The pharmacy tech in Arkansas is a beginning medical field worker who helps the pharmacist with a number of daily duties around the store. Being certified may not be mandatory in every state, yet the current tendency among hiring managers has been in direction of only employing candidates who carry a certification.

The demand for pharmacy techs in Arkansas is projected to increase greatly in the next few years, making it an appealing option for those who are starting their careers. As a matter of fact, based on the most recent figures provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there should be a 12% growth in pharmacy technician positions over the next 10 years.

What does a pharmacy technician do in Arkansas?

The principal responsibilities of the pharmacy technician in Arkansas center around the activities which help the drug store provide services to its customers and manage its inventory. Although many employers can require even further responsibilities, the subsequent checklist illustrates the primary role of most pharmacy technicians.

Common pharmacy tech duties

  • Handle client and patient calls and questions
  • Create and maintain patient data
  • Assist pharmacist in filling prescriptions by weighing, packaging and labeling prescribed medicines
  • Process payments for prescriptions and insurance claims
  • Manage all inventory in the local pharmacy

How to become a pharmacy technician in Arkansas.

The four-part process for becoming a pharmacy technician in Arkansas is reflected below.

  1. Determine if you would like to become certified
  2. If you should choose to get certified, enroll in a PTCA-authorized training course
  3. Finish the pharmacy tech school and on-the-job training hours, as required by state
  4. Take and pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Exam for official certification

Step 1: Determine if you would like to get certified

Choosing whether or not you plan to get certified is the first step you’ll need to take. Regardless of what you choose, you need to be aware that most hiring managers would rather pick people who have earned their certification.

With that being the situation, it’s highly recommended that you get a professional certification if you’re interested in beginning a career in pharmacy. If you choose not to become certified, you may skip the remainder of the steps and start searching for a job after you complete high school.

Step 2: Enroll in a PTAC-approved training course

Choosing a Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC)-accredited training program is the second step if you’ve chosen to become certified. This organization coordinates training curricula and guidelines with both the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) assuring standardized high quality in national pharmacy technician programs.

The need for PTAC accreditation

It’s simply vital that you complete a program accredited by the PTAC, given that only those students who are graduates of an approved program are permitted to take one of the national certification exams.

Pharmacy tech classes online

As is the situation with nearly all distance learning options, online pharmacy tech schools are a preferred option for people who are balancing more than one commitments. For college students who do not live around a physical campus that provides the training they are looking for, online courses are also an appealing option.

Even though it’s quite possible to finish the classroom part of a course online, it will still be required to finish the internship section in-person at a specified site.

Step 3: Satisfy all requisite hands-on training hours and graduate from the program

Graduating from the approved course you selected in the preceding step is going to be your next order of business. Though every program is a little different, it’s very typical for students to finish their classroom training and internship in as little as 12 months.

Most training programs dedicate the academic segment of their syllabus to the subject matter that is included in the national certification exams. The internship, however, will furnish you with the opportunity to put everything you learn into practice in a functioning, professional environment.

Step 4: Pass one of the national certification examinations

There are two nationally-recognized pharmacy technician certification exams – the PTCE and ExCPT. You must complete a course recognized by the PTAC in order to be eligible to challenge either of these tests. A passing mark on either examination will award you the title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

We take a better look at these examinations below.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), and is a multiple-choice examination. The one-hour, 50-minute examination is comprised of 90 total questions. After passing the examination, the pupil gets the CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) credential.

Eligibility to challenge the examination requires the pupil having the ability to satisfy one of the following two criteria:

  • Finished a PTAC-accredited pharmacy technician training program, or
  • Acquired comparable work experience as a pharmacy tech

ExCPT Exam

The other major national certification examination is the ExCPT, and is awarded by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). This multiple-choice assessment includes 100 multiple-choice questions, provided in a two-hour, 10-minute structure.

In order to be eligible to sit for this examination, individuals need to meet the following requirements:

  • Completed a PTAC-accredited pharmacy tech training program, or
  • Obtained comparable work experience as a pharmacy tech

How much does a pharmacy technician make in Arkansas?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median yearly pay for a pharmacy technician in the United States was $31,750 as of May 2017.

The following table reflects how much this number may vary based on the state you work in.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.27$14.86$21.98
Memphis, TN-MS-AR MSAHourly$10.62$16.01$22.39
Texarkana, TX-Texarkana, AR MSAHourly$11.17$14.50$18.70
Jonesboro, AR MSAHourly$10.21$13.93$18.27
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR MSAHourly$9.92$13.59$20.16
Fort Smith, AR-OK MSAHourly$9.56$13.55$19.10
South Arkansas BOSHourly$8.94$13.23$18.25
West Arkansas BOSHourly$9.59$13.12$18.36
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO MSAHourly$9.89$12.97$18.44
Hot Springs, AR MSAHourly$9.94$12.78$19.19
East Arkansas BOSHourly$9.42$12.54$17.10
Central Arkansas BOSHourly$8.73$12.19$18.24
Pine Bluff, AR MSAHourly$9.63$12.06$17.87