Illinois Pharmacy Technician Schools and Programs

Illinois offers top-notch pharmacy technician programs at several community colleges and universities, tailored for swift completion within a year. These programs blend classroom learning with practical clinical experiences in settings like hospitals/retail pharmacies and aim to equip students with comprehensive knowledge and practical skills necessary for the field.

Pharmacy Technician Programs

College of DuPage


425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Accreditation: PTCB

Program Type: Hybrid

College of DuPage emphasizes real-world skills across various fields, preparing students for rewarding careers. With a holistic approach to education, it caters to a wide range of career and professional training needs.

The Pharmacy Technician program at College of DuPage is a recognized by PTCB and is aligned with ASHP and ACPE standards. It provides experiential learning opportunities in various pharmacy settings. The program is designed to be completed in less than a year, using a hybrid delivery format that includes in-person, online, and asynchronous coursework.

This program prepares students for state licensure and national certification as pharmacy technicians. Students gain skills in areas like prescription processing, medication storage, and distribution. The program includes a drug screening and requires students to be proficient in English and Math, with a high school diploma or equivalency.

College of Lake County


19351 W Washington St, Grayslake, IL 60030

Accreditation: ASHP/ACPE, PTCB

Program Type: In-campus

Program Duration: 11 months

The College of Lake County offers a pathway to begin a medical career with its Pharmacy Technician program. Within 11 months, the program equips students with extensive knowledge and skills to work under the supervision of pharmacists, preparing them for national certification as pharmacy technicians.

The program is designed to provide hands-on experience through simulated labs and clinical rotations in hospitals and pharmacies. This comprehensive education ensures students are well-prepared for entry-level employment in the field and to become nationally certified pharmacy technicians.

Requirements for the program include a high school diploma or GED, knowledge of 9th and 10th-grade math (algebra), and proficient English skills. Additionally, students must have no prior criminal record and be at least 18 years old.

Heartland Community College


1500 W Raab Rd, Normal, IL 61761

Accreditation: PTCB

Program Type: In-campus, Hybrid

Established in 1990, Heartland Community College is located in Normal, Illinois. It serves District 540 with campus locations in Normal, Lincoln, and Pontiac. The college is dedicated to providing high-quality education and offers a range of programs, including an accredited Pharmacy Technician program.

The program is designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge required to become certified pharmacy technicians. It offers both on-campus and online options, catering to different preferences and schedules of students. The program covers various aspects of pharmacy work, ensuring a comprehensive education.

The curriculum includes courses such as Pharmacy Law and Regulations, Pharmacy Calculations, and Pharmacy Management. To enroll, students must have a high school diploma or GED, basic computer skills, and fluency in English. The program typically takes one year to complete, with options for full-time or part-time study.

Lewis and Clark Community College


5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey, Illinois 62035

Accreditation: ASHP/ACPE, PTCB

Program Type: Hybrid

Program Duration: 1 semester

Established in 1970, Lewis and Clark Community College is a public institution that offers a wide range of career and transfer study options, along with personal enrichment and professional training programs.

This 17-credit-hour program is offered in a versatile blendflex format, allowing students to attend courses either in-person or virtually. The curriculum encompasses vital skills for pharmacy technicians, including drug preparation, maintaining patient records, handling medications, and working with pharmacy software systems.

The program emphasizes achieving a minimum grade of “C” in all courses and offers a complete learning experience by partnering with PioneerRx Pharmacy Software. Accredited by ASHP and ACPE, it prepares students to meet state and national requirements for the PTCB certification exam.

Malcolm X College


1900 West Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60612

Accreditation: ASHP/ACPE, PTCB

Program Type: In-campus

Program Duration: 3 semesters

Malcolm X College, is dedicated to empowering students through comprehensive educational programs. While it offers a range of programs across various fields, its commitment to healthcare education, including the Pharmacy Technology Program, stands out. It is designed to support students from diverse communities, equipping them with the necessary academic and practical knowledge in pharmacy.

The program itself is comprehensive, offering training in tasks such as preparing medications, filling prescriptions, and data entry under the supervision of a pharmacist. Its versatile nature caters to both outgoing individuals who enjoy patient interaction and those who prefer behind-the-scenes roles.

The Advanced Certificate Program spans three semesters and is accredited by both the ASHP and the ACPE. It prepares graduates for industry certification exams like PTCE, ExCPT, and CSPT, enabling them to secure positions as pharmacy technicians. Admission to the program requires meeting certain prerequisites, including academic qualifications and an interview with the Medical Director​.

Northwest Suburban College


5999 S. New Wilke Rd. Bldg. #500, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008-4504

Accreditation: PTCB, ABHES

Program Type: In-campus

Program Duration: 32 weeks

Located in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, Northwest Suburban College offers a Pharmacy Technician Certificate program designed to prepare students for a variety of pharmacy settings. The college’s program emphasizes thorough preparation for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) exams.

