Why Choose Cerritos College Pharmacy Technology?At Cerritos College you will be exposed to the broadest professional career options. You will use state-of-the art tools and equipment typically found in hospitals and community pharmacies. In addition, Cerritos College's cross curricular philosophy exposes you to every facet of pharmacy, including:

  • A full semester of Sterile Compounding with 16 labs.
  • A full semester of non-Sterile Compounding with 16 labs.
  • A full semester of experience with over-the-counter products.
  • Exposure to and knowledge of herbal products and their uses and dangers.
  • Investigation of the role of nutrition in health and the use of nutraceuticals.
  • Working with a Physical Therapy Assistant student to become familiar with and learn the basic uses of Durable Medical Equipment.
  • Working with a Medical Assistant student to become familiar with and learn how to use a glucometer and properly take blood pressures.
  • Working with a Dental Hygiene student to become familiar with and learn the basics of oral hygiene, including the proper way to floss.
  • Working with a Medical Assistant instructor to become familiar with and learn how to prepare and administer vaccines.

Does the program prepare me for Advanced Pharmacy Technician roles?
Cerritos College is collaborating with USC School of Pharmacy to implement training that will prepare students for Advanced Placement positions. Currently at USC contracted safety-net clinics, pharmacy technicians are trained to perform advanced roles such as medication history review, measure vitals, and chronic disease education reinforcement. 

What is the average hourly rate for Pharmacy Technicians? $20.04/ hour

Is the program accredited?
Yes, both the Pharmacy Technology AA/AS Program and the Pharmacy Technician Certificate at Cerritos College are ASHP/ACPE accredited.

How soon can I start the program?
Students may begin the program in either the Fall semester (mid August) or the Spring semester (early January). Some courses are also offered during the Summer session. (Note that summer classes cover material very quickly!)

What is the total cost by the time I'm done?

Community college tuition for in-state residents is $46 per unit and is subject to change by the state legislature. Currently, the tuition cost for the Basic and Advanced Certificate options ranges from $1207.50 to 1700.00.

Are the courses transferable to other programs? Can I transfer other courses to the program?

No. Cerritos College Pharmacy Technician program is a high quality, ASHP/ACPE-accredited, unique educational program that prepares students for the work force using a tiered approach. Successful completion of the entry-level classes prepares students for the lab (application-level) classes, which prepare students for externships at affiliated pharmacies. 

Do you help students find jobs at program completion?
We have a strong network of affiliation with local hospital pharmacies and pharmacy chains. We frequently post job openings to alert students to various job opportunities.

What are the exam pass rate and job placement rate?
PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board) exam is a private non-governmental exam that students can take, and use successful results to apply for their licenses.

Pass rate for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Exam in 2013 was over 90%, compared to the national rate of 74.7%.

Do you accept international students?

Yes. We welcome international students.

How long does it take to complete the program?

3 to 4 semersters.

Are classes available in the evening, day time, on-line?

Currently, our classes are offered in the daytime.

What is the time commitment once enrolled in the program?
In general, you should allow a minimum of two hours of out-of-class studying time for each unit of class credit. Be sure to allow enough study time for the courses you plan to enroll in! During externship courses (PHAR 90 and PHAR 95) students must be available to attend a clinical training site 32-40 hours per week.

How do I get a license?
California does NOT have an examination process for pharmacy technicians. In order to obtain a pharmacy technician license, students must meet the qualification requirements of the California State Board of Pharmacy. One requirement is the documentation of education or training, which can be met by earning a certificate at Cerritos College.

Certified technicians (CPhT) are also qualified to apply for the California State Board license. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (not related to the Board of Pharmacy) administers the national board exam for pharmacy technicians who wished to become certified.

To ensure the safety of the public (patients), the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists strongly recommends BOTH the completion of a formal training program and completion of the certification process for pharmacy technicians. Note that most employers will only consider candidates who have completed a formal training program.

How long has the program been around?
The pharmacy technology program was established in 1978.

NOTE: Students with illicit drug(s) use and prior criminal records will not be granted licenses by the California State Board of Pharmacy. These students are discouraged from enrolling in the program.