Pharmacy Technician Program in Downtown LA

A smiling pharmacy worker.

The Pharmacy Technician Program at Cal State LA Downtown is a comprehensive 10-week test preparation accelerated program that will prepare students to work as pharmacy technicians in retail or other pharmacy settings. This program examines the knowledge areas critical to the pharmacy technician practice. Pharmacology for technicians, laws, and regulations, compounding, medication safety, quality assurance, order entry and fill process, inventory management, billing and reimbursement, information systems usage, and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) will be explored. Taught by experts in the pharmaceutical field, the curriculum focuses on three core areas including pharmacology, law, and practical wisdom. Students will benefit from engaging lectures and discussions paired with interactive learning activities. Cal State LA's Pharmacy Technician Program is recognized by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, the only nonprofit pharmacy credentialing organization in the United States.


The Pharmacy Technician Program is designed for:

  • Individuals interested in working in retail pharmacies, mail-order pharmacies, home infusion pharmacies, long term care facilities, hospitals, clinics, pharmacy benefit managers, and large industrial complexes.
  • Students with a high school diploma or GED equivalent who have taken math and science in high school.

View a Powerpoint Presentation.

Upon successful completion of the Pharmacy Technician Program, students will be able to:
  • Illustrate the scope of practice for pharmacy technicians.
  • Identify the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States, including pharmacology and therapeutics relating to body systems.
  • Apply pharmacy laws and regulations to given fact patterns.
  • Execute appropriate safety protocols.
  • Calculate and convert quantities and dosages as required for prescription order entry and filling.
  • Use pharmacy information systems for inventory, billing, and reimbursement.

Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion upon successful completion of the program.

This comprehensive 50-hour Pharmacy Technician Program teaches the fundamental practices of the pharmacy technician field. It explores the knowledge domains and areas listed in the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) Blueprint published by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

Since California law requires a pharmacy technician license to work in a pharmacy, students who complete this program should next take the PTCE to become certified by PTCB, and then apply for the pharmacy technician license from the California State Board of Pharmacy.

Register to view/listen to a live OR prerecorded Pharmacy Technician Program Information Session.

The cost of the Pharmacy Technician Program is $1,399

Students are expected to purchase the following textbook for the Pharmacy Technician Program:
  • Mosby Pharmacy Technician Exam Review Book (4th edition) by James Mizner (ISBN-13 9780323497244)

Federal financial aid is not currently available for the Pharmacy Technician Program. However, you can apply for a private student loan.

Cal State LA and the local Workforce Investment Board (WIB) are working together to ensure that our state has a well-trained and sustainable workforce. If you have been laid off due to poor economic conditions, company closure, or mass layoff, you may be eligible to receive free career development training.

To find out if you qualify for paid training, contact your local American Job Center (formerly One-Stop Center) to have them determine your eligibility to receive free training. Be sure to mention that you want to take classes through the College Professional and Global Education at Cal State LA. Visit CareerOneStop to find your nearest American Job Center or call 1-877-US2-JOBS (1-877-872-5627) for more information. Important: You must contact your local American Job Center for application and approval first. Free enrollment in our WIB-approved programs is not available without prior written approval.

Approved Programs Offered by Cal State LA:

Pharmacy Technician

Certificate in Project Management

Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Medical Billing and Coding

Healthcare Revenue Cycle Administration Certificate

Summer 2024 Program Dates: June 3 to August 5.

The Summer 2024 Pharmacy Technician Program will meet virtually via Zoom on the listed dates above. The instructor and participants will actively engage in live discussions and lectures. Login information will be emailed to registered participants a week before the program begins.

View/download the Summer 2024 schedule.

Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion upon successful completion of the program.

View a PowerPoint Presentation.

Emille Gonzalez holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She also received her certification as a Pharmacy Technician from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). She has been in the pharmacy field since 1998 and worked with sterile and non-sterile compounding in the pharmacy, dispensing, and pharmacy billing as a technician supervisor and administrator in a variety of hospital pharmacy settings, including LA Metro Medical Center, Midway Medical Center, East LA Doctors Medical Center, Brotman Medical Center, and others. She started her career as an educator with Bryman College in 2004 as a Program Chair for their Pharmacy Technician Department and helped train many students to pass their PTCB exams and become Certified Pharmacy Technicians in the healthcare field. She continues to serve and teach in the pharmacy education profession and is currently pursuing her MBA degree in Healthcare Administration at Ashworth College to strengthen her skills as an administrator and educator.

Registration for the Summer 2024 Pharmacy Technician Program is now open. To register for the program, please submit payment here. It is required that all participants register by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, to ensure they receive all crucial information prior to the start of the program. Our Program Office team will reach out to you a week before the program begins to provide you with details including Canvas access, syllabus, Zoom meeting link, etc.

The Summer 2024 program will meet virtually via live synchronous Zoom sessions during the listed dates and times as noted in the program schedule. The instructor and participants will actively engage in live discussions, and lectures, and utilize a learning management system (Canvas). Login information will be emailed to registered participants a week before the program begins.

This accelerated program is not accredited and the certification exam is not included.

If you encounter technical difficulties enrolling in this program, please email the College of Professional and Global Education Student Services for assistance.

Please read Cal State LA's Non-Discrimination Policy.

Join our interest list to learn more about the Pharmacy Technician Program.

For more information about the Pharmacy Technician Program, please contact the Cal State LA Downtown Outreach and Recruitment Department: [email protected].