Oregon Pharmacy Technician License: Your Ultimate Guide

Oregon Pharmacy Technician License

Oregon Pharmacy Technician License Requirements

Are you detail-oriented, passionate about healthcare, and seeking a profession that makes a tangible difference in people’s lives? Becoming a pharmacy technician in Oregon could be the perfect path for you. Pharmacy technicians play a vital role in the healthcare system, working alongside pharmacists to prepare and dispense medications, ensure patient safety, and provide excellent customer service.

In Oregon, the demand for skilled pharmacy technicians continues to grow, providing ample opportunities for career advancement and personal fulfillment. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of obtaining your pharmacy technician license in the Beaver State. We’ll delve into the education, training, and application requirements necessary to launch your rewarding career in this dynamic field, whether you aspire to be a Pharmacy Technician or a Certified Oregon Pharmacy Technician.

Disclaimer: This post is informational in nature, as Board rules are complex and change over time. Make sure to refer to the Oregon State Board of Pharmacy website (https://www.oregon.gov/pharmacy/pages/index.aspx) to verify requirements and stay up to date on official regulations for pharmacy technicians in the state.

Work Environments for Pharmacy Technicians in Oregon

As a pharmacy technician in Oregon, you’ll find a variety of work environments to suit your interests and career aspirations. The Beaver State offers diverse opportunities across different pharmacy settings, allowing you to utilize your skills and expertise in a way that aligns with your goals. Here’s a glimpse into some common work environments where you can thrive as a pharmacy technician:

Retail Pharmacies

  • Major Chains: CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, and Rite Aid offer numerous positions for pharmacy technicians throughout Oregon. In this fast-paced setting, you’ll engage with customers, dispense medications, handle insurance claims, and manage inventory.
  • Independent Pharmacies: Local pharmacies like Bi-Mart Pharmacies, Erickson’s Pharmacy, and others across the state also provide fulfilling careers for pharmacy technicians. These environments often foster a strong sense of community and personalized patient care.
  • Grocery Store Pharmacies: Many grocery chains, such as Fred Meyer and Safeway, have in-store pharmacies that employ pharmacy technicians to support pharmacists and provide efficient prescription services to customers.

Hospital Systems

  • Major Medical Centers: Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Legacy Health, and Providence Health & Services are just a few examples of large hospital systems where pharmacy technicians play a crucial role in medication preparation, dispensing, and inventory management for inpatient and outpatient care.
  • Community Hospitals: Smaller community hospitals like Salem Health and PeaceHealth also rely on pharmacy technicians to ensure the smooth operation of their pharmacy services and provide essential medications to their patients.

Long-Term Care Facilities

  • Skilled Nursing Facilities: In facilities like Avamere Health Services and Prestige Care, pharmacy technicians ensure the safe and accurate delivery of medications to residents and maintain meticulous medication records.
  • Assisted Living Facilities: Senior living communities like Holiday Retirement and Bonaventure Senior Living depend on pharmacy technicians to manage medication orders and collaborate with healthcare teams to optimize resident care.

Other Settings

  • Mail-Order Pharmacies: Companies like Express Scripts and OptumRx employ pharmacy technicians in their mail-order facilities to process and dispense medications for patients who receive their prescriptions through the mail.
  • Compounding Pharmacies: These specialized pharmacies, like Pharmasave Compounding Pharmacy and The Compounding Center, create custom medications for patients with unique needs. Pharmacy technicians in compounding pharmacies assist with measuring, mixing, and preparing medications according to specific prescriptions.
  • Specialty Pharmacies: Some pharmacies, like AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, focus on specific disease states, like oncology, or specific medication types, like injectables.
  • Nuclear Pharmacies: These pharmacies specialize in handling and dispensing radioactive medications for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Pharmacy technicians in nuclear pharmacies adhere to strict safety protocols while preparing and dispensing these specialized medications.

With such a diverse range of work environments, you’re sure to find a setting that matches your interests and career goals as a pharmacy technician in Oregon.

