Continuing Education Requirements for Pharmacy Technicians

student studying for exam
Your Guide to Managing CE Requirements

Learning doesn’t end once you complete your educational program.  In most professions, those who are successful are in a continuous pattern of learning and further developing their skills, and that is certainly true of pharmacy techs.  Continuing Education (CE) credits for pharmacy technicians are required by many state Boards of Pharmacy, and are also necessary in order to maintain certification by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Requirements for Continuing Education

Pharmacy Technicians and other healthcare professionals are required to take medical education courses to maintain their certification or credentials. While certification through bodies such as the PTCB and the NHA is not always mandatory, most employers either prefer or require prospective pharmacy techs to be certified.  The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the National Healthcareer Association are the most widely accepted providers or certification for pharmacy techs, and they both have continuing education requirements that must be met in order to maintain certification. The following tables break down their requirements.

Table 1: PTCB requirements
Continuing education requirements for PTCB
1) Must complete 20 hours of continuing education every 2 years
2) Must include at least one hour of pharmacy law
3) Max 15 hours of relevant college courses will be accepted
4) Max 10 hours in-service continuing education allowed
5) All course work must have pharmacy technician subject matter


Table 2: NHA requirements
Continuing education requirements for NHA
1) Must complete 20 hours of continuing education every 2 years
2) Must include at least one hour of pharmacy law
3) CE credit must be related to pharmacy technician practice
4) Certificates of Participation must be obtained for each program
5) Max 10 hours in-service continuing education allowed

Examples of Continuing Education Courses

There are a variety of continuing education courses available for credit. They may be offered online, in-person, or by correspondence.  If you’re unsure whether the course you’re considering will be accepted, it’s wise to seek permission from your governing agency, whether it be the PTCB, the NHA, or your state’s Board of Pharmacy. As follows are some examples of CE courses:

  • The Pharmacy Technician’s Role in Reducing Pharmaceutical Errors
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Roles and Duties of Pharmacy Technicians
  • Preparation of Sterile Products
  • Pharmacy Law
  • Controlled Drug Dispensing

Administers of Pharmacy Technician CE

There are many providers of continuing education for pharmacy technicians. However, before you enroll, it’s important to do the research to make sure that the course will be accepted by the PTCB, the NHA, or by your state’s Board of Pharmacy. Most national and state pharmacy and pharmacy technician associations offer programs that are accepted by the major certification agencies, as long as the course work is related to the practice of pharmacy technicians. Here are some examples of organizations* that offer continuing education credit:

  • National Community Pharmacists’ Association (NCPA)
  • Some college courses in mathematics, life science, or pharmaceutical sciences are accepted for CE by the NHA
  • All CE programs offered through providers accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education will be accepted by the PTCB

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) offers a system to help pharmacists and pharmacy technicians keep track of their ongoing continuing education credits. As of January 1, 2013, the NCPA requires that all pharmacists and CPhT’s register with CPE Monitor Service through the NABP to monitor their CE.  Contact information for most of the organizations, along with an explanation of what they do, can be found on our Pharmacy Technician Regulators and Associations page.

*Note: does not recommend or endorse any specific medical education course or provider.