Pharmacy Technology Schools in San Diego, CA

California’s explosive population with rising health care needs creates a continuous demand for healthcare professionals including pharmacy staff. Experienced pharmacists are in short supply, and pharmacy employers have been increasingly dependent on pharmacy technicians as helping hands in understaffed pharmacies. A pharmacy technician works under the supervision of a registered pharmacist to dispense prescription medications and other health care products. Pharmacy technician programs provide students with advanced knowledge and skills to take on a substantial role in the operations of community and institutional pharmacies. In light of the workforce shortages in California, pharmacy technicians’ abilities to take on expanded roles help to relieve some burden on employers striving to meet the demands of an ailing population.

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California Medical College

The on-campus pharmacy technician certificate program at California Medical College equips students with the skills needed to obtain employment as pharmacy technicians in a community pharmacy or hospital. Graduates are also prepared to take the national exam, administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), to obtain certification. The PT training program provides 96 hours of training. Course content includes law and ethics, pharmacy literature, dosage calculations, medical terminology, safety procedures, HIPAA guidelines, body systems, pharmacy stocking and compounding medications. Classes meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm for 3 months.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be a high school graduate or have a GED certificate
  • Attend an interview with an Admissions Representative
  • Applicants with prior felony convictions or misdemeanors may not be admitted to the program.

A flexible financing plan is available for all students.

PIMA Medical Institute

The 34.5-credit Pharmacy Technician program at Pima Medical Institute prepares students to enter the healthcare industry as entry-level pharmacy technicians. Students typically complete the course within 10 months (33 weeks for day students and 38 weeks for evening students). Students learn how to mix intravenous solutions, label medication, receive electronic prescriptions, order entry, billing, manage inventory, read and interpret prescriptions. Students have to option to study for IV certification as a part of the training. After completing 600 hours of lab and lecture, students must complete 200 hours of clinical externship as a requirement for graduation. The professional course sequence includes Pharmacy Math, Inventory Maintenance, Pharmacology, Pharmacy Law & Ethics, Pharmacy Technician Duties, Pharmacology, Principles of Customer Service, Pharmacy Lab Skills, Fundamentals of Chemistry, Pharmacy Computer Applications, and Pharmacy Externship.

Admission criteria:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Provide verification of completing high school or equivalent
  • Meet with a PMI admission representative
  • Pass an entrance exam – Wonderlic SLE
  • Complete satisfactory background check and drug testing

The program cost of $18,232.50 includes the cost of books and supplies. Financial aid may be available through Federal Loans.

  • Website:
  • Address: 780 Bay Boulevard, Chula Vista, CA 91910
  • Phone: 800-477-PIMA

Western Medical Training Center

The Pharmacy Technician program at Western Medical Training Center covers the skills adult need to secure entry-level employment as a pharmacy technician in a hospital or retail setting. The curriculum covers 130 hours of instruction in 30 days. Course topics include customer service, reading and interpreting prescriptions, inventory management, packaging and labeling, dosage calculations, pharmacology, dose conversions, IV flow rates, billing and reimbursement, and pharmacy laws and ethics.  Students will complete a pharmacy externship at a local Walgreens or CVS. Weekday and weekend classes are available. The weekday class meets Monday through Friday from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Pay the registration fee of $100 to reserve a seat in the program

Tuition for the program is $1,200. The registration fee is $100. A flexible payment plan is available.

  • Website:
  • Address: 1161 E Main St UNIT 205, El Cajon, CA 92021
  • Phone: 619-241-9931

San Diego Community Training Center

The Pharmacy Technician program at San Diego Community Training Center is a very specialized program designed to equip adults with skills to assist pharmacists in the dispensing of prescriptions. Students will learn the role and responsibility of the pharmacy technician, personal and professional ethics in practice, the difference between the role of the pharmacist and the pharmacy technician and regulation imposed on both, understand pharmacy operations including drug dispensation, record keeping, aseptic operations, record keeping, classification of drugs, and patient profiling, and the classification of drugs, their side effects, routes of administration, and dosing recommendations. They will also learn how to interact with pharmacists and customers and display professionalism and ethics in practice. The program will cover 400 hours of instruction – 240 hours in the classroom and 160 hours for the pharmacy externship. Students will complete 17.55-semester units in the program. Graduates will receive a Pharmacy Technician Diploma and will be eligible to apply for registration. A clear background check through the DOJ and FBI Live Scan is required for registration. Morning and afternoon sessions are available. Classes meet Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. Afternoon sessions meet from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

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Admission criteria:

  • Submit official high school transcript or GED certificate
  • Attend a personal interview with a Student Affairs Representative
  • Review all the pre-enrollment disclosures
  • Make arrangements to cover the tuition and fee

Tuition for the program is $5,750. It includes registration, books, supplies, and licensing fee.

Health Occupations Center

Health Occupations Center offers a pharmacy technician program that helps students develop precision and skill to become a pharmacy technician. Classroom theory will include reading and interpreting prescriptions, customer profiles, pharmacology, dosage calculations, routes of administration, drugs and their effects, inventory management, pharmacy law and ethics, the role of the pharmacy technician, and pharmacy operations. Students will participate in a 160-hour pharmacy externship to apply the skills learned in the classroom. Classes meet Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm for approximately 5 months.

Admission criteria:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Provide documentation of meeting the immunization requirements
  • Attend a program orientation
  • Take and pass the admission exam
  • Provide an official sealed copy of high school transcript

The program registration fee is $375 due in full at the time of registration. Other costs include textbooks, scrubs, background check, immunization, BLS, and national certification fee.

How Do I Get Free Pharmacy Technician Training in San Diego

While there is no free formal pharmacy technician training programs in San Diego, the Health Occupations Center provides low-cost training to eligible adults. Selected students must pay the small registration fee of $375 at the time of registration. Students must cover the cost for textbooks, supplies, background check, and BLS, and national certification.

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

Pharmacy technician programs typically run for 3 to 5 months.

How Do I Become A Pharmacy Technician in California?

Pharmacy Technicians must possess and maintain a current registration from the California State Board of Pharmacy to work in the state. Applicants for state licensure must provide proof of graduating high school along with proof of pharmacy-related general education. This includes one of the following:

  • An associate degree in pharmacy technology
  • Completion of California Pharmacy Board-approved training comprising of 240 hours of instruction
  • A program accredited by the Association of Health System Pharmacists
  • Graduation from a school of pharmacy recognized by the board
  • A school accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
    • Pharmacy Technician Board Certification
    • National Healthcare Association Pharmacy Technician Certification
    • Military Training – DD214 documenting evidence of pharmacy technician training Certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board


A criminal background check is a required part of the registration process.

Submit the following to the California Board of Pharmacy when applying for registration:

  • An application for licensure for 17A-5
  • The non-refundable application fee of $195
  • The name on the form must be a some as the name on your state driver’s license or ID card
  • A completed Live Scan receipt
  • A Self-Query Report
  • A passport size photo attached to the application
  • Official high school transcript or equivalency
  • An affidavit of completed coursework or graduation for pharmacy technician – must have provided a minimum of 240 hours of instruction or PTCB or ExCPT certification

Full details on the California Pharmacy Technician Requirements available here.

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

Pharmacy technicians working in community and institutional pharmacies in California must obtain a license from the California Board of Pharmacy to practice.

How Much Does a Pharmacy Technician Make in San Diego?

Certified pharmacy technicians in San Diego earn an annual median wage of $42,138. Experienced pharmacy technicians in some organizations earn as much as $50,868 annually.

Search Pharmacy Technician Programs

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

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