Pharmacy Tech Classes Required for Your Education

Learn about many of the primary pharmacy tech classes that are offered in a pharmacy tech program curriculum.
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Pharmacy Technician Career Facts

List of Required Pharmacy Tech Classes

Looking for a way to improve your chances of being employed in the pharmaceutical field?

Consider enrolling in a Pharmacy Technician program. A pharmacy technician program provides you with education in the pharmaceutical industry and the knowledge to work in a hospital or pharmacy.

This article will list and discuss many of the primary pharmacy tech classes that you will take during a pharmacy tech program.

Introduction to Pharmacy

One of the first classes you will likely take is an Introduction to Pharmacy. This class provides students with a broad overview of the pharmacy profession, including its history, development, and current state. You will also learn about different types of pharmacies and how they operate such as a retail pharmacy vs a hospital pharmacy.


Next, you will probably take a class on Pharmacology. In this class, you will learn about the different types of drugs and how they work in the body. This includes their classification, mechanism of action, side effects, and indications. You will also learn how to read a prescription and understand the abbreviations used to label medications. For example, a prescription itself is abbreviated as an Rx.

Pharmacy Calculations

After that, you will likely take a course on pharmacy calculations. In this class, you will learn how to properly measure and mix medications. This is important because you need to be able to give patients the correct dosage of medication. You will also learn how to convert between different units of measurement such as tablespoons, teaspoons, milliliters, and milligrams.

Pharmacy Law and Ethics

In addition, you will probably take a class on pharmacy law. This class will teach you about the different laws and regulations that govern the pharmacy profession. You will learn about topics such as prescription writing, dispensing of medications, and record-keeping. This class is important because it ensures that you understand the legal aspects of the profession and can practice pharmacy safely and ethically.

Drug Classification

Next, you will likely take a class on Drug Classification. In this class, you will learn about the different types of drugs and how they are classified. For example, drugs can be classified as prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. You will also learn about the different schedules of drugs, such as Schedule II, III, and IV.

You will learn the strict sterile technique called the aseptic technique that is essential to patient safety and to all personnel involved in sterile compounding. You will be taught the proper processes and procedures of the aseptic technique, which focuses on the basics of hand washing, cleaning of work areas, garbing, and identifying causes of contamination.

Introduction to Pharmacy Practice

Lastly, you will likely take an Introduction to Pharmacy Practice. This class will provide you with an overview of the different pharmacy practice settings. You will learn about community pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, and online mail-order pharmacies. You will also learn about the different roles of a pharmacy technician in each setting.

Each pharmacy setting is slightly different when it comes to the role of the pharmacy technician, and this class will introduce these different roles.

Pharmaceutical Calculations I

This is the first of two courses in pharmaceutical calculations and covers basic arithmetic skills needed for pharmacy technicians. The course starts with a review of fractions, decimals, and percentages. Next, the course covers how to calculate dosages based on weight, volume, time, and temperature. Lastly, the course covers conversions between metric and English units of

Pharmaceutical Calculations II

This is the second course in pharmaceutical calculations and builds on the skills learned in Pharmaceutical Calculations I. This course covers more advanced topics such as how to calculate intravenous drip rates and pediatric dosages. The course also covers how to calculate drug doses when there is a change in route of administration, such as when a patient transitions from oral medication to an injection or topical.

Pharmacy Software

In this class, you will learn how to use different pharmacy software programs and other related pharmacy technology. These programs are used to manage patient records, inventory, and prescriptions. You will learn how to input data into the system and retrieve information as needed. This class is important because it will help you become familiar with the technology that is used in many pharmacies today.

Pharmacy technicians use many different types of pharmacy technology to help them do their job. They might work at a retail pharmacy, hospital, or other health care facility. Pharmacy technicians use equipment like scales, pill counters, and dispensers to accurately measure and dispense medications. They also use an electronic prescription pad to order medication for patients without having to write it down by hand.

