What do you learn about in pharmacy technician school?

Pharmacy technician school can be a great way to earn a relatively quick certification to get a foothold in the medical field. While pharmacy tech is considered an entry-level position, you’ll still learn valuable skills and will provide an important service to people on a daily basis.

Pharmacy techs are responsible for aiding the pharmacist in the day to day management and care of the pharmacy and its patients. While the pharmacist supervises medications, you’ll still be measuring, labeling, handling customers, and more.

To become a pharmacy technician, you’ll need to acquire your certification by passing the PTCB exam and earning hands-on experience in the field (as required by your state). So, what do you learn about in pharmacy technician school, anyway? Let’s take a look at your coursework.

The Science: Chemistry, Anatomy, Physiology

Working in the medical field requires an advanced knowledge of body chemistry, anatomy, and physiology. The study of bodily systems, how they work, and how medications affect them is crucial knowledge for the pharmacy tech. While you won’t be learning as advanced knowledge as the pharmacist themself, you still need a basic understanding of these things.

  • Anatomy
    Anatomy is the study of the body’s structures and their parts. You’ll learn where specific structures and organs are located, how they connect, and what their components are.

  • Physiology
    Physiology is the study of the function of these organs and systems and how they operate. You’ll learn the purpose of each organ or structure, how it operates, and why it’s important to the body and to homeostasis.

  • Chemistry
    Chemistry is the study of the chemical makeup of bodily components, how these elements interact with one another, and why they’re important to the function of bodily structures and organs.  

Advanced Mathematics

Pharmacy technicians deal with plenty of numbers. Measuring, counting, checking orders, these are all math-related tasks, so you’ll be completing some higher-level math coursework in your pursuit of your certification.

You’ll become familiar with the metric system to assist you in your measurements. Most Americans aren’t entirely familiar with the metric system, since we use the imperial system here. Your knowledge will be reinforced and you’ll become familiar with metrics and other math disciplines such as algebra.

Customer Service/Ethics

The medical field comes with its own set of ethics, and each discipline has specific ethical guidelines as well as general ones that apply to all medical professionals. You’ll learn these ethics in-depth in your studies, as well as during your hands-on training phase.

Why are ethics important in medicine? The answer is quite simple. Since you’re working in a field that deals with peoples’ physical health, you must follow ethical guidelines in order to serve them and not put them at risk. Operating in an unethical way can have disastrous consequences, and goes against the very nature of the medical field itself.

Your job is to help patients get their medications, which, in some cases, can mean the difference between life and death or serious health complications. The bottom line? Ethics are absolutely crucial to your career in medicine, so pay close attention!

Hands-On Training In A Pharmacy

One of the most crucial parts of your pharmacy tech training is the hands-on experience you’ll gain at a local pharmacy. Most certification programs have partnerships with either chain drug stores or other pharmacies to provide students with hands-on learning. Most states require a specific number of hands-on hours to receive your certification anyway.

You’ll work under the supervision of a certified pharmacist in an environment that you’ll become very familiar with in the coming months. This has a two-fold purpose: to train you to better understand how a pharmacy operates and what your role(s) will be, and to provide you with real-life experience in order to better assist you in securing employment after graduation.

In fact, some pharmacies partner up with pharmacy tech programs just for that reason; to find well-qualified and familiar candidates to work in their stores. While education is crucial and an important part of the process, nothing can replace real-life experience and hands-on learning in the field. 

Passion For Helping Others

Passion for helping others is something that many people bring to their pharmacy tech career, but it’s also something you can develop while you’re still in training. Once you see what you’ll be doing on a daily basis and how it helps others, you’ll see what a difference you’re actually making in the day to day lives of your patients.

This passion is what makes the medical field so rewarding. Patients appreciate someone that truly cares and goes out of their way to help others, and you’ll get the thanks and praise you deserve from grateful patients.


A rewarding entry-level position, pharmacy tech is one of the quickest certifications you can earn (and the least expensive). You’ll be working hands-on with medications, patients, and developing a true sense of passion for helping others. Get started today and earn your certification in as little as 5-10 months!