Becoming a pharmacy technician is a great way to help others while earning a decent salary and enjoying great job security.
But how much do pharmacy technician school and certification cost?
Pharmacy technician school costs between $400 and $40,000 depending on the type of program you choose. Registering to take your certification exam usually costs around $100 to $150.
How Much Each Type of Pharmacy Technician School & Training Program Costs
If you’re hoping to become a pharmacy technician, earning your certification or degree is a great way to get started.
The cost of a pharmacy technician training program largely depends on the type of program you choose. Online programs tend to be the least expensive while pharmacy technician associate degrees are the most expensive.
Cost of Online Pharmacy Technician Training Programs
An online training program is an educational program that can be completed completely online. Many of these are self-paced programs that you can complete on your own time. Occasionally, live video lectures are given that you are required to attend at a specific time.
The cost of these programs is generally between $500 to $2,000.
For example, our 4-Month Online Pharmacy Technician Program here at Stepful costs $1,999.
Cost of Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program from a Community College
A certificate program at a community college provides in-person courses with hands-on experience. They will help you prepare to get your pharmacy technician certificate and may offer a diploma, but you will not graduate with an associate degree.
These certificate programs usually cover what you need to know to work as a pharmacy technician without the writing, fine arts, or mathematics courses that might be required in an associate degree program.
These programs usually last less than one year and costs vary greatly between programs. Some programs cost less than $1000, while others can cost over $10,000.
Tuition for the 21-credit pharmacy technician program at Concorde Career College is around $12,000, tuition for the pharmacy technician program at Mid Michigan College is about $7,000, and tuition for the Community College of New York is only $700.
Cost of Associate’s Degree from a Community College
Getting an associate degree takes the most time and is the most expensive. Tuition for an associate degree with a pharmacy technician certificate can be up to $40,000.
American National University offers an online pharmacy technician associate degree for $36,000. You can earn an associate degree from Saint Paul College for about $13,500, while North Seattle College charges $12,500.
Deciding Which Pharmacy Technician Program Makes the Most Financial Sense for You
When you are trying to decide what type of pharmacy technician program will work for you, keep in mind that most employers do not expect their pharmacy technicians to have an associate degree. Unless you plan to use your associate degree as a springboard into higher education, it makes more sense to complete a less expensive certificate program.
More expensive programs are not necessarily better. As long as a program is accredited, you can expect that it will help you meet your educational goals, prepare you to earn your certification, and teach you the necessary skills to succeed as a pharmacy technician.
Most employers are not picky about how you complete your training, as long as you pass your certification course.
Online programs are typically the cheapest and take the least amount of time to complete. Unless you struggle with online learning, they are often the best option.
>> See Option: Cheapest Pharmacy Technician Training Programs
Cost of Pharmacy Technician Certifications
There are two main pharmacy technician certifications. Each of them has a different cost as well as different recertification requirements.
CPhT from PTCB
The initial cost for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) exam is $129. You have to renew your certification every two years for $49.
ExCPT from NHA
The National Healthcareer Association’s Certified Pharmacy Technician (ExCPT) exam costs $117. After you pass your exam, you must recertify and pay a $55 fee every two years.
Paying for Pharmacy Technician Schooling or Training
There are several ways you can get help to pay for pharmacy technician training.
It’s important to note that it’s more difficult to get grants, scholarships, and student loans for certificate programs than for degree programs. Options include:
- Scholarships. Even if you do not have incredible grades or athleticism, it is possible to find scholarships. Many scholarships are needs-based scholarships, and some are based on ethnicity, background, or socio-economic status. Scholarships are available for universities, colleges, and certificate programs.
- Grants. Grants are available for most colleges, some online programs, and some certificate programs. A grant is money given to you to put towards your education that you are not required to pay back.
- Savings. Many people have money saved up for college. If you don’t have a lot of money saved, you will want to look into online or community college certificate programs.
- Student loans. You can apply for federal student loans through FAFSA, the same place most people apply for federal grants. Getting a federal student loan is the best option because there are better repayment options, lower interest rates, and the possibility of loan forgiveness. Private student loans usually have higher interest rates and more rigid repayment schedules.
- Employer sponsorship. An employer sponsorship usually means that your employer will reimburse you for your education if you commit to working for them for a specified amount of time. Generally, tuition reimbursement is paid out in chunks, with payments awarded for every few months or years that you stay with the company.
If you are unsure about what kind of aid you are eligible for, filling out the FAFSA can help you figure it out. Usually, only students attending colleges and universities are eligible for grants and federal student loans from FAFSA.
After you fill out your form, you will receive an email notification with details about what aid you are eligible for. You must accept any grants or loans that you want to use in order for the money to be issued to you. Most grants are sent directly to your school to cover the cost of your tuition.
FAFSA applications are due by June 30 each year.