

Los Angeles Career College offers an exciting opportunity for persons interested in a career as a Pharmacy Technician. The program will prepare students for success on the National Pharmacy Technician Board Exam and entry-level employment as a pharmacy technician. Instruction will include classroom lectures, presentations, and hands-on practice during an externship in real-world pharmacies. The curriculum includes 300 hours of instruction including 120 hours for the pharmacy externship. The duration of the program is 21 weeks – 15 weeks in the classroom, 5 weeks for the externship, and one week of intensive practice for the national exam. Classes meet Monday through Thursdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm in the classroom and Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the externship site.

Admission criteria:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Have no felony or misdemeanor related to the sale of drugs
  • Record of vaccination history
  • Must be committed to the rigorous schedule

Tuition for the program $5,500. Financial aid is available for eligible students.

East Los Angeles College

East Lost Angeles College prepares pharmacy technician students with the skills and education to work as pharmacy technicians in various pharmacies, The curriculum will cover 70.25 units and lead to an Associate in Science Degree in Pharmacy Technology for successful students. Topics covered include Communication and Customer Service in Healthcare, Computers in Health Occupations, Fundamentals of Chemistry, Microcomputer Software Survey in the Office, English Composition, Principles of Health Living, Medical Terminology, Retail Products for Pharmacy Clerks, Introduction to Pharmacy, Body Systems, Pharmacy Calculations, Pharmacy Operations, Community Pharmacy Externship, Inpatient Pharmacy Services, Inpatient Pharmacy Externship, Sterile Products, Sterile Products Externship, Anatomy and Physiology, and Intermediate Algebra.

Admission criteria:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • A completed application to East Los Angeles College
  • Have no felony or misdemeanor related to the sale of drugs
  • Record of vaccination history
  • Complete the admission assessment

The estimated cost of attendance is $1,827 per year. Additional costs for books, fees, supplies, uniforms, and transport are not included.

Los Angeles Mission College

The Pharmacy Technician Certificate of Achievement offered by Los Angeles Mission College is designed for students who have limited time to complete the educational preparation to become a pharmacy technician. Graduates have the option to complete additional courses to complete the Advanced Pharmacy Technician Certificate and the Pharmacy Technician Associate in Science. Required courses for the Basic program (20 units) are Retail Products for Pharmacy Clerks, Introduction to Pharmacy, Body Systems, Pharmacy Calculations, Pharmacy Operations, and Community Pharmacy Externship. The 28.25-unit Advanced program requires additional courses – Inpatient Pharmacy Services, Inpatient Pharmacy Externship, Sterile Products, and Sterile Products Externship. Students who complete the requirements will be eligible to apply for licensure through the Board of Pharmacy.

Admission criteria:

  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Submit a completed application for admission online
  • Take and pass an admission assessment
  • Attend an online orientation
  • Pass a background check

Tuition costs $46 per unit per semester for residents. Additional costs include textbooks, supplies, uniforms, fees, and transport.

Galaxy Medical College

GMC awards a Pharmacy Technician Diploma to students who successfully complete the intensive pharmacy technician program. They will be eligible for licensure in the State of California – must have a high school diploma, complete Live Scan fingerprinting, and have no infractions, misdemeanors or felonies. Students will learn Nonsterile Compounding, IV preparation, hospital and retail pharmacy operations, pharmacy laws, reading and interpreting prescriptions, legal and ethical principles, preparing and distributing medications, medical and pharmaceutical terms, the pharmacology of medications, pharmacy calculations, patient confidentiality, HIPPA guidelines, communicating effectively, and insurance and billing. The curriculum covers 900 contact hours including a pharmacy externship. The duration of the program is 45 weeks. New programs begin four times a year. The class size is limited to 12 students to each faculty member to maximize learning. Morning and evening schedules are available.

Admission criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have a valid state ID
  • Must be proficient in English
  • Take an admission exam and obtain a minimum score of 22
  • Submit a completed Enrollment Agreement
  • Complete a satisfactory background check and drug test

The total cost of the program is $14,200 for tuition. Tuition includes free uniforms and backpacks. Fees, textbooks, and supplies are not included. Financial aid is available for eligible students.