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Two Ways to Earn Your Pharmacy Technician Certificate

Become a pharmacy technician two ways at the University of Providence.


What if you could earn your Pharmacy Technician Certificate while getting paid? What if a future employer paid for your education, job training, certificate courses, and licensure exams? What if, after all that, you had a guaranteed job waiting for you after graduation?

With a Pharmacy Technician Certificate from the University of Providence, you can choose which education path is right for you. Our program allows eligible students to earn their certificate as a traditional or Earn-While-You-Learn student. Earn-While-You-Learn is a unique opportunity for eligible students at a select pharmacy or hospital location. The program is made possible through UP’s partnership with Providence St. Joseph Health Systems of Montana and Washington.

Becoming a pharmacy technician can be a great starting point for a healthcare career. Not only can it kickstart your career in healthcare faster and for less money, but it can also help you gain real medical experience – preparing you for more advanced careers in pharmacy and beyond.


Before diving into how to earn your degree, you should know what you’ll be doing as a technician.

As a pharmacy technician, you’ll have an essential role in the healthcare system. You will primarily work alongside pharmacists but may work with hospital administration, nurses, physicians, and more. While each job can vary, you will mainly be responsible for the day-to-day functions of a pharmacy – including pharmacy administration, medication, and customer service tasks. Where you end up working will impact your job responsibilities. Places like hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical research labs, local pharmacies, and retail pharmacies are just some places pharmacy technicians can find work.


Becoming a pharmacy technician doesn’t require a long or expensive academic commitment.

While the length of pharmacy technician programs can vary, many can be obtained between six to 12 months. Depending on the courses you take and the level of education you get, some could be up to 18 to 24 months for a longer certification program or a two-year associate’s degree. For most technicians, though, an accredited certificate on top of national or state licensure (both in some cases) is required to enter the field as a technician.

With UP’s pharmacy tech program, you can earn your certificate as quickly as six months. Our didactic course offerings provide online learning, in-person weekend skills labs designed to put online curriculum and coursework into practice, and an internship for students to work alongside currently practicing technicians and licensed pharmacists. Our program also prepares you to sit for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s (PTCB) Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam – an important step in becoming a certified technician and a requirement in both Washington and Montana.


UP offers two ways for students to earn their pharmacy technician certification.

If you choose the University of Providence to get your pharmacy technician certification, you can enroll as a traditional student or an Earn-While-You-Learn student. Both students will take the same courses, receive the same skills training, and receive Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam prep. However, as an Earn-While-You-Learn student, you will first apply for and get hired as a pharmacy technician under a special work application through one of our partner pharmacies.

If you are considering Earn-While-You-Learn, it’s important to remember that positions are made available at select partner pharmacies, with hiring for positions done at the discretion of the hiring pharmacies. Therefore, you should first check for and apply to a job opening through a participating pharmacy, go through the hiring process, and then apply to UP’s pharmacy tech program. Since positions are limited, not all eligible students will be hired for Earn-While-You-Learn positions. However, students are encouraged to apply as traditional students to UP’s program or roll their admission.


Receiving state and national certification can expand your career prospects.

Whether you apply as an Earn-While-You-Learn or traditional student, receiving national certification, state certification, or both is vital in practicing as a pharmacy technician. The PTCB website provides a current, up-to-date list of states requiring which certificates. When you enroll in UP’s pharmacy technician certification course, you automatically receive access to a PTCB-certified exam-prep course – which will prepare you to sit for the national exam that will certify you to practice as a pharmacy technician. Even if your state doesn’t require you to obtain your PTCB, some employers may still require it. Always check your state and employer requirements to ensure you have the updated certifications.


Pharmacy Technicians use math, science, and technology to help assist them in their job responsibilities.

As a certified technician, you will have several daily tasks and responsibilities. While you will prepare, compound, sort, and package medication as part of your job, you will also handle many of the administrative tasks of a pharmacy. A good technician is strong in math, comfortable around technology, and a strong communicator. Whether it’s going over medication allotments with a pharmacist, filling medication orders from a nurse or physician, or helping customers with their medication, technicians must be fast and adaptable learners to meet the needs of the occupation.


Find out more about the benefits of becoming a pharmacy technician.

If you’re looking for a great way to kickstart your career in the medical field, becoming a pharmacy technician is a great place to start. With hundreds of job openings across multiple sectors of the healthcare continuum, you could be educated, certified, and situated in your career in less than one year. In addition, with Earn-While-You-Learn opportunities from the UP, you could graduate debt-free, a certified pharmacy technician with a job already lined up for you.

To learn more about UP’s pharmacy technician program, our Earn-While-You-Learn program, and available pharmacy locations for upcoming semesters, visit our Pharmacy Technician Certificate page.