Edmonds College Logo


Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program and AAS-T degree

A pharmacy technician career offers you diverse opportunities and excellent earning potential. A pharmacy professional is highly trusted and vital to the healthcare system. They can have a direct impact on people’s lives and health.

Pharmacy technicians serve patients in a variety of pharmacy settings, including:

  • community/retail pharmacies
  • long-term care facilities
  • medical clinics
  • mail-order pharmacies
  • hospitals
  • drug manufacturers
  • infusion centers
  • insurance companies

Students in our pharmacy technician certificate program at Edmonds College:

  • study the ways medications work in the body and how they are applied in pharmaceutical care
  • learn to use evidence-based tools for researching drug information, and work in teams to present their findings
  • practice calculations, electronic health record management, and prescription filling processes to be well-equipped to work in the hospital, retail, or other pharmacy settings
  • learn techniques for sterile compounding, laws governing pharmacy practice, and terminology used in pharmacies and throughout healthcare

There is tremendous demand for pharmacy technicians, and graduates can quickly find employment in this field. Graduates of the pharmacy technician certificate at Edmonds leave our program with extensive classroom and skills lab training, as well as hands-on experience in a pharmacy setting. We prepare you to excel on your certification exam and apply for your pharmacy technician license.

Academic planning

We organize the pharmacy technician courses in three blocks. You may begin with either Block A or Block B – whichever is available upon completing prerequisites – but must complete both Blocks A and B before continuing with Block C. Block A and Block B classes are offered in alternating quarters during fall, winter, and spring. Check out the Course Sequence for more information. 

Clinical Experiences/Externship Requirements

To participate in a clinical experience, we require proof of vaccination for common infectious diseases, including influenza and COVID-19. The Clinical Passport outlines the immunization requirements. Please download a copy and keep it in a safe place. The CPNW-Clinical Passport Tutorial provides an overview of each document section and takes about 30 minutes to complete. If you have additional questions after completing the tutorial, please contact an Allied Health faculty advisor.

You must pass a background check to participate in clinical externships and must complete one before registering for a clinical Externship class. A list of Disqualifying Crimes and Negative Actions is provided by the DSHS Secretary. If you have any concerns, please contact an Allied Faculty advisor.

All immunization and criminal background checks for allied health programs go through our online data bank, CastleBranch. To place an order, enter package code EE78. The cost is $96.00.


For pharmacy technician program information and questions, please contact our program advisors:

Brent Leithauser | brent.leithauser@edmonds.edu | 425.640.1369

AAS-T and BAS degrees

Students who seek to continue their studies beyond the pharmacy technician certificate may apply that coursework toward one of our program’s AAS-T (Associate of Applied Science - Transfer) degrees:

Student comments:

  • “I am really interested in the dynamic working environment of retail pharmacy. I have seen the professionalism and kindness of the pharmacy staff at a pharmacy close to where I live. This makes me feel comfortable and excited to work in this environment. I believe that I will have a good career after getting my pharmacy technician certificate.”
  • “Thinking about myself doing the things technicians do makes me a little nervous and a bit excited. After I get my license, I would like to choose a retail pharmacy setting because that helps me more about interacting with customers. It is a good place to get the basic knowledge such as preparing and filling prescriptions, receiving and confirming prescriptions, and more for new students like me.”
  • “After receiving my pharmacy technician license, I would prefer to work in a community health center. I would like to fill prescriptions (dispensing) because I want to learn and know more about the different types of drugs, and know how to perform all the necessary steps before a drug gets to the patient’s hands.”
  • “After I receive my pharmacy technician license, I would prefer to be working in a hospital or medical center. My ideal choice for this would be with my HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) because I already have experience with them.”
  • “I’m interested in working at a compounding pharmacy, because I really enjoy chemistry and lab work.”

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Studies

“I see myself working as a pharmacy technician for a year to build my understanding and experience before going back to college for my Doctor of Pharmacy degree.”

Becoming a pharmacy technician can be a stepping stone toward becoming a pharmacist. Although completing a Doctor of Pharmacy degree takes several years, completing a pharmacy technician certificate can allow a student to get a job in a pharmacy in about one year, gain valuable experience, and earn money while continuing their studies. For many students, starting as a pharmacy technician helps them become familiar with the workplace, interactions, and responsibilities within a pharmacy.

Pharmacists commonly review and fill prescriptions, advise prescribers on therapy choices and dosing, and consult with patients on details and the appropriate use of their medications. Pharmacists are also increasingly involved in direct patient-care functions, such as review of diabetes management, administering vaccinations, and MTM (Medication Therapy Management), in which a patient's entire drug regimen is reviewed for optimizations.