South Dakota Pharmacy Technician License: Your Ultimate Guide

South Dakota pharmacy technician license

South Dakota Pharmacy Technician License Requirements

Are you detail-oriented, passionate about healthcare, and looking for a career that offers both stability and personal fulfillment? Becoming a pharmacy technician in South Dakota could be the perfect path for you. Pharmacy technicians play a crucial role in supporting pharmacists, ensuring patients receive the right medications safely and efficiently. Tasks are various, including preparing and dispensing medications to managing inventory and interacting with customers.

In South Dakota, the demand for skilled pharmacy technicians continues to grow, providing ample opportunities for career advancement. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of obtaining your pharmacy technician license in South Dakota. We’ll cover everything you need to know, from the basic requirements to obtaining national certification and applying for registration. By the end of this article, you’ll be well-equipped to launch your rewarding career in this dynamic field.

Disclaimer: This post is informational in nature, as Board rules are complex and change over time. Make sure to refer to the South Dakota 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 South Dakota

As a pharmacy technician in South Dakota, you’ll discover a range of work environments tailored to your interests and career aspirations. The Mount Rushmore State offers diverse opportunities across different pharmacy settings, allowing you to utilize your skills and expertise in a way that aligns with your goals. Here’s a glimpse into some common work environments where you can thrive as a pharmacy technician:

Retail Pharmacies

  • Major Chains: CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, and Lewis Drug offer numerous positions for pharmacy technicians throughout South Dakota. In this fast-paced setting, you’ll interact with customers, dispense medications, handle insurance claims, and manage inventory.
  • Independent Pharmacies: Local pharmacies like Medicap Pharmacy, The Drugstore, and others across the state also provide fulfilling careers for pharmacy technicians. These environments often foster a strong sense of community and personalized patient care.
  • Grocery Store Pharmacies: Many grocery chains, such as Hy-Vee and Lewis Drug, have in-store pharmacies that employ pharmacy technicians to support pharmacists and provide efficient prescription services to customers.

Hospital Systems

  • Major Medical Centers: Avera Health, Sanford Health, and Monument Health are just a few examples of large hospital systems where pharmacy technicians play a crucial role in medication preparation, dispensing, and inventory management for inpatient and outpatient care.
  • Community Hospitals: Smaller community hospitals like Brookings Hospital and Huron Regional Medical Center also rely on pharmacy technicians to ensure the smooth operation of their pharmacy services and provide essential medications to their patients.

Long-Term Care Facilities

  • Skilled Nursing Facilities: In facilities like Avera Prince of Peace and Dougherty Hospice House, pharmacy technicians ensure the safe and accurate delivery of medications to residents and maintain meticulous medication records.
  • Assisted Living Facilities: Edgewood Assisted Living, Primrose Retirement Community, and similar establishments depend on pharmacy technicians to manage medication orders and collaborate with healthcare teams to optimize resident care.

Other Settings

  • Mail-Order Pharmacies: Companies like Express Scripts and CVS Caremark employ pharmacy technicians in their mail-order facilities to process and dispense medications for patients who receive their prescriptions through the mail.
  • Indian Health Service (IHS): The IHS provides comprehensive healthcare services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. Pharmacy technicians working for the IHS play a vital role in ensuring that these populations have access to essential medications.
  • Specialty Pharmacies: These pharmacies specialize in complex disease states like cancer and rheumatoid arthritis or in specific medication types like injectables.

With such a diverse range of work environments, you’re sure to find a setting that matches your interests and career goals as a pharmacy technician in South Dakota.

Step 1: Understand the South Dakota Pharmacy Technician License Requirements

To embark on your career as a pharmacy technician in South Dakota, you must first register with the South Dakota Board of Pharmacy. The process is relatively simple, but understanding the specific requirements is crucial to ensure a smooth application.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for registration as a pharmacy technician in South Dakota, you must meet the following criteria:

  • High School Diploma or GED: You must have completed a high school education or obtained a General Educational Development (GED) equivalency diploma.
  • Employment: You must be currently employed or have secured employment as a pharmacy technician in a licensed pharmacy in South Dakota.

