Pharmacy Tech FAQ

Ask a question or answer a question here, on our pharmacy tech FAQ page. Use the form below to submit a question, or follow the instructions to answer someone else’s question. Help and be helped! Please note that if we have already answered a question before, we may refer you to that question instead of answering it again. That’s the nature of an FAQ!


DO NOT use this page for questions that should be directed to your state’s Board of Pharmacy.

They can answer most of your questions.

You can find state-by-state contact information for your Board of Pharmacy here.

State-specific Q & A
















How do I advance now?

by Joey
(Oklahoma City, OK, USA)

I have been a pharmacy tech since 2013 and have worked retail and LTC. I recently became certified. It seems as though now there’s no more advancement opportunity for me in the retail chain where I am currently working. We are no longer a compounding pharmacy either. What can I do or where can I go to “move up”? I’ve learned just about everything here and would love the opportunity for to expand my knowledge further.

Comments for How do I advance now?
Jul 23, 2019
Expanding knowledge
by: Anonymous

I am thinking of adding some certifications to my CPhT. If you check the PTCB websites it shows classes and/or workshops you can participate in to get specialized trainings. Always looking to expand my knowledge. Still thinking about teaching as well but not too many opportunities in this area.
Nov 06, 2018
Follow up
by: Joey

After doing some exploring and nearing my Senior CPhT status I think I might try teaching. I’ve always loved the idea of teaching but other than training employees or tutoring as a volunteer I haven’t really had an opportunity to actually teach a class or group. We’ll see how it goes and I will follow up later.

How far back will they go criminally as far as records go when trying to register as a pharm tech?

by Sam
(Omaha, NE)

I got pulled over approximately 12 years ago around the age of 20 for paraphernalia. Mind you I was a teenager practically, but would they still find this? It was a misdemeanor. I went to court, paid a fine, took an anti-marijuana class, and that was it. I don’t want to go for this job if in a month they deny my registration because of that minor incident.

Comments for How far back will they go criminally as far as records go when trying to register as a pharm tech?
Aug 08, 2015
Contact the NE Board of Pharmacy
by: Staff at PharmacyTechPros

Hi Sam,

You would be best served to contact the Nebraska Board of Pharmacy directly to get an answer to your question. Here’s a link to their site:

We recommend doing this by mail or email, so that you get their answer in writing.

Wishing you all the best.

The Staff at

Transferring Licenses from One State to Another

For those who need to transfer their current pharmacy technician license from one state to another, you must contact the Board of Pharmacy in the state in which you plan to move. For example, if you currently have an Illinois license and plan to work in California, you must contact the Board of Pharmacy in California to check their requirements. It may take up to 90 days to process your application, so be sure to do this as quickly as possible once you know that you are moving.

You should also contact your CURRENT state’s Board of Pharmacy to notify them that you are moving.

You can obtain contact information for each state’s Board of Pharmacy at the following page on our site:

Pharmacy Technician State Requirements

Comments for Transferring Licenses from One State to Another
Nov 10, 2018
Contract techs traveling
by: Anonymous

I’m a travel technician who wants to go to other states. So if you do this you have to transfer every time? If you’re nationally certified, I don’t understand this.
March 31, 2022
by: Staff at PharmacyTechPros
Even though he certification is recognized or required by most states, you still need to get a license for each state. The certification is essentially just recognition that you are knowledgeable enough to be licensed. Annoying, but still true.

I am a felon

by Lynly

Can I still go to school and get a pharm tech license being a convicted drug felon?

Response From PharmacyTechPros: Unfortunately, no–a drug felony disqualifies you from ever becoming a pharmacy technician.

Certification or License of a Pharm Tech that’s a convicted felon

If a pharm tech graduate has a class 4 felony of attempted money laundering, can they still get their state or national certification or licensed as a pharm tech?

Response from PharmacyTechPros: If your felony conviction is within the past 5 years, the PTCB would not allow you to take the certification exam. However, the info on the PTCB site says that disqualification is determined on a case-by-case basis. We recommend contacting them (PTCB dot org).

