Frequently Asked Questions About Pharmacy Technician Certification (PTCB)

What does a Pharmacy Technician do? 

Pharmacy technicians mostly work in pharmacies and drug stores. 

The job responsibilities of Pharmacy Technicians include: 

  • Over-viewing Prescription.
  • Communicating with customers.
  • Responsible for performing inventory counts.
  • Calling doctors for prescription clarifications.

Have a look at our PTCB job responsibilities blog to learn more.

How do I become a Pharmacy Technician?

You can become a Pharmacy technician in two ways:

  • You can pursue a diploma or certificate course of around one year. 
  • You can complete an associate’s degree program with a duration of two years. 

What is the difference between a Pharmacy Technician and a Pharmacist? 

Pharmacists are the ones who have the knowledge and are trained in Biology, Chemistry, Physical Therapy, and other sciences. They have an important role in suggesting safe medications to the clients. 

Pharmacy technicians are the ones who work alongside pharmacists and deal with prescriptions. Both PTCB and PTCE work go hand in hand and depend on each other. 

What aspects will be covered in the PTCB training program?

The PTCB training program may include all aspects of theoretical and physical topics related to pharmacy. 

The topics which are highlighted in the PTCB training program are:

  • Learning about medications.
  • Understanding Federal requirements in Pharmacy.
  • Managing Patient Safety and Quality assurance.
  • Order Entry and Processing.

Are there any differences between PTCB and PTCE? 

PTCB means Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. It is the most trusted organization that is a collaboration of the Pharmacy society. The major role of a PTCB is to certify people with proper knowledge of Pharmacy Technicians. 

PTCE means Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. It is a computer-based examination that lasts two hours. Both these terms are related to each other because, in order to get certification in PTCB, you need to get qualified in PTCE. 

Read our article on the difference between PTCB and PTCE for more details. 

How do I study for the PTCE exam? 

The steps of preparing for the PTCB exam are as follows:

  • You should take the time to understand the topics in PTCB.
  • You should focus on the four domains as Medication, Federal requirements in pharmacy, Patient Safety, Quality Assurance, and Order Entry and Processing. 
  • Attending some practice tests to check your knowledge.
  • Creating a proper timetable and focusing on weak subjects. 

What is a Nuclear Pharmacy Technician? 

A person who is responsible for supporting the work of a registered pharmacist is called a Nuclear Pharmacy technician. They work in radiopharmaceuticals, where they diagnose and treat some conditions. 

Their work involves preparing radioactive materials for diagnosing various conditions.

What are the requirements needed for a Pharmacy Technician license? 

The requirements for a Pharmacy Technician license vary in different countries. In some states, individuals need to register with appropriate government bodies, and most of the states consider national certification as a key requirement to gain a license as a Pharmacy Technician. 

What is the major difference between Pharmacy Assistants and Pharmacy Technicians?

Pharmacy Assistants are the ones who support the Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians. 

Their work involves administrative tasks, stocking shelves, and answering calls. They don’t work closely with drugs. 

Pharmacy technicians are the ones who overview prescriptions and perform inventory counts. They look after the overall efficiency and pharmacy operations. 

How much will I earn by becoming a Pharmacy Technician?

A career as a Pharmacy Technician pays relatively well. The pay scale in this profession may vary in different states. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has stated $35,100 as the median pay of Pharmacy Technicians through their reports of 2020.  

Medical organizations where Pharmacy Technicians are in high demand are

  • Hospitals.
  • Pharmaceuticals.
  • Assisted living facilities.
  • Nursing homes.

Read our article on Pharmacy Technicians as a good choice of career 

Which certification should I choose among EXCPT and PTCB?

PTCB stands for Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and EXCPT stands Exam for Certification. 

The difference between PTCB and EXCPT are:

  • The exams of PTCB include 90 questions and last for 2 hours, but the EXCPT includes 100 questions and lasts for 2 hours and 10 minutes. 
  • PTCB is recognized in all 50 states, whereas EXCPT is accepted almost everywhere. 
  • The difficulty level of both the PTCB and EXCPT are mostly similar. 

