Pharmacy Technician Training Online

Prepare for a booming career with our all-inclusive and affordable Pharmacy Technician training. Start anytime and study online to graduate in as few as 4 months. Ashworth College's online Pharmacy Technician training program helps prepare you for the National Healthcareer Association's (NHA's) ExCPT Pharmacy Technician certification exam and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board's (PTCB's) Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). This certification may help you obtain work, improve pay and advance professionally. Ashworth College career school also currently partners with Walgreens and CVS to provide you with hands-on training in a community pharmacy environment.

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Lesson Group 1: Orientation: Ashworth College Career Program

Learning at Ashworth  

The goals and values of Ashworth College; time management; creating a realistic weekly and monthly study schedule; the nature and purpose of assessments; how to study effectively to prepare for and take an online examination; developing the skill sets necessary for success in the twenty-first century.

Allied Health Careers  

Introduction to the basic operations of allied health careers and the legal and ethical issues you may encounter while working in the many different venues available for these fields.

Lesson Group 2: Introduction to Pharmacy

History of Pharmacy  

The origins of pharmacy and the development of the pharmacy profession up to the twentieth century; the evolution of both the pharmacist and the pharmacy technician; the history of legislation that affects the practice of pharmacy; roles and duties of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

Medical and Pharmaceutical Terminology 

The benefits of familiarization with medical terminology; common medical terms and symbols used in pharmaceutical documentation and prescription orders.

Regulatory Laws and Professional Standards 

The evolution of pharmaceutical practice into a professional career; major professional pharmaceutical societies; the need for pharmacy regulation and standard practice; regulation of controlled substances.

Lesson Group 3: Drug Classification and Pharmaceutical Calculations

Trade Names and Generic Names 

The difference between trade and generic names of prescription drugs; process for creation of drug names; FDA evaluation of trade names; top 200 generic and trade names.

Dosage Forms and Routes of Administration 

Oral/enteral administration, including pills, tablets, capsules, softgels, and liquids; inhalational administration, including aerosols; parenteral administration, including subcutaneous, intramuscular, and intravenous routes; syringes and needles; large- and small-volume parenteral solutions; topical administration, including patches, creams, foams, gels, lotions, and ointments; and administration by insertion, including suppositories.

Pharmacologic Classes 

World Health Organization (WHO) and chemical name drug classifications; United States Adopted Name (USAN) Council stems for generic terms.

Systems of Measurement 

Roman numerals; Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature scales and conversions; household measures; the metric system; household and metric conversions.

Ratios, Proportions, Decimals, and Percents 

Numbers as both symbols and measurements; explanations of and worked examples for ratios and proportions; relationship among and conversions for decimals, fractions, and percents.

Lesson Group 4: Pharmacology

Antibiotics, Antifungals, and Antivirals 

Examples of antibiotics, antifungals, and antiviral drugs encountered in the pharmacy, their mechanisms of action, and their respective names, classes, and categories.

Anesthetics, Narcotic Pain Relievers, Psychiatric Drugs, and Drugs for CNS Disorders 

A description of drugs that affect the central nervous system, including general and local anesthetics, opiates, antipsychotics, antidepressants, anxiolytics, hypnotics, and antiepileptics.

Respiratory and Gastrointestinal Drugs 

A description of the drugs that affect the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, including corticosteroids, beta-agonists, cholinergic antagonists, methylxanthines, leukotriene modifiers, antacids, H2 antagonists, and proton-pump inhibitors.

Renal, Urinary, and Cardiovascular Drugs 

A description of the drugs that affect the renal, urinary, and cardiovascular systems, including antibiotics, alpha-blockers, antispasmodics, diuretics, antihypertensive drugs, calcium channel blockers, nitrates, antiarrhythmic drugs, and lipid-lowering drugs.

Muscle Relaxants, Nonnarcotic Analgesics, Hormones, and Topicals 

A description of the nature, uses, and side effects of medicinal drugs in the classes of muscle relaxants, nonnarcotic analgesics, hormones, and topicals.

Chemotherapy and Miscellaneous Pharmaceutical Products 

Chemotherapeutic and biologic drugs as well as substances such as vitamins, herbs, and antidotes.

Lesson Group 5: Community and Hospital Pharmacy Practice

Community Pharmacy Operations 

Retail versus institutional pharmacy operations; pharmacy as both a business and a profession; typical business day operations.

Interpreting and Processing Prescriptions; Patient Charts 

Reviewing prescriptions for completeness; processing new prescriptions and refills; pharmacist reviews; maintaining electronic records of patient medications.

