How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Oklahoma

Pharmacy technicians work with licensed pharmacists and play a part in helping others feel better. Work may be found in pharmacies, drug stores, grocery stores and hospitals. If this type of work sounds interesting, learn how to become a pharmacy technician in Oklahoma.

Pharmacy Technician Requirements

Pharmacy technicians in Oklahoma do not have specific requirements regarding completing accredited training programs like many other states. However, they do have some state-specific requirements for those interested in careers as pharmacy technicians. The Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy does regulate their pharmacy technicians and requires them to get a permit, followed by a license. The license must be renewed annually.

Is Any Prior Education or Training Required?

There is no prior education or training required to begin work as a pharmacy technician in Oklahoma. What the state does require is participation in an on-the-job training program. The training consists of two phases. Phase One, which is an introduction to pharmacy laws and procedures; safety and security; and pharmacy interrelationships must be completed before the individual can get the required permit. The tech in training cannot begin Phase Two until he or she has received the permit.

Phase Two must be completed within 90 days of receiving the permit. Phase Two teaches the tech about prescription calculations, mathematical terminology, pharmaceutical dosage, methods of administration, and drug dispensing. Once the pharmacy tech has completed Phase Two, he or she can apply for licensure with the State of Oklahoma and obtain certification. Individuals who have already completed a pharmacy tech training program can use this to help them pass the certification exam; it also helps the tech with their on-the-job training.

Are Pharmacy Technicians Required to be Certified?

Pharmacy technicians working in Oklahoma are not required to be certified. However, many choose voluntary certification to help their employment options. Some employers may also require certification.

How Can a Pharmacy Technician Become Certified?

Certification can be obtained by passing a computer-based certification exam through an accredited certifying agency. The two that are most commonly used are the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Both organizations require the applicant have a high school diploma or equivalent and pass a criminal background check. The NHA also requires that the application must have completed a formal pharmacy technician training program. Continuing education is required to keep the certification.

Is Continuing Education Necessary?

Continuing education is not required by the Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy, but it is required by the PTCB and the NHA. For instance, to maintain PTCB certification, the pharmacy tech must complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years. Of these 20 total hours, two of the hours must be about pharmacy laws. It is up to the pharmacy technician to keep track of their continuing education credits.

Pharmacy Technician Salary in Oklahoma

Wages for pharmacy technicians working in Oklahoma vary according to the area. Overall, most wages in Oklahoma are below the national average. According to a 2014 report, the average annual wage earned by pharmacy technicians in Oklahoma City was $30,138, with the lowest percent earning $24,612 and the top 90% earning $36,062. Technicians working in Lawton experienced substantially lower annual wages. The lowest 10% earned $21,982, while the top 90% earned $32,209. The average pharmacy tech wage in Lawton was $26,918. Work experience, employer and level of training also play a part in the wages a pharmacy tech can make.

Pharmacy Technician Job Duties

Pharmacy technicians have a wide range of duties, most of which must be supervised by a licensed pharmacist. Some of their duties may be answering phones, counting, calculation and measuring medication, making labels for bottles, processing insurance claims, taking payment for medications and other supplies, checking inventory and providing customer service.

What Tasks is a Pharmacy Technician Legally Allowed to Perform?

Pharmacy technicians can help get the prescriptions ready but cannot actually dispense it without having a pharmacist right there. The tech can talk to the patient or customer but cannot divulge information on the medication or cannot provide drug-related counseling to the customer. The pharmacy technician can check in orders as long as they do not contain controlled substances. Generally, the technician cannot do anything that would require the professional skill possessed by a pharmacist.