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Prepare for an exciting career in health care with SJVC’s Pharmacy Technology and Pharmacy Technician programs.

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At a Glance

  • Earn a Certificate of Completion in as few as 9 months

  • Earn an Associate of Science degree in as few as 15 months

  • Conveniently available at 10 locations

  • Affordable tuition varies by location, learn more now

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 Applications

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.

Career Opportunities

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.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), California has the highest employment level for pharmacy technicians in the U.S. Consider this:

  • California employed 36,100 pharmacy technicians as of May 2020¹

Program Availability

We offer both degree and certificate Pharmacy Technology programs at the following campuses:

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

Institutional Accreditation

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.

The WSCUC is an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.

State Approvals


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 (

View additional State Approvals for SJVC.

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.

For more information about SJVC’s Pharmacy Technology program, check out our faculty Q&A with Jesse Diaz

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