Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What degree is available for pharmacy technician students?
    • PPCC offers three educational options concerning pharmacy technicians.

One degree option is an Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS). This degree includes the PHT Certificate Program, and the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Certificate, in addition to general education courses. This option is great for students who want to earn an accredited degree in addition to their vocational training. This option may qualify students for more specialized positions in the pharmacy industry.

A second option is the PHT Certificate Program. This program is designed for students who are interested in getting educated and entering the career field in the shortest time possible. This Certificate Program meets all requirements for the State Board of Pharmacy for any state requiring ASHP Accredited training or board-approved education for technicians. This program is ASHP/ACPE Accredited as an Advanced Level Pharmacy Technician Education Program.

Third, our Advanced Pharmacy Practice Certificate is for students who do not desire a  degree but want additional advanced training in their field. The Advanced Practice Certificate is for students who successfully complete the foundational PHT Certificate Program and includes additional coursework in nontraditional/advanced pharmacy roles, medical terminology, excel spreadsheet processing, and advanced training and certification in sterile compounding.

Picking the option right for you is complicated and based on many factors. All students should see the a pharmacy technician program adviser when deciding upon degree tracks.

  • What if I want to be a pharmacist?
    • Students seeking a Pharm. D, or looking for information on how to become a licensed pharmacist, need to know that the PHT Program courses do not apply towards that degree plan. Becoming a pharmacist requires an entirely separate set of courses, but the first 2 years can be completed here at PPCC. Students seeking this degree should check out the degree outline for Pre-Med Professions, and call 502-3336 to schedule an appointment with a Pre-Pharmacy/Pre-Med Adviser.
    • See pre-med Professions
  • Why do I have to complete the prerequisite courses?
    • Students seeking entrance to the Pharmacy Technician Program sometimes underestimate the curriculum requirements. The practice of pharmacy is a profession that requires excellent interpersonal skills (to include reading and writing), efficient computer abilities, and a strong understanding of math. These skills are critical for safe pharmacy practice. Requiring all students either place out of the remedial courses or successfully complete them prior to entrance to the program ensures all students are on the academic level required for potential success in the coursework.
  • When do I have to complete the background check and drug screen?
    • A national criminal background check and 10-panel drug screen is required of each and every Pharmacy Tech student at Pikes Peak Community College. In order to participate in the PHT program, you will be required to order a background check and drug screen through CastleBranch. You will be responsible for the $63.00 fee at the time of order. This is a Colorado Community College System requirement; therefore, any previous background check completed for employment will not suffice. This policy is implemented and monitored by the PPCC Human Resource Services Department. The screening is not to be completed by students prior to meeting with a program advisor. The first screen is completed in PHT 111 Introduction to Pharmacy, and all policies and requirements are reviewed at that time. Additional information can be found on the Background Check and Drug Screen page, or in the PHT Student Handbook.
  • What are the clinical internship requirements? Do I have to find my own site?
    • PHT students are required to successfully complete all PHT courses prior to being eligible for clinical internships. Internships are required for graduation, and are the last part of completing the certificate program. Students complete 160-hour rotations at 2 different sites- one community and one hospital. Students are not required to find their own internship site- all placement is made by the program coordinator.
    • Students are required to have had a background check and drug screen with the program within the 6 months prior to internship enrollment. Students are required to meet all requirements of the Academic Progression Policy in completing their PHT coursework, and register for the internships within 2 semesters of completing the PHT lab courses. All students are required to attend mandatory clinical seminar sessions, and provide all required proof of identification and immunization by designated deadlines provided by the program coordinator.
    • Students will be required to obtain a PHATP Certificate from the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy prior to being eligible for clinical placement. The fee for this is $57 and non-refundable. A full list of requirements and expectations cen be found on their website, but include:
      1. Successful completion of a criminal record check
      2. The ability to effectively read and write in the English language
      3. Documentation of any legal name changes
      4. Residency information and documentation
      5. National PHT Certification (PTCB) is required to transition a Provisional Certificate (PHATP) to a standard Certificate (PHAT) after 18 months
    • If you do not have current, accurate, and complete shot records you must update them prior to your clinical rotations. If you do not have insurance coverage for vaccines, the Health Department gives vaccines at reduced rates. The student's immunization record must include: Depending on the student’s specific clinical site, these requirements are subject to change to meet their individual requirements.
      1. TB test current within one year
      2. MMRx2 or positive titers
      3. Varicella or positive varicella titer
      4. Hepatitis vaccine is strongly recommended, but may not be required
      5. Flu Vaccine for the current flu season is required.
  • What are the expectations of students for this program?
    • An education and career in pharmacy can be quite demanding physically and mentally. View our department's Technical Standards Policy (located in the PHT Student handbook, page 31), containing valuable information concerning physical and academic rigor, which is expected of all pharmacy students.
    • Hard work and dedication in the lab and classroom. Students are required to maintain a minimum of a 70% in all PHT coursework. In addition, many classes have objective check-off or validation requirements which must be met to successfully pass a course. Inability to pass a final or practicum may result in repeating a required course, and failure of more than one PHT course may lead to program dismissal. See the program's Academic Progression Policy and policies for program dismissal in the PHT Student Handbook.
    • A good computer with internet access or transportation and time to utilize the computer lab and learning commons/resources on campus. The PHT Program is comprised of both traditional face-to-face coursework and lab, and both hybrid and online classes. Reliable internet and computer resources are essential. Additionally, the program utilizes multiple learning platforms to best meet different learners' needs. Access to these online platforms will be required, in addition to mandatory program textbooks.