Good luck!

Looking for a career

by Lucy
(Fort Worth )

I was convicted of a misdemeanor in the state of Texas for DWI. I am trying to see if I can become a Pharmacist Tech or Phlebotomist. I wanted to be a nurse but that is not possible. Can I still pursue one of the other two, or should I keep looking?

Response from PharmacyTechPros: We recommend contacting the Texas Board of Pharmacy directly. You can find their contact information here. Wishing you all the best!

Can I still be licensed with a dui?


Hi, I was recently convicted on a dui charge (misdemeanor) in California. Would this disqualify me from becoming licensed?

Response from California does require you to disclose whether you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or felony on your application. However, the information is unclear as to whether that disqualifies you from becoming licensed. We recommend that you contact the state Board of Pharmacy for a specific answer to that question. You can find their contact information on our site here. Wishing you all the best!

I’m a LPN -what now?

by micheal atkins
(spartanburg, sc, usa)

i am a lpn with a state lic. does that qualify me to become a pharmacy tech?

Response from PharmacyTechPros: Hi Micheal, It depends on the state you plan to practice in. It looks like you’re in South Carolina, which does require the completion of a specific training program PLUS passing the PTCE (Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam). We recommend contacting the state’s board of pharmacy to get further information. You can get their contact information on the following page:

Wishing you all the best in your career as a pharmacy technician!

Pharmacy Tech Age Maximum?

I am thinking about going to school to become a Pharmacy Tech. What is the maximum age for becoming a Pharmacy Tech?

Response from Check with your state’s requirements (most states have a Board of Pharmacy that regulates a pharmacy technician’s practice). You can search for your state’s information here:
Pharmacy Tech State Requirements
You’ll see that there are some physical requirements, such as standing long hours, that may be difficult for some older people. But, again, check your state’s requirements.

Wishing you all the best!

License Renewal If Not Working as a Pharm Tech?

If I accept another job (not as a technician – outside the pharmacy) can I keep my license current just by doing CE and paying the fee or do I have to work so many hours in a pharmacy per year to keep my license?

Response from PharmacyTechPros: Our best guess is yes – you can do this. But it really depends on your state’s rules. We recommend contacting your state’s Board of Pharmacy. You can find contact information for your state at the following page:

Pharmacy Tech State Requirements

Wishing you all the best.

Can you become a trainee with previous certification?

Can you become a pharmacy technician trainee if you have been certified before? My license expired in 2012.

Response from It depends on your state’s requirements. We recommend contacting your state’s Board of Pharmacy to check. You can find contact info for the boards of pharmacy in most states at the following page:

Pharmacy Technician State Requirements

Good luck!

Last Name on a Name Tag

Is it a requirement to have your last name or last initial on a name tag?

Response from PharmacyTechPros: We’re not positive about this, but it seems that it would be up to the employer to determine the requirement for the name on a name tag. Perhaps another site visitor will add a comment with their opinion or experience.

License possibility with a drug-related DUI conviction

by Elizabeth
(Philadelphia, PA)

If one has had a drug-related DUI conviction can he still study the pharm tech program, become certified, and obtain a license?

Response from The PTCB does not allow anyone to take the certification exam if they have a felony conviction within the past 5 years, and/or a drug-related conviction. They DO say, however, that disqualification is determined on a case-by-case basis. You can get more info here:

Good luck!

Transferring to another pharmacy in the same state

I may accept position at another pharmacy in the state of Maryland. What do I have to do to work in the new location?

Response from Well, you should first check with your new prospective employer. Then, you should notify Maryland’s Board of Pharmacy of your change in jobs.

You can get more information about being a pharmacy tech in Maryland, as well as the contact information for the Board of Pharmacy, at the following page:

Maryland Pharmacy Tech Information

Good luck with your new job!

Want to learn automated dispensing machine

by anita garg
(schaumburg, il)

I am pharmacy tech in Illinois. i want to learn how to implant pharmacy automation dispensing machine. I have bachelor in art also. please give me advice.
i have experience in mail order, retail pharmacy, data entry and call center environment also.

