Pharmacy Technician

How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Virginia

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Pharmacy technicians play a crucial role in the healthcare industry by assisting pharmacists in various tasks. If you're interested in pursuing a career as a pharmacy technician in Virginia, here's what you need to know:

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What is a Pharmacy Technician?

Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of licensed pharmacists to ensure the safe and efficient dispensing of medications. Their responsibilities include:

  • Receiving and verifying prescriptions

  • Counting and packaging medications

  • Labeling prescription bottles

  • Maintaining patient records

  • Processing insurance claims

  • Assisting customers with medication inquiries

  • Managing inventory and ordering supplies

Where does a Pharmacy Technician work?

Pharmacy technicians can find employment in various healthcare settings, including:

  • Retail pharmacies

  • Hospitals

  • Nursing homes

  • Clinics

  • Mail-order pharmacies

  • Pharmaceutical companies

How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Virginia?

To become a Pharmacy Technician in Virginia, complete an accredited education program covering pharmacology, medical terminology, and pharmacy procedures. Obtain certification by passing the PTCE or ExCPT. Certified technicians can find job opportunities in pharmacies, hospitals, or healthcare settings, assisting pharmacists with medication management and customer service. This role requires a blend of education, certification, and practical experience to ensure competency and deliver quality patient care.

Requirements to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Virginia

To become a pharmacy technician in Virginia, you will need to meet certain education and legal requirements. These include:

  • High school diploma or equivalent

  • Completion of a pharmacy technician training program

  • Passing the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) or the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT)

  • Registering with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy and obtaining a license

Where can I find Pharmacy Technician classes in Virginia?

If you're looking for pharmacy technician classes in Virginia, Dreambound is the largest platform for students to find and compare vocational training programs. Dreambound offers comprehensive pharmacy technician training courses in Richmond (link: Pharmacy Tech Training Richmond, VA) and Virginia Beach (link: Pharmacy Tech Training Virginia Beach, VA). These courses provide the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in this field.

By using Dreambound, you can easily search for pharmacy technician classes near you and compare different programs to find the one that suits your needs and preferences.

Exploring a Career in Pharmacy Technician Outside Virginia

If this article has sparked your interest in becoming a Pharmacy Technician, but you're not in the same state, don't let that hold you back. You have the chance to pursue a career as a Pharmacy Technician in places like District of Columbia, Indiana, New York, Texas, or Wisconsin. And if none of these locations fit, Dreambound makes it easy for anyone, anywhere, to find and compare Pharmacy Technician classes just by searching with their zip code. With a bit of determination and the right tools at your disposal, stepping into a successful healthcare career is completely doable, no matter your current location.

How do I get my Pharmacy Technician certification?

If you're interested in becoming a Pharmacy Technician, one of the first steps you'll need to take is obtaining your certification. This certification is typically required by employers and regulatory bodies to ensure that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to work in this field. In this section, we'll explore the steps you need to take to get your Pharmacy Technician certification.

Step 1: Research the requirements in your state

The first thing you'll need to do is research the specific requirements for Pharmacy Technician certification in your state. Each state has its own regulations and guidelines for becoming a certified Pharmacy Technician. Some states may require you to complete a formal training program, while others may only require you to pass an exam. It's important to familiarize yourself with your state's requirements to ensure that you meet all the necessary criteria.

Step 2: Complete a formal training program

Once you understand the requirements in your state, you'll need to complete a formal training program. These programs are typically offered by community colleges, vocational schools, and online institutions. The duration of these programs can vary, but they generally range from 6 months to 2 years.

During your training program, you'll learn about topics such as pharmaceutical calculations, drug classification, medication safety, and pharmacy law. You'll also gain hands-on experience through internships or clinical rotations. This training will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in your role as a Pharmacy Technician.

Step 3: Apply for certification

After completing your training program, you'll need to apply for certification through a recognized certifying body. The two main certifying bodies for Pharmacy Technicians are the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

To apply for certification, you'll need to submit an application along with the required documentation, such as proof of completion of a training program and proof of any work experience. You'll also need to pay an application fee. Once your application is approved, you'll be eligible to sit for the certification exam.

Step 4: Pass the certification exam

The final step in obtaining your Pharmacy Technician certification is passing the certification exam. The exam is designed to assess your knowledge and skills in various areas of pharmacy practice, including medication safety, pharmacy law, drug classification, and pharmaceutical calculations.

The exam is typically computer-based and consists of multiple-choice questions. You'll have a designated amount of time to complete the exam, and a passing score is required to earn your certification. If you don't pass the exam on your first attempt, you'll have the opportunity to retake it at a later date.

