Pharmacy Technician Programs in Little Rock, AR: Finding the Top Schools Near You!
Becoming a pharmacy technician calls for more than counting pills and greeting customers. Pharmacy technicians are responsible for accurate billing, and must remain HIPAA-compliant at all times.
Increasingly they are also involved in the general healthcare and pandemic management services many pharmacies have begun to offer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While federal law still states they must work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, their responsibilities are increasingly challenging and diverse.
To become a pharmacy technician in Little Rock, Arkansas, candidates must obtain registration from the State Board of Pharmacy. They do not need to obtain certification to do so, but they will need to be employed, or have a job offer, as a pharmacy technician before obtaining registration.
This is where attending an accredited pharmacy technician program can provide would be pharmacy techs with a real edge over other candidates.
Below we’ll review some of the best pharmacy technician schools in Little Rock, AK as well take a look at salary expectation, job outlook and state requirements.
Salary and Job Growth Prospects for Little Rock Pharmacy Technicians
Increasingly, across the US people are being drawn to pharmacy technology not just because it offers an entrance to the medical field with minimal additional schooling but also because it’s a vocation that pays well and offers good future job growth prospects. This is as true in Little Rock and Arkansas in general as anywhere else.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020 the average salary for a US pharmacy technician was $33,950 per annum, or around $16.32 per hour. For the same time period, the average across the state of Arkansas was $29,710 per annum or around $14.28. Average salaries in the Little Rock area specifically were a little higher: $14.50 per hour, around $30,160 annually.
Pharmacy technician salaries vary of course according to position held, employer and experience level. According to the same employment figures the bottom 10% of earners averaged $22,640 per annum or less (around $10.22 hourly) while the top 10% of earners could expect to command around $21.00 per hour, or $43,750 annually.
In terms of job growth the outlook is good too. Prior to the pandemic the BLS was predicting growth for pharmacy technology employment of over 10% between 2016 and 2026 for the State of Arkansas and that figure has now almost certainly increased thanks to the expanded services most pharmacies are now offering.
Pharmacy Technician Programs in Little Rock, AR
As previously mentioned, the State Board of Pharmacy does not require that pharmacy technicians obtain formal certification in order to register with them.
They do mandate however that candidates be over the age of 18 and hold a high school diploma or GED. They must also be able to pass a drug test and submit a background check free of felonies and drug related misdemeanors. They must also be working as, or have a job offer, as a pharmacy technician or trainee under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist.
For those who do wish to obtain PTCB certification, which will not only improve their job prospects but also allow them to work in the neighboring Texas where certification is required, there are a few excellent local programs available to Little Rock residents that is detailed below.
Arkansas State University
1000 W Iowa St,
Beebe, AR 72012
Phone: (501) 882-3600
The highly respected Arkansas State University offers not just one but three educational paths to those interested in becoming a pharmacy technician at their Beebe campus. As of 2022 those programs are listed as a Certificate of Proficiency, a Technical Certificate or Associate of Applied Science in Pharmacy Technology.
The longest program is the two-year degree program which is usually undertaken by those who want to work in a clinical setting or take an active part in retail pharmacy health clinics. Admission to this program is competitive and based on both the ability to meet the state’s registration requirements and past academic performance.
For those looking to spend less time in school the Certificate of Proficiency or Technical Certificate programs can be completed in two semesters of full time on campus study. Admission to these programs calls for a student to meet the registration requirements of the Board of Pharmacy but only calls for a student to pass a basic skills test in addition to that.
These programs prepare students to take the PTCE and for 2022 the school reported an astonishing 100% pass rate! In addition, not only are all three programs approved by the PTCB and the Arkansas Board of Pharmacy, but they are also accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) and Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
All three programs are eligible for financial aid if a student qualifies for such, and that is how 92% of students pay for their education.
South West Medical Academy
Physical Address: 5301 Warden Rd, Suite I-3. North Little Rock, AR 72116-0000
South West Medical Academy features two affordable pharmacy technician programs both held online.
The first offering is their 10-week Pharmacy Tech program which is held online during the mornings, Tuesdays and Fridays (at the time of writing this article). Clinicals are also offered as part of their curriculum.
At the end of the course, students can sit the PTCB national certification exam and apply for entry-level jobs as a pharmacy technician.
Their second offering is the Pharmacy Technician 6-week online and self placed program which is more affordable but does not include a clinicals module.
Students will obtain skills and knowledge needed to thrive in this career from attending either program.
Arkansas Employment Career Center (AECC) Career Schools
300 S. Spring Street, Suite 300 | Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
The Certified Pharmacy Technician Training Program offered by AECC is a PTCB recognized-training program.
The course consists of 90 hours and is made up of 74 classroom hours and 16 hours clinical instruction. At the end of the course individuals can sit the PTCB national certification exam and register with the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy and start work as a pharmacy technician in any setting they want.