How to Get a Pharmacy Technician Job Without Experience, Certification, or Going to School

Pharmacy technicians are healthcare workers that perform duties under the close guidance of pharmacists. Their job responsibilities help keep the pharmacy running smoothly and effectively by taking inventory, preparing medications, and ensuring that patients get quality service. 

The number of pharmacy technician jobs is expected to grow due to a greater need for medications to treat health conditions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), pharmacy technician jobs are predicted to grow by 5% until the end of the decade. 

Requirements to work as a pharmacy technician vary by state. Some states may require you to complete a training program or be certified.

Depending on the state where you plan to work, you may be able to find a job as a pharmacy technician without experience or certification.

This article details which states allow you to work as a pharmacy technician, even if you do not have experience, a certification, or have not completed a training program. In addition, it will go over how to land a pharmacy technician job if any of these apply to your situation. 

State-by-State Requirements for Pharmacy Technicians

Each state has its own laws and guidelines for working as a pharmacy technician. Make sure to check with your state’s governing board for the most up-to-date information on what requirements need to be met. 

Some states do not have registration or certification requirements and thus allow on-the-job training with only a high school diploma or equivalent. In states that do have these requirements, on-the-job training for pharmacy technicians may still be possible, provided you register with your state’s governing board.

Requirements for pharmacy technicians can be grouped into the following categories. Note that some states may fall into multiple categories. 

The following states do not have registration or certification requirements:

  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania

The following states require pharmacy technicians to have gone to school or a training program:

  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • Alaska
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming 

The following states require pharmacy technicians to be certified by an organization such as the PTCB or NHA:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington 

If you live in one of these states, check out our guide to becoming a pharmacy technician to see what you have to do to be eligible to work.

The following states require pharmacy technicians to register with the state board of pharmacy:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Where to Find Jobs as a Pharmacy Technician Without Experience or Certification

If you happen to live in a state that does not require pharmacy technicians to complete a training program or hold a certification, you may be able to find a job with only a high school diploma or equivalent.  

That being said, having additional qualifications such as completing a training program or passing a certification exam can boost your chances of landing a job. 

In many states, you will need to register with the state board of pharmacy within a certain number of days of being hired. Be sure to double check with your state’s board for specific steps you need to take.  

Here are some ways to find pharmacy technician jobs, if you do not have experience or a certification.

Consider an Online Pharmacy Technician Training Program

A pharmacy technician training program can help increase your chances of getting hired for more competitive positions. For example, employers may prefer (or even require) that their pharmacy technicians complete a training program.

Online pharmacy technician programs are the quickest and most convenient way to open more opportunities and set yourself up for a successful career. Many of these programs are asynchronous, meaning that you can go through them at your own pace.

The cost and time it will take to complete these online programs will vary depending on the institution offering it. In general, you can expect online pharmacy technician programs to cost around $2,000. You can also expect most online pharmacy technician programs to take a few months to complete.  

In addition, completing a training program satisfies one of the eligibility requirements for the certification exams, should you choose to get certified. 

Here at Stepful, we offer a 4-Month Online Pharmacy Technician Program that only costs $1,999 and includes an in-person externship, career coaching, and a 100% moneyback guarantee.

Search Job Boards

Browsing through online job boards, such as Indeed or Glassdoor, is the easiest way to find pharmacy technician jobs in your area. These sites are frequently updated, so if there are no currently available positions, do not be discouraged. Just keep checking regularly and eventually a position will become available.  

When reading a job description, pay attention to keywords like “no experience needed”, “will train”, “on-the-job training”, “entry-level”, or “pharmacy technician trainee”. In addition, confirm that the minimum requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent. 

Consider an Externship

Externships are an excellent way to gain experience and network with pharmacy technicians. Although typically unpaid, they provide the chance to learn first-hand what a typical day of work is like for a pharmacy technician. They typically last for a couple of months and require less of a time commitment than a full-time job. 

One way to find an externship is by contacting local pharmacies. Even if a particular location does not offer an externship, they may be able to connect you with one that does. You can also check job posting sites like Indeed or Glassdoor.

Many pharmacy technician training programs include an externship component as part of their curriculum. So, if you choose to enroll in a training program, you will get assistance in finding an externship.

Contact Local Pharmacies and Hospitals

Contacting local pharmacies and hospitals is the most direct way to find a pharmacy technician job. When inquiring about openings, ask about whether they offer on-the-job training for those with no experience. 

If they are not able to hire you, then you can also ask if they know of any locations that may be looking for applicants. Note that you may start out as a pharmacy assistant instead of a pharmacy technician.

Tailor Your Resume for Each Job You Apply For

Not all pharmacy technician jobs are the same. For example, some jobs may be at a hospital pharmacy, while others may be at a retail store pharmacy. 

Rather than sending the same resume and cover letter to every job you apply for, it is better to tailor your resume so that it addresses the unique aspects of each job. This shows employers that you have given enough thought and consideration for their job opening. 

Ace the Interview

As with any job, the interview can make or break your application. If you are interested in becoming a pharmacy technician without any experience or certification, then the interview becomes even more crucial. It is your best opportunity to show employers why you would be a great fit. 

If you want to ace your interview, you will need to show employers that you are passionate, hard-working, responsible, and willing to learn. Make sure to prepare by researching the job opening. You will have to convince them that you have the qualities needed to succeed as a pharmacy technician, despite not having experience or a certification.

Before the day of the interview, make sure you get adequate rest. On the day of the interview, arrive early and wear appropriate attire. Come prepared with answers to common interview questions and with questions of your own. Sending a thank you note after the interview is also a good gesture. 

Typical Pay for Pharmacy Technicians Without Experience or Certification

In 2022, pharmacy technician salaries averaged $36,740, which comes out to $17.66 per hour. However, the data does not break down salaries by experience or certification. 

For pharmacy technician jobs that do not require experience, you can expect a typical hourly salary of $16 to $20 per hour. This will vary slightly depending on the employer and location. Be sure to check local job postings to get a better sense of what the typical salary is in your area. 

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