Two Types of Registration

South Dakota offers two types of pharmacy technician registrations:

  • Technician-in-Training (TT): This is for individuals who are new to the field and have not yet obtained national certification. You have two years from the date of your initial registration to become certified.
  • Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT): This is for individuals who have already obtained national certification through either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT).

Key Differences Between Technician-in-Training and Certified Pharmacy Technician

The primary difference lies in the certification requirement. Technician-in-training registrations are temporary and require you to become certified within two years. Certified pharmacy technicians, on the other hand, have already met this requirement and can continue their registration as long as they maintain their certification. In addition, state  law specifies that only certified pharmacy technicians with at least 2,000 hours of experience may work as technicians in a remote pharmacy.

By understanding these requirements and choosing the appropriate registration type based on your current certification status, you’ll be well-prepared to start the application process and begin your career as a pharmacy technician in South Dakota.

Step 2: Obtain National Certification

While national certification isn’t mandatory to begin working as a pharmacy technician in South Dakota, it is a requirement for obtaining the Certified Pharmacy Technician registration. Achieving certification not only allows you to take on a wider range of responsibilities but also demonstrates your competence and commitment to the profession. Additionally, certified pharmacy technicians in South Dakota may work in remote pharmacies.

Here are your options for certification:

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.

Obtaining your national certification not only qualifies you for the South Dakota certified pharmacy technician license but also demonstrates your commitment to professionalism and enhances your value as a pharmacy technician.

Step 3: Apply for Your South Dakota Pharmacy Technician Registration

Once you’ve met the basic requirements and obtained national certification (if applicable), it’s time to apply for your South Dakota pharmacy technician registration. Here’s how to navigate the application process:

  1. Online Application: The South Dakota Board of Pharmacy has streamlined the registration process, making it entirely online. Visit their website and locate the technician registration application under the “Technician” heading.
  2. Gather Required Information: Before starting the application, ensure you have the following information readily available:
    • Personal information (date of birth, social security number, education, and work history)
    • Current employer’s pharmacy license number
    • NABP e-Profile number (if applicable)
    • PTCB or ExCPT certification (if applying for Certified Pharmacy Technician registration)
  3. Complete the Application: Fill out the online application form accurately and completely. Be sure to double-check all information before submitting, as the system does not save data until the application is complete.
  4. Upload Required Documents:
    • If you are a certified technician, upload a PDF copy of your current PTCB or ExCPT certificate.
    • If you have any felony or misdemeanor charges, provide an explanation and upload supporting documentation, such as court records.
  5. Pay the Application Fee: The application fee for both technician-in-training and certified pharmacy technician registrations is $25. Payment can be made online using a credit card (Mastercard, Visa, or American Express).
  6. Review and Submission: Review your application thoroughly before submitting. Once you submit, the Board of Pharmacy will review your application. You can check your application status on the Board’s website.
  7. Set Up Your Online Account: After your registration is issued, set up an online account on the Board’s website to print your registration and update your personal information as needed.

By following these steps and ensuring all required information and documentation are submitted accurately, you can successfully obtain your South Dakota pharmacy technician registration and begin your exciting career in the field.

Step 4: Renew Your South Dakota Pharmacy Technician Registration

Maintaining your registration as a pharmacy technician in South Dakota is essential for continuing your career in the state. Here’s what you need to know about the renewal process:

Renewal Timeframe

  • Your South Dakota pharmacy technician registration expires annually on October 31st.
  • There is no grace period for renewal, so it’s crucial to renew before the deadline to avoid any lapse in your authorization to practice.

Renewal Process

  1. Online Renewal:
    • The online renewal application opens 60 days before the registration expiration date.
    • Log into your online account on the South Dakota Board of Pharmacy website and complete the renewal application.
    • You must be currently employed as a pharmacy technician to be eligible for renewal.
  2. Renewal Fee:
    • The annual renewal fee is $25.
  3. Submission:
    • Submit your renewal application and fee online.

Important Reminders

  • If you are a certified pharmacy technician, ensure your national certification (PTCB or ExCPT) is current before renewing your registration.
  • If your registration has lapsed, you’ll need to complete a renewal application and pay the renewal fee to reactivate your registration. You do not need to submit a new application.
  • If you were initially registered as a technician-in-training (TT), remember that you have two years from the date of your initial registration to become certified.

