Your Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Colorado

Colorado Pharmacy Technician License

Colorado Pharmacy Technician Requirements

Are you organized, detail-oriented, and passionate about healthcare? A career as a pharmacy technician in Colorado offers a rewarding opportunity to contribute to patient well-being while enjoying diverse work environments and ample growth potential.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of obtaining your pharmacy technician certification in Colorado, from understanding the state’s requirements to navigating the application and renewal procedures. We’ll also explore the different work settings available to you and provide valuable tips for success in this thriving field.

Please note that it’s essential to always refer to the official Colorado State Board of Pharmacy website ( for the most current and accurate regulations.

Work Environments for Pharmacy Technicians in Colorado

Colorado’s diverse landscape and thriving healthcare industry offer pharmacy technicians a wide array of work settings:

  • Retail Pharmacies: Retail settings like King Soopers, Walgreens, and CVS provide ample opportunities to interact with patients, fill prescriptions, and manage inventory. You’ll gain valuable experience in customer service and medication dispensing.
  • Hospital Pharmacies: In hospitals like UCHealth and Centura Health, you’ll work in a fast-paced environment, preparing medications, managing inventory, and collaborating with healthcare teams. Hospital pharmacies often offer opportunities for specialization in areas like sterile compounding or chemotherapy.
  • Mail-Order Pharmacies: These pharmacies, like those operated by Kaiser Permanente and Express Scripts, focus on dispensing medications via mail. You’ll likely work in a fulfillment center, assisting with prescription processing, packaging, and shipping.
  • Long-Term Care Facilities: Pharmacy technicians in long-term care settings, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, ensure residents receive accurate medication dosages and manage medication orders in collaboration with nursing staff.

No matter where your career path takes you, as a pharmacy technician in Colorado, you’ll be an integral part of the healthcare team, helping patients access the medications they need to live healthier lives.

Step 1: Meeting Colorado Pharmacy Technician Requirements

To practice as a pharmacy technician in Colorado, you must obtain certification from the State Board of Pharmacy. There are two certification pathways:

Non-Provisional Certification:

  • National Certification: Obtain certification from a nationally recognized board or body, such as those approved by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) or the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA). These options currently include the certified pharmacy technician credentials from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Provisional Certification:

  • Eligibility: This option is available for those who haven’t yet obtained national certification.
  • Application: Submit an application to the State Board of Pharmacy and pay the required fee.
  • Duration: Provisional certification is valid for up to 18 months and may be extended under certain hardship circumstances.

Additional Requirements (Both Pathways):

  • Background Check: You must attest to having completed a criminal background check as part of your application.

Important Note: Even if you obtain provisional certification, you will still need to eventually obtain national certification to continue practicing as a pharmacy technician in Colorado.

Step 2: Obtaining National Pharmacy Technician Certification

In Colorado, obtaining national certification is a prerequisite for a non-provisional pharmacy technician license. Even if you initially obtain a provisional certification, you’ll still need to earn national certification within the 18-month (or extended) period. There are two options for nationally recognized certification in Colorado:

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 register initially as pharmacy technician trainees.
  • 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 register initially as pharmacy technician trainees.
  • 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: Applying for Your Colorado Pharmacy Technician Certification

Once you’ve met the requirements and obtained your national certification (or applied for provisional certification), it’s time to apply for your Colorado pharmacy technician certification.

Here’s how:

  1. Online Application: The Colorado State Board of Pharmacy has streamlined the application process, making it entirely online. Access the online application portal through the Board’s website.
  2. Create an Account: You’ll need to create an account to begin the application process.
  3. Complete the Application: Carefully fill out all required fields in the application, providing accurate and up-to-date information.
  4. Attest to Background Check: As part of the application, you’ll need to attest that you have undergone a criminal background check. You do not need to submit the results of the check to the Board.
  5. Pay the Fee: Submit the required application fee. The fee amount can be found on the Board’s website, and is $57 at the time this post is drafted.
  6. Submit Your Application: After reviewing your information and ensuring everything is correct, submit your application.

Processing Time: The application review process typically takes around 30 days. You can check the status of your application through your account on the Board’s website.

Once your application is approved, you’ll receive your Colorado pharmacy technician certification, allowing you to legally practice in the state.

