Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)

PTCB Certification is an important first step toward a rewarding career in healthcare. As a CPhT, you can work effectively to support your pharmacy team and provide superior patient care.


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The PTCB CPhT Certification is the technician credential pharmacists trust. With the CPhT credential, technicians demonstrate their knowledge and commitment in medication safety and effective patient care across pharmacy settings. Employers prefer, and many require, their pharmacy technicians to be PTCB CPhTs.

Learn more about PTCB’s CPhT credential and prepare for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam® (PTCE®). 







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Eligibility Requirements

Are you eligible to earn your PTCB CPhT certification?

✔  Reside in the United States of America or its territories (US)

✔  Completion of a PTCB-Recognized Education/Training Program or equivalent work experience

✔  Full disclosure of all criminal and State Board of Pharmacy registration or licensure actions

✔  Compliance with all applicable PTCB Certification policies

✔  Passing score on the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam® (PTCE®)

Candidates must complete a PTCB-Recognized Education/Training Program OR equivalent work experience in order to be eligible. To be eligible for the PTCE, a candidate must complete one of the following two pathways:

Pathway 1: A PTCB-Recognized Education/Training Program (or completion within 60 days). Candidates choose from more than 1,400 recognized programs.

Pathway 2: Equivalent work experience as a pharmacy technician (min. 500 hours).* This alternative secondary path serves experienced technicians who were not in a position to attend a PTCB-recognized program. PTCB accepts work experience across pharmacy practice settings that pertains to certain knowledge requirements.

*500 hours must be complete at the time of application.

View a list of PTCB-Recognized Education/Training Programs for the CPhT Program.


Exam Fee

The cost to apply for CPhT Certification and take the PTCE is $129.


How to Apply and Schedule

  1. Create a PTCB Account.
  2. Apply for certification by logging into your PTCB Account.
  3. Once your application is approved, you will receive an email with your authorization to schedule your exam.

The PTCE is administered year‐round at more than 1,400 Pearson Professional Centers nationwide, including more than 100 military on-base sites.


Prepare for Your Exam

Access these test resources before your exam date to ease your nerves and help you prepare for success.

PTCE Content Outline

A content outline defines the content that will be measured on the exam. 

Pearson VUE Tutorial

The Pearson tutorial provides a preview of the testing experience and functionality. The tutorial is not PTCE specific.

Official PTCB Practice Tools

  • PTCE Practice Bank™
  • Pre-PTCE™

Reference List of Preparatory Materials

Many external resources are available that may be useful to individuals preparing for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. PTCB does not recommend or endorse specific educational materials for pharmacy technicians, but shares the following examples for informational purposes only:

Prepare for the PTCE
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About the Exam

  • The PTCE is a computer-based exam with 90 multiple-choice questions (80 scored questions and 10 unscored questions). Unscored questions are randomly placed throughout the exam and are not identified.
  • Be prepared to commit 2 hours for the exam (5-minute tutorial, 1 hour and 50-minute exam, and 5-minute post-exam survey).
  • Your unofficial exam result will be presented on the screen immediately following the post-exam survey. You may also receive a printed copy of the unofficial exam result at the test site. Official exam results will be posted to your PTCB Account within two to three weeks.


Exam Day Requirements

  • Arrive at the designated Pearson VUE test center 30 minutes prior to your appointment.
  • Bring an approved form of identification that matches your name as it appears on your PTCB account. You will not be allowed to take the exam without proper identification.

Be sure to review more detail about what to expect and what is required in the Candidate Guidebook.


Testing Accommodations

Candidates who require testing accommodations must request these accommodations during the application process. Accommodations that are reasonable and consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be provided by PTCB at no additional cost to candidates. Candidates who need to bring medical equipment into the testing room need to request an accommodation if the item is not on the list of allowed items.


Exam Day
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While the preliminary score reports presented on screen following your exam are typically an indication of your performance, they are not official or final. Official score reports are typically available in your PTCB Account within two to three weeks from your exam date. PTCB cannot expedite the processing of exam results or certification information. 

If you pass the PTCE, your certification status can be verified through PTCB's Certification Verification page.



If you pass the exam, your certificate will be available to download through your PTCB Account. Within your PTCB Account, you may also choose to order a fine paper certificate with wallet-sized card for a small fee.


Digital Badges

Upon earning your certification, you will receive an email invitation from the Credly Platform via badge@ptcb.org with instructions for claiming your badge and setting up your account.

This digital badge will contain information describing your certification, including how you earned it. You can display the badge in your email signature, electronic files of a resume, and on social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Get Certified
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PTCB CPhTs are required to renew their certification every 2 years to maintain their credential. Recertification ensures that pharmacy technicians stay up-to-date in pharmacy practice through the completion of continuing education (CE).


Renewal Process Schedule

CPhTs can apply for renewal when their application window is open. An application window opens 60 days prior to the certification’s expiration date. CPhTs who do not recertify by the expiration date are no longer certified and must apply for reinstatement within 1 year of certification expiration to resume active status.


Continuing Education (CE)

Recertification Requirements 

Beginning with renewal applications received after September 1, 2020, PTCB accepts a maximum of five (5) CE hours from ACPE-accredited providers with the target audience designation ‘P’ (pharmacist-specific) if the subject matter is contained within the PTCE Content Outline.

Note: CE hours can only be applied to the recertification cycle in which they are completed, and cannot be carried over and applied to future cycles.


Reinstatement Requirements

In addition to the requirements listed for recertification, reinstatement candidates must complete 1 additional hour of CE in pharmacy law.


Recertification & Reinstatement Fees

CPhT Recertification (every 2 years) $49
CPhT Reinstatement $89
Other Fees  
Late Application Processing Fee* $25
Reprocessing Fee** $10


*Any recertification application received after the Application Deadline, which is the first day of the certification expiration month, will be assessed a $25 late application fee, in addition to the required recertification application fee.

**Applies each time an application is returned for corrections. This fee is nonrefundable.


How to Apply for Renewal

PTCB’s streamlined renewal process, launched in 2019, offers faster CE tracking and application approvals for CPhTs. CPhTs must have an NABP e-Profile ID on file with PTCB before they recertify.

The streamlined process:

  • eliminates the need to manually enter CE information that is already tracked in the CPE Monitor
  • allows for instant approval of recertification/reinstatement applications 
  • reduces potential delays when applying

Apply By Logging In

A link to submit your application for recertification will appear on your PTCB Account homepage beginning on your application submission window opening date, 60 days prior to your certification expiration date.

Earn, Verify, Check

  • Earn CE hours during your 2-year renewal cycle.
  • Verify that your NABP e-Profile ID appears in your PTCB Account.
    • With an NABP e-Profile, you can enter and track completed CE hours in CPE Monitor, a database of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and ACPE. Create your NABP e-Profile on NABP’s website. Be sure to add your PTCB Certification Number to the Credentials section of your NABP e-Profile. 
  • Check that you have met all CE requirements and your CE hours are recorded correctly in CPE Monitor.
    • CPhTs who have tracked their completed continuing education (CE) hours in CPE Monitor do not have to enter their CEs on the PTCB application.
    • If you completed CEs that are not in CPE Monitor, you must manually enter your CE activities and upload documentation of CE completion to your PTCB application.

Apply, Attest, Submit

  • Apply by logging into your PTCB Account.
  • Attest that you’ve completed PTCB’s renewal requirements and your CE activities are in CPE Monitor.
  • Submit your renewal application along with the renewal fee payment. Once your payment is processed, your application will be approved, subject to review.

PTCB Reviews Your Application

  • Your application will be accepted as soon as your payment clears and application is submitted. You will receive notice of acceptance within 5-10 minutes.
  • For the next 60 days, PTCB will attempt to verify your CEs through CPE Monitor. After 60 days, if PTCB is unable to verify your CEs through CPE Monitor, PTCB will review the documentation uploaded with your renewal application. If there are any discrepancies in your application, you may be contacted to provide additional supporting documentation.


Renew Your CPhT Certification
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Quick access to additional documents you may need during your PTCB CPhT certification or recertification process. Download the necessary documents and submit the completed forms as required.

  1. PTCE Preparation Attestation Form
  2. Testing Accommodations Form
  3. Emergency Withdrawal Form