Pharmacy Technician Programs in Vancouver, WA

As the Baby Boomer population ages, and the demand for prescription medication increases so does the demand for qualified people to dispense them accurately and safely. Pharmacy Technicians play a big part in that process and so that's why, as a profession, pharmacy tech is a growing a lucrative option.

This is true of the State of Washington, and that includes, of course, Vancouver, Washington. However, before you can enter this challenging, but exciting field, you'll need to become certified and licensed, which means going to school.

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Vancouver vs Washington Pharmacy Technicians Employment



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Pharmacy Techs employed in the Vancouver-Portland-Hillsboro metropolitan area, WA represents 45% of all PT's employed in the state of Washington (2018, BLS) 

Total Pharmacy Technicians employed in Washington state (2018, BLS)

Vancouver, Washington lies on the banks of the Columbia River and while it is definitely in the State of Washington it's also considered the largest suburb of Portland, Oregon. It's beauty is famed, as its long history, but it has also become a lively center of industry and culture.

Of the 6950 certified pharmacy technicians working in the state of Washington, 3090 of them list their residences as within the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro area, which, as the name suggests, includes the City of Vancouver. Not all of them work there, but the high quality of living offered in Vancouver means that that's the place they call home.

Salary Percentiles for Pharmacy Technicians in Vancouver

In 2018, the average salary that a Vancouver, WA certified pharmacy technician could expect to earn was $19.90 per hour, working out to an annual salary of $41,390. The lowest wages paid were $15.33 per hour but rose as high as $24.92, or $51,200.

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Pharmacy Technician Schools in Vancouver, WA


Many of Vancouver' pharmacy technicians are graduates of the 3 accredited pharmacy technician schools in the city.

As we mentioned before you can begin to work as a certified pharmacy technician you will need to pass the certification exam. As this calls for both theoretical and practical knowledge and experience this calls for specific schooling.

There are three schools located within 25 miles of Vancouver, Washington that can offer students a program that will give them the skills, knowledge, and, very importantly, the practical experience needed to pass the PTCB Pharmacy Technician exam and become a licensed Washington State Pharmacy Tech.

As they all have something slightly different to offer, here's a comparative look at these schools and programs to help you decide which one might be the right choice for you.

Address: 17200 SE Mill Plain Blvd, Suite 100 Vancouver, WA 98683 | Tel: 360.448.2000

Charter College is located right in Vancouver, Washington, so is very convenient for those who live there.

Charter College Pharmacy Tech Certification Program

Estimated program cost

According to the school the cost of the Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program can vary slightly but on average in 2018 it was $6,030, with that figure including all books, supplies and the fee for taking the PBCT exam and the mandatory background check and drug screening required for licensing in the State of Washington.

Federal and state financial aid is available to those who qualify and there are also state grants available to some students to help offset the costs of completing the program.

Basic admissions requirements

In order to enroll in the program students must be over the age of 18 and have a high school diploma or an equivalent GED. They must also be able to present a government issued photo ID and proof of their legal status.

Although not required for admission to the program itself before students can take their PTCB certification exam they will need to order, and pass, a background check, pass a drug test and meet minimum vaccination requirements. As most externship employers will require these things as well students are advised to complete them as early in their studies as possible.


On average, the program takes ten months to complete. It is, however, one of Charter College's 'Blended Learning' programs, which means that some of the work can be completed online, at home, and is a student chooses to work faster on those portions they may be able to graduate faster.

In addition to their classroom learning, which includes on campus labs, students will complete a 180 hour externship with a local employer as arranged by the college.

As this is not a traditional college degree program and Charter College focuses on getting people to work as quickly as possible students can enroll in the Certificate program all year long, with new classes forming every two to three months.


The Charter College Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is recognized by the Washington State Department of Health, Board of Pharmacy and the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission. It is also PTCB recognized and approved program.