Step 1: Understand the Oregon Pharmacy Technician License Requirements

To embark on your career as a pharmacy technician in Oregon, you must first obtain a license from the Oregon State Board of Pharmacy. Oregon offers two types of licenses for pharmacy technicians: Pharmacy Technician and Certified Oregon Pharmacy Technician.

Pharmacy Technician License

This is the entry-level license for individuals who are new to the field or have not yet obtained national certification. To qualify for this license, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Certified Oregon Pharmacy Technician License

This license is for pharmacy technicians who have obtained national certification through either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). To qualify for this license, you must meet the requirements for a Pharmacy Technician license and additionally:

  • Pass the PTCB Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) or the NHA Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT).

Key Differences Between the Licenses

The main difference between the two licenses lies in the requirement for national certification. While a Pharmacy Technician license allows you to work under the supervision of a pharmacist, obtaining the Certified Oregon Pharmacy Technician license demonstrates a higher level of competency and may lead to better job opportunities and increased responsibilities.

General Requirements for Both Licenses

Regardless of the license type you choose, you must meet the following general requirements:

  • Age: Be at least 18 years old.
  • Education: Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Background Check: Pass a criminal background check, which includes fingerprinting.
  • Good Moral Character: Demonstrate good moral character throughout the application and licensure process.

By understanding these requirements and choosing the appropriate license type based on your qualifications, you’ll be well-prepared to start the application process and begin your career as a pharmacy technician in Oregon.

Step 2: Obtain National Certification (For Certified Oregon Pharmacy Technician License)

While not mandatory for the Pharmacy Technician license, obtaining national certification is a prerequisite for the Certified Oregon Pharmacy Technician license. It also offers significant advantages in terms of career advancement, increased responsibilities, and earning potential.

To become a Certified Oregon Pharmacy Technician, you must pass a national pharmacy technician certification examination. Here are your options:

Option 1: Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Exam:

This exam is widely accepted across the United States and is considered the gold standard in pharmacy technician certification. The PTCB exam covers a comprehensive range of pharmacy technician knowledge and skills, including medications, law, patient safety and quality assurance, and more. Here are the steps to get PTCB certified:

  • Complete a PTCB-recognized training program
  • OR gain 500 hours of practical experience as a pharmacy technician
  • Pass the PTCB exam: Once you’ve completed the training or gained the experience, you’ll need to register for and pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE).

Option 2: National HealthCareer Association (NHA) ExCPT Exam

This exam is another nationally recognized option for pharmacy technician certification. The NHA ExCPT exam covers similar topics as the PTCB exam but with a slightly different emphasis. Here are the steps to get NHA certified:

  • Complete an NHA-recognized training program: Similar to PTCB, search for programs on the NHA website.
  • OR gain practical experience as a pharmacy technician
  • Pass the ExCPT exam: After completing the program or gaining experience, you’ll need to pass the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians.

Obtaining your national certification not only qualifies you for the Certified Oregon Pharmacy Technician license but also demonstrates your commitment to professionalism and enhances your value as a pharmacy technician in Oregon.

Important Note: Even if you plan to initially apply for the Pharmacy Technician license, obtaining national certification is highly recommended for long-term career advancement and increased earning potential.

Step 3: Apply for Your Oregon Pharmacy Technician License

Once you’ve met the eligibility requirements and obtained national certification (if applying for the Certified Oregon Pharmacy Technician license), it’s time to submit your application to the Oregon State Board of Pharmacy. The application process is primarily online and involves several key steps:

Online Application

  • Visit the Oregon eLicensing website to create a new account or log into your existing eGov account.
  • Select the appropriate application type:
    • Pharmacy Technician License (if not nationally certified)
    • Certified Oregon Pharmacy Technician License (if nationally certified)
  • Complete the application form accurately and thoroughly, providing all requested information, including your personal details, education history, employment information, and criminal background details.

