Pharmacy Technician Program Information
TVCC’s pharmacy technician program offers a cooperative arrangement with area hospitals, retail and mail order, and long term care pharmacies. Students will learn how to prepare medications, prepare non-sterile compounded products as well as sterile compounded products, provide customer service, maintain patient profiles, assist the pharmacist with medication therapy management and facilitate insurance claims. The program is designed to provide understanding, proficiency, and specific skills in the field of pharmacy technology.
Students must register with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy as an active pharmacy technician-trainee after admission into the program.
Students will be eligible to take the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination that is administered by the Pharmacy Technicians Certification Board (PTCB) at the completion of all courses in the program. Students enrolled in the program will also become certified in the preparation of intravenous admixtures.
The program curriculum is a balance of approved didactic, simulated lab and practicum/clinical courses which offer the student an opportunity for educational development as well as occupational competence during the program.
There is a selection process for this program. It is the student’s responsibility to read the current health occupations brochure at www.tvcc.edu/health-science-center or contact an advisor regarding the current process. The deadline for completing all pre-admission testing requirements and for submitting the online application is June 1.
Note: Criminal history may disqualify individuals from obtaining or maintaining pharmacy technician certifications.
While applicants with a criminal history are not disqualified from taking the certifying exam, a candidate may be disqualified for PTCB Certification upon the disclosure or discovery of:
- Criminal conduct involving the candidate;
- State Board of Pharmacy registration or licensure action involving the candidate;
- Violation of a PTCB Certification Policy, including but not limited to the Code of Conduct (available on PTCB website)
PTCB reserves the right to investigate criminal background, verify candidate eligibility and deny certification to any individual. Once certified, PTCB CPhTs must report any felony conviction, drug or pharmacy-related violations, or State Board of Pharmacy action taken against their license or registration at the occurrence and at the time of recertification, to PTCB for review.
PHRA-1201. Introduction to Pharmacy. (2 Credits)
This course is taken for academic credit. Students will earn an A, B, C, D, F, or W. An overview of the qualifications, operational guidelines, and job duties of a pharmacy technician. Lab fee.
PHRA-1202. Pharmacy Law. (2 Credits)
This course is taken for academic credit. Students will earn an A, B, C, D, F, or W. Overview of federal and state laws governing the practice of pharmacy. The role of the pharmacy technician and the pharmacist and their associated responsibilities. Includes Code of Ethics, patient confidentiality, and a comparison of legal and ethical aspects. Lab fee.
PHRA-1243. Pharmacy Technician Certification Review. (2 Credits)
This course is taken for academic credit. Students will earn an A, B, C, D, F, or W. Study in this course prepares the student to participate in a state/national certification exam. The course includes a review of identification of drug names; interactions, side effects, and dosages; how to perform pharmaceutical mathematical calculations; how to practice aseptic techniques; and how to apply federal law concepts to the tasks and duties of pharmacists and technicians in the practice of pharmacy. Lab fee $193 includes skills lab fee, practice certification exam and national certification fee.
PHRA-1305. Drug Classification. (3 Credits)
This course is taken for academic credit. Students will earn an A, B, C, D, F, or W. A study of pharmaceutical drugs, abbreviations, classifications, dosages, side effects, and routes of administration. Lab fee.
PHRA-1309. Pharmaceutical Mathematics I. (3 Credits)
This course is taken for academic credit. Students will earn an A, B, C, D, F, or W. Solving pharmaceutical calculation problems encountered in the preparation and distribution of drugs. Lab fee.
PHRA-1313. Community Pharmacy Practice. (3 Credits)
This course is taken for academic credit. Students will earn an A, B, C, D, F, or W. Introduction to the skills necessary to process, prepare, label, and maintain records of prescriptions in a community pharmacy to include customer service, count and pour techniques, prescription calculations, drug selection and preparation, over-the-counter drugs, inventory management and legal parameters. Lab fee $74 includes skills lab fee and drug screening.
PHRA-1345. Compounding Sterile Preparations. (3 Credits)
This course is taken for academic credit. Students will earn an A, B, C, D, F, or W. The process of compounding sterile preparations and aseptic technique within legal and regulatory guidelines specified by USP <797> standards. Lab fee $160 includes skills lab fee and sterile compounding fee.
PHRA-1349. Institutional Pharmacy Practice. (3 Credits)
This course is taken for academic credit. Students will earn an A, B, C, D, F, or W. Fundamentals of the diverse roles and practice of pharmacy technicians in an institutional pharmacy setting. In-depth coverage of hospital pharmacy organization, work flow and personnel, safety techniques, data entry, packaging and labeling operations, inpatient drug distribution systems including investigational drugs, continuous quality improvement and inventory control. Lab fee.
PHRA-1360. Clinical, Pharmacy Technician/Assistant. (3 Credits)
This course is taken for academic credit. Students will earn an A, B, C, D, F, or W. A health-related work-based learning experience that enables the student to apply specialized occupational theory, skills, and concepts. Direct supervision is provided by the clinical professional. Lab fee $48 includes professional liability insurance.
PHRA-1441. Pharmacy Drug Therapy and Treatment. (4 Credits)
This course is taken for academic credit. Students will earn an A, B, C, D, F, or W. Study of therapeutic agents, their classifications, properties, actions, and effects on the human body and their role in the management of disease. Lab fee.
A grade of C or better is required in all PHRA courses in order to remain in the program.
2018 Median Pay: $32,700 per year; $15.72 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education: High school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: None
On-the-job Training: Moderate-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2018: 420,400
Job Outlook, 2018-28: 7% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2018-28: 31,500
Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals.
Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies, including those found in drug, general merchandise, and grocery stores, and in hospitals. Most work full time, but many work part time.
Pharmacy technicians usually need a high school diploma or equivalent and learn their duties through on-the-job training, or they may complete a postsecondary education program in pharmacy technology. Most states regulate pharmacy technicians, which is a process that may require passing an exam or completing a formal education or training program.
The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $32,700 in May 2018.
Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. Increased demand for prescription medications will lead to more demand for pharmaceutical services.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for pharmacy technicians.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of pharmacy technicians with similar occupations.
Learn more about pharmacy technicians by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Pharmacy Technicians, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm (visited March 17, 2020).
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Some careers in this field will require a bachelor's degree.
- TVCC's AA degrees are fully transferable to public universities in Texas. See an academic advisor or TVCC's university transfer webpage for more information on this transfer opportunity.
- Many of TVCC's AAS degrees lead to an online Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) degree with participating universities. See an academic advisor or the BAAS transfer website for more information on this transfer opportunity.