Employed to work at pharmacies of all types, pharmacy techs in Oregon perform under the supervision of the pharmacist to ensure that drug prescriptions are filled and customers are taken care of. Some technicians are able to find positions even though they are not certified, but this is becoming unusual as the majority of organizations now choose to hire just those applicants who have completed an accredited training program.

The demand for pharmacy techs in Oregon is expected to increase dramatically in the future, so it is a great option for people who are launching their careers. The 2016 Occupational Outlook Handbook released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 12% growth in new opportunities for pharmacy techs by 2026.

What do pharmacy technicians do in Oregon?

For the most part, pharmacy technicians in Oregon take care of a number of everyday customer support and inventory control responsibilities for the pharmacist. The following checklist features the traditional assignments that drug stores place on their techs.

Pharmacy technician duties

  • Handle customer or patient telephone calls and concerns
  • Create and manage patient documents
  • Help pharmacist in filling prescriptions by weighing, packaging and labeling medicines
  • Process payments for prescription medications and insurance policy claims
  • Maintain all inventory in the pharmacy

How to become a pharmacy technician in Oregon.

The certification process for becoming a pharmacy tech in Oregon can be summed-up in the next four actions.

  1. Determine if you plan to get certified
  2. Once you decide to become certified, register for a PTCA-approved program
  3. Finish the pharmacy technician school and on-the-job training hours, as legally required by state
  4. Take and pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Exam for certification

Step 1: Determine if you would like to become certified

The very first thing you’ll need to do is choose if you plan to get certified. Regardless of what you choose, you need to be mindful that most employers choose to pick candidates who have earned their certification.

For any person who is committed to having a long-term career in the pharmacy field, certification is highly recommended. If you decide not to get certified, you should ignore the remaining steps and begin searching for a position after you graduate from high school.

Step 2: Sign-up for classes accredited by the PTAC

If you’ve decided to pursue your certification, the second step is to sign-up for a pharmacy technician training program that is approved by the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC). This organization coordinates training curricula and standards with both Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) assuring consistent quality in national pharmacy technician courses.

The need for PTAC accreditation

It is absolutely imperative that you graduate from a course accredited by the PTAC, since only those students who are graduates of an approved training program are permitted to take one of the national certification exams.

Pharmacy tech classes online

A popular alternative option to on-campus courses, online pharmacy tech programs offer students the convenience to attend class and complete their education according to their own daily schedules. For people who don’t live close to a college campus that provides the training they need, online programs are also an appealing option.

To clear up a popular myth, while online classes enable students to undertake their academic studies through online learning, the clinical, hands-on part of their training needs to be finished at a physical site.

Step 3: Fulfill all required internship hours and finish the program

Once you have located an accredited course that satisfies your requirements, the next step is to finish it. The academic and internship segments of the conventional course can oftentimes be finished in a year or less.

Most training programs dedicate the academic section of their curriculum to the subject matter that is included in the national certification assessments. With regards to the internship portion of the course, this is when pupils get hands-on training in a functioning pharmacy environment.

Step 4: Pass one of the two national certification exams

There are two nationally-recognized pharmacy tech certification examinations – the PTCE and ExCPT. You have to finish a program accredited by the PTAC in order to be qualified to take one of these examinations. A passing mark on either examination will award you the title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

We take a better look at these assessments below.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), and is a multiple-choice test. The assessment is given in a timed format, and contains 90 multiple-choice problems. After passing the examination, the student receives the CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) certification.

To be qualified to take this exam, a test taker must have either:

  • Completed a PTAC-approved pharmacy tech training course, or
  • Acquired comparable work experience as a pharmacy technician

ExCPT Exam

The other major national certification examination is the ExCPT, which is provided by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). Students have two hours and 10 minutes to complete 100 multiple-choice questions.

Being eligible for this test further depends on the candidate having either:

  • Completed a PTAC-accredited pharmacy tech course, or
  • Obtained comparable work experience as a pharmacy tech

Pharmacy technician pay in Oregon

Pharmacy tech pay may differ according to many things, but the median salary was $31,750 in 2017 according to the most recent information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The data below reflects the most recent data on salary offered in Oregon.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.27$14.86$21.98
Yearly$21,370$30,920$45,710
OregonHourly$13.78$18.07$23.41
Yearly$28,660$37,590$48,690
Medford, OR MSAHourly$14.82$18.62$24.42
Yearly$30,830$38,730$50,780
Salem, OR MSAHourly$14.15$18.59$23.49
Yearly$29,430$38,660$48,860
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA MSAHourly$14.32$18.43$23.68
Yearly$29,790$38,340$49,250
Bend, OR MSAHourly$13.95$18.30$23.88
Yearly$29,010$38,070$49,660
Corvallis, OR MSAHourly$14.36$17.81$23.76
Yearly$29,860$37,040$49,410
Eugene-Springfield, OR MSAHourly$12.97$17.69$23.10
Yearly$26,980$36,800$48,040
Coastal Oregon BOSHourly$13.17$17.66$22.96
Yearly$27,400$36,730$47,750
Southern Oregon BOSHourly$13.35$17.62$22.56
Yearly$27,760$36,650$46,930
Eastern Oregon BOSHourly$13.20$17.53$22.68
Yearly$27,460$36,450$47,180
Linn County (BOS)Hourly$11.78$16.90$21.70
Yearly$24,510$35,140$45,130