Pharmacy Technology

Train to Work as a Pharmacy Technician

SJVC’s program prepares you to work under the direct supervision of a registered pharmacist as part of a team responsible for carrying out doctors’ pharmaceutical orders. Graduates can complete the Pharmacy Technology Certificate of Completion program in as few as 9 months, or the Pharmacy Technician Associate of Science Degree program in as few as 15 months.

What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do?

Pharmacy technicians assist in the various activities of compounding, distributing and dispensing of medications. They are trained to measure, mix, count out, label, and record amounts and dosages of medications according to prescription orders.

Job Outlook for Pharmacy Techs in California

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 $42,610²



Pharmacy Technology Program Details

Skills Students Learn

Students in the program learn:

  • Pharmacy law and ethics
  • Computer data entry
  • Pharmacy science & clinical applications
  • Prescription processing

Program Course Examples

Courses* taken by our students include:

Pharmacy Math and Computations
This course covers mathematical calculations involving fractions, decimals, ratios, and percentages including both the metric and apothecary systems. This course will utilize these learned mathematical skills during pharmaceutical applications which are required to determine medication dosages and preparations. Also covered in this course will be the business practices in a retail pharmacy. A grade of “C” or better is required to earn credit for this course.

Pharmacy Clinical Applications 1
This course emphasizes the theory of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and related pharmacology of the nervous systems, including mental health, and nutrition. This course will demonstrate the procedures to interpret, fill and label a prescription. This course will also cover the procedures involved in processing refills. A grade of “C” or better is required to earn credit for this course.

*The courses listed above are two of several taken throughout the program. Course listings are subject to change. Reference the SJVC College Catalog for the  most current program information.

Program Outcomes

Our Pharmacy Technology students can earn a Certificate of Completion in as few as 9 months. Graduates of the Pharmacy Technician program can earn an Associate of Science Degree in as few as 15 months.

Graduates will become eligible to apply for licensure with the California State Board of Pharmacy providing they meet requirements as specified by the Board, including a Department of Justice criminal background check and data bankquery 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.

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 have the opportunity to earn their Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Certification.

Career Opportunities

A well-trained pharmacy technician can expect to work in a highly respected, professional environment such as franchise pharmacies, hospitals and home health care agencies.

On the job, pharmacy technicians can expect to:

  • Mix pharmaceutical preparations according to written prescriptions
  • Add measured drugs or nutrients to IV solutions under sterile conditions
  • Compute charges for medication dispensed to hospital patients
  • Inform supervisors of stock need and shortages

Learn more: Health Care Jobs in California That Don’t Require a Four-Year Degree

Accreditation and Approvals

Institutional Accreditation

San Joaquin Valley College is accredited by 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

Questions or requests to review documents pertaining to accreditation should be directed to:

Crystal G. VanderTuig, Accreditation Liaison Officer
San Joaquin Valley College
3828 West Caldwell Avenue, Visalia, CA 93277
(559) 734-9000

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.