Pharmacy technicians are paraprofessionals who work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist to assist with activities that do not require the professional judgment of the pharmacist. Pharmacy technicians assist with maintaining records, filling and dispensing routine prescriptions and medication orders, stocking supplies of patient care areas, maintaining inventories of drug supplies, preparing sterile compound products, accepting prescriptions and refill requests, and providing assistance to the customers and patients specific to the pharmacy practice setting. Exciting careers are available in traditional pharmacy settings, e.g. retail and hospital pharmacies, and non-traditional pharmacy settings, e.g. compounding and nuclear pharmacies.
The pharmacy technology certificate program is a three-semester cohort program that provides an excellent introduction to the pharmacy profession. Recruitment for the fall cohort program begins in the month of June for both the LSC North Harris and LSC Tomball Pharmacy Technology Certificate Cohort Programs. Students typically begin the three -semester daytime program in August (fall) and complete the program by the summer. LSC North Harris completes by mid-July and LSC Tomball completes by mid-August. Because of the demand for the program, both North Harris and Tomball offer a spring cohort program. Recruitment for both campuses for the spring program begins during the month of November. LSC North Harris offers their spring-start cohort as a daytime program that runs for 11-months starting mid-January and is completed by mid-December. LSC Tomball offers their spring-start cohort as a daytime program that starts in mid-January and is typically completed in three semesters.
The Pharmacy Technology certificate prepares graduates for the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE) administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and ExCPT (the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians) administered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). To become a certified pharmacy technician (CPhT) in the State of Texas, the person must pass one of these 2 examinations within two years of obtaining his or her pharmacy technician trainee registration from the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP). Once the person passes either the PTCE or ExCPT, TSBP also requires the person to register with the Board as active certified technicians. To work in the pharmacy, TSBP requires that a person performing pharmacy technician duties in a pharmacy, must be registered by TSBP as either a pharmacy technician trainee or as a certified pharmacy technician. This requirement also applies to students enrolled in the certificate program while they are doing “clinical” rotations in the pharmacies. To register, the student should visit TSBP’s link at tsbp.state.tx.us to complete an online application and pay the fee. Pharmacies must ensure that all pharmacy technician trainees complete the online registration process. Included with the registration process is the criminal background check, which requires the submission of the applicant’s fingerprints, Social Security number, personal information, and high school graduation information. It is very important that a student must have a Social Security number in order to register for this process. The criminal background history must be clear of any felonies or controlled substance violations prior to enrollment in the pharmacy technology program.
Once an applicant has successfully completed all requirements of registration, and the TSBP has determined there are no grounds to refuse registration, the applicant will be issued a certificate that designates the student as a pharmacy technician trainee. This certificate expires two years from the date of issuance and may not be renewed again. In order to maintain registration with the TSBP, a technician must pass the PTCE or ExCPT and change their registration from a trainee to an active certified technician.
The certificate program at both LSC-North Harris and LSC-Tomball is accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP)/Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC). Both programs are also PTCB certified.
Admission Criteria for the Certificate
Applicants must meet the program admission criteria and submit all documentation to the pharmacy technology office at either LSC-North Harris or LSC-Tomball. Contact an advisor or the program director at the appropriate college to determine eligibility and qualifications for the program prior to completing the application form.
Provide evidence of college ready status by submitting previous college and/or high school transcripts from all colleges/universities attended;
Applicants with completed requirements will be contacted to schedule an interview.
Applicants will be notified by email, mail, or phone of the admission status. It is strongly recommended that application be made at least a month in advance of the semester for which the student would like to enroll.
Receive a high school diploma or GED before applying to the program.
Provide a copy of the TSBP-issued certificate and attach with the LSC-Pharmacy Technology application
Complete a drug screen prior to clinical affiliation if required by that facility or pharmacy. Students will be provided further information according to agency and/or college policy.
Complete all required immunizations including Hepatitis B series, Tdap, MMR, VZV, flu shot for the season, and TB skin test prior to patient contact as required by clinical affiliates.
Provide a copy of the completed CPR Training for Health Care Professionals and attach to the LSC-Pharmacy Technology application
Have the minimum of a cumulative 2.0 GPA
Each applicant is responsible for contacting the pharmacy technology program director to confirm whether the application is complete. Additional information can be obtained from the pharmacy technology office at LSC-North Harris or LSC-Tomball.
The associate of applied science degree in pharmacy technology requires an additional year of course work. The purpose of the program is to prepare graduates for managerial positions and customer service in hospital and community/retail pharmacies. An associate degree in pharmacy technology emphasizes the technician's interest in and dedication to the work. Further emphasis is placed on ethics and federal and state laws. The pharmacy courses for the AAS degree are offered at LSC-North Harris and LSC-Tomball.
Applicants seeking admission to the AAS program should contact LSC-North Harris or LSC-Tomball to determine eligibility and prerequisite requirements.
LSC-North Harris: Dr. Nancy Lim at 855.957.1211
LSC-Tomball: Angela Bayer 877.925.8271
Include official documentation of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) certificate, Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) certificate, and completion of the pharmacy technology certificate from an accredited institution.
Each candidate will be assessed on an individual basis by the program director to determine his or her eligibility before applying to the AAS program. Those who did not complete a pharmacy technology program but had informal on-the-job training must contact the program director for a PLA (Prior Learning Assessment). A nominal fee is required for an assessment of the student's previous work experience.
The pharmacy technology certificate program prepares graduates to sit for the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination, administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), to become a certified pharmacy technician (CPhT). Pharmacy technicians in the State of Texas are required to be certified by examination within the year allotted. The Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) also requires certified pharmacy technicians to register with the Board. It further requires that a person performing pharmacy technician duties in a pharmacy must be registered by TSBP as either a pharmacy technician or a pharmacy technician trainee. This includes students while they are doing "clinical" rotations in pharmacies. To register, the pharmacy technology student can find links at http://www.tsbp.state.tx.us to the online registration applications. Pharmacies must ensure that all pharmacy technician trainees complete the online registration process. Included with the registration process is the criminal background information, which requires submission of the applicant's social security number and high school graduation information. The criminal background history must be clear of any felonies or controlled substance violations prior to enrollment in the pharmacy technology program.
Once an applicant has successfully completed all requirements of registration, and the TSBP has determined there are no grounds to refuse registration, the applicant will be issued a red certificate as a pharmacy technician trainee. This certificate expires two years from the date of issuance.
For careers and median salaries, visit Career Star for more information.