Depending on the state in which you intend to work as a pharmacy technician, the requirements for certification and acquiring a license will vary drastically. The National Healthcareer Association provides a detailed list of state-by-state certification and licensing guidelines on their website to help aspiring pharmacy technicians in meeting requirements for employment. Essentially, gaining certification by passing the nationally accredited Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is the crux of gaining licensure in many states where it is mandated, in addition to being a high school graduate with a clean background, free of drug related crimes. Once certification has been acquired, providing proper documentation of your scores, in addition to identification verification, are typically the basic necessities when applying for licensure. Also, there is often an additional application fee to become licensed, which varies between states.

Pharmacy Tech Licensing: Do Your Research

While some states to do not require licensing or certification to practice as a pharmacy technician, others have more stringent requirements. For instance, in California, pharmacy technicians are NOT required to pass the PTCE; however, they are required to graduate from an accredited program and complete the National Pharmacy Technician Training Program (NPTTP) in order to practice. Arizona on the contrary, requires pharmacy technicians to pass the certification exam and complete the NPTTP. Clearly, there are significant discrepancies from state-to-state, making research for licensing requirements an important step in the process of becoming a pharmacy technician. Should applicants be remiss in conducting this research, it is likely to cause them to lose time and potentially money.

Stay Current with Your Pharmacy Technician License

Equally as important as gaining initial licensure, is maintaining it. Typically, states require you to renew your license and/or certification on an annual or biannual basis. Continuing education, specifically in the realm of pharmacy law is generally required in order to keep pharmacy technicians abreast of recent changes in pharmacology and medical and pharmacy practices as they pertain to law. Failure to stay current with licensure can result in a pharmacy technician's inability to practice within their state until their license is renewed, and can also result in penalties and fines.