How do I get a job as a Pharmacy Technician?

Once you've obtained your Pharmacy Technician certification, you'll be ready to start your career in this field. In this section, we'll explore the steps you need to take to get a job as a Pharmacy Technician.

Step 1: Update your resume and cover letter

The first step in getting a job as a Pharmacy Technician is updating your resume and cover letter. Your resume should highlight your relevant skills, training, and experience. Be sure to include any internships or clinical rotations you completed during your training program. Your cover letter should introduce yourself and explain why you're interested in the position.

Step 2: Start networking

Networking is an important part of the job search process. Reach out to friends, family members, and colleagues to see if they know of any job opportunities in the field. You can also join professional organizations and attend industry events to meet professionals in the field.

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Step 3: Search for job openings

There are several ways to search for job openings as a Pharmacy Technician. You can check online job boards, such as Indeed or Glassdoor, for current openings in your area. You can also reach out to local pharmacies and hospitals to inquire about any job opportunities they may have. Additionally, consider contacting staffing agencies that specialize in healthcare placements.

Step 4: Prepare for interviews

Once you've found job openings that you're interested in, it's important to prepare for interviews. Research the company or organization you're applying to and familiarize yourself with their mission, values, and services. Practice common interview questions and think about how you would answer them. Dress professionally and bring copies of your resume and any other relevant documents.

Step 5: Ace the interview

During the interview, be sure to showcase your knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for the field. Be prepared to discuss your training, experience, and any relevant certifications. Highlight your ability to work well in a team, your attention to detail, and your strong communication skills. Ask thoughtful questions about the position and the company to demonstrate your interest and engagement.

Step 6: Follow up

After the interview, it's important to follow up with a thank-you note or email. Express your gratitude for the opportunity to interview and reiterate your interest in the position. This small gesture can leave a positive impression and set you apart from other candidates.

Career Paths and Opportunities after Becoming a Pharmacy Technician

Once you've become a certified Pharmacy Technician, there are several career paths and opportunities available to you. In this section, we'll explore some of the options you can consider.

Retail Pharmacy

Many Pharmacy Technicians work in retail pharmacies, such as chain drugstores or grocery store pharmacies. In this setting, you'll assist pharmacists with tasks such as filling prescriptions, compounding medications, and providing customer service. This is a common entry-level position for Pharmacy Technicians, and it provides valuable experience and a solid foundation in the field.

Hospital Pharmacy

Hospital pharmacies provide medications and pharmaceutical services to patients in a hospital setting. Working as a Pharmacy Technician in a hospital pharmacy can be fast-paced and challenging, but it can also be rewarding. In this role, you'll work closely with pharmacists to prepare and dispense medications, manage inventory, and assist with medication orders.

Long-Term Care Pharmacy

Long-term care pharmacies serve patients in settings such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and rehabilitation centers. As a Pharmacy Technician in a long-term care pharmacy, you'll work with pharmacists to prepare and dispense medications to residents. You may also be responsible for managing medication orders, coordinating deliveries, and maintaining accurate records.

Specialty Pharmacy

Specialty pharmacies focus on providing medications for patients with complex or chronic conditions, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, or multiple sclerosis. Working in a specialty pharmacy as a Pharmacy Technician can be challenging but rewarding. You'll work closely with pharmacists and healthcare providers to ensure that patients receive the specialized medications they need.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Pharmacy Technicians can also find opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry. In this role, you may work for a pharmaceutical company, a research organization, or a regulatory agency. Your responsibilities may include conducting research, assisting with clinical trials, or ensuring compliance with regulations.

Pharmacy Technician Educator

If you enjoy teaching and have a passion for pharmacy, you may consider a career as a Pharmacy Technician educator. In this role, you'll teach and train aspiring Pharmacy Technicians, helping them develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the field. You may work in a vocational school, community college, or online institution.


Some Pharmacy Technicians choose to start their own businesses or work as independent contractors. This can include providing medication management services to patients in their homes, offering consulting services to healthcare facilities, or starting a pharmacy-related business.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a certified Pharmacy Technician can open up a world of opportunities in the healthcare industry. By completing a formal training program and obtaining your certification, you'll gain the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in this field. From retail pharmacies to hospital settings to the pharmaceutical industry, there are a variety of career paths available to Pharmacy Technicians. Whether you're just starting your career or looking to make a change, becoming a Pharmacy Technician can be a rewarding and fulfilling choice.

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Athena Kan
Written by
Athena Kan

Athena is Co-founder and CEO of Dreambound.

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