From the staff at We recommend talking to your employer about getting this training. You also could check with the board of pharmacy in Illinois, and they could point you in the right direction. Contact information is at the following link:

Illinois Pharmacy Tech Info

Good luck!


by Mounika
(Bentonville, AR, USA)

What are the formalities to attend a exam for Non Resident Indian? Will you please help me.

Response from We recommend contacting the Arkansas board of pharmacy. You can find contact information, as well as other information about becoming a pharmacy technician in Arkansas, on the following page:

Arkansas Pharmacy Tech Info

Wishing you all the best!

Do you have to have a GED in order to get a pharma tech certification?


Do you have to have a GED in order to get a pharma tech certification?

Response from In Missouri, it does not appear that a GED is required to get certified. In fact, Missouri doesn’t even require certification to practice as a pharmacy technician. They just require that you submit an application to their board of pharmacy.

However, your employer may require that you have a GED.

You can get further information about becoming a pharm tech in Missouri here.

Do I need to work as a Pharm Tech or attend a PhT school to be eligible to take PTCE?

by Lana

I’m going to prepare on my own to take the PTCE but I’m not working in the pharmacy and did not attend PhT school. Am I eligible to take an exam?

From Lana, you can take the exam without having attended a pharm tech training/educational program, or having worked in a pharmacy. You would just need to prepare for the exam to be sure you don’t waste your money in taking the exam before you’re fully ready for it.

Also, once you pass the exam, be sure you apply for a license with the California Board of Pharmacy. You’ll need this to get a job. It can take up to 90 days for your application to be processed. You can get all the info specific to California here.

Keep in mind that some employers may require that you attended a pharmacy technician training/educational program. So if you know what companies you will apply to, check with them to see what their requirements are.

Wishing you all the best in your new career!

Need to Re-take Exam for Recertification?

by Melody
(Ewa Beach, Hawaii)

Are you required to retake the exam to continue certification?

Response from PharmacyTechPros: Melody, we assume you are referring to the requirements in Hawaii, because that’s where you listed your address. So, in Hawaii, they do not regulate pharmacy technicians. So you do not NEED to be certified in Hawaii.

However, to answer your question directly, you do NOT need to re-take the PTCE (the exam) in order to recertify. But you must pay a recertification fee and submit proof of continuing education (CE) hours (see below) to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). You can get more information about the PTCB’s recertification process at their website here.

Your CPhT credential (certification) is good for 2 years. So you must apply to recertify with the PTCB before your current certification expires.

In order to maintain certification with the PTCB, you must complete 20 hours of continuing education (CE). You provide evidence of this CE when you submit your recertification to the PTCB. You can obtain more information about the allowed CE here.

Moving and Getting a Job in Iowa or Illinois

by Tejal
(Fargo, ND)

If I moved from other state recently, and I am not a certified pharmacy technician yet and only obtain a Pharmacy Technician certificate, what are procedures to get a job in IA or IL?

Response from PharmacyTechPros: Tejal, it depends on whether you’re getting the job in Iowa or Illinois, as each state has its own requirements. Also, let’s be sure we’re clear on terminology here: certification or a certificate refers to someone who has successfully passed either the PTCE or ExCPT exams. A license is something the state’s board of pharmacy issues as a requirement to be a pharmacy technician in that state (note this this only applies to states where the board licenses pharmacy technicians–some states do not require technicians to be licensed).

Ok, now that we’ve established these fundamentals, let’s look at the procedures and requirements in Iowa and Illinois.

In Iowa, you must become certified by successfully passing either the PTCE or ExCPT exam. THEN, you must register with the Board of Pharmacy within 30 days of accepting employment as a pharmacy technician. You can obtain their registration form here.

In Illinois, you must apply for a license to be a pharmacy technician. Certification isn’t required initially, but you must become certified (by passing either the PTCE or ExCPT exams) within 2 years of obtaining your Illinois pharmacy technician license. You can apply for your Illinois pharmacy technician license here.

Leave a Comment