Is Taking the PTCB Exam Worth It?
For individuals who want to work in a pharmacy or become a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), you’ll need to take the Pharmacy Technical Certification Board (PTCB) exam. The PTCB exam qualifies you to become a CPhT. But is taking the PTCB exam worth it?
Ultimately that depends on your career aspirations. Over 50,000 people take the PTCB exam every year. And since 2014, the passing rate for the exam is about 58%. If becoming a CPhT is something you are considering, then you’ll want to keep reading as we explore the benefits of a PTCB certificate and the career path it can create.
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Benefits of the PTCB Certificate
Having a PTCB certificate sets you apart from other applicants applying to work in a pharmacy. It qualifies you as a CPhT, which means you have more technical training and are more valuable to the pharmacy. Benefits of taking the PTCB exam:
- Certified achievement and knowledge
- Opportunities to advance your career
- Higher salary
- More responsibilities
- Able to provide better patient safety
- The distinction of achievement among peers
Once you have your PTCB certificate, it opens doors to further your career in the pharmacy industry.
Requirements to Take the PTCB Exam
To qualify to take the PTCB exam, you must do one of the following:
- Enroll and complete a PTCB-recognized training program. The PTCB training programs can take between 60 days to two years to complete, depending on the program.
- Have a minimum of 500 hours working as a pharmacy technician.
After certification, you’ll be a CPhT. The typical salary for a CPhT is $32,700 annually.
What Jobs Require a PTCB certificate
The following job requires a PTCB certificate:
- Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT): a pharmacy technician who assists pharmacists and attends to patients. Many pharmacies require their pharmacy technicians to be CphTs.
After becoming a CPhT, you can certify in other PTCB Assessment-Based programs, which will allow you to become a:
- Certified Compounded Sterile Preparation Technician (CSPT): must be a CPhT with specialized skills in preparing and ensuring medication safety.
- Medication History and Technician Product Verification (TPV): must be a CPhT with specialized skills in performing the final product check.
- Advanced Certified Pharmacy Technician (Adv-CPhT): must be a CPhT with three years of work experience and completed at least four certificate programs.
Each of these careers pays more than a CPhT.
How Much Does the PTCB Exam and Program Cost?
The CPhT application and exam cost $129, which is very affordable when considering the pay bump you could get. You will need to take the exam in order to be certified. You cannot just complete the program (though the program is a necessary component as well).
The cost of the PTCB training program depends on who offers it. There are 1,660 training programs nationwide. Many certification programs are offered through community colleges and vocational schools. Depending on the institution, training can last between 60 days to two years. The programs can cost between $500 – $5,000.
There are also a number of highly rated PTCB study prep books available for extra review and self study. Any one of these books can help get you ready for the exam.
Are you ready to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician?