Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

When can I start the course?
New classes start each month. Enrollment window for the September class start date
closes soon. To secure your seat in that class, you must first pay your tuition. To do so, go here.

What is PTCB?
PTCB is a national certification program that enables pharmacy technicians to work more effectively with pharmacists to offer safe and effective patient care and service. PTCB develops and implements policies related to national certification for pharmacy technicians. PTCB administers a nationally accredited certification examination for pharmacy technicians which tests knowledge in all practice settings.

What is certification?
Certification is the process by which a non-governmental association or agency grants recognition to an individual who has met certain predetermined qualifications specified by that association or agency.

What is the recognition of certification?
Individuals who meet all eligibility requirements and who successfully pass the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination may use the designation "CPhT" after their name. A certificate and wallet card will be sent to newly Certified Pharmacy Technicians approximately six to eight weeks after sitting for the examination. Certification is valid for two years.

If I am certified as a pharmacy technician in one state will that cover me for all states?
PTCB’s certification is a national certification that is valid nationwide. However the regulations to work in a pharmacy vary from state to state for practicing technicians. It would be wise to contact the state board of pharmacy for whatever state you would prefer to practice in or visit the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. To contact your state's board of pharmacy, go here.

Pharmacy Technicians

What is a pharmacy technician?

For purposes of national certification, pharmacy technicians are defined as individuals working in a pharmacy, who under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, assist in activities not requiring the professional judgment of a pharmacist. How many pharmacy technicians are there?Current estimates put the number around 250,000+ pharmacy technicians. How are pharmacy technician roles and responsibilities defined?State rules and regulations as well as job-center policies and procedures define functions and responsibilities of pharmacy technicians. The pharmacy technician is accountable to the supervising pharmacist, who is legally responsible by virtue of state licensure for the care and safety of patients served by the pharmacy.

What is the cost for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination?

The application fee is $129.

What are the eligibility requirements for the PTCB exam?
The candidate must have a high school diploma or GED, and have never been convicted of a felony.

How do I get an application?
You can apply online, or Contact PTCB online (or by phone, fax or mail) to request applications.

What are the procedures for applying for the examination?
Applications can be submitted online or by mail. Online registration is subject to the same timelines as the paper application process. All PTCB deadlines are Midnight Eastern Standard Time. For details and application materials please see our Exam Information or Contact PTCB. When and where is the examination administered?

The PTCB exam is offered in conjunction with Pearson VUE and is administered over the course of four 5-week blocks of time we refer to as "testing windows." During the 5-week testing window, the examination is administered every day, several times per day, in Pearson Professional Centers nation-wide. To perform a search for Pearson Professional Centers nation-wide, please click here.

I registered for the exam. can I check to see if my application was received?

If you have registered for the national exam, any questions or concerns you have about your application must be directed to PES, the service that administers the test. You can verify your registration online or call their customer service line at (877) 782-2888. When you call, hold the line and let the menu play through, and someone will come on the line to speak to you. Please note that wait time may be a little longer than normal as an application deadline approaches, but rest assured that all calls are handled as quickly as possible.

I graduate from high school 2 weeks after the exam application deadline. If my principal provides a letter, may I still apply for the exam?
No, you must have received a high school diploma or GED by the application receipt deadline to sit for the PTCB Examination.

I have special needs. Will PTCB be able to accommodate me for the examination?
If you are completing a paper application, please refer to box 17 on the paper application. You are required to submit documentation with your application. If you have completed an online application, please go to the section titled 'review and edit your information' and select the ADA special accommodation you are requesting. You are required to print a short, one-page form to be mailed with your documentation to PES. For details regarding acceptable documentation please see the PTCB's Special Accommodations Policy.

I was convicted of a felony 20 years ago; can I apply for the exam now?
If your crime was pharmacy or drug related, you may never apply for or take the PTCE. If your crime occurred more than 5 years ago, you may submit copies of your legal and court paperwork for review at PTCB. PTCB reserves the right to deny acceptance to any convicted felon. However, PTCB will consider all factors, including the length of time since the felony occurred. Candidates who were convicted of a felony may petition to apply for the PTCE and PTCB will review and make decisions on their status on a case-by-case basis.

