Pharmacy Technician

Program Outline

Here's how it works
You receive the first course as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later and an email account to participate in and complete your program.

Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons:

Program Goals and Outcomes

Program Goals: To prepare students to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) or NHA ExCPT exam, and gain entry-level employment as a pharmacy technician.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...

  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills in areas of science relevant to the pharmacy technician’s role, including anatomy/physiology and pharmacology
  • Compare and contrast the roles of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in ensuring pharmacy department compliance with professional standards and relevant legal, regulatory, formulary, contractual, and safety requirements
  • Describe the steps, skills, and knowledge needed to prepare medications requiring compounding of sterile products, chemotherapy/hazardous products, and nonsterile products
  • Explain patient- and medication-safety practices in all aspects of the pharmacy technician’s roles
  • Demonstrate knowledge of quality assurance practices for pharmaceuticals, durable and nondurable medical equipment, devices, and supplies
  • Apply the steps in the medication order entry and fill process and interpret medication orders
  • Demonstrate knowledge of accepted procedures in purchasing pharmaceuticals, devices, and supplies
  • Describe the steps needed to initiate, verify, and assist in the adjudication of billing for pharmacy services and goods, and collecting payment for these services
  • Describe the use of current technology in the healthcare environment to ensure the safety and accuracy of medication dispensing
  • Explain the skills and strategies needed for professional and appropriate personal behavior and interpersonal communication

Starting Your Program
In this course, you'll learn tips for how to be a good Penn Foster student.

  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Pharmacy Technician Orientation
This course is intended as an introduction to Penn Foster’s Pharmacy Technician program. It is designed to introduce the student to the curriculum, the externship, and the student portal. Students will be introduced to the practice of pharmacy, including the history of pharmacy, technician roles in various practice settings, pharmacy ethics and professionalism, as well as advancing and emerging opportunities for technicians now and in the future.

  • Summarize the history of pharmacy and of technician career development
  • Explain the advantages of formal training for pharmacy technicians
  • Identify the roles of pharmacy technicians in different work environments
  • Identify specific technical and professional skills required by the pharmacy technician professional
  • Explain the importance of computer and information literacy to the pharmacy technician profession
  • Establish the written and interpersonal communication skills needed to be an effective pharmacy technician
  • Define the high level of inquiry, analytical, and problem-solving skills used daily by pharmacy technicians

Career Readiness
In this course students learn the soft skills employers demand to help increase job retention, employee and customer relations, and advancement opportunities. They examine the elements of professionalism, communication strategies, how to work with technology, working with an effective team, and methods for being a good leader.

  • Describe integrity and professionalism and their importance in effective work environments
  • Explain the importance of diversity, strategies for effective communication, and effective teamwork skills
  • Explain time management strategies, how to prioritize, the decision-making process, the problem-solving process, and open-mindedness

Pharmacology, Drug Class, and Body Systems, Part 1
In this course, students will become familiar with various body systems including structure, function, diseases, disorders, and treatments. Students will also learn drug delivery systems, drug administration routes, medical terminology, drug classifications, and commonly used medications for various organ system disorders.

  • Recognize the basic principles of pharmacology
  • Identify the anatomy, physiology, diseases, and treatments of the cardiovascular and hematologic systems
  • Identify the anatomy, physiology, diseases, and treatments of the respiratory and endocrine systems
  • Identify the anatomy, physiology, diseases and treatments of the gastrointestinal, urinary, and reproductive systems

Pharmacology, Drug Class, and Body Systems, Part 2
This course is a continuation of Pharmacology, Drug Class, and Body Systems 1. This course will familiarize students with various body systems including structure, function, diseases, disorders, and treatments. Students will also learn about microorganisms and their impact on the human body, as well as the pharmacological place for vitamins, minerals, and herbs.

  • Identify the anatomy, physiology, and diseases and treatments of the integumentary and musculoskeletal systems
  • Identify the anatomy, physiology, and diseases and treatments of the sensory and nervous systems
  • Identify the anatomy, physiology, and diseases and treatments of the immune system
  • Recognize the impact and importance of antibiotics, minerals, vitamins, and herbs on the human body

Pharmacy Practice Law and Regulations
In this course, students will learn how law affects healthcare practitioners and pharmacy technicians, the origin of law that affects medical professionals, the basics of the process of litigation and its alternatives, the common-law basis for the confidentiality of healthcare information, and the laws regulating healthcare information collected and maintained by government agencies.

  • Interpret civil and criminal laws related to pharmacy practice
  • Assess ethical issues healthcare professionals face today
  • Apply confidentiality laws and regulations

Math Calculations for Pharmacy Technicians
This course introduces the pharmacy technician student to basic math, algebra, and pharmaceutical calculations utilized in pharmacy practice.

  • Review and demonstrate basic math aptitude needed for pharmacy technician practice
  • Review and practice how to perform calculations related to prescription orders
  • Review and practice special medical calculations and business math used in the pharmacy

Textbook:Math Calculations for Pharmacy Technicians, Elsevier

Pharmacy Sterile and Nonsterile Compounding
This course introduces students to sterile and nonsterile compounding. A strong emphasis is placed on proper aseptic technique and compliance with USP 795, 797, and 800. Compounding practices and equipment are also discussed.

  • Explain the processes and considerations related to the preparation of IV solutions
  • Explore IV Calculations, Equipment, Facilities, and Preparation Techniques
  • Explore IV Nutrition, Patient Consideration, QA, and Non-Sterile Compounding


  • Sterile Processing for Pharmacy Technicians, Elsevier
  • Mosby's Pharmacy Technician Principles and Practice, Elsevier

Pharmacy Management and Operations
This course introduces the pharmacy technician student to pharmacy operations. Students will discuss the differences between pharmacy settings, examine the business applications of pharmacy, and review drug information resources, including how and when to use them. Students will also learn how to handle medication safely, and the steps involved in error prevention.

  • Examine drug information references and their proper use
  • Differentiate the responsibilities of pharmacy technicians in various pharmacy settings
  • Describe the importance of reporting medication errors, and the preventative measures taken to reduce them

Textbook:Mosby's Pharmacy Technician Principles and Practice, Elsevier

Pharmacy Billing and Reimbursement
The course introduces the student to the pharmacy reimbursement process. It discusses third party healthcare plans, reimbursement systems and claims processing.

  • Explain reimbursement methodologies related to pharmacy practice settings
  • Explain the elements of pharmacy billing and proper inventory management

Textbook:Mosby's Pharmacy Technician Principles and Practice, Elsevier

Pharmacy Management Software
This course is designed to facilitate the student's mastery of computer skills needed to perform various pharmacy technician–related responsibilities in community and institutional pharmacy practices.

  • Use database software for performing prescription processing and related community pharmacy tasks
  • Use database software for the processing of medical orders and related institutional pharmacy tasks
  • Prepare pharmacy reports and show comprehension of software laboratory exercises

Textbook:Pharmacy Management Software, 3e, Elsevier

Pharmacy Technician Certification Review
This course is designed to strengthen working knowledge of the concepts essential for pharmacy technician practice and serve as a review to prepare students for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam.

  • Demonstrate preparedness for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

Textbook:Mosby's Review for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination, Elsevier


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

You must have a High School Diploma or GED to enroll in this program.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

State boards of pharmacy may impose a variety of different requirements for pharmacy technician training. You should contact the state board to obtain the requirements applicable to pharmacy technicians in your state.