National Credential
Credential: Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)  GI Bill resource  NCCA resource
Credentialing Agency: National Healthcareer Association (NHA)

The National Healthcare Association (NHA), Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) is an entry-level certification for professionals who support licensed pharmacists by providing medication and other healthcare products to patients. Tasks commonly performed by CPhTs include measuring medication amounts, packaging and labeling prescriptions, establishing and maintaining patient records, accepting payment for prescriptions, processing insurance claims, and managing inventory. Eligibility requirements for pharmacy technicians vary by State. To qualify for the NHA CPhT applicants must meet experience and training requirements and must also pass the exam.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 2 years

Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)

The following Army Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Promotion Points Skill Level Star Proponent Funded Gap Analysis
Enlisted 68Q Pharmacy Specialist MOS most  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information. I      Gap Analysis

Army Table Legend

Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of four ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Promotion Points Promotion Points icon

This credential has been approved for promotion points for this MOS towards promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. Clicking the Promotion Points icon will open a link to the promotion points fact sheet.

Skill Level Designation

Skill Level I: This skill level consists of all Soldiers in the ranks of Private (pay grade E-1) up to Specialist (pay grade E-4). Time in Service (TIS) is generally between initial entry and four Years of Service (YOS). This skill level is Entry-level positions requiring performance of tasks under direct supervision.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level I
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC)

Skill Level II: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Sergeant (paygrade E-5). TIS is generally between 4-8 YOS. Positions requiring performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision; and in some instances, involving supervision of Soldiers in SL1.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level II
  • Advance Leader Course (ALC)

Skill Level III: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Staff Sergeant (paygrade E-6). TIS is generally between 8-12 YOS. Positions requiring performance of still more difficult tasks and involving first line supervision of Soldiers in SL1 & SL2.

Institutional training:

  • Senior Leader Course (SLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level III

Skill level IV: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class (paygrade E-7). TIS is generally between 12-18 YOS. Positions requiring relatively detailed knowledge of all tasks specified for a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of Soldiers in SLs 1, 2, and 3, and involving managerial duties.

Institutional training:

  • Master Leader Course (MLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level IV
  • Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) I Course

Skill level V: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (paygrade E-8). TIS is generally between 18-22 YOS. Positions requiring direct and indirect leadership roles with expertise in company and battalion-level operations and competency across a given CMF, serving as members of a staff at every level in the Army, with a full understanding of the allocation of resources and their utilization in order to accomplish Army functions and missions.

Institutional training:

  • United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level V

Skill level VI: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeants Major (paygrade E-9). TIS is generally between 22-30 YOS. Positions requiring organizational leadership roles with multi-dimensional expertise in units and teams on division, corps, and Army staffs, integrated with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners with a full understanding of the Force Generation process, operations at all echelons, and how the Army runs.

Star Credential Star icon

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improve the MOS technical proficiency.

Proponent Funded Funded icon

This icon indicates credentials which Soldiers may have funded through their MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience: 1 year
  • Education: High School Diploma/GED
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 2 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
11161 Overbrook Road
Leawood, KS  66211
Phone: (913) 661-5592
Fax: (913) 661-6291

Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)

CPhT applicants are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Option 1: CPhT applicants are required to complete an accredited or state-recognized pharmacy technician or pharmacy-related training program

Option 2: CPhT applicants are required to complete a registered pharmacy apprentice program; NHA requires that the apprenticeship is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Option 3: CPhT applicants are required to have military experience that includes formal pharmacy training; NHA accepts military experience offered by any branch of the U.S. Military.

*Applicants whose date of graduation or completion from their training program is five years or more prior to the date of application, also must have relevant work experience.

CPhT applicants are required to have at least 1 year of work experience with at least 1200 hours of supervised pharmacy-related work in the past 3 years.

The Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential has the following other requirements:

  • CPhT applicants are required to be at least 18 years of age.

Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)

  • Regulations and Technician Duties (25%)
    • Overview of Technician Duties and General Information
      • The role of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
      • Functions that a technician may and may not perform
      • Prescription department layout and workflow
      • Pharmacy security
      • Inventory control
      • Stocking medications
      • Identifying expired products
    • Controlled Substances
      • Difference among the controlled substances schedules
      • Refills, partial refills, filing, and prescription transfers
      • Correct procedures for handling Schedule V sales
      • Controlled Substance Act
      • DEA numbers
    • Other Laws and Regulations
      • Federal privacy act
      • Generic substitution (incl. brand vs. generic products)
      • Professionals with prescribing authority (and acronyms)
      • Child-resistant packaging
      • Role of government agencies (Board of Pharmacy, DEA, FDA, etc.)
      • Manufacturer drug package labeling
      • OTC package labeling
  • Drugs and Drug Therapy (23%)
    • Drug Classification
      • Major drug classes (e.g., analgesics, anesthetics, antibiotics, etc.)
      • Dosage forms (types, characteristics and uses)
      • Over-the-counter products
      • NDC number
    • Most Frequently Prescribed Medications
      • Brand and generic names
      • Basic mechanism of action (pharmacology) and drug classification
      • Primary indications
      • Common adverse drug reactions, interactions, & contraindications
  • Dispensing Process (52%)
    • Prescription Information
      • Information required on a valid prescription form
      • Telephoned and faxed prescriptions
      • Refill requirements
      • Patient information (age, gender, etc.)
      • Interpreting prescribers' directions for prescription labels
      • Recognizing and using common prescription abbreviations
    • Preparing/Dispensing Prescriptions
      • Avoiding errors (such as sound-alike/look-alike names)
      • Systems for checking prescriptions
      • Automated dispensing systems (including quality control)
      • Procedures for preparing prescriptions and data entry
      • Labeling prescriptions properly
      • The purpose and use of patient records
      • Proper packaging and storage
      • Managed care prescriptions
    • Calculations
      • Conversions / Systems of measurement used in pharmacy
      • Calculating the amounts of prescription ingredients
      • Calculating quantity or days supply to be dispensed
      • Calculating individual and daily doses
      • Calculations used in compounding
      • Calculating dosages and administration rates for IVs
      • Business calculations (pricing, markup, inventory control)
    • Sterile Products, Unit Dose, and Repackaging
      • Drug distribution systems used in hospitals and nursing homes
      • Procedures for repackaging medications
      • Prescription compliance aids
      • Aseptic technique and the use of laminar flow hoods
      • Special procedures for chemotherapy
      • Routes of administration for parenteral products
      • Types of sterile products
      • Correct procedures for maintaining the sterile product environment
      • Accurate compounding and labeling of sterile product prescriptions

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Testing for this credential is handled by PSI. The test centers are located in the U.S.

To find out more, use the following links on the PSI website:

For more information on the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) testing process, visit the agency website.

Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)

Renewal Period: 2 years

The Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential has the following recertification information:

  • The NHA-CPhT is renewed every 2 years; renewal requires earning continuing education units and paying a fee. More information about renewing NHA credentials is available on the NHA Renewal page.

Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)

Additional considerations for the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) include:

  • The requirements for practicing as a Pharmacy Technician vary from state to state. Even though some states do not require certification, employers may. Candidates should contact the Board of Pharmacy in their state or jurisdiction for information on state-specific eligibility and recertification requirements. For information on State-specific requirements for Pharmacy Technicians, see the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) site.