How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Iowa

One exceedingly popular and simple to obtain career is that of a pharmacy technician. When choosing this path though, it is important to understand the exact specifications of the profession and to be aware of the entire process. This makes everything much more attainable and easy to navigate. For those that are looking to become pharmacy technicians in the state of Iowa, below you will find a handy guide that will provide you with all of the information that you need to know. This guide will detail the educational and state requirements, job duties, certification, continuing education, and so forth.


To become a pharmacy technician, you are either required to file with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy as a trainee or as a certified pharmacy technician. The pharmacy technician trainee is a position that you can undertake before you decide to become fully certified. To receive the trainee license, you must apply with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy. This requires you to be 18 years or older, to pay an application fee of $55, and to have completed your GED or to hold a high school diploma. In addition, you must also be a legal resident of the United States. The pharmacy technician license allows you to accumulate on the job training at a pharmacy that you work at. However, should you simply want to register with the State of Iowa Board of Pharmacy, you will need to have passed the board’s pharmacy exam, be 18 years or older, hold a high school degree or GED, and to pay a $55 fee.

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Prior Education

While there is no prior education needed to become a pharmacy technician through passing the certification exam, there are still outlets that provide you with the opportunity to gain an education in the area. Educating yourself as a pharmacy technician at a local community college in Iowa or through a simple program will make you more employable and knowledgeable in the area. For example, one option is to take a pharmacy technician course through Northern Iowa Community college. The course provides you with an education in how to measure, mix, count, label, and record amounts of dosages of medication. In addition, once you complete the program, you will be better prepared to handle the state’s pharmacy technician exam. To undergo this program and others, you must be 18 years or older, have computer literacy, know basic math, have a high school GPA of 2.0 or higher, and have a high school diploma or GED.

Certification and How

The Iowa State Board of Pharmacy does require that all licensed pharmacy technicians have certification. If you are an individual that is a trainee, to gain certification, all you need to do is take the exam. However, you can also skip the trainee process, take a course or self-study, and subsequently take the exam. The entire process is pretty easy, and upon passing the exam, you become certified to work as a full pharmacy technician.

Continuing Education

The only continuing education that you will need as a pharmacy technician is renewal of your certification. The renewal process occurs every two years. The state of Iowa makes this easier by issuing a renewal application to your residence at least 2 months before your renewal date. The fee for renewal is $55. In addition, take note that it is important to report all changes or name, address, and such to the state’s Board of Pharmacy. This ensures that all your paperwork is up to date and the board can issue you renewal forms when needed.


The salary for a pharmacy technician in the state of Iowa is pretty decent. The average annual salary is $33,930, with an average hourly pay of $16.30. The minimum salary for an entry level is $22,750, while those that have been working for many years earn a max of $46,840.

Tasks and Legal Duties

The main task of a pharmacy technician is to aid in filling and distributing prescriptions only under the direct supervision of the pharmacist. In Iowa, and in many states, it is illegal for the pharmacy technician to administer shots. In addition, the pharmacy technician communicates with the physician’s office and manages the clerical work in the pharmacy.