BECOMING A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN IN ARKANSAS
Pharmacy technicians manage inventory, dispense prescriptions, and complete other administrative work to assist pharmacists in hospitals, drugstores, and clinics, among other workplaces.
The job is well-suited for people who enjoy healthcare but have chosen not to go to medical school. Pharmacy techs are in high demand, with the career field rapidly growing in many states. Each has its licensing requirements.
The following information will help you understand the requirements for becoming a pharmacy technician in Arkansas.
GENERAL PHARMACY TECH QUALIFICATIONS
Applicants for pharmacy technician registration should be 18 years old at the time of their registration. They must submit evidence of at least high school education, including a diploma, GED, or official letter verifying the applicant’s graduation date. Higher education or job-specific training programs are not required to be a pharmacy technician in Arkansas. [Leer en español]
Pharmacy Technician Schools in Arkansas
Various community colleges and technical schools offer pharmacy technician training programs, which take two years or fewer to complete. Before enrolling, ensure that the selected school meets all accreditation requirements. The following schools provide acceptable educational programs:
- Black River Technical College. Black River’s nine-week program is designed to prepare students for national licensing exams as quickly as possible. The program covers pharmacy calculations, medical terminology, a review of the top 200 prescription drugs, and inventory control, among other skills.
- Arkansas State University. Arkansas State offers certificates and associate degrees in Pharmacy Technology. Students complete hands-on labs in addition to classroom learning in preparation for national certification exams. The school boasts a 100 percent employment rate for its students.
- Penn Foster. Penn Foster’s online pharmacy technician program can be completed in as few as 9 months. You can enroll in the course whenever you’d like, and online support is always available for students. At the end of your pharmacy tech program, you’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable, real-world experience at a CVS/pharmacy or Walgreens near you as part of our required hands-on training externship. More information is here.
LICENSING AND CERTIFICATIONS
To practice as a pharmacy technician in Arkansas, one must first register with the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy. The application for registration includes a criminal background check and must include evidence of high school education. The board will then issue a permit to work, which must be displayed in the pharmacy and renewed before December 31 every two years.
Pharmacy technicians are not required to obtain their national certification to work in Arkansas. However, doing so can qualify technicians for higher-paying jobs. To apply for national licensing, pharmacy technicians should have a high school diploma or GED, register with the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, and pay a fee of $129. Applicants who have completed a formal training program may choose to take the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians instead.
CAREER AND SALARY ESTIMATES
Jobs for pharmacy technicians in Arkansas are growing at a rate of 17 percent over the 10 years to 2026, according to the Projections Managing Partnership, while the national average growth rate for this field is 12 percent.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that technicians in the state can earn an average salary of $29,650 per year, though those with additional certifications can exceed that salary.
Working as a Pharmacy Technician in Arkansas
As a pharmacy technician, you can work in a hospital, independent or chain drugstore, clinic, nursing home, and other healthcare facilities. Many of these facilities are open late or 24 hours, which often requires employees to work on nights or weekends. Part-time and full-time roles are often available. No matter your schedule, you should be prepared to stand for much of your shift and occasionally lift heavy boxes of medication. The highest-paying jobs are often found in larger cities, such as Little Rock, to offset the higher cost of urban living. Because pharmacy technicians are in high demand, work can typically be found throughout the state.
What are the best pharmacy technician schools in Arkansas?
- Arkansas State University, Beebe
- Remington College, Little Rock
- Walmart Stores, Bentonville
- Penn Foster Career College, Online
- Ashworth College, Online
How do you become a pharmacy technician in Arkansas?
- You must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED
- There is no requirement for certification or additional education in Arkansas
- You must pass a criminal record check
- Apply to the Arkansas Board of Pharmacy
How much do pharmacy technicians make in Arkansas?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of Arkansas made an average of $29,640 per year in 2018. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $21,300 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $39,530.