Your Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Alabama

Alabama Pharmacy Technician License

Alabama Pharmacy Technician Requirements

Are you ready to embark on a rewarding career as a pharmacy technician in Alabama? This guide will provide you with a step-by-step roadmap, outlining everything you need to know to get registered and potentially certified to work in this dynamic healthcare field. Please note that it’s essential to always refer to the official Alabama Board of Pharmacy website ( for the most current and accurate regulations.

Work Environments for Pharmacy Technicians in Alabama

Pharmacy technicians in Alabama work in a variety of essential healthcare settings across the state. Here’s a look at some of the common places you might find yourself working, along with some of the state’s major pharmacy and healthcare employers:

  • Retail Pharmacies: Receive and process prescriptions, interact with customers, and work with insurance companies. Examples include CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart.
  • Hospitals: Prepare and deliver medications to patients within hospitals, potentially specializing in areas like IV compounding or chemotherapy preparation. Examples include UAB Medicine, Huntsville Hospital, and Mobile Infirmary.
  • Long-Term Care Facilities: Assist in the preparation and distribution of medications for residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
  • Specialty Pharmacies: Assist in dispensing and preparing complex medications for specific disease states.
  • Mail-Order Pharmacies: Fill prescriptions and ship them directly to patients.

In all of these settings, there may be an opportunity to perform more advanced functions and support pharmacists in their care of patients.

Step 1: Understanding Alabama Pharmacy Technician Requirements

To work as a pharmacy technician in Alabama, you must meet the following criteria set by the Alabama Board of Pharmacy:

  • Age: Be at least 17 years old.
  • Education: Have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED), or be currently enrolled in a program leading to a high school diploma.
  • Employment: Secure employment at a pharmacy in Alabama that holds a valid in-state pharmacy permit.
  • Training/Credentialing: Meet one of the following requirements:
    • Option 1: State-Approved Training Program: Complete a training program approved by the Alabama Board of Pharmacy. This program should cover topics such as pharmacy terminology, calculations, dispensing, labeling, laws and regulations, record keeping, and medication handling.
    • Option 2: National Certification: Obtain and maintain a current pharmacy technician certification from either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
  • Criminal Background Check: Consent to and pay for a background check conducted by the Board.
  • Registration: After meeting the education and training/credentialing requirements and passing the background check, complete the registration process with the Alabama Board of Pharmacy, including paying the associated fee.

Important Notes

  • While not mandatory for registration, national certification is strongly encouraged and often preferred by employers. It may open up more career opportunities and potentially higher earning potential, as certified technicians allow for higher technician-to-pharmacist ratios.

Step 2: Choosing a Certification Path

While not mandatory, national certification is an efficient way to meet Alabama’s training requirement and bolster your resume. The two national certification organizations that are recognized in Alabama are the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Let’s look at these options, as well as the third option of completing a state approved training program:

Option 1: PTCB Certification

  • Complete a PTCB-recognized training program
  • OR gain 500 hours of practical experience as a pharmacy technician: This pathway would be feasible for individuals who opt to meet initial training requirements through a training program offered by their employer.
  • Pass the PTCB exam: Once you’ve completed the training or gained the experience, you’ll need to register for and pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE).

Option 2: NHA Certification

  • Complete an NHA-recognized training program: Similar to PTCB, search for programs on the NHA website.
  • OR gain practical experience as a pharmacy technician: As noted above, this pathway would be feasible for individuals who opt to meet initial training requirements through a training program offered by their employer.
  • Pass the ExCPT exam: After completing the program or gaining experience, you’ll need to pass the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians.

