Your Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Michigan

Michigan Pharmacy Technician License

Michigan Pharmacy Technician Requirements

Are you organized, detail-oriented, and passionate about healthcare? A career as a pharmacy technician in Michigan could be the perfect fit. Pharmacy technicians are essential members of pharmacy teams, working under the supervision of pharmacists to dispense medications, manage inventory, and provide excellent patient care. With the state’s growing healthcare needs, the demand for skilled pharmacy technicians is increasing, offering a wide array of job opportunities and competitive salaries.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of obtaining your pharmacy technician license in Michigan. We’ll cover everything from eligibility requirements and the application process to the advantages of national certification and tips for building a successful career in the Great Lakes State. Whether you’re just starting your career or looking for a rewarding change, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and resources needed to thrive as a pharmacy technician.

Disclaimer: This post is informational in nature, as Board rules are complex and change over time. Make sure to refer to the Michigan Board of Pharmacy website ( to verify requirements and stay up to date on official regulations for pharmacy technicians in the state.

Work Environments for Pharmacy Technicians in Michigan

As a pharmacy technician in Michigan, you’ll discover a wide array of work environments tailored to your interests and career aspirations. Here are some of the common settings where you can utilize your skills and knowledge:

  • Retail Pharmacies: Major chains like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid have numerous locations across Michigan, offering ample opportunities for pharmacy technicians. In this fast-paced environment, you’ll interact with customers, fill prescriptions, process insurance claims, and manage inventory.
  • Hospital Systems: Michigan boasts renowned hospital systems like Michigan Medicine, Henry Ford Health System, and Spectrum Health. In a hospital setting, you’ll be an integral part of the healthcare team, collaborating with pharmacists and other professionals to dispense medications to inpatients and outpatients, prepare IV admixtures, and manage medication inventory. You might even specialize in areas like oncology or pediatrics.
  • Long-Term Care Facilities: Skilled nursing facilities and assisted living centers, such as Trilogy Health Services and Holland Home, rely on pharmacy technicians to ensure that residents receive the correct medications and monitor their medication therapy.
  • Mail-Order Pharmacies: Companies like Express Scripts and PillPack offer mail-order pharmacy services to patients who prefer the convenience of home delivery. As a pharmacy technician, you’ll be responsible for processing orders, packaging medications, and coordinating shipments.
  • Specialty Pharmacies: If you’re interested in a specific area of pharmacy, you can find opportunities at specialty pharmacies like Diplomat Pharmacy or Accredo. These pharmacies focus on specific disease states or medication types, such as oncology, compounding, or infectious diseases.

No matter where you choose to work, a career as a pharmacy technician in Michigan offers a rewarding and fulfilling way to contribute to the healthcare field while enjoying a stable and in-demand profession.

Step 1: Understanding Michigan Pharmacy Technician License Requirements

Before you can begin your career as a pharmacy technician in Michigan, it’s essential to meet the requirements set forth by the Michigan Board of Pharmacy. These requirements ensure that you are qualified to handle medications and provide safe and effective care to patients.

Eligibility Requirements for a Pharmacy Technician License

To obtain a pharmacy technician license in Michigan, you must:

  • Education: Have a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED.
  • Examination: Pass one of the following examinations:
    • The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
    • The Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
    • An approved employer-based training program examination.
  • Human Trafficking Training: Complete the one-time training in identifying victims of human trafficking.

Temporary License Option

If you haven’t passed the certification exam yet, you can apply for a nonrenewable temporary license while preparing for the exam. This allows you to gain experience and start working as a pharmacy technician while studying for the certification exam.

Additional Requirements

  • Background Check: You will be required to undergo a criminal background check as part of the application process.
  • Good Moral Character: You must be of good moral character, which includes having a clean criminal record.

Important Note for Trainees:

Individuals who are at least 16 years old and enrolled in a Board-approved pharmacy technician training program are exempt from licensure while in training. This allows them to participate in hands-on training in a pharmacy setting under supervision.

The Importance of Certification

While obtaining a pharmacy technician license in Michigan does not require initial certification, it is highly recommended. Achieving national certification, such as the PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board) certification, demonstrates your knowledge and commitment to the profession, making you a more desirable candidate for employers and opening doors to advanced roles.

By understanding and fulfilling these requirements, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a licensed pharmacy technician in Michigan.

Step 2: Obtaining Pharmacy Technician Certification

While not strictly mandatory, obtaining national certification is highly advantageous and simplifies the process of acquiring your Michigan Pharmacy Technician license. Let’s delve into the benefits of certification and focus on the most recognized credential, the PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board) certification.

Why Pursue PTCB Certification?

