California Pharmacy Tech Schools & Certification

Last Updated/Verified: Mar 20, 2024

Pharmacy technicians in California collect information from customers or medical professionals. They measure medications to fill prescriptions and package the medicine for customer pickup. This can be a rewarding job, as many customers rely on their medication to maintain their health and wellness. Other job duties include organizing inventory and noting shortages to bring to the pharmacist’s attention.

For those who like the idea of accepting payments, processing insurance claims, and answering customer questions, a career as a pharmacy technician may sound appealing. Skills needed for this job include knowledge of common medications, computer literacy, and customer service skills.

California Pharmacy Technician Certification Requirements

State requirements for pharmacy technicians vary. In California, pharmacy techs must register with the California State Board of Pharmacy in order to accept employment as a pharmacy tech.

After completing the education and training requirements, techs can fill out the application for a pharmacy technician license, updated in 2020. The application requires a photo, training documentation, fingerprints, and a self-query. Successful candidates for pharmacy tech positions will have completed a high school diploma or GED. There are also several educational requirements that are specific to pharmacology, including:

  • Associates degree in pharmacy technology
  • Training specified by the board of pharmacy
  • Graduation from a pharmacy school approved by the board
  • PTCB certification
  • Passing a criminal background check

To obtain licensure in California, pharmacy techs must complete training specified by the Board of Pharmacy. There are three ways to accomplish this:

  • Program approved by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists
  • Federal military service pharmacy technology certification
  • Courses that include a minimum of 240 instruction hours and including:
    • pharmacy practice settings
    • pharmaceutical terminology
    • dosage calculations
    • identification of drugs
    • prescription dispensing
    • drug manufacturing, labeling, and packaging

Although many states require certification for pharmacy technicians, California does not. The state’s lawbook has pharmacy regulations that provide additional details about the requirements for pharmacy technicians

California Pharmacy Technician Careers & Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, California is a great place to be a pharmacy technician. There are over 36,500 pharmacy techs in the Golden State, and the average annual salary is $45,200, about $21.73 per hour. California is the highest paying state for this profession. Other high-paying pharmacy tech positions can be found in Alaska, Washington, the District of Columbia and Oregon.

Nine of the top 10 areas with the highest paying salaries are in California, including:

  1. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA at $51,090
  2. Santa Rosa, CA at $50,790
  3. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA at $50,070
  4. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA at $49,280
  5. Salinas, CA at $49,060

The BLS doesn’t break down the job outlook by state. However, it projects a 4% growth for the field through 2029. This tracks with the average for all jobs. This demand is based on a growing population of older adults who rely on prescription. With age, diabetes, chronic disease, and other health risks increase. Advances in research will increase the inventory of preventive medication and the demand for qualified pharmacy technicians. As pharmacists continue to assume new responsibilities for customer care, they will rely even more on pharmacy tech.

California Schools That Offer Pharmacy Technician Training Programs

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Get information on Pharmacy Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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Anaheim, CA

American Career College Orange CountyAnaheim, CA(714) 763-9066
North Orange County Community College District School of Continuing EducationAnaheim, CA(714) 808-4645

Antioch, CA

Contra Costa Medical Career CollegeAntioch, CA(925) 757-2900

Bakersfield, CA

California State University, BakersfieldBakersfield, CA(661) 654-3036
San Joaquin Valley College BakersfieldBakersfield, CA(661) 834-0126
UEI- BakersfieldBakersfield, CA(661) 427-4300

Canoga Park, CA

Valley College of Medical CareersCanoga Park, CA(818) 436-0019

Carson, CA

California Healing Arts CollegeCarson, CA(310) 826-7622

Cerritos, CA

ABC Adult School - Cabrillo LaneCerritos, CA(562) 809-9011
ABC Adult School- Cuesta CampusCerritos, CA(562) 229-7960

Chula Vista, CA

Brightwood College Chula VistaChula Vista, CA (Hybrid)(619) 498-4100
Pima Medical Institute Chula VistaChula Vista, CA(800) 477-7462

Culver City, CA

West Los Angeles CollegeCulver City, CA(310) 287-4200
West Los Angeles College- Westside ExtensionCulver City, CA(310) 287-4475

El Monte, CA

UEI- El MonteEl Monte, CA(866) 322-3171

Fairfield, CA

Intercoast College FairfieldFairfield, CA(707) 421-9700

Fresno, CA

Milan Institute of Cosmetology Fresno, CaliforniaFresno, CA(559) 323-2800
San Joaquin Valley College FresnoFresno, CA(559) 448-8282
UEI- FresnoFresno, CA(866) 322-3171

Gardena, CA

UEI- GardenaGardena, CA(866) 322-3171

Glendale, CA

Glendale Community CollegeGlendale, CA (Hybrid)(818) 240-1000
North-West College Glendale CampusGlendale, CA(818) 696-0102

Hanford, CA

College of the Sequoias - Hanford Educational CenterHanford, CA(559) 583-2500

Hayward, CA

California State University, East BayHayward, CA (Online)(510) 885-3000

Hesperia, CA

San Joaquin Valley College Victor ValleyHesperia, CA(760) 948-1947

Huntington Beach, CA

Huntington Beach Adult SchoolHuntington Beach, CA(714) 842-4227

Huntington Park, CA

American College of Healthcare (ACH) Huntington ParkHuntington Park, CA(323) 585-9000