Your questions are important to us and we will return phone calls and emails as soon as we can.

Need additional assistance on selecting a career path that is right for you? Want more information on the various resources available to you? Check out Career Services and our Advising websites for additional information!

See Your Adviser!

Advising is all important when it comes to student success. Pikes Peak Community College want to help you learn and earn that degree.

Nicole Barriera is the program coordinator and chair of the pharmacy technician program, and Marcia Janos is a faculty professor for the program. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call Instructor Barriera at 719-502-3344 or Instructor Janos at 719-502-3484. Or email at either: or You may also contact the division office at 719-502-3336 to make an appointment.

Useful Links and Documents

Pharmacy Technician Certification Board

PTCB develops, maintains, promotes, and administers a nationally accredited certification and recertification program for pharmacy technicians to enable the most effective support of pharmacists to advance patient safety. PPCC's Pharmacy Technician Program is PTCB Approved! To find additional information regarding the exam, application process, recertification process and requirements, access their program website at

All students enrolled in the PPCC PHT Program sit for the PTCB Exam prior to graduation to ensure they are workforce ready and eligible to apply for a Colorado State PHT Certificate (PHAT).

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

The ASHP Commission on Credentialing (COC) has representation from various components of the pharmacy profession to ensure the accreditation standards and processes provide quality training that meets the needs of the pharmacy profession. Members of the Commission include representatives from the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP), the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), as well as a dedicated pharmacy technician educator.

ASHP is the only nationally recognized non-governmental, non-profit pharmacy association that has been accrediting pharmacy residencies since 1962 and pharmacy technician training programs in the United States since 1983.

PPCC Pharmacy Technician Program Student Handbook

Review the latest version of the PHT Student Handbook to become familiar with program standards, policies, and requirements. This is available for purchase at the PPCC Bookstore.

Pharmacy Technician Program Tuition and Fees

Knowing your financial obligation and what to expect regarding the cost of the program is important! Upon acceptance to the college all students will receive information via email regarding cost expectations, financial aid options, and payment plan information. Immediate information can also be found on the college website on the Tuition & Fees page, where you can apply for financial aid, review the cost of attendance, and more. For a detailed breakdown of fees and programmatic costs, contact the PHT Program Director for the latest information.