Pharmacy technicians, sometimes referred to as pharmacy techs, might perform a number of customer service and administrative tasks in pharmacy environments, but that doesn't mean they're simply glorified check-out clerks. Most states regulate the training you must have to work as a pharmacy tech and the scope of duties you can perform. Some states require you to undergo a criminal background check for licensing.
Licensure and Certification
No national standard exists for licensing pharmacy technicians. Each state's board of pharmacy is responsible for developing its own requirements, which typically include a minimum age, high school education, completion of a formal education program or on-the-job training and passing a standardized examination. Because pharmacy techs may work with controlled substances, candidates for licensure might have to submit their fingerprints, disclose any past offenses and undergo a criminal background check.
Your state's board of pharmacy might require you to disclose any past legal offenses, but the kind of offense you must disclose varies from state to state. The Arizona Board of Pharmacy licensure application requires candidates to report convictions involving misdemeanors, felony offenses and drug-related offenses, regardless of whether those convictions were pardoned, vacated, dismissed, expunged or appealed. In Texas, you must disclose any and all offenses, including traffic violations such as speeding, obstruction of a highway and driving with a suspended license.
Some state boards of pharmacy, including Maryland, require pharmacy technician licensure candidates to submit a fingerprint record as part of their criminal background investigation process. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to walk around with black ink stains on your fingertips. The Maryland Criminal Justice Information System and the Federal Bureau of Investigation accept electronic or digital fingerprint submissions.
You might have to pay for fingerprinting, a state background check or a full criminal background check, depending on the regulations in your state. Each state determines whether a particular offense will disqualify you from obtaining a license to work as a pharmacy tech. Officials typically judge offenses on a case-by-case basis. The Texas Board of Pharmacy, for example, might deny a license or might grant one with a disciplinary action.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: What Pharmacy Technicians Do
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Pharmacy Technician
- Texas State Board of Pharmacy: Effect of Criminal Offenses
- Indiana Professional Licensing Agency: Pharmacy Technician in Training Requirements and Application
- Arizona State Board of Pharmacy: Application for Licensure as an Arizona Pharmacy Technician
- Arizona State Board of Pharmacy: Guidelines for The Pharmacy Technician Application
- Alaska Board of Pharmacy: Pharmacy Technician License Application
- Maryland Board of Pharmacy: Criminal Background Checks - New Process
Mike Parker is a full-time writer, publisher and independent businessman. His background includes a career as an investments broker with such NYSE member firms as Edward Jones & Company, AG Edwards & Sons and Dean Witter. He helped launch DiscoverCard as one of the company's first merchant sales reps.