Coursework for gaining competency and certification as a pharmacy technician will vary depending on the intensity of the curriculum of the program of study and the intent of the student, whether they are simply seeking to pass the certification exam, or pursuing a degree or diploma in the concentration. Overall, though, the basic tenants of study are fundamentally the same, with variations in the amount of time and detail imparted to areas of study. Certification exams seek to provide employers and patients with the most qualified candidates; therefore, pharmacy tech courses completed in preparation cover scientific and administrative study, in addition to lawful practice.

Pharmacy Technician Courses: Scientific Study

As expected, the study of Pharmacology dominates coursework in this arena. Merriam-Webster defines Pharmacology as "the science of drugs including their origin, composition, pharmacokinetics, therapeutic use, and toxicology." Just as this definition lays a wide foundation for the science, the study of pharmacology for the purpose of becoming a pharmacy technician can be equally as broad. Core courses will cover the actions and interactions of medications on living beings, medical and drug related terminology, calculations for pharmaceutical preparation and usage, understanding dosage forms and preparing medications, and sometimes, compounding medications for specific patient needs.

Other scientific study is also necessary to round out the interdisciplinary understanding required of pharmacy technicians. This curriculum should include Chemistry, Anatomy, and Physiology. Combining a working knowledge of Pharmacology with these areas of scientific study will help pharmacy technicians see the complete medical picture, and assist in making accurate and efficient decisions as a health care provider.

Administrative Aptitude Courses for Pharmacy Techs

Being a pharmacy technician requires more than just a thorough scientific background, however. In addition to appropriating medication at the discretion of doctors, pharmacy technicians also have to work hand-in-hand with insurance companies, have an understanding of medical records and computer software relevant to treatment, and be able to provide caring and compassionate customer service in a medical setting. These more administrative duties make up a substantial portion of the job requirements, and thus, are included in pharmacy technician courses.

Pharmacy Tech Legal Courses

Lastly, for certification, as well as re-certification, it is vital that students have up-to-date knowledge of pharmacy law in the state they wish to practice. For this purpose, and for their own protection, aspiring pharmacy technicians should actively pursue an understanding of state and federal law as it pertains to pharmaceuticals and pharmacy practices.