Pharmacy Technician

The Pharmacy Technician program offers the fundamentals for becoming a pharmacy technician as well as the training needed for pre-pharmacy students or those with health care backgrounds who want to enhance their skills. The curriculum covers various pharmacy practice settings, drugs, basic physiology, drug interactions and daily pharmacy operations. This program prepares students for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Exam (PTCB). In Illinois, pharmacy technicians must be licensed and certified.

Essential Skills

As a pharmacy technician student you are expected to perform each of the following essential skills:

  • VISION: You are able to identify sizes and shapes and discriminate colors or shades.
  • COMMUNICATION: You are able to communicate fluently in English by oral means. This includes the ability to successfully receive and transmit information. You must also be able to read and follow instructions.
  • MOVEMENT: You need the ability to freely maneuver around the assigned laboratory work areas and patient care settings.
  • MOTOR SKILLS: You need to be able to safely and accurately perform blood drawing procedures. This includes, but is not limited to, lifting, operating instruments, and doing phlebotomy.
  • EMOTIONAL STABILITY: You will need to accurately perform duties in a stressful environment. This includes, but is not limited to identifying and responding to emergency and non-routine situations.

As part of the Oakton application process, students may be required to take placement tests. Placement into EGL 090/097/098 and MAT 095 is recommended. Placement tests are available at Oakton's Testing Center.

Students who complete the program may enter careers in retail establishments, hospitals, mail order facilities, managed care, pharmaceuticals, long-term/home health care, and nuclear pharmacy. 

Certificate Information

The Pharmacy Technician program is designed to teach fundamentals of being a pharmacy technician for those interested in becoming pharmacy technicians, pre-pharmacy students, or those interested in completing the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Examination. Classes are taught by a Registered Pharmacist or Doctor of Pharmacy. 

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Job Outlook

The employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 4 percent from 2020 to 2030, slower than the average for all occupations.

Despite limited employment growth, about 31,700 openings for pharmacy technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $35,100 in May 2020.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Meet Your Faculty

Oakton's professors and lecturers are experts in their fields with advanced degrees and years of real-world experience.

Nargis Wardak
Coordinator of Pharmacy Technician
847.635.1684
nwardak@oakton.edu

Important Information

As part of the Oakton application process, students may be required to take placement tests. Placement into English 090/097/098 and MAT 095 (formerly 110) is required. Placement tests are available at Oakton's Testing Center.

  1. New students should apply online. Current Oakton students should apply through their myOakton account.
  2. View your Admission Checklist. Your New Student Portal includes Admission Checklist and next steps.
  3. Submit admission documents, including transcripts (high school, college, AP, military) and proof of residency.
  4. Complete the minimum requirements for admission.
  5. Register for the course you have chosen.

This is a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) eligible program.

Clinical placements require a health assessment, certain immunizations, yearly flu vaccine, substance abuse testing, criminal background check, specific skill certification (i.e., CPR) and health insurance. These requirements represent an additional cost to the student.

All Oakton Community College Health Career students in nursing, physical therapist assistant, medical laboratory technology, pharmacy technician, phlebotomy, health information technology, cancer registry management, and medical assistant programs must have "clear" criminal background checks and drug screens in order to participate in any and all clinical components of any health career program courses. See the career programs pages for further details.

To comply with state statutes and clinical affiliation agreements, and to provide a safe environment for students, employees, and patients cared for by students, those accepted into Oakton's health career programs will be required to complete a criminal background check and drug screening through a company contracted by the College. Health Career students will be charged a fee for this service.

Timelines for completing criminal background checks and drug screens may vary among the various programs. Deadline dates for each program will be provided by the individual department chairs at the time of a student's acceptance into a health career program.

Students without a clear criminal background check and/or clear drug screen will not be allowed to enroll in clinical practicum courses or attend clinical programs. This would further necessitate that the student withdraw from the health career program at that time.

Students who refuse a criminal background check and/or drug screen will not be considered "clear" and will not be authorized to participate in the clinical component of the health career program, necessitating withdrawal from the program at that time.

Individual results of student background checks and drug screens are considered confidential.

Determination of whether or not a student can participate in the clinical component of a particular health career program will be communicated to the respective department chairs by the Background Check/Drug Screen vendor. Students may view their personal results on the vendor's website.

Disclosure Requirements for Academic Programs Leading to Professional Licensure or Certification

Each state and territory has different licensure and certification requirements. Oakton has researched Boards of Pharmacy and/or contacted state licensing authorities to confirm that the program meets the educational requirements leading to professional licensure. Other licensure requirements may include professional certification exams, background checks, years of work experience, fingerprinting, etc.

Licensure information is reviewed and updated on this site in June of each year. Licensure information is reviewed and updated on this site in June of each year. As of July 1, 2020, we have determined that individuals that successfully complete Pharmacy Technician Program curriculum:

Meets the education requirements leading to licensure/certification in these states and U.S. Territories: Illinois, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont

Does NOT meet the education requirements For licensure/certification in these states and U.S. Territories: Nevada, North Dakota,Ohio, Washington

We have not made a determination if the program curriculum meets the requirements for licensure/certification in these states and US Territories: Alabama, American Samoa, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Guam, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

If you intend to practice in any state other than Illinois, you should contact the appropriate licensing agency to independently verify whether Oakton’s program satisfies the educational requirements for licensure in a particular state before beginning Oakton’s program. Be aware that state licensure requirements may change from time to time and that states may have conditions for licensure in addition to educational requirements.

What's Next?

We are glad you are considering attending Oakton Community College. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, we are here to help you with your next steps. Whether you're ready to apply now, need information on paying for college or have questions and want to contact someone, we're here to help.

Contact Us

Tyler Matulef
Health Career Advisor
847.376.7614
tmatulef@oakton.edu

Nargis Wardak
Coordinator of Pharmacy Technician
847.635.1684
nwardak@oakton.edu