Pharmacy Technician Professional

In Demand

Pharmacy Technician Diploma

If you're looking for an in-demand job in healthcare that allows you to help people in a fast-paced environment, then becoming a pharmacy technician could be the right career for you. With Penn Foster's online Pharmacy Technician Diploma, you'll learn essential skills around your schedule and gain hands-on experience through a required externship.

  • Fully accredited through ASHP/ACPE. ASHP/ACPE-accredited pharmacy technician training is now required or strongly encouraged by several state Boards of Pharmacy. 
  • Courses prepare you to sit for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). 
  • Learn through interactive lessons and real-world simulations.
  • Penn Foster is a trusted partner to retail pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, and Kroger.
  • Our online programs are flexible enough for you to finish them at a pace that works for you, based on how much time you can dedicate to your coursework each week.
Self Paced

Save up to $200 Ends 7/30/2024

Cost of Program


$1,399 Save $200


$59/month, Start for as low as $20

1-800-471-3232 (9AM - 9PM ET)

What You Will Learn

  1. How to prepare to sit for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) by studying a curriculum that is aligned with ASHP/ACPE standards.
  2. How to understand pharmacology and important body system terminology including drug delivery systems, drug administration routes, medical terminology, drug classifications, and commonly used medications.
  3. How to manage and work with common pharmacy management software to process prescriptions and medical orders.
  4. How to perform pharmaceutical calculations.
Full Program Goal & Outcomes

Pharmacy Tech Professional Outcomes 

Pharmacy Technician







Our online Pharmacy Technician Diploma is designed with job-readiness in mind. You'll study the essential skills you need to be confident through interactive lessons and simulations, while preparing for industry certification such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

State Licensing Requirements

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in certain fields are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your program. See the State Licensing page for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information. This is particularly important for residents of the District of Columbia, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Washington. State boards may impose a variety of different requirements. These requirements vary from state to state. Before enrolling in the Penn Foster College Pharmacy Technician Professional Program, you should contact the State Board of Pharmacy to obtain the requirements applicable to pharmacy technicians in your state. Penn Foster has determined that the curriculum does not meet the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the following states: District of Columbia, Oklahoma and Washington. Contact information for State Boards of PharmacyIllicit drug use, criminal background checks, and immunization status may prevent future employment as a pharmacy technician. Externship sites, employers, and State Boards of Pharmacy have regulations about drug use and criminal backgrounds.

Pharmacy Technician Diploma Curriculum

  • 13 courses
  • 64.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • 30 exams
  • 1 externship

Estimated completion time:

  • Fast track = 13 months
  • Average time = 17 months

With Penn Foster, you can learn at whatever pace works best for you. Some learners will be more comfortable moving faster, and dedicating more time, and the fast track estimate will apply to them. The average track will apply to most learners who can dedicate a few hours per week to completing their coursework. The estimated completion times are based on completion times for learners enrolled in this program from May 2021 - April 2022, excluding withdrawals.

In our Pharmacy Technician classes, you'll learn the skills and get the hands-on training required to play a vital role working in a pharmacy. Your courses include:

  • Pharmacology, Drug Class, and Body Systems, Parts 1 and 2
  • Pharmacy Practice Law and Regulations
  • Math Calculations for Pharmacy Technicians
  • Pharmacy Management and Operations


Non-US residents: This is a United States-based institution with course materials that are geared toward US job and labor standards. Learners from outside of the US may find that some information and materials will differ from the current standards of their country. Please note, the materials for this program are in English and use the Imperial unit of measurement, not the metric system.

Due to externship requirements and other factors, students outside of the United States are not eligible to enroll in this program at this time.

Show Full Curriculum
pharmacy technician assisting customer.

Pharmacy Technician Professional Externship

Penn Foster's Pharmacy Technician Professional Diploma includes a required externship to gain hands-on experience in the field. After successfully completing your online coursework, you'll work alongside current pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to apply what you learned to real-world experiences before graduating.  

The externship is a minimum of 130 hours to be completed over 4 to 13 weeks at an approved community pharmacy near you. Our externship coordinator will work with CVS, Walgreens, or Kroger to place you at a store in your area. Acceptance into the required externship component of this program requires passing a background check and a 10-panel drug screen and a minimum cumulative grade average of 70%. All costs associated with the externship are the responsibility of the student.



Pharm Tech Diploma Student Stories 

Our graduates have taken the next steps toward new careers, promotions, and more after completing their programs. Learn more about the student experience in our Pharm Tech Diploma Program.
View Student Success Stories
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Ciera H.

Penn Foster Graduate, 2021

"I doubted myself for so long... Penn Foster changed my life. I gained so much confidence in myself and achieved one of my goals."

Looking for healthcare training for your workers?

Penn Foster currently works leading employers in the healthcare industry to provide training that meets their unique organizational needs.
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Pharmacy Technician Diploma Tuition

Our online Pharm Tech Diploma is meant to be affordable for any budget. We offer customized payment plan options that can fit your needs so you can get started today!

Option 1: Pay in full

Save up to $200 Ends 7/30/2024

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  • Pay the full cost today
  • No monthly payments
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Option 2: Monthly Auto Pay Plan

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  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $20 down
  • All major credit and debit cards accepted
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Option 3: Monthly Mail Pay Plan

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  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $39 down
  • Mail your payments
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California residents please click here for Required California Disclosures.