But the PTCB certification often wins in maintaining an impression as the hardest exam. 

What is the passing rate of the PTCB exam?

The passing rate of the PTCB in past years was between 57% and 58%, but it increased to 70% in 2020. The changes and adaptation in exams are considered the reason for the increased passing rate.  

How do I get the Pharmacy Technicians renewals in the state of Arizona?

The steps for renewing your PTCB license in the state of Arizona are as follows: 

  • First, you should verify your eligibility.
  • You should gain eligibility for renewal.
  • After gaining the criteria for eligibility, you should visit the site of the Arizona state board of Pharmacy and click on the ‘renew’ section to log-in to your profile, or register yourself if you are a new user. 
  • After registration, you must pay your renewal fees. 
  • You then schedule your renewal process.
  • After submitting all the necessary documents, you will get a notification message from the board. Then, within 60 days, the board will process and verify the documents submitted and you will receive the renewals.

What is the eligibility for renewing a Pharmacy Technicians’ license in the State of Arizona?

The eligibility criteria for a Pharmacy Technician license renewal in Arizona are as follows: 

20 hours of continuous education (CE) is a major requirement for Pharmacy Technicians.

Practicing Technicians:

  • You need a completed reinstatement application.
  • You need to have proof of passing the PTCB or EXCPT exam.
  • You need to have proof of employment for the last 12 months period. 
  • You should have proof of renewal and penalty fees.

Non-Practicing Technicians:

  • You need a complete reinstatement application.
  • You need to have proof of passing the PTCB or EXCPT exam.
  • You need to have proof of completing 2 CEUs of continuing education activity. 
  • You should have proof of renewal and penalty fees.

How do I become a Military Pharmacy Technician?

In order to become a Military Pharmacy Technician, you need to follow steps, such as:

  • To become a Pharmacy Technician in the army, you need to become a soldier.
  • You have to prove that your fitness is good and learn the basics of combat in 9 weeks of boot camp. 
  • You need to pass a background and drug test.
  • After passing these tests, you have to pursue a special training course in which they will cover everything you need to know to become a Military Pharmacy Technician. 

What are the highest paying cities for Pharmacy Technicians? 

The demand for Pharmacy Technicians is rising rapidly in the U.S.

Here are some of the cities with the highest Pharmacy Technician jobs:

  • San Francisco, CA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • San Diego, CA 

How do I become a certified Oncology Pharmacy Technician?

The steps to get certified in Oncology Pharmacy Technician are:

  • The first thing is to pass your PTCB exam.
  • After passing the PTCB, you can apply for the Oncology Pharmacy Technician program. But it might not be necessary for some places.
  • You need to build some experience as a Pharmacy Technician. 

Why do I need to recertify my PTCB certifications?

There is a need of maintaining an active certification for PTCB certification because it ensures the Pharmacy Technicians stay connected with other Pharmacy Technicians by completing the Continuing Education (CE), training, and assessments. You need to have an e-profile to recertify their credentials, so you have to obtain an NABP e-profile through NABP Pharmacy. 

What are the requirements for PTCB in Alabama?

The major requirements to get a Pharmacy Technician’s license in Alabama are as follows:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You should have a high school diploma.
  • You need to undergo a criminal background check. 
  • You must complete the recognized PTCB course.
  • You need to register and fill out the application form on the PTCB official website.
  • The standard fee is $129.00.

Is PTCB’s CPhT program national or state-issued?

PTCB is a nationally accredited program by the National Commission for certified agencies. It is accepted by all 50 states. PTCB Certified Pharmacy Technicians work across the U.S. in a variety of Pharmacy settings. 

How much can I earn by being a Pharmacy Technician in California?

In California, the salary of a Pharmacy Technician is $47, 620, while the national average salary is $36, 450. So, the Pharmacy Technicians in California can earn 30% higher than the national average. 

How long does it take to get approved in PTCB?

After the submission of your documents, It takes 4 weeks to get processed and approved for eligibility determinations in PTCB. If your documents are verified, you will get an email of authorization to schedule exam appointments.

How much should I pay for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam? 

The fee for the CPhT application and Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam is $129 for each attempt.