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Professional Programs

Pharmacy Technician Program

PharmacySummary Description:

Cal State L.A.'s Pharmacy Technician Certification Program is a comprehensive, 50 hour course that prepares students to assist a licensed Pharmacist in the pharmacy, and also prepares them to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam (the PTCB exam). The non-credit program covers areas such as medical terminology (specific to the pharmacy), reading and interpreting prescriptions, and defining drugs by their generic and brand names. Students also learn dosage calculations, I.V. flow rates, drug compounding, dose conversions, dispensing of prescriptions, inventory control, and billing and reimbursement. A graded final exam helps students gauge their progress toward future success on the PTCB exam.

Who Can Enroll?

Students should have a high school diploma or GED to enroll in the program, as these are required to sit for the PTCB exam. Otherwise, it is sufficient for students to have taken high school math and science.

Course Descriptions:

In detail, the course will cover these areas:

  • Role of the pharmacy technician
  • Pharmacy history; discussion of various practice settings and the technician certification process
  • The “Evolution of Pharmacy”
  • Review of the hospital pharmacy setting, as well as review of settings such as retail, mail order, and home care pharmacy practice; long-term care practice; and the role of government regulatory agencies in pharmacy practice
  • Pharmacy measures; and understanding Roman numerals and abbreviations
  • Review of generic drugs, basic biopharmaceuticals, dosage forms, and patient profiles
  • Prescription label requirements, order transcription, ordering and inventory control, drug pricing, and third-party reimbursements
  • Formularies, unit dose systems, emergency and crash carts, house supplies, automatic stop order, calculating number of doses required for patient care
  • Major classes of drugs; brand names vs. generic drugs
  • Aseptic technique, handling of sterile products, including antineoplastic agent considerations
  • Basics of I.V. solutions; calculating 24 -hour supply of I.V. solutions; percentages and electrolytes preparations
  • The metric system
  • Apothecaries ’ and avoirdupois systems of measurement
  • Children’s doses
  • Allegation method; math review
  • Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN); demonstration of TPN admixture; and hands-on practice of I.V. admixture and parenteral medication preparation.

Program Cost:

The program cost for fifteen meetings (twice per week for seven weeks + final exam) is $1,099.

Course Schedule:

Courses will meet two evenings per week from 6:00 p.m. to 9 :30 p.m., exact days to be determined each quarter according to a Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday schedule. A total of 50 classroom hours constitutes one complete session of the course. Classes will meet in university classrooms on the campus of Cal State L.A.

Job Prospects and Potential Salary:

The demand for pharmacy technicians is increasing as retailers are expanding their pharmaceutical services and more drugs continue to become available through medical and scientific advances. The online market for pharmaceuticals has also meant increased work in wholesale or online pharmacies.

Certified pharmacy technicians might work in retail pharmacies, such as a local drug store; or may fill prescriptio ns in hospitals or long-term care facilities, or work in online pharmacies or other wholesale pharmacies, or for government organizations. The median salary for a pharmacy technician with 2-3 years of experience in one of these practice areas is in the range of $19,000 to $32,000 per year, based on data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Source:


The instructor is very experienced and is familiar with the requirements of the ASPT-EKG technician exam.

Contact Us:

For more information, please contact the College of Extended Studies and International Programs (CESIP) at California State University, Los Angeles, at (323) 343-4967 or email Robin Hall

Course Schedule Spring 2014
Pharmacy Technician Program
Course No. C143214A
Course Fee $1,099 (Textbooks included)
Date Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 8 - May 27
Time 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Length 50 hours
Location Golden Eagle - 214

Pharmacy Technician Program
Course No. C143214B
Course Fee $1,099 (textbook included)
Date Mondays and Wednesdays, April 7 - May 28
Time 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Length 50 hours
Location Golden Eagle - 220A


Advisement and Information

For further details contact Robin Hall at (323) 343-4967 or rhall@cslanet.

To register, call (323) 343-4900

Register Online

Non-credit refund policy