12 Best Online Pharmacy Technician Programs (Complete Guide)

Pharmacists are in incredibly high demand as the population continues to grow and age.

Pharmacy technicians, who are responsible for ringing up clients, compounding sterile solutions, and inputting prescriptions, are also needed as a support function for the pharmacy.

Pharmacy technicians can work in various environments, from hospitals and retail pharmacies to drugstores and assisting living locations.

Most employers require pharmacy technicians to have completed a training program to prove they can be successful.

With technological improvement in recent years, reputed institutions offer online pharmacy technician programs, which can be an excellent option for aspiring healthcare professionals!

Keep reading to learn more about the best online pharmacy technician programs!

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Best Online Pharmacy Technician Training Programs

1. Allen Community CollegeAllen Community College

Previously known as Allen County Community College, ACC is headquartered in Iola, Kansas, and was established in 1923.

Today, the school has two campuses in Kansas and enrolls around 2,500 students every semester.

Students are given an engaging and conducive learning environment and can transfer credits to other institutions for those who wish to advance in their educational tenure.

The school offers a certificate and associate degree program in pharmacy technology, both online.

The program prepares students for an exciting pharmaceutical career with the following courses:

  • Introduction to Pharmacy Technician
  • Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians
  • Pharmacy Calculations

ACC boasts that 90 percent of online students report that their courses are challenging and engaging.

As a result, the school has earned a reputation for being an educational center focused on high-quality academics and faculty.

2. Ashworth CollegeAshworth College

If you look at any list of best online programs, Ashworth College will be in the top 10.

As a pioneer in distance learning, Ashworth College was established in 1987 and has over 300,000 graduates worldwide.

The school boasts an affordable online pharmacy technician program that can be completed in as little as four months.

Best of all, students can begin the program at any time as it follows a self-paced curriculum.

The program prepares students for the NHA and PTCB certification exams despite the short training period.

Also, the school offers firsthand learning opportunities through externship partners like Walgreens and CVS.

The curriculum includes the following classes:

  • Community and Hospital Pharmacy Practice
  • Drug Classification and Pharmaceutical Calculations
  • Introduction to Pharmacy
  • Laboratory Simulation and Certification Preparation
  • Pharmacology

After graduation, students can perform the technical and daily duties required to be successful in a pharmacy setting.

3. Barton County Community CollegeBarton County Community College

Those looking to expand their skills and knowledge in pharmacy must consider the online Pharmacy Technician Certificate program Barton County Community College offers.

With 13 total online certificate programs, distance learners can reach out to over 2,300 other online learners for assistance.

Pharmacy students must complete an industry-focused curriculum preparing them for pharmacy technician success at an entry-level position.

In addition to their studies, students can enroll in internships to gain real-world experience and have other experiential learning opportunities offered by the school.

Academic advisors are readily available to assist with internships and can assist with modifying the coursework so attendees can focus on reaching their career goals.

Depending on flexibility requirements, students can enroll part-time or full-time.

Additionally, fellowships, scholarships, and other funding opportunities are available for those who need financial assistance, with 96% of students being awarded financial aid.

4. Martinsburg CollegeMartinsburg College

Established in 1980 as a brick-and-mortar school, Martinsburg College was initially headquartered in New York.

In 2006, the school started distance learning programs by pioneering assisted education technology.

The extensive on-campus learning experience has helped the college transition many programs to exclusively online, including its Pharmacy Technician certificate program.

During the program, students learn about customer service, communication, insurance billing, inventory, prescription processing, pharmacy law and ethics, medical terminology, and pharmacology.

Graduates are encouraged to sit for the PTCB exam, of which the program provides the skills and knowledge for success.

Minnesota State Community and Technical College

The curriculum is self-paced, so students can complete the coursework from the comfort of their homes, which is an excellent option for working professionals.

5. Minnesota State Community and Technical College

MSCTC is a community college with a technical focus that offers 25 online and 70 in-person programs.

The college is consistently ranked in the top three in Minnesota for fundraising activities and awards over $200,000 in scholarships yearly.

The school boasts a 3-credit Diploma course and a 60-credit associate degree in pharmacy technology.

Throughout the program, students are exposed to various real-world pharmacy environments, such as the state-of-the-art pharmacy lab in Wadena.

ASHP accredits the program, so graduates are expected to sit for the PTCB certification.

Also, students are prepared to pass the Compound Sterile Preparation Exam, demonstrating their skills and knowledge and awarding them the professional CSPT denomination.

6. North Dakota State College of ScienceNorth Dakota State College of Science

North Dakota State College of Science is a public school that connects distance learners with a robust and engaging online education.

The school has 836 distance learners in the two online certificate curricula, approximately 28% of the student body.

The Pharmacy Technician certificate is attractive for those focusing on advancing within the pharmacy industry and will only take a few months.

The program prepares students through coursework and lectures to prepare for the demands of a pharmacy career.

Students can also opt for experiential learning opportunities, like research projects and internships, to further refine their skills and knowledge.

Students can work with an academic advisor to customize the coursework and pursue part-time or full-time study.

Like most others on this list, eligible students can apply for external and internal funding opportunities like federal financial aid and scholarships.

7. Northwest Iowa Community CollegeNorthwest Iowa Community College

Northwest Iowa Community College’s Pharmacy Technician diploma training program requires 50 academic study hours, including an externship with a local pharmacy.

To be eligible for their program, students must hold a high school diploma, pass a drug screening and background check, and provide vaccination proof.

The program trains aspiring pharmacy technicians for the PTCE exam and gives them the tools necessary for entry-level employment within a pharmacy environment.

This is accomplished through interpreting prescriptions, learning medical terminology and pharmacy practice, and participating in hands-on lab work.

