If you are considering a career in healthcare, becoming a pharmacy technician is a great choice. As you start researching a pharmacy technician career, you may wonder whether or not you’ll have to get licensed.
As of 2023, all states require pharmacy technicians to be licensed except for Delaware, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania.
Even states that require licensure have different requirements. This guide gives a state-by-state breakdown of pharmacy technician license requirements, how to get your pharmacy technician license, and how to maintain your licensure.
Pharmacy Technician License Overview
A pharmacy technician license is given by a state government agency and allows you to work as a pharmacy technician. Most states require some kind of training, drug screening, and passing a criminal background check before approving someone’s license. You have to be 17 (Florida, Georgia, Maryland) or 18 years old (most other states) to get your pharmacy technician license in most states.
A pharmacy technician license is different from a certification. While a pharmacy technician certification offers proof of training or education, a license is a legal document allowing you to work. A license can be revoked if you participate in behavior that is illegal or dangerous, while certification is valid until it expires.
Licenses are required for many types of medical professionals including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and most pharmacy technicians.
If you have a license in one state and move to another state, you will have to re-apply for licensure in your new state before you can start a new job. You can have two or more pharmacy technician licenses at the same time.
How to Get Your Pharmacy Technician License: Requirements by State
Finding out what the license requirements are for you to become a pharmacy technician can be confusing. This list will help you understand these requirements and how to get a pharmacy technician license in your state.
Note that some states require you to earn your pharmacy technician certification as well. You can learn about the difference between certified and registered/licensed pharmacy technicians here.
Before we dive in, you should know about our Online Pharmacy Technician Training Course here at Stepful. Our 4-month online program prepares you to get your CPhT certification from the PTCB which many states require. It includes an in-person externship and job placement support.
In Alabama, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy technician trainees must obtain a license through the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy. This requires passing a criminal background check, submitting a current photo or driver's license, and paying a $60 application fee, $40 background check fee, and $4 service fee.
Pharmacy technicians in Alabama do not have to be certified.
Alaska requires pharmacy technicians to be certified and licensed. Requirements in Alaska include a valid Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) certification, passing a background check and drug screening, and payment of a $25 licensing fee. The PTCB CPhT and NHA ExCPT certifications are accepted.
Pharmacy technicians in Arizona must be certified and licensed.
Requirements for Arizona pharmacy technicians include; an $82 License application fee (this fee is non-refundable), proof of legal residency and birth date, a government-issued photo ID, proof of high school graduation or its equivalent, proof of passing the PTCB or NHA exam, a copy of a valid Arizona fingerprint clearance card, and documentation of any name changes.
Arizona also offers a pharmacy technician trainee program for those who have not completed their certification yet. Trainee technicians receive a registration card instead of a license.
The Arkansas state board of pharmacy requires pharmacy technicians to be licensed, but not certified.
To submit for licensure, you must submit a check or money order payable to the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy in the amount of $106.25, a copy of your driver’s license or state identification card, a completed criminal background check, a copy of your Social Security card, and proof of high school graduation or GED.
As of August 2020, the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy requires all pharmacy technicians to have a license issued by the Board in order to practice in the state.
Requirements for licensure in Colorado include earning a certification through an approved agency, paying a $57 fee, and passing a background check.
In Connecticut, pharmacy technicians must register with the State Board of Pharmacy. Pharmacy technicians in Connecticut are not required to earn a certification. However, they must be trained on the job by a pharmacist and must only work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. No more than two pharmacy technicians at a time may work under the direction of a single pharmacist.
In Delaware, there are no certification or licensing requirements for pharmacy technicians. You only need a high school diploma or GED to work as a pharmacy technician in this state.
After completion of an approved training program, Florida residents can submit their $105 fee with an application to register as a pharmacy technician with the Florida Board of Pharmacy.
Pharmacy technicians in Georgia do not have to pass a certification exam, but they do have to register with the Georgia Board of Pharmacy. Applicants for pharmacy technician registration must submit a 100.00 application fee (non-refundable), be at least 17 years old, be currently enrolled in high school, have a high school diploma, or a GED, and must obtain a criminal history background check through Fieldprint.
Pharmacy technicians in Georgia must renew their registration by June 30 on odd-numbered years
In Hawaii, there are no certification or licensing requirements for pharmacy technicians. You only need a high school diploma or GED to work as a pharmacy technician in this state.
Idaho requires all pharmacy technicians to be licensed and registered with the State.
Requirements include: Applicant must be at least 16 years old, provide a copy of current government-issued photo ID, have fingerprints scanned, and have obtained and maintained certified pharmacy technician status through the PTCB or NHA.
There is a $63 registration fee for new pharmacy technicians and a $35 annual renewal fee.
People can begin working as pharmacy technicians in Illinois without a license but must earn their license within two years of starting their employment.
