Tennessee Pharmacy Technician License: Your Ultimate Guide

Tennessee pharmacy technician license

Tennessee Pharmacy Technician License Requirements

Are you detail-oriented, passionate about healthcare, and seeking a career that directly impacts patient well-being? Becoming a pharmacy technician in Tennessee could be the ideal path for you. Pharmacy technicians are essential members of the healthcare team, collaborating closely with pharmacists to prepare and dispense medications, manage inventory, and provide exceptional customer service.

In Tennessee, the demand for skilled pharmacy technicians continues to grow, providing ample opportunities for career advancement and personal fulfillment. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of becoming a registered pharmacy technician in the Volunteer State. We’ll delve into the registration requirements, training, and additional certifications that can enhance your career prospects 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 Tennessee Board of Pharmacy website (https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/health-professional-boards/pharmacy-board.html) to verify requirements and stay up to date on official regulations for pharmacy technicians in the state.

Work Environments for Pharmacy Technicians in Tennessee

As a pharmacy technician in Tennessee, you’ll discover a diverse range of work environments to suit your interests and career goals. The Volunteer State offers numerous opportunities across different pharmacy settings, allowing you to utilize your skills and expertise in a way that aligns with your passions. Here’s a glimpse into some common work environments where you can build a rewarding career:

Retail Pharmacies

  • Major Chains: CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, and Kroger are just a few major chains offering ample opportunities for pharmacy technicians across Tennessee. In this fast-paced environment, you’ll interact with customers, dispense medications, handle insurance claims, and manage inventory.
  • Independent Pharmacies: Local pharmacies like Belew Drug, Kerr Drug, and others throughout the state also provide fulfilling careers for pharmacy technicians. These settings often foster close-knit teams and personalized patient care.
  • Grocery Store Pharmacies: Many grocery chains, such as Publix and Food City, have in-store pharmacies that employ pharmacy technicians to support pharmacists and provide efficient prescription services to customers.

Hospital Systems

  • Major Medical Centers: Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Saint Thomas Health, and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare 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.
  • Specialty Hospitals: Children’s hospitals like Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and specialized facilities like the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center offer unique opportunities for pharmacy technicians to work with specific patient populations and medications.

Long-Term Care Facilities

  • Skilled Nursing Facilities: In facilities like Life Care Centers of America and NHC Healthcare, pharmacy technicians ensure the safe and accurate delivery of medications to residents and maintain meticulous medication records.
  • Assisted Living Facilities: Morning Pointe Senior Living, The Blakeford at Green Hills, and similar establishments rely 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 Tennessee-based mail-order facilities to process and dispense medications to patients across the state.
  • Compounding Pharmacies: These specialized pharmacies formulate custom medications for patients with unique needs. Pharmacy technicians in compounding pharmacies assist with measuring, mixing, and preparing medications according to specific prescriptions.
  • Military and Government Facilities: Military bases and Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers across Tennessee employ pharmacy technicians to support their pharmacy operations and serve the needs of military personnel and veterans.

With this diversity of work environments, you’re sure to find a setting that matches your interests and career goals as a pharmacy technician in Tennessee.

Step 1: Understand Tennessee Pharmacy Technician License Requirements

Embarking on your pharmacy technician career in Tennessee begins with registering with the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy. The process is relatively straightforward, with minimal requirements to get started. Here’s what you need to know:

Eligibility Requirements

  • No Specific Age or Education: There are no specific age or educational requirements to register as a pharmacy technician in Tennessee.
  • Criminal Background Check: You’ll need to pass a criminal background check.
  • Understanding of Laws and Rules: You and your employer must sign an affidavit confirming that you’ve read and understand the laws and rules related to pharmacy technicians and the practice of pharmacy in Tennessee.
  • National Certification (Optional, but Recommended): While not mandatory, obtaining certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) can offer significant advantages for career advancement and increased responsibilities. We will cover this in more detail in Step 2.

Exemptions from Registration

Certain individuals are exempt from registration as a pharmacy technician in Tennessee:

  • Probationary Employees: Individuals performing pharmacy technician tasks during a probationary period of no more than 90 days.
  • Students in Training Programs: Students enrolled in formal pharmacy technician training programs while performing experiential rotations.

By understanding these requirements, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a registered pharmacy technician in Tennessee.

Step 2: Obtain PTCB Certification (Optional, but Highly Recommended)

While national certification is not mandatory for registration as a pharmacy technician in Tennessee, obtaining certification through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is highly recommended. PTCB certification demonstrates your knowledge and skills in the field, making you a more competitive candidate for job opportunities and opening doors to career advancement.

Benefits of PTCB Certification

  • Increased Responsibility: Certified pharmacy technicians can perform a broader range of tasks, such as receiving new or transferred oral medication orders, verifying the contents of unit dose carts and automated dispensing systems, and potentially participating in immunization administration.
  • Enhanced Employability: Many employers in Tennessee prefer to hire certified pharmacy technicians due to their demonstrated competence and commitment to professionalism.
  • Higher Earning Potential: Certified technicians often command higher salaries than their non-certified counterparts.
  • Flexibility in Technician-to-Pharmacist Ratio: Pharmacies with a higher ratio of technicians to pharmacists can exceed the 6:1 limit if the additional technicians are PTCB certified.

How to Obtain PTCB Certification

To become PTCB certified, you must pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). The PTCE 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).

Step 3: Apply for Your Tennessee Pharmacy Technician License

Once you’ve met the eligibility requirements, it’s time to register with the Board of Pharmacy. The application process is designed to be straightforward and efficient.