The 32-week Pharmacy Technician program at NWSC covers key aspects of pharmacology, pharmacy law and regulation, pharmacy administration, and prescription processing. The curriculum includes detailed studies of various medications, their classifications, uses, and related human anatomy and physiology.

The program includes 360 hours of classroom instruction and a 240-hour clinical externship, offering hands-on experience in real pharmacy settings. Class hours are scheduled during evenings to accommodate various schedules, and the externship provides an opportunity for practical learning and potential employment.

Oakton Community College


1600 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016

Program Type: In-campus

Program Duration: 1 semester

Oakton Community College, with campuses in Des Plaines and Skokie, Illinois, offers a diverse range of programs across various disciplines.

The Pharmacy Technician program, conducted face-to-face, is intensive and concise, designed to be completed in one semester. It offers a foundational understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a pharmacy technician, including practical and theoretical knowledge.

Students gain hands-on experience through a clinical practicum, which involves 250 contact hours at a pharmacy setting. This practical training is crucial for understanding real-world applications of their learning. Graduates from the program are well-equipped with skills such as medication identification, understanding drug interactions and contraindications, medication storage, and adherence to state and federal regulations​.

South Suburban College


15800 South State Street, South Holland, IL 60473-1200;

Accreditation: ASHP/ACPE, PTCB

Program Duration: 16 weeks

South Suburban College, with its main campus in South Holland and a center in Oak Forest, Illinois, provides a comprehensive range of educational programs. The college aims to equip students for various professional fields, including healthcare.

The PHT program at SSC is a 16-week course designed to train technicians in assisting pharmacists with medication preparation and dispensing. The program includes training in aseptic IV preparation, medication order processing, and other relevant areas like pharmacy math, law, and operations, preparing students for employment in diverse settings such as retail and hospital pharmacies.

In addition to the coursework, the program requires students to complete 150 to 300 supervised hours in various pharmacy settings. This includes internships in both community and hospital pharmacies, offering practical, hands-on experience.

The program emphasizes achieving a minimum grade of “C” or better in all courses and provides the opportunity for currently-employed pharmacy technicians to receive credit for their experience​.

Southeastern Illinois College


3575 College Rd., Harrisburg, IL 62946

Program Type: In-campus

Program Duration: 1 semester

Southeastern Illinois College, located in Harrisburg, Illinois, is an educational institution offering a variety of academic and vocational programs. The college aims to provide quality education and training to equip students for diverse professional fields.

Accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, the Pharmacy Technician program focuses on assisting licensed pharmacists in dispensing prescription medications. Successful completion of the program qualifies students to apply for the ExCPT exam, a pathway to becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician.

The program’s curriculum is designed to impart skills essential for pharmacy technicians. These include processing prescription requests, managing patient profiles, and inventory management. The program also emphasizes on developing proficiency in various pharmacy settings, upholding legal and ethical standards, and preparing for the certification and licensure examination

Southwestern Illinois College


2500 Carlyle Ave., Belleville, IL 62221

Accreditation: PTCB

Program Type: In-campus

Program Duration: 1 semester

Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) focuses on equipping students with the necessary skills for their chosen career paths. SWIC emphasizes real-world application and practical knowledge, preparing students for immediate entry into the workforce or further academic pursuits.

SWIC’s Pharmacy Technician program, which runs for one semester, is offered in both the spring and fall semesters. It aims to equip students with the basic skills necessary for work in hospital or retail-based pharmacies, assisting pharmacists in medication preparation and distribution.

The curriculum at SWIC includes courses like PHAR 101 Affective Knowledge & Skills, PHAR 110 Pharmacy Regulations & Standards, and PHAR 120 Clinical Practicum I, among others, totaling 16 semester credits. Graduates must pass a criminal background check and drug testing, and are awarded a certificate upon successful completion.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements to become a pharmacy technician in Illinois?

To become a pharmacy technician in Illinois, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Pass a recognized certification exam, such as the PTCE or ExCPT.
  • Apply for and obtain licensure or registration from the Illinois State Board of Pharmacy, including submitting an application with a $40.00 fee.
  • Renew your license annually, though continuing education is not mandated by the state.

Learn more: Illinois State Requirements for Pharmacy Technicians

Do you have to be certified to work as a pharmacy technician in Illinois?

Yes, you must be certified to work as a pharmacy technician in Illinois. While you can assist in a pharmacy for up to 60 days while your application is being processed, you must complete certification within 2 years to renew your license.

The state recognizes the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) and the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) as approved certification exams.

Learn more: Pharmacy Technician Certification in Illinois

Do you need a registration or license to work as a pharmacy tech in Illinois?

Yes, you need a license to work as a pharmacy technician in Illinois. Applicants must submit an application to the Illinois State Board of Pharmacy and can work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist for up to 60 days while waiting for their registration or license to be issued.

Learn more: Illinois Pharmacy Technician License

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