Pharmacy Technician Certification Info
These are my recommended study guides for PTCB pharmacy technician certification.
Mometrix does a really good job providing you with all the information you need, additional study helps (they throw in 11 bonus items to help you study and pass the exam), free updates if the study guide changes to keep up with changes in the PTCB pharmacy technician certification exam, and they offer a 1 year 100% money back guarantee. The Mosby’s guide is the most thorough guide (for those that want all the information), and has a ton of practice questions. I don’t think you could go wrong with either of these two guides, and there are others on Amazon to check out as well (see below for more recommendations). In addition to the study guide, they also offer a PTCB pharmacy technician certification flash card set (they have flash carded everything).
National certification for pharmacy technicians comes from two main sources:
-Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
-Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT, they administer the ExCPT)
The first thing you need to know is if your state requires national pharmacy technician certification or not. Some states require it, some make it one of the options for becoming a pharmacy technician, others increase the pharmacist to tech ratio if you have it, and others do not recognize it (go to the State Requirements/Schools by State page to find out your state’s requirements).
Now, here is some advice from me. Regardless of your state requirements, get nationally pharmacy technician certified. Why should you if your state does not require it? It gives you that extra clout when you are in an interview, especially when you are competing for a job against people who do not have national pharmacy technician certification. It also lets your future employer know that you have tested and now meet a minimum level of competency. As a pharmacy director, I find this important.
Instead of rehashing everything about each of the national pharmacy technician certifications, I recommend you use the links above to learn more about each exam. My quick summary of each is: The PTCB has been around since the mid 90s and has better name recognition. In addition, some states only recognize the PTCB pharmacy technician certification. The ExCPT exam came on the scene in 2005 and generally offers better testing locations/times and a slightly lower cost (this depends on your location of course). Both sites have study material on their websites that you can purchase. It is all stuff you have to buy and have shipped to you, which I will be honest . . . is old school (time to get in the 21st century). Once I get this site where I want it, my next endeavor is to create some study materials that can be given to you immediately. If this is a good idea (I always like to hear from real people about where to spend my time), then drop me a line and let me know.
One update on pharmacy technician national certification: I attended the 2012 summer ASHP conference as a House of Delegate for my state. One of the agenda items was about pharmacy technician certification, the statement pushed for all pharmacy technicians to be nationally certified through the PTCB exam. This is not a rule or law, yet, but I do recommend you preferentially choose the PTCB exam over the ExCPT exam. Things could change in the future, and I am a proponent of natural competition (and a rule stating you had to have PTCB certification would be unnatural). However, my first duty as chief editor for this site and to you, and therefore must recommend PTCB at this time. This is already visible in some states where they explicitly mention the PTCB exam and not the ExCPT exam for national certification. Some states do allow both, but all that do recognize national certification have PTCB as an option.
National pharmacy technician certification exam study guides and other helpful books– Here are some additional study guides, exam question guides, and flash cards that have decent reviews. If you have particular trouble with calculations, get the math guide below to help. If you need help with a specific calculation or formula, send us a message and we will help you out (I love the allegation questions, they are fun). In addition, I added “The Pharmacy Technician” because I noticed a lot of people picking that guide up.
In addition, if you have a Kindle, you can pick up these electronic versions for very little cost:
(Picture provided by Andy Newson)