Step 3: Registering as a Pharmacy Technician in Alabama

Once you’ve met the education and training/certification requirements, you’re ready to apply for registration as a pharmacy technician in Alabama. Here’s the process:

  1. Visit the Alabama Board of Pharmacy Website: Go to and click on the “Apply” link.
  2. Complete the Online Application: The application will require your personal information, education history, employment details, and answers to questions regarding any disciplinary actions or criminal history.
  3. Pay the Fees: Be prepared to pay the following non-refundable fees:
    • Application Fee: $60
    • Background Check Fee: $40
    • Service Fee: $4
  4. Upload Required Documents:
    • Proof of Training/Certification: If you completed a board-approved training program or obtained national certification, upload the necessary documentation.
    • Driver’s License: Upload a copy of your driver’s license.
    • Current Photo: Upload a photo of yourself taken within the past six months.

Important Notes:

  • Background Check: The Alabama Board of Pharmacy will conduct a criminal background check. Answer all questions truthfully, as any discrepancies may lead to delays or denial of your application.
  • Processing Time: Allow for processing time after submitting your application. The Board will notify you of their decision.

Step 4: Renewing Your Alabama Pharmacy Technician Registration

To maintain your status as a registered pharmacy technician in Alabama, you must renew your registration every two years. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Renewal Cycle: Pharmacy technician registrations expire on December 31st of odd-numbered years. You need to renew your registration before this date to continue working legally.
  • Renewal Fee: The biennial renewal fee is $60, due by October 31st of the odd-numbered year. Late renewals may incur additional fees.
  • Continuing Education (CE): You are required to complete six (6) hours of continuing education within the two-year renewal period.
    • At least two (2) of these CE hours must be from live presentations (either in-person or virtual, but not pre-recorded).
    • Ensure the CE courses you choose are approved by the Alabama Board of Pharmacy.
  • Renewal Process: You may be able to renew your registration online through the Alabama Board of Pharmacy website or by mail, depending on their current system.

Important Note: If you fail to renew by December 31st of the odd-numbered year, your registration will lapse. You can still be reinstated by paying a penalty and late fees, but it’s essential to renew on time to avoid any interruptions in your ability to work as a pharmacy technician.

Additional Tips for Success

  • Network with Pharmacy Professionals: Connect with other pharmacy technicians and pharmacists in Alabama. Attend industry events, join professional associations like the Alabama Pharmacy Association (APA), or reach out to colleagues at your workplace. Building relationships within the field can lead to mentorship opportunities, career advancement, and a supportive community.
  • Develop Strong Communication Skills: Pharmacy technicians interact with a diverse range of individuals, including patients, pharmacists, physicians, and insurance providers. Hone your communication skills, including active listening, clear explanations, and empathy. Effective communication is crucial for ensuring patient safety and satisfaction.
  • Stay Current: The field of pharmacy is constantly evolving. Keep your knowledge and skills up-to-date by pursuing continuing education, even if it’s not currently required for renewal. Consider attending conferences, webinars, or online courses on topics relevant to pharmacy practice in Alabama. This proactive approach demonstrates your commitment to the profession and enhances your value as a pharmacy technician.


Becoming a pharmacy technician in Alabama is an attainable goal with the right preparation and resources. By understanding the state’s specific regulations, fulfilling the education and training requirements, and obtaining your registration, you can embark on a fulfilling career path in this vital healthcare field. Remember, while national certification isn’t mandatory, it can significantly enhance your job prospects and open doors to advancement.


  • How long does it take to become a pharmacy technician in Alabama? The process can typically be completed within a few months, depending on your chosen path (certification vs. board-approved training) and how quickly you fulfill the requirements.
  • What is the average salary for a pharmacy technician in Alabama? The average salary for pharmacy technicians in Alabama varies by location and experience. However, you can expect to earn a competitive wage with opportunities for growth as you gain experience and pursue additional certifications. As of May 2023, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 8,300 employed pharmacy technicians with a mean annual wage of $37,030.
  • Is national certification required to work as a pharmacy technician in Alabama? While not required, obtaining certification through the PTCB or NHA is highly recommended as it allows for a higher technician-to-pharmacist ratio, which is preferred by many employers.
  • Where can I find more information about pharmacy technician careers in Alabama? For the most up-to-date and accurate information, visit the Alabama Board of Pharmacy website at or consult with a career advisor.

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