By following these steps and ensuring timely renewal, you can maintain your pharmacy technician registration in South Dakota and continue your fulfilling career in the field.

Additional Tips for Success as a Pharmacy Technician in South Dakota

Obtaining your pharmacy technician registration and achieving national certification (for Certified Pharmacy Technicians) are crucial steps, but your journey in South Dakota doesn’t end there. To truly thrive in this field and reach your full potential, consider these additional tips:

Network with Pharmacy Professionals

  • Connect with other pharmacy technicians and pharmacists in your area. Attend local pharmacy association meetings and events to build relationships and learn from experienced professionals.
  • Consider joining the South Dakota Pharmacists Association (SDPhA) to gain access to resources, continuing education opportunities, and networking events.

Embrace Continuing Education (CE)

  • While South Dakota doesn’t mandate CE for license renewal, actively pursuing continuing education opportunities can significantly enhance your knowledge and skills, keeping you up-to-date with the latest advancements in pharmacy practice.
  • Look for CE courses offered by professional organizations, educational institutions, or online platforms. Choose topics that align with your interests and career goals, such as medication safety, compounding, or specialized pharmacy practice areas.

Pursue Advancement Opportunities

  • As you gain experience and expertise, consider pursuing career advancement opportunities within your pharmacy. This could involve taking on additional responsibilities, such as training new technicians, assisting with inventory management, or specializing in a specific area like sterile compounding.
  • If you are a certified pharmacy technician, explore the possibility of becoming authorized to administer vaccines under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. This can make you a more valuable asset to your employer and open up new career paths.

Develop Strong Communication Skills

  • Effective communication is essential for interacting with patients, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers.
  • Practice active listening, empathy, and clear communication to build rapport with patients and colleagues.
  • Ensure that patients understand their medications, dosage instructions, and potential side effects by explaining complex information in simple terms.

Maintain Professionalism

  • Uphold ethical standards and maintain a professional demeanor in all your interactions.
  • Dress appropriately, arrive on time, and be respectful to colleagues and patients.
  • Continuously strive to improve your knowledge and skills to provide the best possible care to patients.

By following these tips and consistently demonstrating your dedication to professional growth and patient care, you can build a successful and rewarding career as a pharmacy technician in South Dakota.


Becoming a licensed pharmacy technician in South Dakota is a rewarding and attainable career path for those passionate about healthcare and eager to make a positive impact on their community. The state’s increasing demand for skilled technicians, combined with the flexibility of two distinct registration paths, makes it an ideal place to launch or further your career in this field.

By understanding the registration requirements, completing the necessary training, and considering obtaining national certification, you can position yourself for success and open doors to diverse career opportunities within South Dakota’s healthcare landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long does it take to become a registered pharmacy technician in South Dakota?

The registration process in South Dakota is typically quick, with processing times usually ranging from a few days to a couple of weeks. However, you must be employed as a pharmacy technician in a licensed South Dakota pharmacy before you can apply.

What is the average salary for pharmacy technicians in South Dakota?

According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2023, the average salary for pharmacy technicians in South Dakota was $41,440. However, salaries can vary based on experience, certification, location, and work setting.

Is national certification required to work as a pharmacy technician in South Dakota?

National certification is not immediately required to begin working as a pharmacy technician in South Dakota, but if you are not certified when you initially register, you must become certified within two years.

Does South Dakota require continuing education for pharmacy technician registration renewal?

No, South Dakota does not require continuing education for pharmacy technician registration renewal. However, maintaining your national certification (PTCB or ExCPT) usually requires continuing education hours every two years.

How do I renew my pharmacy technician registration in South Dakota?

You can renew your registration online through the South Dakota Board of Pharmacy website. The renewal period opens 60 days before your registration expires on October 31st. The renewal fee is $25, and there is no late fee.

Is there a difference between a registered pharmacy technician and a certified pharmacy technician in South Dakota?

Yes, a registered pharmacy technician is someone who is registered with the Board of Pharmacy but is not yet nationally certified. A certified pharmacy technician has passed a national certification exam and must maintain their certification to keep their registration active. Certified pharmacy technicians may also be authorized to work in remote pharmacies.

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