Massachusetts Pharmacy Technician Requirements and Training Programs

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Pharmacy technicians are in demand, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those demands will continue to increase substantially through the year 2018. The rising need for medications and the expansive pharmaceutical industry mean more jobs for pharmacy technicians nationwide. Today’s technicians do a lot more than ever before, but regulations demand that they work under the supervision of a registered pharmacist in community pharmacies, hospitals, long term care facilities and home infusion pharmacies.

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Get information on Pharmacy Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

Pharmacy technicians mix, count, and label prescriptions in preparation for dispensing. They also stay on top of inventory and manage administration and billing. Most of all, pharmacy technicians ensure the safety and timely delivery of medication, and in collaboration with the pharmacist promote public health and wellness. In order to protect the public’s health, the Massachusetts Department of Registration in Pharmacy requires pharmacy technicians to register with the state before working in state-licensed pharmacies. Professional Credentialing Services, Inc processes all applications for registration.

Massachusetts Pharmacy Technician Requirements

License Requirement

The Department of Registration in Pharmacy requires all pharmacy technicians and trainees to register with the Board. Non-certified pharmacy technicians can apply for registration after completing up to 500 hours of employment and respective training at a registered pharmacy. The employer must verify employment and details of the training. Certified pharmacy technicians are those who have completed the PTCE or ExCPT exam for national certification.

Pharmacy technicians must obtain appropriate training as a requirement for registration. Candidates should complete a Board-approved training program, which covers pharmacy security, job descriptions, medical abbreviations, product selection and other key topics. The following are examples of programs the Board approves:

  • Programs accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
  • Programs provided by a branch of the US Armed Services of Public Health Service
  • Board-approved programs containing a minimum of 240 hours of didactic and practical training

After completing the necessary training, pharmacy technicians must demonstrate their work-readiness by achieving a passing score on a Board-approved assessment examination. The exam will cover five knowledge domains; practice settings, medical abbreviations and symbols, dosage calculations, identification of drugs, and duties and responsibilities of a pharmacy technician. In lieu of employer-based assessments, pharmacy technicians can take PTCE or ExCPT for national certification.

Age Requirement

Applicants must be at least 18 years old to register as a pharmacy technician in Massachusetts.

Education Requirement

Pharmacy technicians looking to register with the Board of Pharmacy must be a high school graduate or have equivalent education. If you don’t have a high school diploma, you must be enrolled in a program that rewards a degree or certificate.

Along with your application for registration, you’ll need to submit any of the following as proof of completing high school.

  • Copy of your high school diploma
  • Copy of your high school transcript with graduation date included
  • GED certificate or test results

Other Requirements

Like other states, pharmacy technicians in Massachusetts must have a good moral character. Applicants with drug-related felonies will not qualify for renewal. Admission of prior convictions could delay the processing of your application as PCS reviews your applications, documents and circumstances surrounding your conviction before making a final decision.

Applicants for Certified Pharmacy Technician registration must have PTCB or ExCPT certification.

The Pharmacy Technician Program

Content

Pharmacy technician training provides students with the safety, communication and patient care skills required to obtain entry-level employment in various health care settings. Accredited programs also prepare students for PTCB certification. Most programs cover classroom sessions plus a clinical externship at a retail or hospital pharmacy (or sometimes, both). Key topics include pharmacy abbreviations, pharmacy technician role and responsibilities, drug regulation and control, pharmacy calculations, pharmaceutical terminology, basics of IV solution, Parenterals, and compounding. Students also learn basic administration, such as inventory management, customer service, patient records and pharmacy billing.

The externship highlights the major topics covered in the classroom from a practical perspective. For most programs, the externship is a requirement for graduation. Basic requirements for working as student technicians in most pharmacies include up-to-date vaccinations, TB clearance, drug screen, and criminal background check.

Duration and Cost

Massachusetts’ accredited pharmacy technician training programs cost $1,200 on average. Programs are available at colleges, universities, vocational schools, private institutions, and employer-based programs. For free training that leads to Board registration, you should seek out employment/training opportunities at community pharmacies. After completing 500 hours of employment, training, and an assessment, you will meet the requirements for Board registration. You’ll also have the basic knowledge needed to succeed at the national PTCB exam.

The average cost of training at paid institutions will cover tuition and textbook only. You must budget for other expenses, such as registration, immunization, background check, drug screen, TB test and PTCB certification. Board-approved programs must supply a minimum of 240 theoretical and practical instruction. Based on those requirements, programs typically last 2 to 8 months based on the schedule.

National Exams

Assessment exams, whether national or local to Massachusetts, evaluate candidates’ competency related to their role as pharmacy technicians. The Department of Registration in Pharmacy requires Certified Pharmacy Technicians to take the PTCE or ExCPT exam prior to registration. The DRP accepts both national certifying exams; the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) administered by the PTCB and the ExCPT exam developed by the National Health Career Association (NHA).

The Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians administers and scores the ExCPT exam. Applicants for the computer-based exam must be 18 years old and possess a high school diploma or GED equivalent. The two-hour exam contains 110 multiple-choice questions, which covers three key areas; pharmacy regulations and technician duties, dispensing medication and brand name and generic drugs. Applicants must pay $105 to take the national exam.

The widely accepted PTCB is the older and more recognized national certification exam. The PTCB has contracted with Pearson Vue to administer the computer-based exam at various testing centers across the nation, including several testing centers in Massachusets. Applicants must present proof of completing high school or GED. In order improve the integrity of their certification and commit to public safety, the PTCB also requires candidates to pass a criminal background check. The two-hour exam comprises of 90 questions – 80 of which counts towards the final score. Applicants must apply for the exam online and submit the $129 fee with the completed application.

Acquiring Your State License

Application

The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy has given the Professional Credential Services (PCS) the responsibility to process pharmacy technicians’ applications for registration. Applicants can register as non-certified pharmacy technicians or certified technicians.

Following is a list of instructions for each option:

Non-certified pharmacy technician

  • Download and fill out the pharmacy technician application.
  • Provide proof of age – state issued ID
  • Provide a copy of your high school or GED transcript.
  • Provide proof of completing a Board-approved training program or at least 500 hours of employment as a pharmacy technician
  • Submit proof of completing a Board-approved or employer-based pharmacy technician assessment examination.
  • Include the application fee of $150 with your completed application (check, money order or credit card accepted).
  • Your employer must fill out the Employer Verification of Experience and Examination (included in the application packet).
  • Sign the application in the presence of a notary public and attach a 2×2 photo.

Certified pharmacy technician

  • Download and fill out the pharmacy technician application.
  • Provide proof of age and legal U.S. residency.
  • You must respond to the questions on criminal convictions and be of good moral character.
  • Enclose copies of your high school diploma or GED and your PTCB or EXCPT
  • Pay the application fee of $150 using a check, money order or credit card.
  • Sign the application in the presence of a notary public and attach a 2×2 photo.

Renewal

The registration expires on the technician’s birth date every two years. You must renew your registration on time to continue practicing –failure to renew by the expiration date will result in penalties if you continue to work. If your renewal lapses, you can renew your registration after submitting an application, the renewal fee, and late fee. You may have to fulfill the requirements of a new registration if your license remains in lapsed status for more than two years.

The renewal fee is $60. You must notify the Board of changes in your residence, place of employment or name changes within 10 working days of finalizing the change.

Transfer

Massachusetts practices reciprocity with other states. If you’re currently registered in another state, you can apply for registration with the Board providing you meet the following requirements:

  • Provide proof of good standing with another State Board.
  • Compare the registration requirements in your old state with that of Massachusetts. The requirements should be equivalent to qualify for transfer.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Division of Health Professions Licensure

Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy
239 Causeway Street, Suite 500, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 800-414-0168

Pharmacy Technician Training Programs MA

Boston, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:

JVS

29 Winter Street

Boston, MA 02108

617-399-3131

Brockton, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:

Lincoln Technical Institute

65 Westgate Dr

Brockton, MA

(800) 556-4624

Canton, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:

Massasoit Community College

Pharmacy Technician Assessment Examination

900 Randolph Street

Canton, MA 02302

508-427-1224

Chelsea, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:

Bunker Hill Community College

Pharmacy Technician Training Program and Assessment Examination

175 Hawthorne Street

Chelsea, MA 02150

Concord, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:

Emerson Hospital

Pharmacy Technician Assessment Examination

133 Old Road to Nine Acre Corner

Concord, MA 01742

Danvers, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:

NSCC Community Education

1 Ferncroft Road,

Danvers, MA 01923

978-762-4000

Fall River, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:

The Salter School

82 Hartwell Street

Fall River, MA 02720

508-730-2740

Health Care Training Services

657 Quarry Street,

Fall River, MA 02723

508-672-6800

Lowell, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:

Lincoln Technical Institute

211 Plain St

Lowell, MA

(800) 556-4624

Lynn, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:

Spectrum Healthcare Training

441 Union Street,

Lynn MA 01901

781-593-3900

Medford, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:

Lawrence Memorial/ Regis College

170 Governors Avenue,

Medford MA 02155

781-306-6600

Somerville, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:

Lincoln Technical Institute

5 Middlesex Ave

Somerville, MA, United States

(800) 556-4624

Springfield, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:

Premier Educational Group

1 Monarch Place, Suite 1130

Springfield, MA 01144

(774) 328-3500

Stoughton, MA Pharmacy Technician training programs:

Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Association

20 Paul David Way

Stoughton, MA 02072

781-297-0965

Other accredited Pharmacy Technician training:

Pharmacy Technician University

3120 W. March Lane

PO Box 8190

Stockton, CA 95208

(209) 472-2245

 

 

Search Pharmacy Technician Programs

Get information on Pharmacy Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.


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