Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technician

Combining convenient online instruction, laboratory simulations, and supervised clinical practice, this certificate 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 psychomotor skills. Clinical practice in hospitals and retail pharmacies provides actual experiences to prepare students for entry and advanced level positions in a variety of pharmacy settings.

Selective Admission

Our Pharmacy Technician program accepts up to 20 applications yearly and begins Fall Quarter. The application period closes on August 1 annually.

About the Program

This certificate is 55 credits and the associate of applied science degree option is 90 credits in length. Students may complete the certificate course of study in a year or the applied associate degree in two years.  A program application is required, and twenty students may be accepted annually by the use of a competitive point system.

We are a Washington State approved training program, accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and a recognized and approved program by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.

PTCB-Recognized-Education-Training-Program-Seal

Combining convenient on-line instruction, laboratory simulations, and supervised experiential practice, the YVC Pharmacy Technician Program prepares students for a career as a Certified Pharmacy Technician, CPhT. Instruction includes core courses essential to all 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 psychomotor skills.  Our computer-simulated lab uses innovative software powered by Pionee​​rRX,​ which use real pharmacy management practices in the performance of day to day tasks and workflow processes​.

Pharmacy Technicians function as a vital member of the health care team preparing medications under the guidance of a pharmacist.  They serve patients in a variety of pharmacy settings such as retail drug stores, department or grocery stores, medical clinics, nursing homes, mail-order pharmacies, and specialized oncology facilities.

Pharmacy Technician duties may include:

  • stock, order, and maintain drug and equipment inventory
  • maintain patient medication and medical records
  • assist in dispensing of medications
  • bill for pharmacy services, goods, and prescriptions
  • non-sterile and sterile compounding of medications
  • measure, mix, count, and/or label medications
  • operate and maintain computerized dispensing and/or robotic machinery

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Increased demand for prescription medications will lead to more demand for pharmaceutical services.”

The BLS lists Washington as the top paying state for pharmacy technicians in 2021 with an average hourly wage of $22.52, or about $46,000 annually. This is above the national median wage the BLS records as $18.25.

We are a Washington State approved training program and a candidate program for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Pharmacy Technician Training Accreditation.

Combining convenient online instruction, laboratory simulations, and supervised clinical practice, the YVC Pharmacy Technician Program prepares students for a career as a Certified Pharmacy Technician. Instruction includes core courses essential to all 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 psychomotor skills.  Our computer-simulated lab uses innovative software powered by Pionee​​rRX,​  which uses real pharmacy management practices in the performance of day-to-day tasks and workflow processes.

The YVC Pharmacy Technician Program partners with community pharmacies in a variety of pharmacy workplace settings in the valley to provide our students with actual experiences to prepare students for entry-level positions.

The following costs are ESTIMATES of the expenses students can expect during the program.

These costs do not include coursework taken prior to entry.

  • Full-time tuition per quarter: $1309.38*
  • Total certificate lab fees:$75.00*
  • Books/supplies per quarter: $250.00
  • Pharmacy Assistant Application Fee for the WA State Department of Health: $25.00

Total approximate costs for the one-year certificate program of 4 quarters of full-time attendance is $6,890.52.
*Tuition and lab fees are subject to change.
**Rates subject to change; please see current rate listed in the Business Office (Deccio Higher Education Center).
The estimated costs do not include transportation, room and board, or other personal needs.

Our Pharmacy Technician program accepts up to 20 applications yearly and begins Fall Quarter. The application period closes on August 1 annually.

Apply Here during Application Period

The Pharmacy Technician Program is 55 credits in length and includes core courses for health professionals as well as specialty courses in pharmacy technology.  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 and up to twenty students are accepted annually.

The externship is the final program requirement.  Students must complete all required coursework both didactic and simulated at the C level or above to be eligible for the pharmacy experiential site externship.  During the externship, the students are placed in a variety of hospital and retail pharmacy settings throughout the region.  The students must complete at least 240 hours of practice under the preceptorship of pharmacists.  Scheduled hours may vary to accommodate externship site and/or student needs.  YVC provides no salary or stipend to students during this rotation.

Finally, students must take and pass (75% or better) a final comprehensive examination. Students who have completed all required coursework, including the externships, and pass the final comprehensive examination, will be awarded a certificate of completion.

Students may choose to continue their studies and complete the program with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Pharmacy Technician Studies. A five-credit natural science course, 5 credits of billing and coding coursesa five-credit social science course, and at least 15 additional credits from elective courses are needed to qualify for this two year degree for a total of 90 credits. Students are encouraged to seek additional credits that will help enhance their future career as a pharmacy technician such as in areas of information technology, billing and coding, medical assisting, business, and/or care navigation.