Application Steps

Complete the Application Form

  • Create an online account to manage your application via the link on the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy website.
  • Fill out the application form accurately and completely, providing all requested personal and employment information.

Complete Affidavit with Employer

  • Work with your employer to complete the affidavit attesting that you have read and understand the laws and rules pertaining to pharmacy technicians and the practice of pharmacy in Tennessee.
  • Both you and your employer must sign this affidavit, and a copy must be retained at your place of employment.

Obtain a Criminal Background Check

  • The Board of Pharmacy requires a criminal background check as part of the registration process.
  • You will need to pay for the background check and have the results sent directly to the Board from an approved vendor.

Pay the Registration Fee

  • The registration fee for pharmacy technicians in Tennessee is $55.
  • There is an additional $10 fee to support the peer assistance program, bringing the total fee to $65.
  • Submit the payment along with your completed application and other required documents.

Submit Your Application

  • Submit completed application form, the signed affidavit, the criminal background check results, and the registration fee.
  • The mailing address for the Board’s administrative office can be found on their website.

Processing and Approval

  • The Board will review your application and notify you if any additional information or corrections are needed.
  • Once your application is complete and approved, you will receive your pharmacy technician registration.

By following these steps and ensuring all required information and documentation are submitted accurately, you can successfully obtain your Tennessee pharmacy technician registration and embark on your rewarding career in the healthcare field.

Step 4: Renew Your Tennessee Pharmacy Technician License

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

Renewal Timeframe

Pharmacy technician registrations in Tennessee expire every two years on the last day of the month in which you initially registered. You should receive a renewal notice from the Board of Pharmacy before your registration expires. However, it’s your responsibility to initiate the renewal process.

Renewal Process


  • Log into your online account to access the renewal portal.
  • Complete the application accurately and thoroughly, providing any updated information.


  • The biennial renewal fee for a pharmacy technician registration is $75.
  • Additionally, there is a $10 fee for the peer assistance program, bringing the total renewal cost to $85.


  • Submit the renewal application along with the renewal fee to the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy.

Late Renewal

  • If you fail to renew your registration by the expiration date, you may be subject to late fees. It’s crucial to renew promptly to avoid any interruption in your ability to work as a pharmacy technician in Tennessee.

By following these steps and renewing your registration on time, you can ensure uninterrupted practice as a pharmacy technician in Tennessee and continue your professional growth in this rewarding field.

Additional Tips for Success as a Pharmacy Technician in Tennessee

Obtaining your pharmacy technician registration is a significant accomplishment, but your journey in the world of pharmacy doesn’t stop there. To truly thrive in this field and maximize your career 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 Tennessee Pharmacists Association (TPA) to gain access to resources, continuing education opportunities, and networking events.
  • Attend national conferences like those hosted by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) or the National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA) to broaden your network and stay informed about industry trends.

Embrace Continuing Education (CE)

  • While not mandatory for license renewal in Tennessee, continuing education is crucial for staying current with new medications, regulations, and pharmacy practices.
  • 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, consider advancing your career by pursuing additional certifications or specializing in a particular area of pharmacy practice.
  • Some options include becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) through the PTCB, specializing in sterile compounding, or working towards a managerial role in a pharmacy setting.

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 patients understand their medications, dosage instructions, and potential side effects by explaining complex information in simple terms.

Maintain Professionalism

  • Uphold high 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 implementing these tips, you can enhance your career prospects, increase your earning potential, and make a lasting contribution to the pharmacy profession in Tennessee. Remember, a successful pharmacy technician is not only knowledgeable and skilled but also adaptable, proactive, and dedicated to providing exceptional care to patients.


Becoming a registered pharmacy technician in Tennessee opens doors to a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. With various work environments to choose from and a growing demand for skilled technicians, the Volunteer State offers ample opportunities for professional growth and personal satisfaction. By meeting the straightforward registration requirements and considering the advantages of PTCB certification, you can position yourself for success and make a meaningful contribution to the healthcare system.

Remember, as a pharmacy technician in Tennessee, you play a vital role in ensuring patients receive accurate and safe medication therapy. Your dedication to precision, your commitment to learning, and your passion for helping others will be instrumental in your success. Embrace the challenges and rewards that this profession offers, and continue to grow and develop your skills to make a lasting impact on the lives of those you serve.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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

The registration process in Tennessee is typically quick, with processing times usually ranging from a few days to a couple of weeks. However, the time it takes to complete the required background check may vary.

What is the average salary for pharmacy technicians in Tennessee?

The average pharmacy technician salary was $38,940 in May 2023 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, salaries can vary based on experience, certification, location, and work setting.

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

No, national certification, such as through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), is not required to work as a pharmacy technician in Tennessee. However, it is highly recommended as it allows for a broader range of duties and responsibilities, making you a more valuable asset to employers.

Does Tennessee require continuing education for pharmacy technician registration renewal?

No, Tennessee does not currently require continuing education for pharmacy technician registration renewal. However, pursuing continuing education is highly recommended to stay current with industry advancements and maintain your PTCB certification, which does require continuing education hours every two years.

How do I renew my pharmacy technician registration in Tennessee?

Your registration will expire biennially (every two years) on the last day of the month in which you initially registered. You should receive a renewal notice from the Board of Pharmacy before your registration expires. The renewal fee is $75, plus an additional $10 fee for the peer assistance program, for a total of $85.

Related Articles

Privacy Settings