Printer Friendly Version    Evaluation Worksheet   

Pharmacy Technician Certificate Health Sciences Total Units: 23
A newer version of this program is available. View the latest version here. Catalog rights may apply, see a counselor for more information.

Term Effective: Spring 2010


The Pharmacy Technician Certificate of Achievement prepares students to be registered pharmacy technicians and for employment in a variety of pharmacy settings. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be awarded the Pharmacy Technician certificate and are qualified to apply to the California State Board of Pharmacy for registration as a pharmacy technician. Registration is a legal requirement for employment. Graduates of the certificate program are also encouraged to sit for the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. While not currently a state requirement for employment, many employers provide increased compensation to pharmacy technicians once they become nationally certified.

For students interested in an Associate Degree, a Pharmacy Technician major is available.

Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of licensed pharmacists to perform technical duties in the systematic operation of the pharmacy--providing health care services and medications to patients. Technicians may perform many of the same duties as pharmacists; however, all of a technician's work must be checked by a pharmacist before medicine can be dispensed to a patient.

Duties may include, but are not limited to: 1) compounding (measuring, weighing, and mixing) medicinal drugs; 2) preparing and labeling medicines; 3) filling bottles and capsules with the correct quantity of medicine; 4) issuing medicines to customers; 5) stocking and taking inventory of prescription and over the counter medications; 6) maintaining patients' medication profiles on computerized or written records or forms; 7) filling orders for unit doses and prepackaged pharmaceuticals; and 8) preparing insurance claim forms. Depending on the position, the technician may also manage third party billing, answer telephones, direct customers to items or to the pharmacist for medication consultation, receive written prescriptions, clean and sterilize dispensing bottles and instruments, answer questions regarding non-drug products, and operate a cash register. Since pharmacy technicians interact daily with co-workers, patients and health care professionals, good communication and interpersonal skills are essential.

A licensed pharmacy technician can find employment in retail pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, home health care pharmacies, nursing home pharmacies, clinic pharmacies, mail order prescription pharmacies, and with pharmaceutical companies. Employment opportunities for graduates of community college Pharmacy Technician programs are excellent. Changes in the California State Pharmacy Law requiring registration have created an increasing demand for trained pharmacy technicians.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this major, the student will be able to:

  1. Pharmacologically classify a drug after having been presented with its generic name, brand (trade) name, chemical name and indication;
  2. interpret current federal and state legislation and name the agencies regulating the practice of pharmacy;
  3. create patient profiles utilizing information obtained from the prescription and the patient;
  4. read and write proper medical notation on the drug order and interpret information on drug labels and stock bottles;
  5. calculate the oral dosages of drugs, both solid and liquid forms based on currently accepted pharmaceutical mathematics;
  6. describe the pharmacological action, therapeutic effects, common side effects, doses and drug interactions of common medications prescribed to treat dysfunction of selected body systems; and
  7. describe common pharmaceutical measuring, weighing and compounding devices and accurately use the metric, apothecary, avoirdupois and household systems to count and measure.

Successful completion of the Pharmacy Technician Program qualifies the student to apply to the California State Board of Pharmacy for licensure as a pharmacy technician, which is a legal requirement for employment. Graduates are encouraged to sit for the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. Currently not a requirement, many employers provide increased compensation to pharmacy technicians once they become nationally certified.

Recommended Sequence of Courses

See the Health Sciences department website for more information about the program.

Program Requirements:

The requirements for the Pharmacy Technician Certificate program are:

  • Complete 23 units from
    • Pharmacy Technician Requirements

Pharmacy Technician Requirements - complete 23.00 units
PHARM 150 Introduction to Pharmacy Technician3.00
PHARM 151 Pharmaceutical Fundamentals3.00
PHARM 152 Ambulatory Pharmacy Practice2.00
PHARM 153 Dosage Calculations2.00
PHARM 154A Retail Clinical 11.00
PHARM 154B Retail Clinical 23.00
PHARM 155 Pharmacology4.00
PHARM 156 Dispensing and Compounding3.00
Complete a combination totaling at least 2.00 units from the following:
PHARM 157 and PHARM 157L

Term Effective: Spring 2010

The requirements for this program of study are effective beginning the semester shown above. If you began working on this program before the effective semester, you may not be affected by the changes. Consult with the program contact person or the department chair to determine your eligibility to complete the program under previous requirements.

Term Inactive: Summer 2011

Previous Versions:

Pharmacy Technician - effective Spring 2007
Pharmacy Technician - effective Fall 1981

Program Requirements Notes:

Course Completion of PHARM 150 Introduction to Pharmacy Technician is required before taking any other PHARM courses in the program.

Course Prerequisites and Advisories:

Courses in a program of study may have prerequisites or advisories; that is, courses that must or should be completed before taking that course. Please check for prerequisites or advisories by clicking on the course numbers in the Program Requirements section.

It is important that students who are completing an Associate Degree and desire to transfer to a four-year institution meet with a counselor to plan their lower division coursework. While many majors at SRJC are intended to align with lower division major preparation required by California public universities, specific lower-division major requirements vary among individual campuses. See a counselor, visit the Transfer Center, and check Guides For Transfer in Specific Majors, and ASSIST to review transfer preparation guides for specific schools and majors.


Licensure Note: The California State Board of Pharmacy may deny licensure for felony or misdemeanor offences. It is the responsibility of the student to present sufficient evidence of rehabilitation prior to licensure and/or secure a pre-application process with the Board, independent to the program admission application.

Other Notes:

  • This is a 3-semester program beginning in the Summer
  • PHARM 101 prerequisite: Course Completion of CSKLS 100 and PHARM 150
  • PHARM 153 prerequisite: Course Completion of PHARM 150 and PHARM 101
  • PHARM 150 only offered in Spring and Summer
  • All courses must be completed with a "C" or better

Phone Email Website
(707) 527-4271