How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Texas

Pharmacy technicians enjoy a stable career with job security, opportunities for advancement, and the chance to work in the healthcare field without requiring extensive education or training compared to other medical professions. Learn how to get started.

Education & Training

Search Pharmacy Technician Programs

Get information on Pharmacy Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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    Arizona College of Nursing
    8 month hybrid diploma program that starts every 5 weeks.

    • Dallas


    Concorde Career College
    Offers a 6-month diploma or 19 month associate of science degree in Pharmacy Tech.

    • Dallas, Grand Prairie, San Antonio


    FORTIS College
    Trains students for entry level positions in the industry and provides career service assistance.

    • Grand Prairie, Houston


    Houston Community College
    Certificate program accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Accreditation Council for Pharmaceutical Education (ASHP/ACPE).

    • Houston, Missouri City, Stafford


    Lone Star College
    The Pharmacy Management AAS degree begins with the Pharmacy Technology Level 1 Certificate, consisting of 32 credit hours over three semesters. Students then progress to the Pharmacy Management AAS, which requires an additional 28 credit hours over three semesters, covering courses in composition, health, management principles, and core sciences. The program offers hands-on training with automated dispensing cabinets, prescription software, and IV Sterile Compounding Certification, and is accredited by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the Pharmacy Technician Education Accreditation Commission (PTAC). The ACPE IV Sterile Compounding Non-Credit CE Certificate program trains students to prepare medications under the supervision of a pharmacist. The program includes measuring, mixing, labeling, and recording medications, ensuring adherence to sterile compounding standards.

    • Houston


    Milan Institute
    38 week certificate program for Pharmacy Technician/Assistant.

    • Amarillo, San Antonio, El Paso


    North Central Texas College
    In the Pharmacy Technician Occupational Skills Award program, students receive an extensive education on the qualifications, operational guidelines, and responsibilities of a pharmacy technician. The curriculum covers pharmaceutical calculations, therapeutic agents, drug classifications, properties, actions, and their effects on the human body, as well as federal and state pharmacy laws. The program emphasizes the roles of both the pharmacy technician and the pharmacist, including their responsibilities, drug interactions, terminology, and dosage calculations. Successful completion prepares students to work in retail and hospital pharmacies and equips them for certification. The program includes 144 lecture/lab contact hours and 112 hours of externship, with tuition covering textbooks.

    • Denton


    Northwest Educational Center
    Training provided by board-certified pharmacists with job placement assistance.

    • Houston


    Pima Medical Institute
    9 month on campus & online certificate program that preps students for the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (CPhT).

    • El Paso, Houston, San Antonio


    Remington College
    Diploma and associates degree programs using PioneerRx technology.

    • Forth Worth, Garland, Houston, Webster


    Southern Careers Institute
    Will cover the cost of the ExCPT or PTCE® exam if taken three months after program completion.

    • Austin, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Pharr, San Antonio, Waco


    Temple College
    The Pharmacy Technician program at Temple College blends 200 hours of classroom instruction with a 120-hour off-site externship, providing a comprehensive 320-hour learning experience. Graduates receive a certificate of completion and are eligible to apply for state registration as a pharmacy technician, equipped to take certification exams such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or National Healthcareers Association (NHA) examinations.

    • Hutto


    The College of Health Care Professions
    4 month certificate program that is also available online.

    • Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, McAllen, San Antonio


    West Coast University
    Doctor of Pharmacy degree program offered at Center for Graduate Studies in Los Angeles.

    • Dallas


What Are the Benefits of a Program?

The primary benefit of PT course is learning how to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

Secondly, an online course will allow you to study at your own pace.

ptcb-logo

How Long Does It Take to Become a Pharmacy Tech in Texas?

Certificate programs take between 9 months to a year. Those pursuing an associate degree will likely devote at least 2 years to their training.

How Much Does Training Cost?

A certificate program can cost anywhere from $3,700 to $4,500. Meanwhile, you can expect to pay $7,000 or more for a two-year degree program.

You’ll also need to factor registration and exam fees into your budget as well.

Clinical Training

Many training programs include a clinical component that allows students to work in a pharmacy setting under the supervision of a pharmacist. However, before participating in a clinical placement, students must be registered with TSBP as pharmacy technician trainees.

Licensing Requirements in Texas

Those registered with the board as pharmacy technician trainees can participate in an externship program offered by a 2-year college or vocational school.

