Pharmacy Technology

Pharmacy Technology

A career in pharmacy gives you the opportunity to be a part of one of the fastest growing fields in healthcare. Pharmacy technicians work closely with pharmacists to help ensure that patients have the medications they need.

What You Will Learn

A pharmacy technician works closely with pharmacists in hospitals, drug and grocery stores, and other medical settings to help prepare and distribute medicines to patients. In many pharmacies, technicians:

  • screen prescription orders for accuracy and completeness
  • prepare prescriptions--retrieve, count, pour, weigh, measure, and sometimes mix the medication
  • perform calculations
  • prepare medicines used to treat cancer
  • assist in the management of investigational drug studies
  • use technology to help maintain accurate patient records, prepare and package medications, and place orders

The Central Piedmont Pharmacy Technology program will prepare you to assist the pharmacist in duties that a pharmacy technician can legally perform and to function within the boundaries prescribed by the pharmacist and the employment agency. Coursework includes and builds upon the domains of healthcare and pharmaceutical principals. Content emphasizes the pharmacy technician as a member of the interdisciplinary team providing safe, individualized care while employing evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics. You will learn to prepare prescription medications, mix intravenous solutions and other specialized medications, update patient profiles, maintain inventories, package medications, and gather data used by pharmacists to monitor drug therapy.

Graduates of the pharmacy technology program are eligible to apply to take the certification exam with the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Employment opportunities are vast within the global healthcare system. Employment opportunities include retail, hospitals, nursing homes, research laboratories and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. 

Students in this program may be exposed to blood-borne pathogens and infectious diseases through the provision of clinical services. It is for this reason that students are provided instruction on infectious diseases, mechanisms of disease transmission, and infection control procedures to reduce the risk of disease transmission, including those published by national public health agencies, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For more information, please refer to our student OSHA hazardous communication standard (PDF document) and student exposure classification bloodborne pathogens (PDF document) forms.

Why Choose Central Piedmont

Our program is accredited by ASHP. Successful completion of an ASHP accredited pharmacy education program will become a requirement for PTCB certification by 2020. Additionally, income potential is greater with an Associate in Applied Science degree, and the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy recognizes graduates with an Associate in Applied Science degree in pharmacy technology as Validating Technicians. Validating Technicians have an expanded role in pharmacy practice in North Carolina and will be allowed to validate certain stocking and unit dose packaging functions of other pharmacy technicians in the hospital pharmacy setting.

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

The Details

  • Program Options

    Earn an Associate in Applied Science or a diploma in pharmacy technology. The college catalog details the pharmacy technology program options currently available at Central Piedmont as well as program eligibility and course requirements. If you would like information on opportunities to transfer associate degree credit to a four-year institution, please visit the Transfer Resource Center. The North Carolina Board of Pharmacy recognizes graduates with an Associate in Applied Science degree in pharmacy technology as Validating Technicians. Validating Technicians will have an expanded role in pharmacy practice in North Carolina and will be allowed to validate certain stocking and unit-dose packaging functions of other pharmacy technicians in the institutional pharmacy setting.

    Visiting Students

    If you wish to transfer pharmacy technology course credit back to your home institution, explore how to enroll at Central Piedmont as a visiting student.

    Corporate and Continuing Education

    Central Piedmont's Corporate and Continuing Education provides non-credit, non-degree courses and programs, including job skills, industry-focused career training, certificates, certifications, professional licensure, and personal enrichment. Day, evening, weekend, and online opportunities are available.

    College and Career Readiness

    If you are looking for programs to gain the knowledge or skills necessary to finish a high school degree or to get a job, visit Central Piedmont's College and Career Readiness.

    College Credit for High School Students

    Visit Career and College Promise to learn about opportunities for high school students to earn college credit at Central Piedmont.

  • Pharmacy Technology Program Requirements and Application

    The pharmacy technology associate degree is completed in two years (five semesters); the diploma is completed in three semesters. For detailed information on pharmacy technology course and program requirements, visit the Central Piedmont Community College catalog.

    Please note that students in this field are at a higher risk than the general population for Hepatitis B. If admitted into the program, is to your advantage to start the vaccination process for Hepatitis B as soon as you learn of your acceptance. Medical history and documentation forms will be distributed at the orientation following acceptance. Any applicant who is aware that they are carriers of Hepatitis B or C or are HIV positive are required to advise the State Department of Human Resources regarding ability to have patient contact. Students accepted into this program will be required to read and sign a bloodborne pathogen Form and OSHA's hazard communication form at the mandatory orientation session for new students.

    All of our clinical facilities require a state and national criminal background investigation and drug screen of all students before they can be allowed into the clinical areas. All applicants are required to undergo a criminal background check and drug screen per clinical agency and healthcare system requirements. More information on how to complete these requirements will be provided upon acceptance. If you are refused access to clinical experiences because of a positive criminal background check or drug screen, you will be unable to complete the clinical component of the course. Inability to complete the clinical requirements will result in a failure to progress in the program. Under North Carolina law some people with criminal backgrounds may be eligible for an expunction to remove charges or convictions from their record. If you would like to know whether or not you are eligible, contact Central Piedmont's Single Stop at 704.330.2722, ext. 6435 or email singlestop@cpcc.edu to schedule a legal consultation. To learn more about expunctions, explore the NC Justice Center’s guide.

    Pharmacy Technology Essential Functions

    Review the pharmacy technology program essential functions (PDF) before applying for the program to determine if pharmacy technology is right for you.

    Pharmacy Technology Program Application

  • Locations

    Course offerings and availability are subject to change from semester to semester. Always confirm which courses are required to complete this program in the college catalog and confirm where courses are available using Schedule Builder.

  • Course Delivery Methods

    • Classroom/Lab/Clinical
    • Online

    Course offerings and availability are subject to change from semester to semester. Always confirm which courses are required to complete this program in the college catalog and confirm course delivery methods using Schedule Builder.

  • Pharmacy Technician Careers

    Becoming a certified pharmacy technician involves passing a certification exam that shows you have the knowledge needed to perform the duties of a pharmacy technician. Currently, national certification of pharmacy technicians is offered through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Becoming certified is voluntary in North Carolina; however, some employers require this certification. Pharmacy technicians are employed in hospital pharmacies, retail pharmacies, home health care pharmacies, long term care pharmacies, clinic pharmacies, mail-order prescription pharmacies, and pharmaceutical companies. A career in pharmacy gives you the opportunity to be a part of one of the fastest growing fields in health care. Pharmacy technicians work closely with pharmacists to help ensure that patients have the medications they need. Even though careers in pharmacy are rewarding, pharmacy is not easy work.  Many pharmacy technicians spend a majority of the work day on their feet. Pharmacy technicians may be asked to work a variety of shifts, including weekends and holidays. Visit Central Piedmont’s Career Coach or the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for detailed pharmacy technology career requirements and opportunities, salary information, and job openings.

  • Costs and Aid

    Central Piedmont provides real-world, affordable, hands-on education and career training. Learn how much it costs to attend Central Piedmont. Financial aid and scholarships are available.

    Pharmacy Technology Program Costs

    In addition to regular tuition and fees, there are laboratory fees assigned to courses with a lab/clinical component. Additional costs include textbooks, workbooks, medical fees for a physical exam, and drug screening and immunizations.

    Pharmacy Technology Scholarships

    In particular, students interested in the pharmacy technology program should consider the following scholarships. Please note that many scholarships are managed by organizations outside of Central Piedmont.

  • Admitted Students: Find Your Faculty Advisor

    Students at Central Piedmont have a faculty advisor for each program of study offered. Find your faculty advisor based on your last name:

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