  • Direct Path to Licensure: Certified pharmacy technicians can directly apply for their license without the need for additional training or assessments. This means you can start working as a licensed technician sooner and gain valuable experience in the field.
  • Demonstrated Competence: Achieving PTCB certification proves your knowledge and skills in various aspects of pharmacy practice, enhancing your credibility and making you a more desirable candidate for employers.
  • Career Advancement Opportunities: Certification opens doors to more advanced roles with increased responsibility and earning potential. You may also be eligible for specialized training and certifications in areas like sterile compounding or medication therapy management.
  • Professional Recognition: Holding a nationally recognized credential like the PTCB certification sets you apart as a dedicated and competent professional in the pharmacy field.

Here are the specific options and steps to become a certified pharmacy technician:

Option 1: Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Exam

This exam is widely accepted across the United States and is considered the gold standard in pharmacy technician certification. The PTCB exam covers a comprehensive range of pharmacy technician knowledge and skills, including medications, law, patient safety and quality assurance, and more. Here are the steps to get PTCB certified:

  • Complete a PTCB-recognized training program
  • OR gain 500 hours of practical experience as a pharmacy technician
  • 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: National HealthCareer Association (NHA) ExCPT Exam

This exam is another nationally recognized option for pharmacy technician certification. The NHA ExCPT exam covers similar topics as the PTCB exam but with a slightly different emphasis. Here are the steps to get NHA certified:

  • Complete an NHA-recognized training program: Similar to PTCB, search for programs on the NHA website.
  • OR gain practical experience as a pharmacy technician
  • 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 Michigan Pharmacy Technician License

Once you’ve met the eligibility requirements and potentially obtained your national certification, it’s time to apply for your pharmacy technician license in Michigan. The application process is streamlined and can be completed online.

How to Apply

  1. Complete the Online Application: Visit the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) MiPlus portal ( and create an account or log into your existing account. Select “Pharmacy Technician” as your profession and follow the instructions to complete the online application.
  2. Submit Required Documents:
    • Proof of High School Graduation or Equivalent: If you haven’t previously submitted this to the Michigan Board of Pharmacy, you’ll need to upload a copy of your high school diploma, GED certificate, or official transcript.
    • Proof of Certification (If Applicable): If you’re applying with a national certification, upload a copy of your certification card or certificate.
    • Verification of Licensure from Other States (If Applicable): If you hold a pharmacy technician license in another state, upload a verification letter from the licensing board of that state.
  3. Pay the Application Fee: The application fee for a one-year license is $15.30 for a temporary pharmacy technician license or $137.70 for a full license. This fee is payable online using a credit or debit card.
  4. Complete the Criminal Background Check: After submitting your application and fee, you’ll receive instructions on how to complete the required criminal background check.

Additional Requirements:

  • Human Trafficking Training: Before your license can be issued, you must submit proof of completion of the one-time training in identifying victims of human trafficking. This training can be completed through various approved providers or methods, as outlined in the Michigan Board of Pharmacy rules.

Processing Time

Processing times for applications may vary, but you can typically expect to receive your license within a few weeks if your application is complete and all requirements are met. You can check the status of your application through the MiPlus portal.

Step 4: Maintaining Your Michigan Pharmacy Technician License

Congratulations on obtaining your Michigan pharmacy technician license! To continue practicing legally and maintain your license in good standing, you must fulfill certain requirements and adhere to renewal procedures.

License Renewal

Your Michigan pharmacy technician license is valid for two years. To renew your license, you must:

  1. Complete the Renewal Application: Submit a completed renewal application on the form provided by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) before your license expires.
  2. Pay the Renewal Fee: The renewal fee is $61.20. You can pay this fee online through the MiPlus portal or by mail.
  3. Continuing Education (CE) Requirements: Complete at least 20 hours of Board-approved continuing education during the two years preceding your renewal application. The CE must include at least:
    • 1 hour of pharmacy law and ethics
    • 1 hour of pain and symptom management
    • 1 hour of patient safety

Staying Compliant

In addition to renewing your license, it’s crucial to stay compliant with all Board of Pharmacy regulations. This includes:

  • Maintaining Good Moral Character: Any criminal convictions or disciplinary actions taken against your license in another state must be reported to the Board.
  • Completing Human Trafficking Training: Ensure you’ve completed the one-time training in identifying victims of human trafficking.
  • Notifying the Board of Changes: Inform the Board of any changes to your name, address, or employment status within 30 days of the change.

Reactivating a Lapsed License

If your license has lapsed, you can reactivate it by submitting a renewal application, paying the renewal fee, and meeting the continuing education requirements. If your license has been expired for more than two years, you may also need to retake a Board-approved exam.