Need more info or ready to enroll?

Looking for more information on transfer credits, military benefits, or our refund policy? Find this information and more about tuition and enrollment here.

Tuition & Payment Options

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Our Proven Pharmacy Training Learning Model

Empowering students to reach their professional goals


  • Start anytime
  • No exam due dates
  • Self-paced


  • Digital study guides
  • Digital flashcards
  • Simulations and videos


  • 24/7 access to online resources
  • Online student community
  • Pharmacy Technician Facebook Group


  • Expert faculty
  • Dedicated student services
  • Robust learning resources

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Pharmacy Technician Diploma FAQs

What classes do I need to take to learn how to become a pharmacy technician?

Over the course of the pharmacy technician program, you will take classes covering a range of topics that have been carefully designed based on ASHP standards and align with the PTCE and ExCPT certification exams. Some such courses include Pharmacology, Pharmacy Practice Law and Regulations, Math Calculations for Pharmacy Technology, Pharmacy Management Software, and much more. You can find a full list of the courses you will take on our pharmacy technician program details page.

How long does it take to complete a pharmacy technician diploma?

At Penn Foster, there is no set time frame for acquiring a pharmacy technician career diploma. Because our program is self-paced, students are able to complete the program at a variety of paces depending on how much time they are able to put into their courses each week.

What are the prerequisites needed to enter a pharmacy technician program?

In order to enroll in pharmacy technician school, you’ll need a high school diploma or a GED and will need to be at least 17 years of age. You also will need access to a computer with an internet connection, as our program is completely online.

What skills will I learn in a pharmacy technician program?

In our accredited Pharmacy Technician Program, you will learn the skills used by a practicing pharmacy technician including pharmacology, sterile and non-sterile compounding, pharmacy management, and operations. In addition to your course-based learning, the program includes interactive and engaging exercises with hands-on practical labs and real-world simulations such as processing a cash transaction, counting medication with prescription interpretation, and preparing medication for automated dispensing with barcoding.

Is the pharmacy technician externship required?

In order to complete the Penn Foster Pharmacy Technician Professional Program, you will need to complete an externship at CVS, Kroger, or Walgreens. The externship will consist of 130 hours of clinical experience, giving students hands-on training to better equip you for a career in the pharmaceutical industry.

Are textbooks included in the pharmacy technician program?

As part of the pharmacy technician curriculum, students have access to digital textbooks and the interactive learning experience includes hands-on learning and virtual exercises around processing a cash transaction, counting medication with prescription interpretation, and preparing medication for automated dispensing with bar coding. Students also receive a full practice kit of items necessary to complete their practical labs, all included in your tuition.

Is Penn Foster's Pharmacy Technician Professional Program nationally accredited?

The Pharmacy Technician Professional Career Diploma Program is ASHP/ACPE accredited and is modeled against ASHP standards to ensure students are qualified to work in a range of environments. This accreditation is the national standard for pharmacy technician training programs and is required in some states and preferred by many employers.

Will I receive a professional certification at the end of the program?

Upon completion of the Pharmacy Technician Professional Program, you will receive a diploma from Penn Foster and the program will have helped you prepare to sit for either of two industry certification exams: the PTCE certification exam or the ExCPT certification (offered through NHA). A voucher to cover the cost of the PTCE certification exam is included in your tuition. You will need to pass the PTCE or the ExCPT certification exam in order to be formally certified.

Do I need an accredited pharmacy technician program?

Requirements vary from state to state, but many states do require you to obtain industry certification, such as the PTCE or ExCPT, and/or some states and employers require pharmacy technicians to have successfully completed an ASHP-accredited training program.

Where can I work as a pharmacy technician?

The most common place to work as a pharmacy technician is a retail pharmacy such as CVS, Kroger, or Walgreens, but there are several other environments available to those entering the field. Hospitals, doctors’ offices, and nursing homes all host their own pharmacies and need a reliable workforce of pharmacy technicians.

What is the salary for a pharmacy technician?

Your salary as a pharmacy technician will depend on your level of experience and your location, as the average salary changes based on your state of residence but the national average salary in 2021 was $36,740.* Be sure to check salary information for your state to get a better idea of what you can expect to make with a pharmacy technician diploma.

Is pharmacy technician a good career?

With increasing demand and projected growth in job opportunities, becoming a pharmacy technician can be a stable career path. Pharmacy technician careers are projected to grow by 5% from 2021 to 2031, making it an ideal time to enter the field.*

Do you need a degree to become a pharmacy technician?

In order to become a pharmacy technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED. Though some workplaces offer on-the-job training, a majority of employers prefer pharmacy technicians to have formal training behind high school prior to their employment. Earning a degree and certification prior to employment may also help you earn a higher wage.

How do you become a pharmacy technician?

You can become a pharmacy technician in a few different ways. By going to an accredited pharmacy technician school like Penn Foster, you can earn a diploma and prepare to sit for the PTCB or ExCPT certification exams. Some employers accept pharmacy technician applicants without a diploma and offer on-the-job training but these opportunities are less common.