How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Mississippi
If you are interested in a career in the healthcare field but don’t want to spend a lot of time and money in medical school, you may want to consider becoming a pharmacy technician. Pharmacy techs work in a variety of pharmacy settings, under the direction of a pharmacist. Their duties include processing and dispensing prescriptions, keeping up with inventory, printing out labels for prescription bottles and performing administrative work such as answering phones and handling insurance. [Leer en español]
Each state sets its requirements for licensure and certification. The following information will help you if you are interested in becoming a pharmacy tech in Mississippi.
Mississippi Requirements for Pharmacy Techs
To work as a pharmacy tech in the state, you must be 18 years of age or older and have a high school diploma or GED. The next step is to register with the Mississippi State Board of Pharmacy at least 30 days before you plan on going to work. Next, you will need to submit a written application to the Board, pay a $50 registration fee and pass a criminal background check. Your application should include a recent passport-style photo and be notarized.
Pharmacy technician registration must be renewed annually, by March 31st of each year. A renewal fee of $50 will apply. If you renew after March 31st, a $50 late fee will also apply. Continued education is not required for renewal. However, you must pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE) given by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board or the Examination for Certification as Pharmacy Technician (ExCPT) offered by the National Health career Association (NHA) before you can renew your license during the first renewal period. You will have to show proof of certification for every renewal period after that.
Mississippi Training Programs
Generally, pharmacy tech programs can be completed in two years or less, and you can take them at community and technical colleges. Accredited programs are preferred. Also, consider a program that will prepare you to take your certification exam.
The following training courses are available in Mississippi:
- Jones College. Jones College in Ellisville has an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Pharmacy Technology program. This program consists of classroom instruction and lab and clinical experience that can be completed in five semesters. The program has received accreditation from both the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Students will learn about drug classifications, drug side effects, FDA testing, transcription abbreviations and pharmacy math. Students will receive an A.A.S. degree and be prepared to sit for the national certification exams.
- East Central Community College. The Leake, Newton and Neshoba campuses of East Central Community College offer pharmacy technician training classes. Check with your campus of choice for class start dates. An orientation class is required, and then classes meet one night a week for 16 weeks. Students who finish this program will be eligible to take the PTCE.
- Penn Foster Career College. Penn Foster Career College offers online degree programs that can be completed at the student’s convenience. Most of these can be finished in less than a year. They do offer a pharmacy technician training program. Penn Foster also covers the cost of the PTCE ($129) for graduates of this program. More information.
Career and Salary Expectations
The growth rate for pharmacy technician jobs in the state is expected to be 9.1 percent from 2016 to 2026. There were 3,640 pharmacy techs employed in Mississippi in 2016, and approximately 3,970 should be working there by 2026. This rate is just behind the national average growth rate of 12 percent.
As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in Mississippi make an average of $31,440 annually or $15.12 hourly. Those with more experience can make up to $41,660 annually.
Working as a Pharmacy Technician in Mississippi
Pharmacy techs might work part-time or full-time, and even nights and weekends. Typical workplaces for pharmacy technicians include hospital pharmacies, retail drugstores, independent pharmacies, home health settings, nursing homes and mail-order prescription services. Other places they may find work are medical insurance companies, drug manufacturing companies and drug wholesale companies.
If you are looking for employment as a pharmacy tech in The Magnolia State, start with some of the bigger cities as they have higher employment rates for this career. These cities include Biloxi, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Ridgeland, Southaven and Tupelo.
All School Listings
505 East Main Street, Raymond, Mississippi 39154
Pharmacy Technician – Associate Program
Hinds Community College’s Associate program is taught at their campus in the town of Raymond. This public college has in the order of 11,893 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.* The cost of tuition for in-state students is in the order of $2,260 and for students from outside the state in the order of $4,860 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,200, as necessitated by the chosen program.
900 South Court Street, Ellisville, Mississippi 39437
Pharmacy Technician – Associate Program
Jones County Junior College’s Associate-level Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their campus in the town of Ellisville, Mississippi. This public college has roughly 4,443 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Jones County Junior College has institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, while the program is separately accredited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* The cost of tuition for in-state students is in the order of $2,722 and for students from outside the state in the order of $4,722 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,200, as necessitated by the chosen program. This program is ASHP accredited. The program staff includes a technician,a lab/clerical support member, and a pharmacist. The school offers start dates in August. Candidates can expect to attend an interview. Class scheduling: Full-time. Acceptance Requirements: Meet the general admission requirements to JCJC. Complete an application packet for pharmacy technology, which includes a program application, and three reference forms.Have a Composite ACT Score of 17.Score of 10 or better on TABE.Attend a scheduled selection interview.Submit and acceptable background checks if selected.CPR-Healthcare Provider Certification.Submit to a drug test, if requested. General Location Training Sites: 30-mile radius. Academic award: Associate Degree. They say: Classroom lecture is combined with hands-on laboratory work as well as clinical experience to provide the student with a well rounded view of technicians duties. Laboratory experience includes computer applications, dispensing exercises, IV admixtures, and extemporaneous compounding. Three clinical rotations are conducted to provide the student with exposure to more than one facet of pharmacy dynamics. Program includes dosage calculations, law, pharmacology, and pharmacy practice. During the final semester, students intensely review for the certification exam. Finally they prepare for the workforce by composing resumes and polishing their job-seeking skills.
* Accredition status and tuition fees are correct at the time of last update and are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with college or university prior to application.