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Why should a pharmacy technician get PTCB certified?

Over the past 3 years, I have seen many people take my Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) review course with high hopes of passing the pharmacy technician certification exam. I always ask why they came to the class and more importantly, why they want to get certified. Here are some of the answers:

Pharmacy technicians want to increase their salaries and if PTCB certification gives them the opportunity to “climb the ladder”, why not take the PTCB test. Certification is the next step that states will be taking in relation to improving the quality of pharmacy. Certified techs will be an integral part in the pharmacy team and in order to stay on the cutting edge, techs need to prepare and take the test. In some states, PTCB certification is mandatory in order to be a pharmacy technician. There are some companies that also require their techs to be certified. The job market opens up for those qualified techs, while others may be left in the cold. Some techs want the respect that comes along with a certificate on the wall stating that he/she has successfully passed the PTCB exam for certification. They can prove that they have mastered the skill necessary to be a good technician. Many techs feel a sense of accomplishment when they pass the test and are now part of a professional team. They try harder, they read more about their profession, and they even have more meaningful responsibilities.
Some techs take the exam in preparation for pharmacy school. The PTCB website’s practice exam is a rigorous insight into the knowledge needed, not only to pass the PTCB exam, but also in the day-to-day activities in the pharmacy.

I think that many of the people taking the exam are fearful of being passed over in their position if they don’t improve their skills and become certified. Mandatory certification is not just in the future; it is in the near future. Many state requirements are paving the way for pharmacy technician certification. Tech registration with the Board of Pharmacy is the first step toward regulating the technician field. The legislation allowing an increase in the ratio of pharmacists to technicians with a certified technician shows the future need for these techs. The demands that are increasing on pharmacists will ultimately require more activities and responsibilities be put on the shoulders of technicians with legislation backing them. Ultimately, the pharmacist-technician bond will not only strengthen but also augment each other in their daily activities. We pharmacists should not only support our techs toward certification, we should promote their interest in becoming certified. It is their future that will make the profession of pharmacy brighter.