Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE) Program

Is Pharmacy Technician the Right Career Option for Me?

If you're good at math and you enjoy interacting with and helping others, becoming a pharmacy tech is a great career choice. A pharmacy technician career path offers:

  • Opportunities nationwide

    Because of the important role pharmacy technicians play, there are nearly 47,000 new jobs expected nationwide by 2026.

  • Flexible work schedules

    The 24/7 nature of many pharmacies offers you the opportunity to find a schedule that easily fits into your life when you're selecting a position.

  • Solid foundation for future training

    The knowledge of a well-trained pharmacy tech is an excellent start for the further training required for a variety of other healthcare careers.

Train with Career Step and you will be training with one of the few online programs that is accredited by ASHP/ACPE American Society of Health-System Pharmacists /Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

A pharmacy technician career path offers the opportunity to earn a great income in a growing healthcare field.

Pharmacy Technician FAQs

Pharmacy technicians work in community or institutional facilities and assist pharmacists in formulating, labeling, and dispensing medications. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 70% of pharmacy technicians work in a retail setting and about 13% work in hospitals. The pharmacy technician field is a part of the growing healthcare industry, and the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics projects:
  • An expanding job market as the field is predicted to grow by 9%, or over 35,000 new jobs, before 2024.
  • High demand and good job prospects for pharmacy technicians with formal training or certification.
  • A growing number of professionals needed in the field to meet the high demand for prescriptions fueled by an aging population and continued scientific advances.
The U.S. Department of Labor report states that the middle 50% of pharmacy technicians nationwide earn between $24,760 and $37,280 annually. You may also qualify for benefits as a pharmacy technician. The Career Step Pharmacy Technician program (ASHP) prepares learners for the national certification exam, which increases earning potential, marketability, and flexibility. Upon completion of your training, you will be prepared for national certification offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Although certification is not required in all states, certified pharmacy technicians enjoy increased pay, greater marketability, and more flexibility to choose from a wider variety of positions or geographies.

To determine whether your state of residency requires national certification, please refer to your state board of pharmacy's website or our State Requirements pdf.

Career Step has been training quality healthcare professionals for over 25 years and offers a comprehensive training program that prepares learners to work as pharmacy technicians. You will study online, on your own schedule and at your own pace, and with Career Step you know you're getting the right training; the personal, ongoing support; and the resources and guidance you need to turn your training into a job. You'll simultaneously train to work in both community and institutional settings and will be prepared to sit for the national certification exam immediately after completion. Career Step's Pharmacy Technician program (ASHP), which is pending ASHP accreditation, also has externship partnerships with community pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy, which help learners fulfill their externship requirements in their local areas. In order to be admitted, you must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or a General Education Development Certificate (GED). There are no specific skills or experience that are considered prerequisites for entry into the Career Step training program. The Career Step program is comprised of online and experiential training, providing 24/7 access to all material and allowing you to progress through the training on your own schedule and at your own pace. The program is broken into online modules, or course subjects, all of which focus on helping you build the essential knowledge and skills of a pharmacy technician. It also includes a hands-on lab experience as well as an externship at a community pharmacy such as Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy. The final exam of the course is designed to provide an experience similar to that of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Exam, ensuring that you are as prepared as possible to sit for national certification immediately upon completion. Career Step support includes access to:
  • Technical Support Advisors who are knowledgeable, experienced, and available six days a week to help you work through any technical or computer issues encountered within the training program.
Though the course is entirely online, you'll never be on your own. Career Step's support team is available to offer personal, ongoing support all the way through the training program.
It takes 2-3 business days to process the application, depending on method of payment. Once the payment is processed you will be emailed your course login and password and can start training immediately. Additional course materials are shipped UPS Ground after the payment is processed. The average wait is about 7-10 days. The lab kit will be shipped after you have completed the Pharmaceutical Calculations module. The Career Step Pharmacy Technician training program is 600 completion hours. Since the program is completely self-paced and the online training format allows you the flexibility to study as much or as little as your schedule allows, the time it takes you to complete the course will vary. Some learners are able to complete their training program in as little as 4 months (working on the course full-time, 8 hours a day 5 days a week) and others, who are more limited in the time they can devote to the course, take longer (for example, learners who can devote about 15 hours a week may finish in about 10 months).

Every learner who signs up for a Career Step training program receives an initial 12-month period of training. Though the program is designed to be completed in 4 months of full-time study, you'll have a full 12 months to complete your training. If you need extra time to complete the course after your initial 12-month training, 4-month extensions are available for purchase.

Career Step has partnered with community pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy to help our learners fulfill their externship requirements in their local areas. After learners reach a certain point in the training program, they will be eligible for an externship, which is subject to local availability. Learners can begin their externships prior to completing the program, providing the opportunity for them to cement the skills they're learning in the course and smoothing the transition from classroom to workplace. Your program includes everything you will need to train for a successful career in medical coding and billing. Your training includes:
  • Access to expert-created training
  • Complete library of industry standard codebooks
  • Access to 3M encoding software
  • Online access to the 3M reference library (includes over $1500 worth of references)
  • Technical support