By staying current with your renewal requirements, completing your continuing education, and adhering to all regulations, you can maintain your pharmacy technician license in good standing and enjoy a successful career in Michigan.

Additional Tips for Success

To truly thrive in this rewarding career, consider these additional tips:

  • Embrace Continuing Education (CE): While 20 hours of CE are required for license renewal, don’t stop there. Continually seek out learning opportunities to expand your knowledge base and stay ahead of the curve. This not only helps you maintain your license but also makes you a more valuable asset to your employer and opens doors to career advancement.
  • Network with Pharmacy Professionals: Connecting with other pharmacy technicians and pharmacists in Michigan can be invaluable. Join professional organizations like the Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) to attend conferences, workshops, and networking events. These connections can provide support, mentorship, and career opportunities.
  • Pursue Advancement Opportunities: Don’t be afraid to express your interest in taking on additional responsibilities or pursuing promotions within your current workplace. If you’re a certified technician, consider becoming a validated pharmacy technician to expand your skillset and take on final product verification tasks.
  • Specialize in a Niche Area: If you have a particular interest in a specific area of pharmacy, consider specializing. Options include hospital pharmacy, long-term care, or specialty areas like oncology, nuclear pharmacy, or compounding. Specializing can make you a highly sought-after technician and lead to a more fulfilling career.
  • Stay Up-to-Date with Regulations: Pharmacy laws and regulations can change frequently. Make sure you stay informed about any updates or revisions to the Michigan Board of Pharmacy rules and regulations to maintain your compliance and avoid any issues with your license.
  • Invest in Technology Skills: Technology plays an increasingly important role in pharmacy practice. Familiarize yourself with electronic health records (EHRs), automated dispensing systems, and other technologies used in your workplace. Demonstrating proficiency in these tools can make you a more efficient and valuable member of the pharmacy team.
  • Prioritize Patient Safety: As a pharmacy technician, you play a vital role in ensuring patient safety. Always double-check your work, adhere to established protocols, and report any errors or concerns to your supervising pharmacist immediately.
  • Be a Team Player: Pharmacy work is a collaborative effort. Foster positive relationships with your colleagues, communicate effectively, and be willing to lend a helping hand when needed.

By following these tips and continuously striving for improvement, you can build a rewarding and successful career as a pharmacy technician in Michigan. Your dedication to professional development, patient care, and teamwork will set you apart and open doors to a bright future in the pharmacy field.


Becoming a pharmacy technician in Michigan is a rewarding and attainable goal. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, you can successfully navigate the licensing requirements and embark on a fulfilling career in the healthcare field.

Remember, obtaining your license is just the beginning. Continuous learning, professional development, and networking are essential for thriving in this dynamic profession. Whether you choose to pursue national certification, specialize in a niche area, or embrace new technologies, your dedication and passion for pharmacy will pave the way for a successful and impactful career.

With Michigan’s diverse work environments and growing demand for skilled pharmacy technicians, your opportunities are limitless. Take the first step today and unlock a rewarding career that allows you to contribute to patient care and the overall well-being of your community.


Q: Is certification required to become a pharmacy technician in Michigan?

A: While not required initially, obtaining national certification, such as the PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board) certification, is highly recommended. It simplifies the licensing process and offers numerous benefits, including increased job opportunities and earning potential.

Q: What are the benefits of becoming a certified pharmacy technician in Michigan?

A: Certified pharmacy technicians in Michigan can bypass the requirement to pass a separate board-approved exam. They are often preferred by employers, may have access to higher-paying positions, and may be eligible for advanced roles and responsibilities.

Q: How much does it cost to become a pharmacy technician in Michigan?

A: The application fee for a temporary pharmacy technician license is $15.30, while the fee for a full license is $137.70. Additional costs may include the certification exam fee and study materials if you choose to become certified.

Q: How long does it take to get a pharmacy technician license in Michigan?

A: The processing time for pharmacy technician license applications in Michigan can vary. However, if your application is complete and all requirements are met, you can typically expect to receive your license within a few weeks.

Q: What is the average salary for a pharmacy technician in Michigan?

A: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for pharmacy technicians in Michigan is $40,960 as of May 2023. However, salaries can vary based on experience, certification, location, and work setting.

Q: How often do I need to renew my pharmacy technician license in Michigan?

A: Pharmacy technician licenses in Michigan are valid for two years and must be renewed before the expiration date.

Q: Are there any continuing education requirements for pharmacy technicians in Michigan?

A: Yes, pharmacy technicians must complete 20 hours of Board-approved continuing education every two years, including specific topics like pharmacy law and ethics, pain and symptom management, and patient safety.

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