Third-Party Payments 

Prescription insurance plans; receiving insurance information; processing third-party insurance claims; resolving unpaid drug claims.

Merchandise Handling and Inventory 

The importance of inventory control for pharmaceutical businesses; purchasing and short lists; receiving incoming merchandise; returning expired or overstocked merchandise.

Hospital Pharmacy Practice 

Common hospital pharmacy settings; types of patients; role of the pharmacist and pharmacy technician; equipment, technology, and best practices in the hospital pharmacy setting.

Infection Control and Preparing Sterile IVs 

Protecting patients and healthcare providers from infectious diseases; techniques used to prepare sterile intravenous products.

HIPAA Regulations, Pathogens in the Pharmacy, and Employment Preparation 

Privacy versus security; protected health information in the pharmacy setting; the HIPAA Privacy Rule; OSHA standards; universal precautions; CDC hygiene guidelines; using personal protective equipment; certification preparation; career options; writing resumes and cover letters; preparing for interviews.

Lesson Group 6: Laboratory Simulation and Certification Preparation

Pharmacy Technician Laboratory Simulation 

Laboratory simulations for community pharmacy practice, institutional pharmacy practice, and aseptic technique.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Preparation 

Review of eight categories of pharmacy technician duties in preparation for the certification exam. Students receive worked examples of realistic sample questions and have the opportunity to take a practice test to assess their readiness to take the certification exam.


Students will complete 160 hours of externship in a retail pharmacy under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. They’ll be required to demonstrate proficiency in the areas of personal and interpersonal skills; foundational skills; processing and handling of medications and medication orders; nonsterile compounding; procurement, billing, reimbursement, and inventory management; patient and medication safety; technology and informatics; regulatory issues; and quality assurance.

 Close Curriculum Details

Why choose Ashworth College for your Pharmacy Technician Training?

  • Our Pharmacy Technician Training course is a great value because we include everything you need to succeed: personal mentoring by a CPhT; on the-job training in a pharmacy externship; the National Healthcareer Association ExCPT exam or the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board PTCE exam. We cover your exam fee!
  • Your pharmacy tech training course prepares you to take the National Healthcareer Association's (NHA's) ExCPT Pharmacy Technician certification exam and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board's (PTCB's) Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE).
  • You'll receive hands-on pharmacy technician training during your externship. Ashworth College has partnered with CVS/pharmacy and Walgreens pharmacies nationwide to provide you with potential opportunities to complete your pharmacy technician externship, but you're also able to arrange your own externship experience at another local pharmacy you choose.
  • Your online training course includes a detailed pharmacy technician certification preparation booklet to assess your level of readiness to take your certification exam. You'll review worked examples of realistic sample questions and have the opportunity to take a customized practice test. After graduation, you'll receive fully interactive test prep resources provided by either NHA or PTCB to help you build your skills and pass the certification exam with confidence.
  • Your pharmacy tech course includes numerous virtual field trips to reinforce advanced concepts and enhance your multimedia experience.

Pharmacy Technician Certification

Ashworth College partners with the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) to provide you with a valuable opportunity for professional certification.


What you should know about NHA Certification

  • NHA has certified more than 450,000 allied health professionals in the last 25 years.
  • When you pass the ExCPT exam, you'll earn the title of Certified Pharmacy Technician and can use the designation CPhT after your name. The CPhT distinction is often recognized by employers and can help start or enhance a career in many pharmacy settings. NHA's ExCPT exam is a customized, well-rounded assessment of the most common procedures you'll perform daily in your community pharmacy, with heavy focus on prescription analysis and preparation, dispensing procedures, and privacy and security laws and regulations.
  • The ExCPT exam is administered at hundreds of locations nationwide to make the exam experience convenient for you. NHA also provides thorough pharmacy technician certification preparation options that feature online practice drills, review questions, case studies to help you evaluate your level of readiness for certification.

What you should know about PTCB Certification

  • PTCB has certified more than 500,000 pharmacy technicians in the United States.
  • PTCB develops, maintains, promotes, and administers a nationally accredited certification and recertification program for pharmacy technicians to enable the most effective support of pharmacists to advance patient safety. The PTCB certification program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
  • The Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential from PTCB provides you with validated achievement and knowledge, and may lead to improved employment opportunities, potential for higher salary, career growth, and prestige among coworkers.
  • The PTCE is administered at more than 350 Pearson Professional Centers and military test centers nationwide.

