Becoming a pharmacy technician is one of the most fulfilling things that you can dream of. This is because pharmacy technicians are some of the professionals who are in high demand in pharmacies. Whether the pharmacies are located in drug stores, hospitals, grocery stores or doctors’ offices, they need to be manned by people who have attained a pharmacy technician certification.

This is according to the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), which notes that most employers in the pharmacy business look for applicants who have a certification. NHA also notes that many pharmacy employers consider the technician certification as a mandatory requirement for the job.

This means that if you want to work in a pharmacy in Arizona or elsewhere in the United States, getting the pharmacy technician certification should be one of your priorities. The general requirement is taking the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) that is offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). It is only after taking this exam and passing it that you will earn the title of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

What are the roles of a pharmacy technician?

According to the NHA, while working as a pharmacy technician, you may be expected to perform some or all of the tasks outlined below:

  • Receiving prescription requests from doctors or patients
  • Accurately measuring medication quantities
  • Packaging and labeling prescriptions
  • Establishing and maintaining records of patients
  • Accepting payments for prescriptions and processing insurance claims
  • Managing the pharmacy’s inventory

Armed with knowledge about what pharmacy technicians do, you also need to know the specific requirements for pharmacy technician certification in Arizona. These requirements are addressed next.

Arizona’s specific pharmacy technician certification requirements

One of the requirements for certification as a pharmacy technician in Arizona is passing the PTCE examination which is offered by the PTCB. According to the PTCB, the PTCE is a computer-oriented examination that is administered in approved centers across the United States.

The scores that you obtain in the PTCE are used in determining whether you have demonstrated the knowledge that is required to practice as a pharmacy technician. The scope of the exam revolves around the knowledge areas that are central to the work of a pharmacy technician.

The PTCE takes two hours and comprises multiple choice questions. There are four possible answers for each question, from which the candidate is required to choose the correct one or the best answer.

For you to be authorized as a practicing pharmacy technician in Arizona, you must get a certificate from the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy. The requirements are as follows:

  • If you are a new technician trainee, you are required to have a copy of your United States birth certificate as well as diploma from high school. Non-US citizens are required to provide documents that can prove that they reside in the US.
  • If you are a new technician, you are required to have a copy of your US birth certificate as well as PTCB authorization.
  • If you have changed your name for any reason, you need to provide proof of that change.
  • The applicable fee for license for a new trainee technician is $46. The license is valid for two years.
  • For new technician licenses, the fees are prorated.

In summary, in order to practice in Arizona as a pharmacy technician, you must have passed the PTCE which is offered by the PTCB. In addition, you must satisfy the requirements that are stipulated by the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy. It is only when you have met these requirements that you can be regarded a qualified pharmacy technician to carry out the tasks that are expected of pharmacy technicians.

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