Step 4: Renewing Your Colorado Pharmacy Technician Certification

In Colorado, pharmacy technician certifications must be renewed every two years. To maintain an active status, you must demonstrate ongoing competence by adhering to the following:

  • Maintain Active National Certification: Ensure your national certification (PTCB or NHA) remains current by fulfilling their respective renewal requirements, which typically involve completing continuing education credits and paying a renewal fee.
  • Annual Board of Pharmacy Renewal: Renew your Colorado State Board of Pharmacy certification every two years by attesting that you maintain active national certification. This process is typically done online through the Board’s website. 5% of attestations are audited by the Board of Pharmacy, so make sure you maintain documentation of your active certification.
  • Fee: Pay the annual renewal fee to the State Board of Pharmacy. The fee amount can be found on their website.

By staying current with your national certification and adhering to the Board’s renewal process, you’ll ensure that your Colorado pharmacy technician certification remains active, and you can continue practicing legally in the state.

Additional Tips for Success

To excel in your career as a pharmacy technician in Colorado, consider these additional tips:

  • Professional Development: Participate in continuing education courses and workshops offered by organizations like the Colorado Pharmacists Society (CPS). This demonstrates your commitment to growth and keeps you informed about industry advancements.
  • Networking: Build relationships with pharmacists, fellow technicians, and other healthcare professionals. Attend industry events and conferences to expand your network and learn from experienced colleagues.
  • Specialization: Consider specializing in a specific area of pharmacy practice, such as sterile compounding, nuclear pharmacy, or medication therapy management. Specialization can lead to higher earning potential and increased job satisfaction.
  • Embrace Technology: Familiarize yourself with pharmacy software systems and automation technologies. These tools are becoming increasingly prevalent in pharmacy practice and can streamline workflows and improve efficiency.
  • Communication Skills: Hone your communication skills, both verbal and written. Clear and effective communication is essential for interacting with patients, colleagues, and healthcare providers.
  • Adaptability: Be flexible and adaptable to changing work environments and demands. The pharmacy field is constantly evolving, and being able to adapt is crucial for career longevity.

By implementing these strategies, you’ll not only enhance your professional development but also contribute to a positive and productive work environment, ultimately improving patient care in Colorado.


Becoming a certified pharmacy technician in Colorado is an achievable goal with a clear path and numerous benefits. By understanding the state’s requirements, obtaining national certification, and adhering to the Board of Pharmacy’s regulations, you can launch a successful career in this dynamic field.

With a diverse range of work environments, ongoing learning opportunities, and the chance to make a real difference in patient care, a career as a pharmacy technician in Colorado can be both fulfilling and financially rewarding.

Take the first step today and begin your journey toward becoming a certified pharmacy technician in the Centennial State!


  1. What is the difference between provisional and non-provisional certification in Colorado?
    • Non-Provisional Certification: Requires obtaining national certification from a recognized board or body (PTCB or NHA) and then applying to the State Board of Pharmacy. This is the standard path for most pharmacy technicians.
    • Provisional Certification: A temporary option for those who haven’t yet obtained national certification. It allows you to practice while working towards obtaining your national certification within an 18-month (or extended) timeframe.
  2. How long does it take to become a certified pharmacy technician in Colorado?
    • The timeline varies depending on your chosen path (provisional or non-provisional) and the time it takes to complete training and pass the national certification exam. The state application process typically takes around 30 days.
  3. What salary do pharmacy technicians earn in Colorado?
    • Salaries for pharmacy technicians in Colorado vary based on experience, location, and work setting. As of May 2023, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a mean annual wage of $47,150 for the over 6,900 pharmacy technician employed in the state.
  4. Is there an age requirement to become a pharmacy technician in Colorado?
    • While the state doesn’t explicitly list an age requirement, many employers will likely require you to be at least 16-18 years old.
  5. How much does it cost to become a certified pharmacy technician in Colorado?
    • The costs include the national certification exam fee (varies depending on the organization) and the State Board of Pharmacy application fee. You can find the most up-to-date fee information on the Board’s website.
  6. How do I find pharmacy technician jobs in Colorado?
    • Explore online job boards like Indeed and LinkedIn, as well as pharmacy-specific job boards. You can also network with pharmacy professionals and contact pharmacies directly to inquire about open positions.
  7. What are the continuing education requirements for Colorado pharmacy technicians?
    • Colorado does not have state-specific CE requirements. However, to maintain active status, you must adhere to the continuing education requirements of your national certifying organization (PTCB or NHA).
  8. Where can I find more information about becoming a pharmacy technician in Colorado?
    • The official Colorado State Board of Pharmacy website ( is the most reliable source for detailed information on requirements, regulations, and application procedures.

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