Imperial, CA

Imperial Valley CollegeImperial, CA(760) 352-8320

Lancaster, CA

Antelope Valley CollegeLancaster, CA (Online)(661) 722-6300
High Desert Medical CollegeLancaster, CA(661) 940-9300
San Joaquin Valley College Antelope ValleyLancaster, CA(661) 974-8282

Long Beach, CA

California State University, Long Beach- College Of Continuing And Professional EducationLong Beach, CA (Online)(800) 963-2250
North-West College Long Beach CampusLong Beach, CA(562) 546-5171

Los Altos Hills, CA

Foothill CollegeLos Altos Hills, CA(650) 949-7777

Los Angeles, CA

American Career College Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA(323) 668-7555
Cal State LA DowntownLos Angeles, CA(323) 343-3000
CBD College - Healthcare Career TrainingLos Angeles, CA(877) 770-4223
Loyola Marymount UniversityLos Angeles, CA (Online)(310) 338-2700

Modesto, CA

Modesto Junior CollegeModesto, CA(209) 575-6550

Monterey, CA

Monterey Peninsula CollegeMonterey, CA(831) 646-4000

North Hollywood, CA

Galaxy Medical CollegeNorth Hollywood, CA(818) 509-9970

Norwalk, CA

Cerritos CollegeNorwalk, CA(562) 860-2451

Oceanside, CA

MiraCosta CollegeOceanside, CA (Online)(760) 757-2121

Ontario, CA

American Career College OntarioOntario, CA(909) 218-3253
San Joaquin Valley College OntarioOntario, CA(909) 948-7582

Palm Desert, CA

College of the DesertPalm Desert, CA(760) 346-8041

Palm Springs, CA

Brightwood College Palm SpringsPalm Springs, CA (Hybrid)(760) 778-3540

Pomona, CA

North-West College Pomona CampusPomona, CA(909) 236-7106

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Chaffey CollegeRancho Cucamonga, CA(909) 652-6000

Redding, CA

Institute of Technology, ReddingRedding, CA(530) 224-1000

Riverside, CA

American College of Healthcare (ACH) RiversideRiverside, CA(888) 430-4224
Glen Oaks CollegeRiverside, CA(951) 683-8300
North-West College Riverside CampusRiverside, CA(951) 324-4157
UEI- RiversideRiverside, CA(866) 322-3171

Sacramento, CA

Asher Pharmacy Technician School SacramentoSacramento, CA(916) 900-2850
Brightwood College SacramentoSacramento, CA (Hybrid)(916) 649-8168
Charles A. Jones Career & Education CenterSacramento, CA(916) 643-7400
Cosumnes River CollegeSacramento, CA(916) 691-7344
Intercoast College Rancho CordovaSacramento, CA(916) 714-5400

Salida, CA

San Joaquin Valley College ModestoSalida, CA(209) 543-8800

San Bernardino, CA

California State University San Bernadino College of Extended LearningSan Bernardino, CA (Online)(909) 537-5976
San Bernardino Valley CollegeSan Bernardino, CA(909) 384-4400
San Manuel Gateway College - Loma Linda University HealthSan Bernardino, CA(855) 558-1100

San Diego, CA

California Medical CollegeSan Diego, CA(858) 357-8800

San Francisco, CA

City College of San FranciscoSan Francisco, CA(415) 239-3000
San Francisco State University College of Extended LearningSan Francisco, CA (Online)(415) 405-7700

San Luis Obispo, CA

Cuesta College San Luis ObispoSan Luis Obispo, CA(805) 546-3100

San Marcos, CA

California State University San MarcosSan Marcos, CA (Online)(188) 877-8492 x5
Pima Medical Institute San MarcosSan Marcos, CA(800) 477-7462
UEI- San MarcosSan Marcos, CA(866) 322-3171

Santa Ana, CA

North-West College Santa Ana CampusSanta Ana, CA(714) 795-2800
Santa Ana CollegeSanta Ana, CA(714) 564-6000

Santa Clara, CA

Mission CollegeSanta Clara, CA(408) 855-5083

Santa Maria, CA

Santa Barbara Business College Santa MariaSanta Maria, CA(805) 922-8256

Santa Rosa, CA

Santa Rosa Junior CollegeSanta Rosa, CA (Hybrid)(707) 527-4011

Sylmar, CA

Los Angeles Mission CollegeSylmar, CA(818) 364-7600

Temecula, CA

San Joaquin Valley College TemeculaTemecula, CA(951) 296-6015

Tulare, CA

College of the Sequoias - Tulare College CenterTulare, CA(559) 688-3000

Van Nuys, CA

North-West College Van Nuys CampusVan Nuys, CA(818) 975-4818
UEI- EncinoVan Nuys, CA(818) 380-5900

Visalia, CA

College of the Sequoias - Visalia CampusVisalia, CA(559) 730-3700
San Joaquin Valley College VisaliaVisalia, CA(559) 651-2500

Vista, CA

Brightwood College VistaVista, CA (Hybrid)(760) 630-1555

West Covina, CA

North-West College West Covina CampusWest Covina, CA(626) 343-5266

Whittier, CA

Rio Hondo CollegeWhittier, CA(562) 692-0921