I do not speak English well. May I use a reader or a dictionary during the exam?
No. PTCB will not allow a reader or dictionary in the examination room. English as a second language is not considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Please refer to page 4 in the Application Instructions for more information about special accommodations for candidates with disabilities.

How is the PTCB examination developed?
The content of the PTCB examination is composed of a nationwide study of the work pharmacy technicians perform. The PTCB exam measures a defined set of knowledge and skills required for the performance of responsibilities.

Is the PTCB exam a competency-based exam?

Yes. The 1985 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing define a competency test as "an achievement test that measures the level of skill or knowledge possessed by test takers in relation to some defined domain of skills or knowledge." The PTCE reflects a key feature of competency-based examinations, because it measures a defined set of knowledge and skills required for the performance of responsibilities.

How is the examination scored?
A panel of content experts establishes a passing score for the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination using appropriate standard setting procedures, under the guidance of PES. The passing score for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination is based on a standard of performance that experts in the profession have determined to be acceptable for certification. It is not based on a "curve" as are some academic tests. Candidates must obtain a scaled score of at least 650 to pass the PTCE. For further details, please see the PTCB's Scoring Methods.

What happens if I have an emergency and can't make the exam?
PTCB's transition to computer-based testing has provided many new benefits to candidates who apply to take the exam. During a testing window, candidates have the flexibility to schedule, reschedule or cancel their testing appointment with no penalty. There is a 24 hour testing appointment cancellation policy. You must contact Pearson VUE at least 24 hours in advance of an appointment to cancel it in order to receive a refund. PTCB is no longer issuing refunds for "emergency withdrawals" due to the heightened flexibility of the exam schedule. It is the candidate's full reponsibility to show up to the correct appointment on time and with the correct identification and there will be no exceptions to this rule.

What happens if the weather is bad and I cannot get to the test site?
In the event of inclement weather, PTCB will judge the situation on a case-by-case basis using a recommendation from Pearson Professional Center affected by poor weather. Candidates affected by inclement weather will be contacted immediately and may reschedule their examination within the same testing window with no penalty. Inclement weather situations which threaten the closure of a Pearson Professional Center will include:

1) A State of Emergency has been declared for the test center area;

2) The test center facility has been closed;

3) The Testing Administrators cannot travel to the test center and indicates severe weather conditions at the test center;

What is the recertification process?
Renewal of certification is required every two years from your certification date. A total of twenty hours in pharmacy-related continuing education must be completed within the two-year period. At least one hour must be in the area of pharmacy law. For complete details see the PTCB's Recertification Procedures.

How much do the courses cost?
The total tuition for our online program is $425. You may elect to design an interest-free payment agreement if your financial circumstances necessitate such. Go to our tuition options page for details.

How long does it take to complete a course?
All of our courses are self-paced and open enrollment. You can start and finish the course at your own pace. When you register for a course, you are given 210 days (7 months) to complete the course. If you need more time, extensions are available.

Do I have to buy additional materials?
Your workbook and CD-Rom is included with the tuition and will be mailed to you after you enroll. All reference material can be found on the course website, and other internet sources. We do recommend that you purchase The Pill Book, which is a handbook of available drugs and their uses.

Can I get financial aid?
ASOPP courses are non-credit courses, so they do not qualify for federal aid. However, our Financial Assistance Committee would be happy to design a payment agreement that conforms to your financial circumstances. Apply here.

What happens when I complete the course?
Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a certificate of completion from Career Academy of New York. You must obtain a final passing grade of 70% or greater to be awarded a certificate. At that point, you will be well prepared to sit for the PTCB exam.

Am I guaranteed a job?
ASOPP courses will provide you with the knowledge you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. We do not provide direct job placement services, but our instructors will help you build your resume and are available to give advice on finding your first job. Instructors will also be available to use as a professional reference upon completion of the course. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.