Pharmacy techs in Oklahoma are entry-level medical professionals who assist pharmacists with filling prescriptions and helping clients in commercial drug stores, doctors’ offices and hospitals. Although it’s possible for those individuals who have graduated from high school to learn this position by means of on-the-job training, most hiring managers want to hire candidates who have completed a 12-month pharmacy technician certification training course.
This position is a good one for those who are beginning their careers in healthcare, due to the increasing demand for their abilities in Oklahoma. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016 report projects that the number of new positions for pharmacy technicians will grow by 12% through the year 2026.
What does a pharmacy technician do in Oklahoma?
Pharmacy techs in Oklahoma are employed under the guidance of a pharmacist, and are given the task of carrying out a number of support duties that help to keep the drug store operating smoothly. The subsequent checklist reflects the basic assignments that pharmacies place on their techs.
Pharmacy technician job duties
- Handle customer or patient calls and questions
- Establish and manage patient documents
- Support pharmacist in filling prescriptions by weighing, packaging and labeling medications
- Handle payments for prescription medications and insurance coverage claims
- Organize all inventory in the pharmacy
The steps to becoming a pharmacy technician in Oklahoma
The four-part process for becoming a pharmacy tech in Oklahoma is displayed below.
- Decide if you plan to get certified
- If you intend to get certified, register for a PTCA-approved training course
- Complete the pharmacy technician course and internship training hours, as mandated by state
- Take and pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Exam for certification
Step 1: Determine whether you would like to get certified
The very first thing you’ll need to do is decide if you plan to get certified. Pharmacy tech certification isn’t a mandatory condition for employment in every state, but it does provide a lot of added benefits and advantages.
With this being the situation, it is highly recommended that you earn a certification if you’re considering starting a career in pharmacy. In case you still do not feel like you’re concerned about earning your pharmacy certification, the next step for you is to get a job.
Step 2: Sign-up for classes accredited by the PTAC
The next step in becoming a certified pharmacy technician is to sign-up for training courses that are approved by the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC). Pharmacy tech schools across the country are governed by the PTAC, who works together with both the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) to standardize education in the industry around the nation.
The need for PTAC accreditation
Accreditation by the PTAC is regarded as imperative since only graduates from a course recognized by this organization can take one of the national certification exams.
A look at online pharmacy tech programs
As is the case with nearly all distance learning options, online pharmacy tech programs are a preferred alternative for pupils who are balancing several commitments. In situations where a person does not live close to a campus-based course, these classes are likewise ideal.
Even though it is possible to complete the academic portion of a course online, it’ll still be necessary to finish the internship component in-person at a specific location.
Step 3: Complete the program and complete the necessary internship hours
Graduating from the approved program you selected in the previous step is your next order of business. The classroom section can often be finished in one year or less, but completing the necessary hands-on training hours (often referred to as an “externship”) at a pharmacy may possibly take more time.
The majority of training courses dedicate the classroom segment of their syllabus to the subject matter that is covered in the national certification assessments. Giving students hands-on experience in an actual pharmacy, conversely, is the focus of the internship portion of a program.
Step 4: Pass the PTCE or ExCPT Certification Exam
In order to earn a nationally-accepted pharmacy technician certification, you have to pass the PTCE or ExCPT examination. Becoming eligible to take these exams requires you to initially finish a PTAC-accredited program. You’ll receive the national credential of CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) by passing either test.
Both of these exams are described in more detail below.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)
Provided by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, or PTCE as it is often called, is a multiple-choice examination accepted in all 50 states. The examination is given in a timed layout, and consists of 90 total questions. Right after passing the exam, the student obtains the CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) credential.
A candidate has to be able to satisfy one of the next two prerequisites in order to sit for the exam:
- Completed a PTAC-accredited pharmacy technician training course, or
- Acquired equivalent work experience as a pharmacy tech
The ExCPT is sponsored by the National Healthcare Association (NHA), and additionally awards the credential of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). This timed exam includes 100 multiple-choice questions, given in a two-hour, 10-minute structure.
Eligibility for this exam also is based on the student having either:
- Graduated from a PTAC-approved pharmacy technician program, or
- Acquired comparable work experience as a pharmacy tech
Pharmacy technician pay in Oklahoma
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a pharmacy technician in the U.S. was $31,750 as of May 2017.
The data table below highlights the most current numbers on salary offered in Oklahoma.
|Lawton, OK MSA||Hourly||$9.72||$15.54||$19.68|
|Oklahoma City, OK MSA||Hourly||$10.44||$14.92||$20.41|
|Northeastern Oklahoma BOS||Hourly||$11.14||$14.68||$20.78|
|Fort Smith, AR-OK MSA||Hourly||$9.56||$13.55||$19.10|
|Southwestern Oklahoma BOS||Hourly||$9.96||$12.94||$18.60|
|Tulsa, OK MSA||Hourly||$9.88||$12.87||$17.71|
|Northwestern Oklahoma BOS||Hourly||$9.73||$12.74||$18.27|
|Southeastern Oklahoma BOS||Hourly||$9.46||$12.55||$18.38|