The requirements to become a trainee include the following:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Active enrollment in a certificate or two-year Pharmacy Technician program
  • Pharmacy Technician Trainee status through the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, which is valid for two years.
  • The student must take and pass the certification exam administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) before their status expires. To take the exam, candidates must:
    • Complete an application with high school diploma/GED dates, social security number, and program of study.
    • Have fingerprints taken
    • Provide the name, address, and pharmacy license number of your clinical site
    • Have no felony convictions
    • Have no suspension, denial, revocation, or limitations on your registration or licensure by any State Board of Pharmacy
    • Possess no substance-abuse convictions, including pharmacy-related drugs. Any violations, including misdemeanors, must be reported to PTCB

Application Process

Applications for pharmacy technicians take about 1 – 2 weeks to process, but background check issues can delay the procedure by 4 – 6 weeks. Once registered as a CPhT, techs must complete 20 continuing education contact hours to renew their certification status.

Training Requirements

Job seekers must be board-registered pharmacy technicians or pharmacy technician trainees to provide services at licensed locations.

Candidates can start work after receiving active status from the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP). However, pharmacy employers must provide initial on-the-job training for technicians and trainees.

Accredited Programs

For those pursuing training through a local community college or trade Texas trade school, the TSBP recommends programs accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP). The TSBP designates any program as “board approved” with this accreditation.

Salary

The average certified pharmacy technician’s salary in TX is $20.67 per hour or around $42,990 annually according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

However, additional certification levels and different facilities can increase a pharmacy tech’s wage. For example, those who work in hospitals often earn more than those working in retail environments.

Below are the median annual salaries for Pharmacy Technicians-Level 1 (Entry-level) in major metropolitan cities:

Area Hourly Annual
Abilene $17.97 $37,370
Amarillo $18.10 $37,650
Austin-Round Rock $20.62 $42,900
Beaumont-Port Arthur $18.63 $38,750
Big Thicket $18.33 $38,130
Brownsville-Harlingen $17.58 $36,560
Coastal Plains $18.92 $39,350
College Station-Bryan $18.69 $38,870
Corpus Christi $18.74 $38,980
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington $18.95 $39,420
El Paso $17.24 $35,870
Hill Country $18.79 $39,090
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land $21.48 $44,680
Killeen-Temple $19.95 $41,500
Laredo $17.89 $37,210
Longview $17.97 $37,380
Lubbock $18.08 $37,600
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission $17.37 $36,130
Midland $20.83 $43,330
North Texas $18.09 $37,620
Odessa $19.54 $40,640
San Angelo $18.41 $38,300
San Antonio-New Braunfels $19.73 $41,050
Sherman-Denison $17.61 $36,640
Texarkana $17.58 $36,570
Tyler $18.19 $37,840
Victoria $18.37 $38,200
Waco $19.72 $41,030
West Texas $18.09 $37,620
Wichita Falls $18.62 $38,720

source: data.bls.gov

Job Description

What Do They Do?

According to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP), a pharmacy technician works under the direct supervision of a pharmacist and prepares and dispenses medications, maintains pharmacy records, and answers customer questions. Pharmacy techs also ensure medications are dispensed accurately and safely and that the pharmacy is well-stocked and organized.

Job Duties

The primary duties of pharmacy technicians include:

  • Preparing and filling prescription medications
  • Assisting customers when placing or picking up their orders
  • Routine clerical tasks like taking prescription requests from doctors, inputting customer information into the computer, and labeling bottles.
  • Pharmacy technicians can perform most of the work of pharmacists, like filling prescriptions but may not offer advice or perform the final count of dispensed medication.  In all cases, they work under the direct supervision of pharmacists.

Other Duties

Many pharmacy technicians work in retail stores such as Walmart, Walgreens, or CVS. However, job opportunities are also available in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, pharmaceutical warehouses, mail-order pharmacies, research labs, and federal agencies.

To succeed in this role, pharmacy technicians must be highly detail-oriented and good with numbers. Job candidates must use sound judgment, be able to multitask, and have excellent customer service skills.

Where Can Pharmacy Technicians Work?

Many pharmacy technicians work in retail stores such as Walmart, Walgreens, or CVS. However, job opportunities are also available in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, pharmaceutical warehouses, mail-order pharmacies, research labs, and federal agencies.

Career Outlook

As the population ages and new drugs are introduced, more people are using prescription medication to treat illness and disease. Along with this trend, cost-minded health insurance providers call upon pharmacists to expand their role into direct patient care and education.

Pharmacists rely on pharmacy technicians to meet the increased medication demand while maintaining high levels of safety and accuracy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the pharmacy technician field will increase by 5% from 2021 to 2031, similar to the average for all occupations.

Career Growth

Pharmacy technicians can also specialize in one area, such as chemotherapy or nuclear medicine.

Those with solid performance records in larger companies may be promoted into such supervisory roles as Senior Pharmacy Technicians, although they will still be under the direct supervision of pharmacists.

Another avenue of career growth is for pharmacy technicians to continue their education to become pharmacists (typically through a five-year undergraduate program).

Search Pharmacy Technician Programs

Get information on Pharmacy Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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