Prepare for an exciting career in health care with SJVC’s Pharmacy Technology and Pharmacy Technician programs.
About the Program
What Will I Learn
SJVC’s pharmacy technician programs prepare you to work under the direct supervision of a registered pharmacist as part of a team responsible for carrying out doctors’ pharmaceutical orders.
Students in the Pharmacy Technology/Pharmacy Technician program learn:
- Pharmacy law and ethics
- Computer data entry
- Pharmacy science & clinical applications
- Prescription processing
SJVC’s Pharmacy technician courses in California:
Pharmacy Math and Computations
This course focuses on the fundamentals of arithmetic processes involving fractions, decimals, ratios, and percentages including the metric, household, and apothecary systems. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the math skills in pharmaceutical applications which are required to determine medication dosages and preparations. Students will also learn business practices in a retail pharmacy.
Pharmacy Clinical Applications1
This course covers the theory of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and related pharmacology of the nervous systems, including mental health and nutrition. A comprehensive overview of pharmaceutical dosage forms, pharmacokinetics, terminology, abbreviations and symbols, the difference between trade and generic drugs, and interpretation of prescriptions in relation to this system will be included. Students will utilize the pharmacy lab in the applications of pharmacy science. Interpretations of doctor’s orders along with prescription filling, refilling, and labeling procedures are practiced.
Students qualify to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) upon successful completion of practice examinations administered during their course of study and with the approval of the Pharmacy Liaison. Students also earn their HIPAA Certification.
Graduates are eligible to apply for licensure with the California State Board of Pharmacy providing they meet the requirements as specified by the Board. This includes a Department of Justice criminal background check and database query to determine if an act has been committed that constitutes grounds for denial of licensure. This license is required in the State of California for employment as a pharmacy technician.
If certified, the job market for pharmacy technicians is strong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), California has the highest employment level for pharmacy technicians in the U.S. and is also one of the top-paying states for pharm techs. Consider these additional figures:
- California employed 37,630 pharmacy technicians as of May 2018¹
- California pharmacy technicians annual mean wage in May 2018 was $42,6101
Cost & Financial Aid
Education is the most important investment you can make in your future. There is a financial plan available for everyone, including a broad range of financial assistance options. Visit SJVC’s Net Price Calculator to get personalized information on college costs and financial aid. Check out SJVC’s Academic Catalog to learn about program costs by campus and credential level. You also can talk to an Admissions Representative to discuss the costs of your chosen program, and schedule an appointment with an experienced financial aid officer. Student loans, grants, and scholarships are available to those who qualify.
Accreditation and Approvals
San Joaquin Valley College holds dual institutional accreditations.
San Joaquin Valley College is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501,(510)748-9001 and also the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at www.accjc.org.
SJVC is a private institution and is approved to operate as an accredited institution by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). Approval to operate means that SJVC has been found in compliance with the standards set forth in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (as amended) and Title 5, Division 7.5, – Private Postsecondary Education of the California Code of Regulations. As a prospective student, you are encouraged to review this catalog prior to signing an enrollment agreement. You are also encouraged to review the School Performance Fact Sheet, which must be provided to you prior to signing an enrollment agreement.
A student or any member of the public may file a complaint about this institution with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education by calling (888) 370-7589 or by completing a complaint form, which can be obtained on the Bureau’s internet website (www.bppe.ca.gov).
Read Our Career Guide On Pharmacy Technology in California
Are you interested in math, anatomy, physiology, and health care? Would you like a career that combines these interests? Then pharmacy technology may interest you.
Pharmacy Technician FAQ
How long does it take to become a pharmacy technician?
Students interested in pharmacy technology programs can choose from a wide range of options, including community colleges, university hospitals, and vocational schools. Timing may depend on the award, certification, diploma, or associate degree.
However, you can earn a certificate of completion with SJVC’s Pharmacy Technology program in as little as 9 months. In addition, our Pharmacy Technician Associate of Science degree program can be completed in as few as 15 months for those looking to advance their careers in the field.
What does a pharmacy technician do?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pharmacy technicians (or pharmacy techs) work under the direction of a licensed pharmacist to help deliver prescription medications for customers and healthcare providers.2 They are also responsible for administrative and customer service tasks, including:2
- Packing and labeling prescriptions
- Answering phone calls and customer inquiries
- Collecting prescription payments and insurance claims
- Entering customer information into a computer system
- Organizing stock and updating pharmacists on shortages
- Measuring medication quantities for customer prescriptions
- Gathering contact or personal information for prescription fills
What do you need to be a pharmacy technician?
Since professional training and licensure are not standardized from state to state, you may only need a high school diploma or GED as a prerequisite. If your area does require certification, you’ll need to pass the state’s licensing examination in order to fulfill a role in pharmacy technology. Candidates must also have the necessary technical and interpersonal skills to perform day-to-day functions under supervision.
How to become a pharmacy technician.
To be a pharmacy technician, most states require at least a high school diploma or GED. Regulations can vary by location, as some states require formal training in pharmacy technology or course completion from a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.
Here’s how you can become a certified pharmacy technician.3
- Complete a PTCB-Recognized Education/Training Program
- OR obtain relevant work experience
- Full disclosure of all criminal and State Board of Pharmacy registration or licensure actions
- Comply with all PTCB Certification policies and prerequisites
- Make a passing score on the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam® (PTCE®)
How to become a pharmacy technician in California.
To become a pharmacy technician in the state of California, you don’t need any certifications. However, it can make it easier to find more jobs. If you’re interested in becoming a certified professional, follow the steps listed above this question: How to become a pharmacy technician.
How much does a pharmacy technician make?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $35,100 in May 2020.4 The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,400, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $50,430.
Be advised, salary for entry level positions may be lower than the national average.
For more information about SJVC’s Pharmacy Technology program, check out our faculty Q&A with Jesse Diaz.
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