California Pharmacy Technician License Requirements

Looking for information about California pharmacy technician license requirements? Following are the important facts you need to know about becoming a pharmacy technician in California.

Updated in 2022!

Does California regulate pharmacy technicians?


Is certification required to practice in California?


What certification exam(s) is/are approved by the state?


Is licensure required?

Yes. You must obtain your license BEFORE working in a pharmacy; it can take approximately 90 days for your application to be processed.

What do I have to do to become licensed?

  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Complete higher education coursework, such as earning an associate’s degree in pharmacy technology, completing a course accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, or earning a degree from any pharmacy school accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education.
  • Or qualify by being certified by the PTCB (submit a certified true copy of your certificate with the application form.
  • Or qualify by submitting proof (form DD214) that you have been trained while in the federal armed services.
  • Submit a written pharmacy technician application to the California Board of Pharmacy requesting licensure as a pharmacy technician (download application here).
  • Submit your fingerprints by following the instructions on the application.
  • Pass a state and federal criminal background check.
  • Include a recent (within 6 months) passport-type photo.
  • Include the application fee of $195.

Is training required?

The board may require a 120 hour externship with training supervised by a California licensed pharmacist. Once licensed you must work under the direct supervision of a California licensed pharmacist.

Are there Continuing Education (CE) requirements?


How often is renewal required?


What should I do if I change jobs or change my home address?

Notify the board within 30 days by filling out the change-of-address form electronically here or downloading the form here and sending it to the board.

Other good info to know about California pharmacy technician requirements

  • A California pharmacy tech’s registration certificate must be displayed in the pharmacy at all times.
  • A technician must wear a name tag identifying him-or herself as a pharmacy technician at all times while working.
  • A technician may only perform pharmacy functions that do not require professional judgment.
  • Two technicians may be utilized to assist one pharmacist in most cases.
  • Beginning January 1, 2022, all prescriptions issued by a licensed healthcare practitioner to a California pharmacy must be submitted electronically. In addition, all California pharmacies must have the capability to receive prescriptions electronically.

Essential Contact Info for California Pharmacy Technicians

California Board of Pharmacy
Office: 1625 N Market Blvd, N219
Sacramento, CA 95834
Voice: 916-574-7900 Fax: 916-574-8618

California Pharmacists Association
4030 Lennane Drive
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 779-1400
(916) 779-1401 – fax
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Be a proud California pharmacy technician!

California Q & A

Registration renewal help (California)

by Edward (San Diego, CA)

I’ve been given conflicting information concerning CE requirements for renewing my Technician registration with the CA BOP. Can anyone please tell me what, if any, number of hours are required?

From PharmacyTechPros: According to the CA Board of Pharmacy website, there is NO continuing education (CE) requirement. That requirement only applies to pharmacists.

The process of renewal is as follows: The CA Board of Pharmacy sends a renewal application about 6 weeks before your registration/license expires. If your address has changed since you originally got your registration, then you should contact them to be sure they send it to your new address. If you don’t receive the renewal notice within 4 weeks of your license expiration, you can renew by submitting a Request for Renewal of California Pharmacy Technician Registration (form link is here).

The BOP cancels your license/registration 60 days after the expiration date. Once that happens, it cannot be renewed, and you will need to submit a whole new application.

No Jobs for Inexperienced Techs in So California, Not Even Volunteering Opportunities

by M. H.
(Santa Clarita, CA)

I am already certified (for 2 years) but cannot find a job with only externship experience. I look at every website for continuing knowledge and help to assist me in a job search. I am using about 6 employment services for pharmacy techs (MSN, Asereth, JayKay, Allhealthcarejobs, and a couple others). So far, Asereth and MSN have been the only ones to respond back, but not in a way that I was given an invitation to a job interview. I must have 100 resumes out to no avail.

I even completed 100 ceu’s on my renewal to demonstrate my interest in the field. No pharmacy allows volunteering for experience so basically, I just keep networking and researching.

I have tried volunteering at three hospitals, through the volunteer coordinator, up to the point of the drug test, live scan, background checks, the HIPPA, JCAHO, and OSHA courses, just to be told at the last minute that the Pharmacy no longer allows volunteers, even “free” certified pharmacy technicians.

I was fortunate to be allowed 8 months of volunteering at the VA Medical Center inpatient pharmacy about a year ago. I was told the waiting list for “internships” was so long that I at first just had 4 hours on Friday. Then I got to know the graveyard staff and had a very successful volunteer time with them. I think there may be a policy in place for “risk” or something like that.

It is hard to believe the labor statistic that there will be an increase in the field of pharm techs by 31% by 2018! Response: Sorry to hear of your troubles finding a job, M. H. It seems to be very region-specific.

Considering your location, you may want to consider learning Spanish. This could give you a big advantage over other pharmacy tech applicants.

Also, seek out networking opportunities every chance you get…at gatherings with friends and family, in line at the grocery store, etc.

This is a tough job market for pretty much any field, and that means you need to be especially creative in seeking out opportunities. Even consider other types of entry-level healthcare positions, such as front-office at a dentist or physician’s office.

Any type of healthcare job will get you closer to decision makers, and may even open other doors that you’re not able to see at this point.

Your knowledge and education as a pharm tech will be beneficial to applying for any type of entry-level healthcare job.

It’s hard not to get discouraged, but don’t let discouragement keep your eyes closed to other opportunities. Creativity and flexibility are so important in tough times like these!

Comments for No Jobs for Inexperienced Techs in So California…Not Even Volunteering Opportunities
Nov 02, 2015
by: Melania Casler

Thanks for posting this article.
Apr 08, 2015
I am having hard time to find pharmacy technician job
by: Anonymous

I went to school for pharmacy technician. I don’t know how to get the job as pharmacy technician. I applied everywhere. Please helps me.
Mar 25, 2013
Pharmacy tech
by: Anonymous

I agree why should you speak Spanish, I you are legalizing everybody, you should adapt the language in that county, if you want to be part of, any way I paying for my renewal of board certification, I try to serve as a volunteer but no luck.
Dec 01, 2011
by: Paige

I’m told that it’s slightly less horrible in Northern California but decidedly NOT the Bay Area. And apparently also NOT Sacramento either.

And why should you speak Spanish when you’re only counting the pills in the background, unless the jobs you’re trying to get actually do involve customer contact.

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