The Non-Prescription Drug Industry

This course covers the non-prescription drug industry, also known as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. The course starts with a history of OTC drugs and then covers the different types of OTC products. Next, the course covers how to recommend OTC products to patients and how to counsel patients on their use. Lastly

The Pharmaceutical Industry and Its Role in Health Care

This course covers the pharmaceutical industry and its role in health care. The course starts with an overview of the different types of pharmaceutical companies. Next, the course covers the different stages of drug development, from discovery to clinical trials to FDA approval. Lastly, the course covers how drugs are marketed and sold to patients and pharmacies.

Other Pharmacy Tech Classes

In addition to the classes listed above, there are a few other pharmacy tech classes that you may take. These can vary depending on the program and could range from some basic medical terminology courses to topics related to medical billing and coding that will all help you perform better at your job and communicate better with colleagues.

These are many of the primary pharmacy tech classes that you may take as part of your education. Each class is important in its own way and will help prepare you as a student for a great career in the pharmaceutical industry.

Pharmacy Technician Certification: Level I, II, and III

After you have completed your pharmacy technician program, you will need to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) to become a certified pharmacy technician. You can then apply for a pharmacy technician license in most states. Some states may require you to take an additional exam, such as the National Healthcareer Association’s Exam (NHA).

There are three levels of pharmacy technician certification: Level I, II, and III. The PTCE is the exam that you must pass in order to become certified as a pharmacy technician. The PTCE is a computer-based exam that covers basic knowledge about the practice of pharmacy.

The first level of certification, Level I, is the entry-level certification. To be eligible for this level, you must have completed a pharmacy technician program and passed the PTCE.

The second level of certification, Level II, is for experienced pharmacy technicians. To be eligible for this level, you must have at least one year of experience working as a pharmacy technician and must pass the PTCE.

The third level of certification, Level III, is the advanced level of certification. To be eligible for this level, you must have at least two years of experience working as a pharmacy technician and must pass the PTCE.

You can apply for pharmacy technician certification through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) or the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Earning your pharmacy technician certificate will make you more competitive in the job market.

Accredited Pharmacy Technician Program Classes

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) is the accrediting organization for pharmacy tech programs.

When looking for a pharmacy technician program, you may want to choose one that is accredited. An accredited program is one that has been approved by a national or regional accrediting agency. Accreditation ensures that the program meets high standards and provides quality education. You can check your local community college to see if they’re offering an accredited program.

Choosing an accredited program may help you secure a more competitive job position and will make you qualified for more opportunities.

Hopefully, this article gave you a good idea of the pharmacy tech classes required in most program curriculums. If you are interested in becoming a pharmacy technician, there are many classes that you will need to take. These classes will cover topics such as pharmaceuticals, medical terminology, and software usage to fully prepare students for the profession.

It should also be noted that pharmacy technicians can advance their education and become pharmacists by taking additional pharmacy classes and completing their doctor of pharmacy degree.

Continuing Education for Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy technicians are often required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education each year. These courses are designed to keep the technician current on new developments in the field and can cover topics such as drug information, pharmacy law, math skills, and more.

Pharmacy Technician Salary

The median annual salary for pharmacy technicians is $32,700 according to the most recent data from the BLS. This figure may vary based on factors such as specialty or work setting.

Here are two examples of pharmacy technician salaries in common settings:

  • Hospital setting: $35,830
  • Retail Pharmacy: $30,910

Top 5 States with the Highest Pharmacy Tech Salaries

  • Washington: $42,170
  • California: $39,760
  • Alaska: $39,600
  • North Dakota: $38,510
  • Oregon: $37,990
Washington - Highest Pharmacy Tech Salary
North Dakota

Pharmacy Tech Salary Comparison

Now we will compare a pharmacy tech’s salary to other similar allied healthcare salaries.

Below are 3 related healthcare jobs and how they compare to a pharmacy tech salary.

  • Pharmacy Technician: $32,700
  • Certified Medical Assistants: $33,610
  • Certified Dental Assistants: $38,660
  • Medical Records and Health Information Technicians: $40,350
Pharmacy Technician
Medical Assistant
Dental Assistant
Medical Records & Health Information Technicians
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