Required Documentation

  • Gather the following documents to submit with your application:
    • An original 2″x2″ passport-style photograph taken within the past six months.
    • A copy of your birth certificate AND a color copy of the front and back of your signed state-issued photo ID OR a color copy of your signed U.S. Passport.
    • If born outside of the U.S., provide a color copy of your country’s passport and work visa or other relevant documentation.
    • If you answered “yes” to any questions regarding moral turpitude, provide a detailed written description of the incident(s), police reports, court documents, Board orders, and any other related documents.
    • If you’re applying for the Certified Oregon Pharmacy Technician license, include a copy of your national certification (PTCB or NHA).

Application Fees

  • The total application fee is $146.25, which includes a $100.00 application fee and a $46.25 national fingerprint background check fee.

Fingerprint Submission

  • After submitting your application and fees, you’ll receive instructions on completing your fingerprints.
  • Schedule a fingerprint appointment at a Fieldprint facility near you for an additional $12.50 fee.
  • Your fingerprints will be electronically submitted to the Oregon State Police.

Review and Processing

  • The Board of Pharmacy will review your application, fingerprint results, and supporting documents.
  • Processing times typically take 4-6 weeks but may vary depending on individual circumstances.
  • You will be notified via email once your license is approved.

    By following these steps and ensuring all required information and documentation are submitted accurately, you can successfully obtain your Oregon pharmacy technician license and embark on your rewarding career in the healthcare field.

    Step 4: Renew Your Oregon Pharmacy Technician License

    Congratulations on becoming a licensed pharmacy technician in Oregon! To maintain your ability to practice in the state, it’s crucial to renew your license every two years. Here’s what you need to know about the renewal process:

    Renewal Timeframe

    All Oregon pharmacy technician licenses, both Pharmacy Technician and Certified Oregon Pharmacy Technician, expire on June 30th of even-numbered years. The Oregon State Board of Pharmacy will send you a renewal notice before your license expires, but it’s your responsibility to initiate the renewal process.

    Renewal Process

    Online Renewal

    • Visit the Oregon eLicensing website and log into your eGov account.
    • Select “Renew” for your pharmacy technician license.
    • Complete the renewal application accurately and thoroughly, providing any updated information.

    Renewal Fee

    • The biennial renewal fee for a pharmacy technician license in Oregon is $104.00, which includes a $100.00 renewal fee and a $4.00 biennial Healthcare Workforce Demographic Survey fee.

    Continuing Education (CE) Requirements

    • To renew your license, you must complete 20 hours of continuing education (CE) within the two-year renewal cycle.
    • If you are renewing a license issued before July 1, 2023, then your 20 hours of CE must meet the following requirements:
    • Two hours in pharmacy law
    • Two hours in patient safety or medication error prevention
    • Two hours in cultural competency
    • Fourteen hours in subjects pertinent to pharmacy practice
    • If you are renewing a license issued between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024, then you must complete 2 hours of CE in cultural competency.
    • Ensure that your CE is board-approved or ACCME-accredited and that you have documentation to prove completion. You can upload CE certificates directly to your eGov account.

    Criminal Background Check

    • You will be subject to an annual criminal background check as part of the renewal process. This is typically done automatically, but you may need to submit updated information if there have been any changes in your criminal history.

    Review and Approval

    • The Board of Pharmacy will review your renewal application, CE documentation, and background check results.
    • Once approved, your license will be renewed for another two years.

      Important Reminders

      • Start your CE early to ensure you meet the requirements before the renewal deadline.
      • Keep track of your CE certificates and documentation in case of an audit by the Board of Pharmacy.
      • If you have any questions about the renewal process, contact the Oregon State Board of Pharmacy for assistance.

      Additional Tips for Success as a Pharmacy Technician in Oregon

      Obtaining your pharmacy technician license and achieving national certification are significant milestones, but your journey as a pharmacy technician in Oregon is just beginning. To truly thrive in this field and reach your full potential, consider these additional tips:

      Network with Pharmacy Professionals

      • Connect with fellow pharmacy technicians and pharmacists in your area through local pharmacy associations and professional networks. Attend industry events and conferences to stay informed about the latest trends and advancements in pharmacy practice.
      • Consider joining the Oregon State Pharmacy Association (OSPA) to gain access to resources, educational opportunities, and a supportive community of professionals.

