Pharmacy Technician Programs in Tulsa, OK: Finding the Best School For You!
Pharmacy technicians have become indispensable members of any pharmacy team, whether in a retail or clinical setting. A trained tech is usually called on to assist in almost every aspect of the day to day running of the pharmacy and is often the person charged with the majority of in-person patient contact.
While there is no state certification requirement to become a pharmacy technician, the majority of Oklahoma employers prefer it. Pharmacy technician schools in Tulsa or other cities in Oklahoma provide the first step toward a well-paying and exciting career for area residents.
The last part of that sentence is crucial, because working alone as a pharmacy technician in Oklahoma requires a permit from the Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy. This permit can only be obtained through on-the-job training with a state-licensed pharmacist.
"Pharmacy technician applicants must have completed a high school diploma or G.E.D., be of good moral character, and be non-impaired,"
according to the Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy.
So, for any tech, persuading an employer that you are the candidate worth training is the first career goal, which formal pharmacy technician certification can greatly assist with.
Salary and Career Outlook for Tulsa Pharmacy Technicians
Because enrolling in one of the pharmacy technician schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma will require a significant financial and time commitment on the part of the student, it is critical to consider what that investment will yield in terms of wages and job opportunities.
The state average wage for a pharmacy technician in Oklahoma during 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was $30,610 per year, or $14.72 per hour.
The figures for Tulsa, OK are similar: $30,990 per year or $14.90 per hour.
These are averages of course, actual salaries vary according to employer and experience level, with those holding a formal pharmacy technician certification often having 'an edge' over those without, as the resources required to train them will be fewer.
Going back to those BLS figures, in 2021 in terms of average earnings the bottom 10% of pharmacy technicians in Tulsa commanded $13.87 per hour, or $28,850, while, for the top 10% of earners that figure rose to $47,800/$22.98.
The outlook for growth is encouraging. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a 10% increase in the number of pharmacy technician jobs in Oklahoma was expected between 2016 and 2026, and that figure is likely higher now, as pharmacies play an increasingly important role in vaccine initiatives and general wellness care, particularly in retail pharmacies.
Certification Requirements for Oklahoma Pharmacy Technicians
While certification is not formally required for Tulsa pharmacy technicians a formal internship with an employer is, and PTCB certification is often a factor in hiring decisions, as mentioned previously. In addition, a national certification allows holders to work in other states should they choose to, where pharmacy technician certification may be a must.
To take the PTCE, the certification exam offered by the respected PTCB, students must meet certain requirements. They must be able to prove they are drug free, and present a background check free of drug related misdemeanors and any felonies. They must also be over the age of 18 and hold a high school diploma or GED.
These are all also requirements set forth by the Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy to issue a pharmacy technician permit.
Taking the PTCE also, however, calls for the successful completion of a PTCB approved pharmacy technician training course.
Top Pharmacy Technician Programs in Tulsa, OK
There are two such pharmacy technician schools in and around Tulsa and it's those we are going to take a closer look at here.
Tulsa Community College
3727 E Apache St,
Tulsa, OK 74115
Ph: (918) 595-7000
Tulsa Community College offers a PTCB approved Pharmacy Technician Certificate in association with the Workforce Development Program in Tulsa.
The program is a single semester offering that not only awards graduates a Certificate but also 16 college credits that may be later applied towards an Associate's Degree at another institution. It is a competitive program, and students must not only meet all PTCB and state requirements but also meet with a college counselor to assess their suitability for the program and pass an English proficiency test.
Coursework is classroom based, with classes held on Monday and Wednesday mornings. Students learn the basics required to work as a pharmacy technician and to pass the PTCE certification exam, including health care ethics and legal considerations and important pharmaceutical skills. The school also tries to assist graduates in obtaining the employment needed to gain a state permit.
Tuition is charged on a per-credit basis at a rate calculated according to a student's residence, income and other personal circumstances. The cost of the program may be covered by state granted Workforce Development funds if a student is eligible for such and traditional financial aid is also available.
Tulsa Technology Center
6111 E Skelly Dr #100,
Tulsa, OK 74147
Ph: (918) 828-5000
Tulsa Technology Center is officially an Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education-affiliated public independent school district. It offers a range of vocationally focused certificate programs to high school seniors and adults who reside within the school district's boundaries.
Their Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is a 9-month offering made available to high school seniors as a part of their curriculum, and to eligible adults as a campus based offering that meets one half day per week.
The program is not only PTCB approved but also accredited by the ASHP, an honor not all pharmacy technician programs receive. It offers a comprehensive overview of the pharmacy technician profession as well as the knowledge needed to pass the PTCE. Admission is competitive, and adult students must meet all state and PTCB requirements for pharmacy technicians as well as pass a school set assessment.
Traditional financial aid is not available, but some may qualify for a state workforce grant or for a private student loan from a lender like Sallie Mae.