Pharmacy Technician Schools in Portland, OR

The demand for pharmacy services - and the staff that run those pharmacies - is increasing, as pharmacies play a larger and larger role in healthcare in the US. Pharmacy technicians are keep players in any pharmacy team, performing duties that include everything from assembling prescriptions and billing insurances to front line patient work, and in 2021, even helping to administer basic health care like vaccines.

In Portland, OR this is as true as anywhere else. However, to work as a pharmacy technician in Oregon, you must obtain both state licensing and a Certification form either the PTCB or NHA, something that means you will need to complete an approved program at one of the pharmacy technician schools in Portland, OR. 

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Pharmacy Tech Salary in Portland, Oregon

Before deciding to invest the time and money needed to complete a pharmacy technician certification program it’s also wise to understand more about the job prospects doing so will open up, in terms of both salary and future job growth.

In terms of salary those working in Portland 1 tend to make more than the national average, and very slightly higher than the state average:

In Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA:

Pharmacy techs on average earn $42,960 per annum/$20.65 per hour.
10% of workers earn $32,690 per annum/$15.72 per hour or less.
10% of workers earn $55,960 per annum/ $26.90 per hour or more.

In Oregon:

Pharmacy techs on average earn $42,580 per annum/ $20.47 per hour
10% of workers earn $32,220 per annum/$15.49 per hour or less.
10% of workers earn $52,250 per annum /$25.12 per hour or more.

In the United States overall:

Pharmacy techs on average earn $33,950 per annum/$16.32 per hour.
10% of workers earn $24,120 per annum/$11.60 per hour or less.
10% of workers earn $49,130 per annum/$23.62 per hour or more.

In most cases, those working in a clinical setting - hospital, long term care home or urgent care facility - earn higher wages than those working in a retail setting, but as retail workers gain experience or complete higher levels of education that is not always the case.

Is there a Shortage of Pharmacy Technicians in Oregon?

In terms of growth, employment of pharmacy technicians in Oregon is expected to rise by about 12% between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2. As the population ages, there will be a greater need for pharmacy technicians, as well as because more prescription drugs are being and the additional services pharmacies are offering in response to COVID-19.

These projections do not necessarily reflect the latter yet, so job growth in the field may be even higher. Across Portland - and the US - pharmacy technicians - under supervision of a pharmacist - are helping administer vaccines and provide COVID-19 education.

Pharmacy Technician Programs in Portland, Oregon

A beautiful vista of Portland Oregon

As previously mentioned, unlike some other states, Oregon does require that pharmacy technicians be both licensed by the state Board of Pharmacy and have obtained a certification.

The most commonly taken of those, the PTCE, as offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, requires that exam candidates complete an approved training program before they can be considered candidates. This requirement was added in 2020.

In addition, they must be over the age of 18, hold a high school diploma or GED, be drug free, have a criminal record free of felonies or substance abuse related misdemeanors and be up to date on all required vaccinations.

There are currently three schools that meet PTCB and Oregon Board of Pharmacy requirements in the Portland, OR area. Each of them offers something different in terms of both the class structure and cost, so to help you make the best decision for you here is a closer look at all pharmacy technician training in Portland.

1. Carrington College

? 2004 Lloyd Center, 3rd Floor Portland OR 97232  ? (503) 207-4092

Carrington College is a private vocational school with locations throughout the United States, including one in Portland, Oregon.

The Carrington College Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program is a blended learning program that incorporates online modules that students can complete at home with classroom learning and an externship with a local employer in a retail or hospital environment. It's expected to take ten months to complete, but some students finish faster by doing more work at home.

The cost of completing the Pharmacy Technician Degree Program varies depending on a student's circumstances, according to the school, but on average, it was $16,217 in 2020 , with an additional $680 for books, equipment, and testing fees. To be accepted, students must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and be able to show legal residency in the United States.

Financial assistance is available from the federal and state governments, and certain students may also be eligible for grants. In addition to being approved by the PTCB, the program has been certified by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists, which is a distinction that few programs attain.

2. Clark College 

? 1933 Fort Vancouver Way Vancouver, WA 98663  ? (360) 699-6398

Located just across from Portland, OR in Vancouver, WA, Clark College, as a more traditional community college, offers a Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program, which allows students to gain the knowledge and hands-on experience needed to become a certified pharmacy technician, as well as an Associates Degree in Pharmacy Technology to those who pass the course and wish to continue their education.

The Clark College Pharmacy Tech Certificate program is a 39-credit program that requires students to complete several prerequisite college courses at a satisfactory level before enrolling. They must also meet all the requirements for state licensing prior to enrollment.

The pharmacy tech program  is charged on a traditional, per-credit basis, with costs varying depending on the student's residence and personal circumstances. Portland's residents will be deemed out-of-state students, raising the cost above that charged to local WA residents.

Student financial aid from the federal government is available to those who qualify, or those who do not may be able to obtain a loan from a private lender such as Sallie Mae.

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3. Charter College

? 17200 SE Mill Plain Blvd, Suite 100 Vancouver, WA 98683 ?  360.448.2000

Also located in Vancouver, WA, Charter College is a private vocational school focusing on occupations based education. The Charter College Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is a blended program - which means some coursework can be completed online, but lab work must be completed on campus - that takes approximately ten months to complete, including a mandatory 180-hour externship. To be admitted to the program students must be over 18 and meet all requirements for state licensing, including passing drug and criminal background tests.

The cost of the course is charged on a per-credit basis. The cost of those credits will vary according to a student’s personal circumstances, but as Portland based students will be considered out of state residents then their costs will be higher than those who live in Washington State. To help pay for school financial aid from the Federal government is available to those who qualify. 


1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019 Occupational Employment and Wages, Pharmacy Technicians:
2. O*NET OnLine, Pharmacy Technicians:

Other schools offering pharmacy technician programs in Oregon:

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