Pharmacy Technician Certificate

Getting Started

Program Overview

Combining convenient on-line instruction, laboratory simulations, and supervised clinical practice, the YVCC Pharmacy Technician Program prepares students for a career as a Pharmacy Technician. Instruction includes core courses essential to health care professionals as well as specialty courses in pharmacy technology.  A simulation of a pharmacy drug preparation area in the Allied Health Laboratory allows for hands-on practice of essential psycho-motor skills.  Clinical practice in hospitals and retail pharmacies provide actual experiences to prepare students for entry level positions in a variety of pharmacy settings.​

The YVCC Pharmacy Technician Program is 62 credits in length.  Students may complete the course of study in four quarters of full time attendance.  Limited part-time study is also available.  A program application is required, with ten students accepted annually, using a competitive point system.  Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate will receive a Certificate in Pharmacy Technician Studies.

Career Overview

Working under the direction of a licensed pharmacist, Pharmacy Technicians function as a vital member of the health care team to assist in providing health care & medications to patients.  Pharmacy Technician duties may include: stocking and inventory of prescription and over the counter medications; maintenance of written or computerized patient medication records; count or pour medications into dispensing containers; preparation of insurance claim forms; assembling a 24 hour supply of medication for patients; compounding medications; preparing sterile intravenous medications; and operating computerized dispensing and/or robotic machinery.  ​

Working Environment

Pharmacy Technicians work in clean, organized, well-lighted, and well-ventilated areas. The nature of the job requires prolonged periods standing or walking.  Heavy items may need to be lifted or retrieved.    Depending upon the location of employment, hours may include evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays. 

Personal Characteristics

The Pharmacy Technician must enjoy performing precise work, where details can be a matter of life or death. Pharmacy Technician duties require absolute accuracy & precision in both the technical & clerical aspects of the job. Therefore, an essential characteristic of a Pharmacy Technician is the ability to sustain attention to detail and maintain accuracy even in stressful or emergency situations. For precision, many Pharmacy Technician duties require good manual dexterity.  Because Pharmacy Technicians work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, willingness to take direction is essential, while maintaining the ability to work competently without constant supervision after instruction has been given.  Good communication and interpersonal skills are also critical for a Pharmacy Technician, who must interact with other health care professionals on a daily basis. Finally, the professional characteristics of dependability, ability to work within legal and ethical boundaries, and critical thinking skills are fundamental. ​

Employment Opportunities

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Employment of pharmacy technicians is expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations through 2010 due to the increased pharmaceutical needs of a larger and older population, and to the greater use of medication."  Opportunities for employment may exist in hospitals, clinics, home health care agencies, and mail order and retail pharmacies.

For more information about Pharmacy Technician Program at Yakima Valley Community College, please contact:  Tami Rich, Allied Health Program Assistant  (509) 574-4913

Pharmacy Technician Program

IT 105Computer Literacy3
BT 101Introduction to Keyboarding5
Core Courses Course Credits
AH 105Introduction to Pharmacology3
AH 108Communications and Legal Concepts in Health Care5
AH 110Human Body in Health and Disease I5
AH 119Medical Terminology5
AH 120Human Body in Health and Disease II5
AH 155First Aid/CPR/HIV2
PTECH 115Professional Technical Math3
PTECH 120Professional Technical Writing5
Total 33
Pharmaceutical  Procedures  
AHMA 115Clinical Procedures (Asepsis)1
Program Specific Courses  
AHPT 125Pharmacy Tech Skills I4
AHPT 140Pharmacy Law1
AHPT 170Pharmacy Tech Skills II5
AHPT 175Pharmacy Tech Skills III6
AHPT 201Pharmacy Externship8
AHPT 203Pharmacy Technician Review4
Total 62

Gainful Employment Data

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Prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

This information includes costs, program length, on-time completion rates, job placement rates, average loan debt incurred by students, and career information.

Gainful Employment Program Information