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Pharmacy Technician Certification, Licensure and Regulation

There are two main certifying agencies for pharmacy technicians, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians, which is now a part of the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Currently, states that require certification are in the minority. However, the number is increasing. 42 states do regulate their pharmacy technicians in one form or another. According to the PTCB, the states of Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington DC and Wisconsin do not have regulations for pharmacy technicians such as licensure or certification in place at his time.

There are a number of additional states that differentiate between certified and non-certified pharmacy technicians. They may, for example, allow a pharmacist to supervise more technicians if even one of them is certified. Thatís because certified workers require less intensive supervision. This is one factor that can make certified technicians more competitive in tough job markets. Employers also favor certification because they know that you will be a safe, competent worker -- and that you wonít require as much on-site education.

What do you need to become certified? Your education is important; so is a clean background. The PTCB requires that you have a high school equivalency and that your background be free of felonies or drug-related crimes. If you have ever worked in a pharmacy, you canít have actions against you by any state board.

Although most states will accept either certifying exam, there are some exceptions. Youíll want to go onto the site of the certifying agency or check another reputable site for state-specific details.

Whatever your certification, youíll need to do 20 hours of continuing education each renewal period. This helps you stay current on changes within the field and also allows you to explore professional interests.