Illinois requires that pharmacy technicians be at least 16 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, pass a criminal background check, pass the PTCB CPhT exam, submit an official government-issued identification, and pay an application fee of $60.
Licenses in Illinois must be renewed every year.
Indiana requires all pharmacy technicians to be certified and licensed. In order to be granted a pharmacy technician license in Indiana, applicants must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, pass the PTCB or NHA exam, pay a $25 registration fee, and pass a criminal background check.
Pharmacy technician licenses expire on June 30 in even-numbered years. To renew, pharmacy technicians must pay the license renewal fee of $25.
To begin a career as a pharmacy technician in Iowa, a person must earn their certification and register with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy. Applicants must also disclose any criminal convictions prior to working as a pharmacy technician.
Pharmacy technicians in Kansas must earn their certification by taking either the PTCB or NHA exams. Technicians have to register with the Kansas Board of Pharmacy by submitting proof of certification, a background check, fingerprint cards, and payment of $67.
In Kentucky, pharmacy technicians have to register with the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy. To do this, applicants simply fill out an application and pay a $25 fee. Registration must be renewed every year on March 31.
In Louisiana, pharmacy technicians must be licensed and certified. Specific requirements include; being 18 years or older, having a high school diploma or GED, passing a criminal background check, completing 600 hours of practical experience with a licensed pharmacist, passing an approved certification examination, and paying a $125 fee.
You do not have to be certified to become a pharmacy technician in Maine. However, you will need a license. To get your pharmacy technician license, fill out an application with the State Board of Pharmacy and submit a $41 application fee. You must be able to pass a criminal background check to be issued a license to practice.
Maryland requires pharmacy technicians to be trained, certified, and licensed to work. Before you can work as a pharmacy technician in Maryland, you'll have to be 17 or older, have a high school diploma or GED, provide proof of successful completion of a Board approved pharmacy technician program, pass an approved exam, and pass a criminal background check.
Massachusetts has two different ways to become a pharmacy technician. The first option is to apply for your pharmacy technician license after completing a board-approved pharmacy technician training program and passing your exam.
Both the PTCB and NHA certifications are accepted by the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy. You’ll also have to pass a criminal background check, have a high school diploma or GED, and be at least 18 years old.
The second option is to apply for the technician in the training program, which allows you to gain experience while working towards your pharmacy technician certification.
Michigan pharmacy technician applications require submission of a background check, proof of high school diploma or GED, a $135 application fee, and proof of social security number.
In addition, pharmacy technicians must complete training in human trafficking, pain control, patient safety, and pharmacy ethics.
To maintain your pharmacy technician license in Minnesota, you must complete 20 continuing education credits every two years.
As of 2023, pharmacy technicians in Mississippi no longer have to be certified to apply for a license. The only requirements to obtain a license in Mississippi are to be 18 years of age or older, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and submit a pharmacy technician registration application.
In Missouri, all pharmacy technicians have to register with the Missouri Board of Pharmacy. This requires a background check, fingerprinting, and an application fee.
While certification is not required for all pharmacy technicians, specific tasks can only be performed by pharmacy technicians who have earned their certification. These include administering vaccines, working in a remote pharmacy without a pharmacist present, or administering medications by prescription order.
The Montana Board of Pharmacy requires that pharmacy technicians earn their certification by taking the PTCB or NHA exam. Pharmacy technicians must also have their high school diploma or GED and pay a $35 application fee.
In Nebraska, pharmacy technicians must register through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. To register, you must be at least 18 years old, have no drug-related criminal charges or felony charges, and have a high school diploma or GED.
Nevada requires both certification and licensure for pharmacy technicians. To work as a pharmacy tech in Nevada, you must complete an approved training program, submit fingerprints and a criminal background check, and pass an approved certification examination.
In New Hampshire, pharmacy technicians are licensed by the Office of Professional Licensure and Certification. Candidates in this state must be 18 years old, pass a criminal background check, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and obtain certification through an approved organization like the PTBC.
New Jersey does not require pharmacy techs to be certified, but they do have to register with the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy. Registration requires a high school diploma or GED, a clean criminal background check, no history of drug or alcohol abuse within the past year, and digitally recorded fingerprints.
You can start working in New Mexico without having a current certification, but pharmacy technicians must earn their certification within one year of starting their job.
Applicants must also submit a background check, digital fingerprints, and a $25 application fee for their required license. Licenses must be renewed every two years on your birth month.
In New York, you must be licensed to work as a “registered pharmacy technician.” To be eligible, you must “be of good moral character,” be at least 18 years old, have completed high school or your GED, and received a pharmacy technician certification.
Pharmacy technicians working in North Carolina must complete an approved state training program or earn their certification by taking the PTCB exam. There is a $35 application fee and a $35 renewal fee that must be paid each year.
Pharmacy technicians in North Dakota must be certified and licensed. Specific requirements include; must be 18 years or older, have a high school diploma or GED, pass a criminal background check, pass the PTCB exam, and apply to the North Dakota State Board of Pharmacy including paying the $35.00 fee. Submitted applications must be notarized.
The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy requires both licensure and certification from the PTCB or ExCPT. Pharmacy technician candidates in Ohio must submit proof of high school graduation or GED, proof of certification, a criminal background check, and an official photo ID with their application for a pharmacy technician license.
In Oklahoma, pharmacy technicians apply for a permit that allows them to work. The only requirements in Oklahoma are that a pharmacy technician has a high school diploma or GED and completed an on-the-job training program.
In Oregon, you can apply for a pharmacy technician license by submitting an application with a passport photo and authorization for a background check. You can also choose to obtain a certified pharmacy technician license by submitting proof that you have completed a certification course and passed your exam in addition to meeting all other requirements.
In Pennsylvania, there are no certification or licensing requirements for pharmacy technicians. You only need a high school diploma or GED to work as a pharmacy technician in this state.
Rhode Island recently changed its laws to require pharmacy technicians to be licensed to work in the state.
There are two types of pharmacy technician licenses, pharmacy technician 1 requires only registration with the state, and pharmacy technician 2 requires certification through the PTBC. Each of these types of pharmacy technicians has different roles and responsibilities.
South Carolina requires pharmacy technicians to complete a training course and earn their certification by taking the PTCB or NHA examination. After completing their certification course and exam, pharmacy technicians can get their license by submitting an application to the South Carolina Board of Pharmacy.
In South Dakota, pharmacy technicians must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. They must register with the South Dakota state board of Pharmacy by filling out an application that includes a background check within 30 days of beginning employment in a South Dakota pharmacy.
Pharmacy technicians in Tennessee do not need to be certified, but they do need to fill out an application for licensure and be approved by the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy. As part of the application, candidates must submit a background check, a statement of competency, education and employment information, and Social Security number, and pay a $95 registration fee.
If you want to become a pharmacy technician trainee or pharmacy technician in Texas, you need to have a high school diploma or GED and complete a state-approved training course. You will also be required to pass a certification exam.
After you complete your certification, you can apply for a license to practice in Texas. Applications for pharmacy technicians include a background check and a record of fingerprints.
Utah requires pharmacy technicians to be both certified and licensed. Specific requirements include a background check, fingerprint cards, a certificate of completion from your training program, a completed affidavit of education, copy of current certification from the PTCB or NHA.
To become a pharmacy technician in Vermont, you will have to be licensed, but do not have to be certified. Pharmacy technicians in Vermont must be 18 years of age or older, have a high school diploma or GED, and pass a criminal background check.
Pharmacy technician licenses in Vermont must be renewed every two years.
In Virginia, pharmacy technicians must be certified and licensed. Pharmacy technician candidates in Virginia must pass a background check, fill out a questionnaire, pass a certification exam, and possess a high school diploma or GED.
Licensees must be renewed annually. If you fail to renew your license for five years, you must retake your certification exam.
To become a pharmacy technician in Washington, you must pass a certification exam and complete eight hours of continuing education focusing on Washington law. In addition, you must pass a background check and provide an affidavit stating that you are in good health and are not at risk for substance abuse while working in the pharmacy.
The Pharmacy Board of West Virginia requires candidates to be certified and licensed. Certification can be done through a nationally recognized organization like the PTCB or through a pharmacist-in-charge program that includes at least 500 hours of training.
In Wisconsin, pharmacy technicians must earn their certification before they can become licensed. In addition, they must have earned a high school diploma or GED, or can be enrolled in an approved pharmacy technician apprenticeship program Licenses must be renewed by May 31 of each even-numbered year.
Both pharmacy technicians and those in training must have earned a high school diploma or GED, pass a background check, and have no history of drug abuse.
In Wyoming, future pharmacy technicians can register to be pharmacy technicians in training. This allows them to work under the supervision of a pharmacist for two years before earning their certification. After two years, candidates must earn their certification from the PTCB.
Do I Have to Get a Pharmacy Technician Certification In Order to Get Licensed?
Some states require pharmacy technicians to be certified before they can apply for their licenses, and others do not.
If your state does require certification, make sure you take your certification exam through an organization that is accepted by your state. The PTCB’s CPhT certification is the most widely accepted certifying organization in the United States.
Even in states where certification isn’t required, it might be worth completing a pharmacy technician training course and earning your certification. Employers usually prefer job candidates who are certified, and you may be able to request a higher starting salary if you have your certification.
How to Get Your Pharmacy Technician License
The steps for getting your pharmacy technician license vary by state, but there are a few general requirements that apply to most pharmacy technician licenses.
- Earn your high school diploma or GED.
- Complete a training course.
- Take your certification exam (if required).
- Submit information for a background check.
- Pass a drug screening test.
- Ensure that you have met all state requirements for licensure.
- Submit a completed license application to your state board of pharmacy.