The pharmacy technician in Mississippi is a beginning health worker who supports the pharmacist in many everyday functions around the store. Holding a certification might not be mandatory in every state, but the current trend among hiring managers has been in direction of just hiring candidates who hold a professional certification.

Thanks to unprecedented demand for new pharmacy techs in Mississippi, this profession is quite sought after among people who want an entry-level job in the medical field. The 2016 Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 12% increase in new opportunities for pharmacy techs by 2026.

What does a pharmacy technician do in Mississippi?

Pharmacy technicians in Mississippi are employed under the supervision of a pharmacist, and are given the task of completing a variety of supporting tasks that help keep the pharmacy operating smoothly. The subsequent list reflects the typical assignments that drug stores put on their techs.

Common pharmacy technician duties

  • Take care of customer or patient telephone calls and inquiries
  • Initiate and maintain patient records
  • Help pharmacist in filling prescriptions by weighing, packaging and labeling medicines
  • Handle payments for medications and insurance claims
  • Manage all inventory in the local pharmacy

How to become a pharmacy technician in Mississippi.

The four-step procedure for becoming a pharmacy tech in Mississippi is displayed below.

  1. Determine whether you would like to become certified
  2. If you should decide to become certified, register for a PTCA-approved training course
  3. Finish the pharmacy technician class and hands-on training hours, as mandated by state
  4. Take and pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Exam for certification

Step 1: Determine whether you want to become certified

The very first thing you will need to do is decide if you would like to get certified. Whatever you decide, you should be aware that most employers prefer to employ candidates who have earned their certification.

Given the shifting environment in the business, it is highly suggested that anybody who is considering a career in pharmacy earn a a certification. If you still don’t feel that you’re interested in getting your pharmacy certification, your next step is to search for a job.

Step 2: Enroll in a PTAC-approved training program

The next step in becoming eligible to work as a certified pharmacy technician is to sign-up for classes that are recognized by the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC). The PTAC is a nationally-respected organization that coordinates pharmacy tech coursework around the nation with both the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

The value of PTAC accreditation

Accreditation by the PTAC is considered imperative due to the fact that only graduates from a program recognized by this organization can take either of the national certification exams.

Pharmacy tech classes online

To better support individuals who work or have other responsibilities that make going to class a challenge, a lot of schools feature pharmacy tech classes online. These programs may also be great for students who do not live in close proximity to an institution that provides pharmacy technician education.

While it’s viable to complete the classroom section of a program online, it will nevertheless be required to finish the hands-on training component in-person at a designated site.

Step 3: Finish the program and complete the necessary internship hours

Completing the approved course you selected in the previous step is your next objective. Even though each program is slightly different, it’s quite common for students to finish their classroom education and internship in as little as a year.

The academic segment of your training is likely to include all of the principles and procedural-type stuff that will be found in the certification assessment. The internship, however, will provide you the chance to put everything you learn into practice in a functioning, professional environment.

Step 4: Successfully pass either the PTCE or ExCPT test

There are two nationally-administered pharmacy tech certification examinations – the PTCE and ExCPT. After you have finished a PTAC-approved program, you will be able to sit for either one of them. A passing score on either test will grant you the distinction Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

Both of these examinations are broken down in more depth 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 PTCE is made of 90 questions offered in a one-hour, 50-minute timed format. A passing mark on the examination gives the individual the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) certification.

Becoming eligible to challenge the exam requires the individual being able to meet one of the next two criteria:

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

ExCPT Exam

The other primary national certification examination is the ExCPT, which is administered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). Students get two hours and 10 minutes to complete 100 multiple-choice questions.

In order to become eligible to take this test, candidates must meet the following prerequisites:

  • Finished a PTAC-approved pharmacy technician course, or
  • Obtained comparable work experience as a pharmacy technician

What is the typical pharmacy technician salary in Mississippi?

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

The table below highlights the most current data on salary available in Mississippi.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.27$14.86$21.98
Memphis, TN-MS-AR MSAHourly$10.62$16.01$22.39
Gulfport-Biloxi, MS MSAHourly$11.75$15.92$22.51
Jackson, MS MSAHourly$10.56$14.20$19.16
Southeast Mississippi BOSHourly$10.51$14.01$18.69
Southwest Mississippi BOSHourly$10.53$13.68$18.50
Hattiesburg, MS MSAHourly$10.34$13.25$17.50
Northeast Mississippi BOSHourly$9.44$12.69$18.13
Northwest Mississippi BOSHourly$8.74$12.14$17.09