Skip to main content Back to Top


By Janet McGregor Liles, MSHS, CPhT | Program Director and Instructor, Pharmacy Technology
Arkansas State University-Beebe , Beebe, AR
California Pharmacy Technician Licensure Requirements and Roles

Currently, California pharmacy technician licensure requirements include a high school (or general education development certificate) diploma and having an acceptable background check.  Additionally, the individual must obtain one of the following: 1) an associate degree in pharmacy technology, 2) complete an applicable training course specified by the board, 3) be a board recognized pharmacy school graduate, or 4) be a National Commission for Certifying Agency (NCCA) credentialed certified technician. These requirements are set for modification in the next twelve months. Besides the current requirements, applicants will need to complete a one-hour cultural competency course to become fully licensed by the licensing agency.

Current Responsibilities and Roles

Pharmacy technicians may perform packaging, manipulative, repetitive or other nondiscretionary pharmacy related tasks, only while assisting, under the direct supervision and control of a pharmacist. Furthermore, a pharmacy technician working in a licensed health care facility may also package emergency supplies, seal emergency containers, and perform monthly checks of drug supplies stored throughout the facility. Authority is given by the board for a pharmacy technician to perform the task of obtaining an accurate medication profile or list for a high-risk patient under specified conditions.  General acute care hospitals allow pharmacy technicians to check the work on another pharmacy technician with the filling of floor and ward stock and unit dose distribution systems under specified conditions.

Although not currently finalized, but under consideration, the scope of the practice for pharmacy technicians would be expanded in the following areas.  Licensure itself would be expanded to include an Advanced Pharmacy Technician credential.  Expanded duties include  1) verification, 2) accepting new prescriptions (except those needing professional judgement), 3) determining intended purpose or indication on verbal orders, 4) accepting refill authorizations (except those needing professional judgement), 4) transfer and receive transferred prescriptions, 5) providing (after training) the technical aspect of immunization, 6) providing post discharge communication, medical guidance and referral services,  and 7) developing medication dosing schedules for discharge patients.

The California Board of Pharmacy and state and national stakeholders (e.g., ASHP, NABP, PTCB, NHA) have engaged in technician-related discussion through the Pharmacy Technician Summit in April 2022 California and statewide meetings.  These discussions have not produced updated legislative or regulatory action outside of the existing scope of practice and waivers. 

  1. California State Board of Pharmacy - Statutory Changes in Pharmacy Law [PDF]
  2. California State Board of Pharmacy - Waivers Issued by Board Extended Beyond End of COVID-19 State of Emergency [PDF]
  3. Licensing Committee Chair Report April 26-27, 2022, Board Meeting Pharmacy Technician Summit [PDF]

Member Only

Join ASHP today to get access to the full content

ASHP Consulting Photo

ASHP Consulting Service

Assisting clients with safety and quality-focused recommendations
Learn More
Link the whole card
Chapter 800 Answer Book 2nd Cover

The Chapter <800> Answer Book, 2nd Edition

View Product
Link the whole card

About ASHP

We represent pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings.

Read More
Link the whole card

Join / Renew

Join ASHP or renew your membership to take advantage of our benefits, services and resources
View Benefits
Link the whole card