5 Steps to Become a Nationally Certified Technician

OCTOBER 15, 2015
Ryan Marotta, CPhT, Assistant Editor
Many pharmacists are looking to national certification as a standard by which to accurately discern a pharmacy technician’s knowledge.
Technician certification is now seen as so important that earning it has become a mandatory or optional licensure requirement in 29 states.
Regardless of state requirements, certification is still enormously beneficial, according to William Schimmel, associate executive director of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
“Employers place a considerable value on certification because it demonstrates your knowledge as a technician and your commitment to your role in the pharmacy,” Schimmel told Pharmacy Times. “As we see things change in the profession and advanced roles for technicians open up, certification will open a number of new opportunities.”
Schimmel said national certification also serves as a “portable credential.”
“If you have to move to a different state, you can take it with you to prove your knowledge.” he added.
Schimmel estimated that approximately 280,000 technicians are currently actively certified through the PTCB, and he advised current and future technicians interested in joining those numbers to follow these steps:
1. Determine Eligibility
Potential applicants should first ensure that they are eligible to become PTCB certified. Although there is no age minimum and pharmacy experience is not necessary, applicants are required to have a high school diploma or an equivalent educational degree, such as a GED.
Applicants must also disclose their criminal record and any actions taken against them by a state pharmacy board. Many offenses, especially drug-related crimes, are taken very seriously by the PTCB, though Schimmel said one black mark would not necessarily disqualify a candidate.