The program itself is administered, and classes taught, by faculty who are experienced pharmacists and pharmacy technicians themselves. Their stated mission is to ensure that program students get the best possible start to their careers as Pharmacy Technicians, including preparation and support for taking, and passing the PTCB Certification exam and finding work after graduation.

Address: 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663 | Phone(360) 699-6398

Clark College is also located right in Vancouver, Washington. As it is a more traditional community college it is able to offer both a Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program, which enables students to gain the knowledge and hands on experience needed to become a certified pharmacy technician, and to those who pass this course and wish to continue their education, an Associate's Degree in Pharmacy Technology.

Clark College Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program

Estimated program cost

The Clark College Pharmacy Tech Certificate program is a 39 credit program that also calls for several prerequisite courses to be completed prior to enrollment. The course is charged on a traditional, per credit basis, which, in 2018 averaged out to a total cost for an in state student of $3782.16. This figure does not include the cost of supplies, the prerequisite courses or testing fees, which the college estimates add an additional $1,500- $1,700.

Federal and state financial aid is available to those who qualify and some state grants are also available to certain students.

Basic admission requirements

Before a student can enroll in the Pharmacy Tech program they do have to complete several prerequisite courses including Math, English, Health and Computer Literacy classes. Students are admitted to those classes, and the school itself, based on standard state college admissions criteria including GPA and legal eligibility.

To enroll in the Pharmacy Tech program after these courses are completed students will need to agree that they are prepared to undergo a background check, drug testing and to meet vaccination requirements, although these are not immediately required. As they are required to take the certification exam, and by most externship employers, students are advised to complete these as soon as they can.


The Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program offered at Clark College is accredited and licensed by the Washington State Board of Pharmacy and ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists) The PTCB, which administers the PTCB certification test, also lists the program as one that it approves.


The program is designed to be completed in a single school year, with admission occurring during the Fall Semester and graduation at the end of the Spring Semester. While completing their classroom work students will also be required to complete a 200-hour externship, but during this period they are allowed to take some of their classes online to accommodate this.

The Clark College Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program has been widely praised as one of the best in the State of Washington and has won several awards. It is a comprehensive offering that is geared towards those who would, after obtaining certification and licensing as a Pharmacy tech like to continue their education to a higher level, which they can do at the school directly. However, even if you are not planning to do that it offers excellent preparation for both certification and a successful career in general. 

Address: 2004 Lloyd Center, 3rd Floor, Portland, OR 97232 | Phone503-207-4092

Carrington College is a private vocational school with campuses located all over the country including one in Portland, Oregon. For Vancouver, Washington students this is just a short commute away.

The school is focused on vocational education for a number of fields, including pharmacy technology and is suitable for students of all ages (over 18) and may be an excellent choice for older students who are already working professionals.

Carrington College Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program

Estimated program costs

The school states that the cost of completing the Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program varies according to a student's circumstances but, on average, in 2018 it was $16,217, with an additional $680 for books, supplies and testing fees.

Federal and state financial aid is available for those students that qualify and some students may also qualify for grant monies.

Basic admissions requirements

To be admitted to the Pharmacy Tech Certificate program students must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be able to present Government issued photo ID and prove legal status
  • Have a high school diploma or GED and be able to demonstrate basic English proficiency.


The Carrington College Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program is accredited at the Portland Campus by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists and is listed as an accepted course by the PTCB, the board that offers certification exams to enable Washington State residents to apply for their State licensure.


The Carrington College Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program is a blended learning program that offers some online modules that can be completed by students at home in combination with classroom based learning and an externship with a local employer in either a retail or hospital setting. It's designed to be completed in 10 months, but some students complete more quickly by doing more work at home.

At the end of the program students should have the academic knowledge they will need to pass their certification exam. While the school cannot guarantee that graduates will pass this test they do provide a wide range of additional prep materials and faculty guidance to help them stand the best chance of doing so.

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Get information on Pharmacy Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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