Pharmacy Tech Pathway
Is your student extremely detail-oriented? Are they passionate about harnessing the power of medicine to save lives and relieve chronic conditions? Then a career as a pharmacy tech might be a great fit!
Pharmacy techs work under the supervision of a pharmacist, and they use their skills to measure amounts of medication for prescriptions; package and label prescriptions; and accept payments and process insurance claims. Some pharmacy techs later further their education to become pharmacists.
For students who choose this pathway, we offer a rigorous, project-based learning curriculum encompassing medical and pharmaceutical terminology, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmaceutical techniques, sterile compounding, pharmacy recordkeeping, and pharmacy law and ethics. Students will learn all of the essential medical topics such as body systems, common diseases and conditions, microbiology, and medication errors.
Our curriculum gives students the credentials necessary to embark on a career as a pharmacy tech right after graduation—without the hassle or expense of additional training or degrees. The tuition-free program includes exam prep for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), a highly regarded industry credential. We also jumpstart your job search by helping you create a professional résumé, cover letter, and profile on Tallo—the leading professional networking platform for Gen Z. you connect virtually to working professionals in the pharmacy field through Nepris.*
Our Pharmacy Tech Curriculum in Detail
All of our students take the core courses required for high school graduation in their state. The chart below shows the additional classes that Pharmacy Tech Pathway students take, and the industry-recognized certification exams they can prepare to take. You can see the rest of the curriculum by viewing the full course list.
Stride Career Prep programs with the Pharmacy Tech Pathway are available in our tuition-free Stride K12-powered, fully accredited, public online schools in the following states: Alabama, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin.
Don’t see your state? There are also tuition-free options in related fields like the Nursing Assisting pathway!
Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of pharmacists. They collect information needed to fill prescriptions; measure amounts of medication for prescriptions; package and label prescriptions; help the pharmacist track inventory; accept payments and process insurance claims; and refer patients to the pharmacist when required. Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies, including those found in drug stores, general merchandise, and grocery stores, and in hospitals. Often requires shift work.
2020 Median Starting Starting Salary1
Projected New Jobs, 2019-20292
Expected Percentage Growth in No. of Jobs, 2019-20292
Typical Entry-Level Education
High school diploma or GED; plus certification like PTCE
Do you need a college degree to become a pharmacy tech?
You do not need a college degree to become a pharmacy tech. However, you need a certification like the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). Exam prep for this certification is part of our tuition-free program.
Do you need a college degree to become a pharmacist?
Yes, you need both a bachelor’s degree and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree to become a pharmacist. This is typically a 4-year degree that one earns after completing a bachelor’s degree. However, some universities offer students the ability to complete a combined bachelor’s degree and Doctor of Pharmacy degree in a shorter amount of time.
Students who love the idea of a career in pharmacy but don’t want to go straight to college after high school graduation, should consider entering the profession as a pharmacy tech instead!
How can you prepare for a career as a pharmacy tech while still in high school? What classes should you take?
You can prepare for a career as a pharmacy tech while still in high school by taking courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and—if the high school offers this option—specific classes in pharmacy. And one of the best things to do, of course, is to get a part-time job at a pharmacy.
We offer a Pharmacy Tech Pathway in which students take classes in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, plus three semesters of pharmacy tech. We also provide test prep for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) exam.
Learn more about course offerings in the other Stride Career Prep career fields.
Hear How Stride Career Prep Can Work for Your Teen
Thinking this might be a good fit for your student and interested in learning more from current Stride Career Prep students, families, and teachers? Submit questions to people that experience our program firsthand and get direct answers!
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S.Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook. Website last modified date: Wednesday, September 1, 2020.
2Burning Glass Labor Insights, accessed October 16, 2020. Data is median salary for job postings with that job title, with typical minimum education requirements for that job title (as shown in chart on this page) and 0-2 years of experience, from October 1, 2019, to September 20, 2020.
*Opportunities vary by school; please visit your school page or check with your school counselor.
**Stride Career Prep is a program for grades 9–12. At some schools, career exploration is offered in middle school.
†Many Microsoft®️ Office certificates can be earned after completing one course. Other certificates require more classes to be better prepared, and students who participate in the program for at least two years will have further preparation for certification testing.