      Embrace Continuing Education (CE)

      • In Oregon, completing 20 hours of CE is mandatory for license renewal every two years. Embrace this requirement as an opportunity to expand your knowledge, learn new skills, and stay current with evolving pharmacy practices.
      • Choose CE courses that align with your interests and career goals, such as those focused on medication safety, compounding, patient care, or specialized pharmacy practice areas.
      • Many online and in-person CE opportunities are available through professional organizations and educational institutions.

      Pursue Specialization

      • Consider focusing your career on a specific area of pharmacy practice, such as community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, long-term care, compounding, or nuclear pharmacy.
      • Specialization allows you to develop in-depth expertise in a particular area, making you a more valuable asset to employers and opening up new career paths.

      Develop Leadership Skills

      • As you gain experience and expertise, consider taking on leadership roles within your pharmacy team.
      • Mentor and train new pharmacy technicians, sharing your knowledge and skills to help them succeed.
      • Participate in committees or projects that aim to improve pharmacy workflows, patient care, or medication safety.

      Stay Abreast of Technological Advancements

      • The field of pharmacy is constantly evolving with new technologies and automation. Stay informed about the latest advancements and seek out opportunities to learn new skills related to pharmacy technology.
      • Familiarize yourself with electronic health records (EHRs), automated dispensing systems, and other tools that enhance efficiency and accuracy in pharmacy practice.

        By following these tips and continuously investing in your professional development, you can create a successful and fulfilling career as a pharmacy technician in Oregon. Your dedication, expertise, and passion for patient care will make you a valuable asset to any pharmacy team and contribute to the well-being of the communities you serve.


        Becoming a licensed pharmacy technician in Oregon is a fulfilling career path that offers a wealth of opportunities in a rapidly growing field. Whether your passion lies in retail, hospital, long-term care, or specialized pharmacy settings, Oregon’s diverse healthcare landscape provides a variety of rewarding career paths.

        This comprehensive guide has outlined the steps necessary to obtain your pharmacy technician license in Oregon, from understanding the requirements to successfully submitting your application and renewing your license. By achieving national certification, engaging in continuous education, and networking with fellow professionals, you can enhance your career prospects and make a meaningful impact on the lives of patients across the state.

        Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

        How long does it take to become a licensed pharmacy technician in Oregon?

        The processing time for a pharmacy technician license in Oregon typically ranges from 4-6 weeks. However, it can vary depending on individual circumstances, such as the completeness of the application and the time it takes to process the background check.

        What is the average salary for pharmacy technicians in Oregon?

        According to Indeed.com, the average salary for pharmacy technicians in Oregon is around $46,190 per year, as of June 2024. However, salaries can range from $35,690 to $59,390, depending on experience, certification, location, and work setting.

        Is national certification required to work as a pharmacy technician in Oregon?

        No, national certification is not mandatory for the Pharmacy Technician license in Oregon. However, it is required for the Certified Oregon Pharmacy Technician license, which offers distinct advantages in terms of career advancement and potential earnings.

        What are the continuing education (CE) requirements for Oregon pharmacy technician license renewal?

        Both Pharmacy Technicians and Certified Oregon Pharmacy Technicians must complete 20 hours of CE every two years to renew their licenses. The CE hours must include specific topics such as pharmacy law, patient safety, medication error prevention, and cultural competency.

        How do I renew my pharmacy technician license in Oregon?

        Licenses expire on June 30th of even-numbered years and can be renewed online through the Oregon eLicensing website. The biennial renewal fee is $104.00, which includes the renewal fee and a healthcare workforce survey fee. Be sure to complete all required CE and renew your license before the expiration date to avoid any interruptions in your ability to practice.

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