Wondering how to get national certification for pharmacy tech? Here’s a complete guide to help you out.
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Certification requirements for pharmacy technicians vary from state to state, but most states require pharmacy techs to be certified by a nationally recognized organization such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Certification provides pharmacy techs with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their job duties safely and effectively, and also increases their chances of finding employment and advancing their career.
What is National Certification for Pharmacy Tech?
National Certification for Pharmacy Tech is a voluntary process in which pharmacy technicians can become nationally certified by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). Certification provides verification of your training and experience, and demonstrates to employers that you have the knowledge and skills required to be a pharmacy technician.
There are two steps to becoming nationally certified: first, you must pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), and second, you must submit a credentialing application to the NHA. Once your application is approved, you will receive your certification.
The PTCE is a computer-based exam that consists of 90 multiple-choice questions. The exam covers topics such as pharmacy law, ethics, calculations, medication safety, and SOAP note documentation. You will have 2 hours to complete the exam, and you must achieve a score of 70% or higher to pass.
To prepare for the PTCE, you can study on your own using textbooks or review courses, or you can enroll in a formal training program at a community college or technical school. Many employers also offer on-the-job training for pharmacy technicians. Once you have completed your training, you will be eligible to take the PTCE.
After passing the PTCE, you must submit a credentialing application to the NHA. The application requires you to provide information about your education, work experience, and criminal background. You will also need to submit transcripts from your training program and verification of your work experience. Once your application is approved, you will receive your certification.
National Certification for Pharmacy Tech is not required in all states, but it can help you stand out from other candidates when applying for jobs. In addition, some employers may require certification as a condition of employment. If you are interested in becoming nationally certified, contact the NHA for more information about the process.
Why is National Certification for Pharmacy Tech Important?
Earning your national certification for pharmacy tech demonstrates your commitment to the profession and your skills as a pharmacy technician. National certification also allows you to work in more states and can lead to higher pay and more advancement opportunities. Many employers prefer or require candidates to be certified, so it’s a good idea to get certified even if it’s not required in your state.
How to Get National Certification for Pharmacy Tech
To work as a pharmacy technician, you do not need to be certified. However, becoming certified may help you get a job and advance in your career. Certification also may be required by your employer.
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) offers the nationally recognized Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). To be eligible to take the PTCE, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent, complete an accredited pharmacy tech program OR have at least one year of relevant experience, and pass a criminal background check.
You can find accredited pharmacy technician programs offered by community colleges, technical schools, and online colleges. These programs usually last from six months to one year and cost between $1,000 and $3,000. Once you complete an accredited program, you will likely need to take the PTCE to become certified.
The PTCE costs $129 and is offered year-round at Pearson VUE testing centers around the country. To pass the exam, you must answer at least 70% of the questions correctly. The PTCB also offers a Recertification Program for certified pharmacy technicians who need to renew their certification every two years.
There are a few ways to become nationally certified as a pharmacy technician. The first is to take and pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Alternatively, you can take and pass the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) administered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Finally, you can take and pass both exams.