The curriculum of the pharmacy technician program is designed to provide instruction to ensure students meet entry to advanced level competencies for pharmacy technicians as well as prepare them for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE).  After successful completion of this national exam, graduates will earn the credentials of a nationally recognized Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

Program Prerequisites include:

  • MATH 075 (or placement into MATH 085 Pre-algebra)
  • Placement into college-level English, ENGL&101
  • Pharmacy Assistant License Application completed for the Washington State Department of Health

Additional coursework is located in our catalog.

Course Requirements

Pharmacy Technician Certificate

Prerequisite Courses

MATH 075: Pre-Algebra 5 Cr (or placement into MATH 085 or above)

Core Courses

  • AH 104: Math for Health Professions 3 Cr
  • AH 105: Introduction to Pharmacology 3 Cr
  • AH 108: Communication and Cultural Concepts in Health Care 3 Cr
  • AH 119: Medical Terminology 5 Cr
  • AH 140: Medical Law and Ethics 2 Cr
  • AH 155: First Aid/CPR/Blood-Borne Pathogen Training 2 Cr
  • PTECH 120: Technical Writing 5 Cr

Program-Specific Courses

  • AHPT 115: Advanced Pharmacology 3 Cr
  • AHPT 125: Pharmacy Technician Skills I 4 Cr
  • AHPT 140: Pharmacy Law 2 Cr
  • AHPT 170: Pharmacy Technician Skills II 5 Cr
  • AHPT 175: Pharmacy Technician Skills III 6 Cr

Practicum Courses

  • AHPT 201: Pharmacy Externship 8 Cr
  • AHPT 203: Pharmacy Technician Review 4 Cr

Total Credits 55

Link to the current catalog

Pharmacy Technician Studies, AAS

Prerequisite Coursework

  • MATH 075: Pre-Algebra 5 Cr (or placement into MATH 085 or above)
  • ENGL& 101 (or placement) or PTECH 120  5 Cr

Core Courses

  • AH 104: Math for Health Professions 3 Cr
  • AH 105: Introduction to Pharmacology 3 Cr
  • AH 108: Communication and Cultural Concepts in Health Care 3 Cr
  • AH 119: Medical Terminology 5 Cr
  • AH 140: Medical Law and Ethics 2 Cr
  • AH 155: First Aid/CPR/Blood-Borne Pathogen Training 2 Cr

Program-Specific Courses

  • AHPT 115: Advanced Pharmacology 3 Cr
  • AHPT 125: Pharmacy Technician Skills I 4 Cr
  • AHPT 140: Pharmacy Law 2 Cr
  • AHPT 170: Pharmacy Technician Skills II 5 Cr
  • AHPT 175: Pharmacy Technician Skills III 6 Cr

Practicum Courses

  • AHPT 201: Pharmacy Externship 8 Cr
  • AHPT 203: Pharmacy Technician Review 4 Cr

Required Supporting Classes

  • AHBC 101: Introduction to Medical Coding 3 Cr
  • AHBC 102: Introduction to Medical Billing 2 Cr

Additional Required Electives

  •  5 credits of Natural Sciences/Math Distribution
  •  5 credits of Social Sciences Distribution
  • 15 credits of Electives

Total Credits 90

Link to the current catalog

  • Apply quality assurance practices that promote patient centered care throughout the medication use process.
  • Demonstrate proper processes and procedures for preparing and dispersing various medications.
  • Explain Federal and Washington State laws governing pharmacy practice and the requirements for licensure of a professional pharmacy technician.
  • Identify the most prescribed drugs and common over the counter medications used in the United States today.
  • Demonstrate correct processes and procedures for accurate medical billing and reimbursement. (AAS only)

Contact Us

Pharmacy Technician Program

alliedhealth@yvcc.edu  509.574.4913​​

Additional Healthcare Pathway Programs

Learn more about Allied Health Programs

YVC offers a unique approach to obtaining a variety of health professional certificates or degrees.

  • Our shorter-term certificate offerings range from 5 to 69 credits in length.
  • Our Associate of Applied Science Degree, we offer several options which range from 90 to 106 credits in length.

Our Allied Health Technology programs provide career and enrichment coursework and clinical experiences in order to build the knowledge, skills, and competencies for providing care for people of all ages in a variety of medical professions. Each program has different admission criteria, coursework, and degree options, ranging from introductory classes and certificates to associate of applied science degrees focused on a specific area of study. The majority of courses are offered in an online format. Clinical laboratory practice and clinical externship are required in some program courses.

West Campus Allied Health Building

YVC’s recently opened West Campus features expanded classrooms and labs for five of the college’s Allied Health programs: Medical Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy, Sterile Processing Technician, and Surgical Technology. The new facility is designed to prepare students to excel as healthcare professionals by providing spaces that mimic real-life healthcare settings. Learn more about West Campus and the Allied Health Building.

Contact Allied Health

Email: alliedhealth@yvcc.edu  or Phone: 509.574.4913