Becoming A Pharmacy Technician in California

It’s no big secret that health care industry is thriving and will continue to do so in the immediate and long term future. The baby boomers, the largest consumer demographic the world has ever seen, are moving on to their golden years and defining active retirement. Here in California, they’re taking scuba diving lessons, learning different dance styles, and taking up hiking.

However, in order to keep up a busy lifestyle, they’ll have to maintain their health. Already, we are seeing hospitals, clinics, and physicians group growing next to retirement communities and vice-versa. Google search for San Diego retirement community and many of them highlight easy access to health care.

One of the primary necessity for senior health care is access to prescription medicine. The only professionals that are licensed by the state of California who can provide such services are the pharmacists. But they need assistance and the help is provided by pharmacy technicians.


Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists provide medicine and other prescribed health care products to patients. In a retail setting, pharmacy techs typically provide the customer service, the stocking of medicine and medical supplies, answer the phone, and other tasks.

In hospitals and physicians offices, pharmacy technicians check prescriptions for accuracy, prepare the proper dosage of medicine, and maintain medicine data on the patients. They also assist as required by the licensed pharmacist.


According to the California State Board of Pharmacy, there are three ways to qualify for work as a Pharmacy Technician in California:

1) Finish an academic coursework or graduate from a qualifying school:

– get an associate degree in pharmacy technology

– complete a training course accredited by the American Society of Health-System

Pharmacists (ASHP);

– complete a course that provides a minimum of 240 hours instruction as specified in

section 1793.6 (c) of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations.

– graduate from a school of pharmacy accredited by the American Council on

Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE).

2) Certification (with proof) from a branch of the military.

3) Certification by passing the PTC Exam as given by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

A completed application with the filing fee of $50 and fingerprints are also required.

Finally, becoming a pharmacy technician is a great career choice. The health care field is expanding. And those looking for a challenging job requiring detail-oriented skills will find the position fulfilling. It can be a lifelong career choice because it’s a 9-5 job that will allow for family life. But it is flexible enough so that it can be used as a stepping stone to other positions in the healthcare industry such as becoming a licensed pharmacist.