Other topics included in the program are billing and reimbursement, inventory control, aseptic techniques, dosage calculations, and drug classifications.

These courses form the foundation for a successful career or to advance to a higher degree.

8. Penn Foster

Like Ashworth College, Penn Foster Career School is another distance learning leader.

Founded in 1890 as a school to educate coal miners so they could advance their careers, Penn Foster soon transitioned into the International Correspondence Schools.

The Penn Foster Career School has an excellent online Pharmacy Technician certificate program that gives students the tools to immediately jump into an entry-level position at a pharmacy.

The curriculum also prepares students to sit for the PTCB certification exam.

Students are encouraged to gain firsthand experience during the program through an externship at CVS or Walgreens.

As one of the leading distance learning schools, Penn Foster also has mobile-friendly courses, personal coaches, and goal-setting tools to ensure educational success.

Since the school is highly online-focused, the administration leaves no stone unturned to ensure students can reach their educational and career goals.

9. Rasmussen CollegeRasmussen College

Founded in 1900, Rasmussen College is headquartered in Bloomington, Minnesota. Since then, the school has expanded into 24 campuses across six states with over 100,000 graduates.

Rasmussen started its online division in 2002 to give students additional flexibility.

The school’s online Pharmacy Technician certificate course requires a time commitment of nine months and offers learners the necessary tools to be successful.

The Pharmacy Technician distance learning program offers live interactive faculty and peer sessions incorporating online simulations to learn the required technical skills.

The focus of the Rasmussen program is to combine the rigors of on-campus study in an online setting, which ensures students receive the best possible learning experience.

10. San Francisco State UniversitySan Francisco State University

Established in 1899, SFSU has a self-paced, altogether online, six-month Pharmacy Technology certificate program.

The school offers around-the-clock instructor support and plenty of interactive learning tools to keep students engaged while learning.

An essential component of this program is gaining firsthand experience through engaging lab work, animated simulations, and high-quality videos.

To graduate, students must engage in an 80-hour clinical externship at a partner healthcare provider.

The course teaches students about billing management, inventory control, dispensing prescriptions, dosage calculation, 200 top drugs, prescription interpretation, medical terminology, and pharmacy calculations.

Most employers require certification as a term of employment, so the curriculum focuses on giving students the tools to complete the PTCB certification exam.

Additionally, SFSU offers excellent career services and resume writing so students can quickly find employment immediately after graduation.

11. State Fair Community CollegeState Fair Community College

Aspiring pharmacy technicians searching for a flexible online certificate will find it at State Fair Community College.

This public college has a small distance learner population of only 2,726 across all online certificate disciplines.

Those interested in the pharmacy field will find the online pharmacy technician certificate program to be highly flexible.

The curriculum comprises industry-relevant coursework that allows students to gain advanced knowledge and foundational skills through internships and research projects.

Students can modify their courseload and select concentrations and electives in conjunction with their academic advisor.

The result is flexible study, allowing students to pursue part-time or full-time enrollment quickly.

With the proper eligibility, students can access fellowships, scholarships, and financial aid awards, with 91% of attendees utilizing financial aid packages.

12. University of Alaska AnchorageUniversity of Alaska Anchorage

Founded in 1954 as a public research university, the University of Alaska Anchorage has a total student population of 17,000 and has the largest veteran population in Alaska.

The school offers a 16-credit Pharmacy Technology Occupational Endorsement certificate, which can be achieved entirely online.

The training program is short, as it can be completed in two semesters.

UAA’s Pharmacy Technology program covers essential foundational courses, including the following:

  • Introduction to Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology Calculations
  • Pharmacology
  • Techniques of Pharmacy Practice

All instructors are either existing or retired pharmacists or pharmacy technicians, so they know the nuances of the industry.

As a result, the program incorporates many real-world examples that these medical professionals have encountered and can pass along to students.

What Courses Are in an Online Pharmacy Technician Program?

Depending on the educational level you are trying to achieve, more schooling equates to more comprehensive knowledge.

All online pharmacy technician programs cover the following courses:

  • Billing management
  • Certification Preparation
  • Dispensing prescriptions
  • Drug classifications
  • Introduction to pharmacy
  • Inventory control
  • Laboratory simulations
  • Medical terminology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacy Practice
  • Pharmaceutical calculations
  • Prescription interpretation

Can You Earn a Pharmacy Technician Certification Completely Online?

A pharmacy technician certification can be earned entirely online.

However, most programs either encourage or require an externship to gain firsthand pharmacy experience, which cannot be taken online.

The externship with a local company aims to apply classroom knowledge to real-world situations.

Also, it helps students expand their transferable skills, create professional relationships, and boost their resume to assist with post-graduate employment.

Local companies often hire interns who do an excellent job for permanent employment.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Pharmacy Technician Certification Online?

Budding pharmacy technicians can earn a certificate in six months, a diploma in one year, and an associate degree in two years.

A certificate or diploma may be the best route for those looking to enter a healthcare career.

Those who wish to build a stronger knowledge foundation will benefit more from the two-year associate degree.

Although there are more general education courses with an associate degree, the curriculum is more comprehensive and detailed than the diploma or certificate.

How Much Does an Online Pharmacy Technician Certification Cost?

Aspiring pharmacy technicians can pursue an associate or certificate degree, which requires different time commitments and costs.

The National Center for Education Statistics found that the average two-year college tuition costs $3,500.

Still, online degrees can save a significant amount of money since there’s no room and board recruitment.

Therefore, an online certificate can cost a few thousand dollars, while an associate degree costs up to $10,000 annually.

The primary difference between the two degrees is a certificate focuses solely on pharmacy topics, whereas the associate degree requires general education core classes and pharma coursework.

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