Pharmacy technicians perform duties related to the reception and preparation of prescriptions under the supervision of a pharmacist. They generally oversee the administration of a retail pharmacy and complete tasks that do not require the expertise of a licensed pharmacist. Key responsibilities include labeling containers, measuring, mixing and pouring medications, completing medical insurance forms, creating and maintain patient records, receiving and verifying prescriptions, answering customer service requests, managing the cash register, and maintaining inventory.
While technicians can respond to general customer queries, they must refer customer questions related to their medications to the pharmacist. Technicians do not have the training or license to advise customers with regards to medications, including over-the-counter drugs, nutritional supplements, and prescription medications. As such, the technician must use clinical judgment to determine whether a query must be referred. This is an essential step in the prevention of medication error and the promotion of public health. All questions related to administration, dosages, and side effects require the professional judgment of the pharmacist. Similarly, a pharmacist must check the order prepared by the technician before it can be dispensed to the customer.
There is still a growing need for pharmacy technicians. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth rate of 12 percent in the next decade. Approximately 47,600 new technicians will be employed through the year 2026 to meet the nation’s growing health care needs.
Rockingham County Schools
The pharmacy technician program at Rockingham County School Virtual Academy is an online course that prepares high school students for a career as a pharmacy technician. The course is available to students in grades 10 to 12. Health Science II is a prerequisite course. The self-paced course covers topics in pharmacy calculations, medication, mathematics, body systems, pharmacy operations, communication, and pharmacy law and ethics. There will be a strong emphasis on mathematics in the program. Through cooperative education, apprenticeships, internships, and mentorships, students will have the opportunity to develop work-based strategies. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (APCE). Graduates will be eligible to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician. There is a limit of 35 students admitted to each class.
- Be a high school senior in grade 10 through 12
- Have access to a computer and reliable internet
- Complete Health Science II with a grade C or above
Training is free. Students will earn 1 college credit.
- Website: https://www.rock.k12.nc.us/
- Address: 511 Harrington Highway, Eden, NC 27288
- Phone: (336) 627-2600
Randolph Community College
The pharmacy technician program at Randolph Community College is a hybrid program. The curriculum prepares students for success on the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam and employment as a Certified Pharmacy Technician. It covers 200 hours of instruction in medical terminology, calculating dosages, pharmacy law, identification of drugs by generic and brand names, reading and interpreting prescriptions, professional organizations, and billing and insurance. Instruction will also include preparation for the PTCB exam. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the PTCE to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician.
- Must pass an entrance test to demonstrate an understanding of basic math
Tuition will cost $180. The required textbook costs approximately $300.
- Website: https://www.randolph.edu/courses-schedules/medical/1337-pharmacy-tech.html
- Address: 629 Industrial Park Avenue, Asheboro, NC 27205
- Phone: (336) 633-0200
Guilford Technical Community College
The pharmacy technician program offered by the Continuing Education Department at Guilford Technical Community College Continuing Education Department is available in hybrid and traditional on-campus formats. The hybrid option requires the attendance of at least 24 hours on campus, and 72 hours will be completed online. The traditional option is a 96-hour program that will be completed on campus. Areas of study include medical terminology, communication and interpersonal relationships, pharmacy billing, computer systems, pharmacy calculations, pharmacy terminology, operations in community and institutional pharmacies, receiving prescriptions, and repackaging medications. Other important topics include updating patient profiles, sterile and non-sterile compounding, drug information sources, OSHA, drug recalls, and federal and state laws. The traditional schedule is evening only. Classes meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
- A high school diploma or equivalency
- Understanding of basic math
- Must be familiar with computer programs
- Access to a computer with internet and a valid email.
The cost for registration and the textbook is $283. Scholarships may be available through Workforce Development.
- Website: https://www.gtcc.edu/academics/academic-programs/programs/workforce-development-corporate-training/occupational-training/pharmacy-technician.php
- Address: 601 E. Main Street P.O. Box 309 Jamestown, NC 27282
- Phone: 336-334-4822
Guilford Technical Community College – High Point
Guilford Technical Community College offers a Pharmacy Technology Diploma program and a Pharmacy Technology AAS program. The programs are accredited by the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) and prepare students for entry-level employment in a pharmacy setting. Students will learn how to mix intravenous solutions, create and maintain patient profiles, package medications in unit dose forms, receive and prepare prescription medications, and collect information from patients. Candidates for the AAS program must first complete the requirements for the Pharmacy Technology Diploma with a GPA of 3.5 and pass the PTCB for consideration. Acceptance to the Diploma program does not guarantee admission to the AAS program. The pharmacy technology diploma requires completion of 37 credits. Units covered include pharmacology, pharmacy practice, sterile products, trends in pharmacy, pharmacy calculations, introduction to pharmacy, writing and inquiry, and pharmacy technician externship. Graduates will be able to use critical thinking to prepare and distribute medications and adhere to the principles that govern the profession in a legal and ethical manner. The duration of the program is 42 weeks.
- Attend an information session
- Apply for acceptance to GTCC
- Print and complete the program application packet
- Take and pass the placement test with satisfactory scores
- Submit official high school transcript or GED scores
- Submit official college transcript where applicable
- Complete a criminal background check and a drug test for the pharmacy externship
In-state tuition costs $3,123. Books and supplies will cost an estimated $892.
- Website: https://www.gtcc.edu/academics/academic-programs/programs/health-and-wellness/pharmacy-technology.php
- Address: 901 S Main St, High Point, NC 27260
- Phone: 336-454-1126
North Carolina A&T State University
North Carolina A&T State University offers a self-paced online pharmacy technician program in conjunction with Health Ed Today. The program features interactive learning modules, 24/7 mentoring, labs, learning exercises, and a student portal. The curriculum covers 50 hours of instruction. Students will have access to the program for six months. Key areas of study include pharmacy calculations, review of the top 200 drugs, reading and interpreting prescriptions, medical terminology specific to pharmacy, generic and brand name drugs, dispensing of prescriptions, dosage calculations, drug compounding, IV flow rates, dose conversions, inventory control, and billing and reimbursement. The content will include detailed information in the history of pharmacy, the pharmacy technician and registration process, pharmaceutical terminology, anatomy, drug regulation and control, basic biopharmaceutics, drug activities, calculating a 24-hour supply of IV solutions, drug name and classes, inventory management, financial issues, and Total Parenteral Nutrition.
- A high school diploma or GED
The course fee of $1,299 includes all textbooks, workbooks, six months access to the online material, and other required materials.
- Website: https://www.ncat.edu/index.php
- Address: 1601 E. Market Street, Greensboro, NC, 27411
- Phone: 336-334-7500
Greensboro AHEC facilitates health care programs to support individuals in the preparation for a career in health. The pharmacy technician program is targeted to high school juniors, seniors and undergraduate students who are interested in the field of healthcare. It is also designed for adults seeking a career change. Graduates will be prepared to receive and prepare prescriptions under the direction of a licensed pharmacist. The instruction will commence with classroom lectures followed by a comprehensive pharmacy technician externship. The externship requires a commitment of 50 contact hours in a retail, hospital or other pharmacy setting. The total training requirements for the program is 150 contact hours. Areas of study include medication errors, pharmacy calculations, non-sterile compounding, institutional and retail pharmacy operations, purchasing and inventory, medication dose forms, introduction to pharmacy, drug information sources, and pharmacy law. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be eligible to sit for the PTCB exam to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician.
- Website: https://www.gahec.org/Pharmacy-Students.php
- Address: 1200 North Elm Street, Greensboro, NC 27401-1020
- Phone: 336-832-8025
- Fax: 336-832-7591