Externship Program

To meet the requirements for graduation for your Pharmacy Technician program, you must complete 160 hours of externship under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Ashworth College has established relationships with Walgreens and CVS pharmacies nationwide to provide potential opportunities to complete this externship for many of our students. Students who do not have reasonable access to a Walgreens or CVS facility, or students who may already be employed at a pharmacy other than Walgreens or CVS, may choose to arrange their own externship.

State Requirements

A career in this field may require you to meet certain licensing, training, and other requirements that can vary by vocation and state. You should check with your state, local government and/or licensing board to find out which requirements may be applicable in your state. Click here for contact information on state licensing/regulatory boards and certain professional licensing information.

Our Pharmacy Technician Online Course

As part of Ashworth College's Pharmacy Technician training online, you'll learn how to accurately perform the standard techniques and operating procedures required in the pharmacy setting, including aseptic operations, medication transcriptions, metric/apothecary conversions, drug dispensation, recordkeeping, and patient profiling.

Employers are looking for certified pharmacy technicians who can:

  • Receive written prescription or refill requests and verify that information is complete and accurate
  • Prepack bulk medicines, fill bottles with prescribed medications, and type and affix labels
  • Answer telephones and accurately respond to questions or requests
  • Maintain proper storage and security conditions for drugs
  • Assist customers by answering simple questions, locating items, or referring them to the pharmacist for medication information

Ashworth College Student Reviews

"I’d recommend Ashworth to any student who’s very busy. If you’re a full-time Mom or if you’re working full-time, I recommend it because it’s very flexible and the online classes are very easy to follow. "
– Cecilia Occhieny, Student

"Thank you, Ashworth College, for giving me the tools to be successful."
– Jose Dones, Student

"I love Ashworth College because I don't have to take student loans to pay my school fees. It is affordable and you can study at your own time."
– Michell Oberly, Student

"Thank you Ashworth for making it possible to go to school while having a family and a job! "
– Anna Bak, Student

Your Pharmacy Technician Course Includes:

  • Customized course modules and learning guides, laboratory simulations, and certification preparation materials
  • Academic and career mentoring from a Certified Pharmacy Technician
  • 160-hour pharmacy externship*
  • Personalized career guidance
  • Proctored ExCPT exam* delivered by the National Healthcareer Association – including interactive test prep resources, plus certificate and wallet card if passed (Total $180 value)
    - or -
    PTCE exam* delivered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board – including practice exam, plus certificate and wallet card if passed (Total $183 value)
  • Career diploma at graduation; you may participate in our live commencement ceremony

What certifications are available for the Pharmacy Technician Career Diploma Program?

Ashworth College online Pharmacy Technician program graduates are eligible to sit for the ExCPT certification exam administered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) and the PTCE certification exam administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

Does Ashworth College help students secure externship sites?

Ashworth College has established relationships with Walgreens and CVS/pharmacies nationwide to provide potential opportunities to complete the externship for many of our students. Students who do not have reasonable access to a Walgreens or CVS facility, or students who may already be employed at a pharmacy other than Walgreens or CVS, may choose to arrange their own externship. Ashworth College provides detailed instruction on the selection, approval, and requirements of externship sites during the program.

What features should I look for in the Ashworth College Pharmacy Technician training course compared to other schools' programs?

It's important that the program you choose covers all of the material necessary to prepare you for both the NHA and PTCB certification exams. Look for a pharmacy tech program that has lesson content that's focused standard techniques and procedures required of pharmacy technicians-aseptic technique, pharmacy operation, medication transcription, metric/apothecary conversion, drug dispensation, recordkeeping, and patient profiling. You'll also want a program that thoroughly covers drug classification, indications, therapeutic effects, side effects, dosing recommendations, routes of administration, and mechanisms of action. Make sure your program includes a convenient opportunity to complete an externship experience at a local pharmacy of your choosing. A well-rounded program provides you with practice interacting with pharmacists, customers, and business associates in a professional setting.

Is this course all online or do I get books?

There are no textbooks required in this program. Learning guides are available online for easy access and convenience.

Ashworth College offers one of the best values in online Pharmacy Tech programs nationwide. Call 1-800-957-5412 or enroll online today.

*(1) Externship Eligibility: Must be at least age 18 with a minimum GPA of 2.0. May require criminal background check. (2) Certification Exam Requirements: Certification exam prerequisites vary. Please check with NHA and PTCB for their requirements.