As the Baby Boomer population ages, the demand for pharmacy technicians increases. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 25% increase in demand for pharmacy technicians by 2018. According to a report prepared for the Arkansas Govenor Mike Beebe, the outlook in Arkansas is even more promising. Projected Employment Opportunities List 2013-2014, Labor Market Information Occupational/Career Information, 2013.
SALARIES IN ARKANSAS
According to Indeed.com, in 2014 the median salary for pharmacy technicians in Arkansas is $28,000. However, depending on the area, salaries can range from a low of $16,600 to a high of $35,000.
In Arkansas, a pharmacy technician works under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Some of the duties that he or she may perform include, but are not limited to:
- Packaging, labeling and dispensing prescriptions;
- Entering information into a computer;
- Obtaining refill authorizations;
- Maintaining inventory and restocking supplies;
- Compounding medications; and
- Supervising nursing staff dispensing medications in nursing homes.
See AR Prac. Act 03-00-0005.
REQUIREMENTS FOR EMPLOYMENT
Each state has different requirements for becoming a pharmacy technician. In Arkansas, certification and special training prior to employment are not required. However, pharmacy technicians must be registered with and licensed by the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy before they can begin working in a pharmacy. Once employed, there is a process whereby the Board will issue its own certification.
- The applicant must be a high school graduate or have a G.E.D.;
- The applicant must be of good moral character;
- The applicant must complete a criminal background check; and
- The applicant must submit a completed application along with a fee of $73.50
See AR Prac. Act 03-00-0002; AR Prac. Act 03-00-0004.
Further detail, in-depth instructions and all forms required are available by contacting the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy either online, by mail or by telephone.
Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy
101 E. Capitol, Suite 218
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 682-0190
Once the application is approved and a license issued, the future technician may be then begin working under the direct supervision of a licensed Pharmacist.
ON-THE-JOB-TRAINING AND TESTING
After the license is issued, the pharmacy technician will receive Board approved training on the job. The pharmacist is required to develop a program of study, training and testing. When the program is completed, the technician will be tested by the pharmacist who will then submit the results to the Pharmacy Board. The Board will certify the technician as a Certified Pharmacy Technician Licensed to Practice in the State of Arkansas.
There is no continuing education requirement; however, pharmacy technicians must renew their license every two years by submitting a renewal application and a $70.00 renewal fee.
To learn more about the career, contact the National Pharmacy Technician Association, http://www.pharmacytechnician.org/en/cms/?831.