BECOMING A PHARMACIST TECHNICIAN IN NEW JERSEY
A pharmacy technician is a healthcare provider who has a great deal of interface with customers and patients. They answer the phones and provide information about prescriptions, which can include questions about refills, dosages, contraindications, and side effects.
They also help maintain the med room of a pharmacy, stocking the shelves, ordering medications, and taking care of general cleanliness and orderliness, which assists the pharmacist in their day-to-day responsibilities and pharmacy management.
Pharmacy technicians can also communicate with other healthcare providers, doctors, and insurance companies. Essentially, their job is to ensure the smooth operation in the dispensing and quality control of medications, which is overseen by a pharmacist. [Leer en español]
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION in NJ: REQUIREMENTS AND GUIDELINES
The New Jersey Board of Pharmacy (NJBD) requires 30 hours of continuing education. Pharmacy technicians are regulated in the state; however, certification is not required by the NJBD. The approved certificate exam is administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), and students are required to get a license after passing the exam. However, a student may work as a pharmacy technician for 180 days before receiving certification.
Job candidates who do possess a certificate have a considerable advantage in the job market. As with other states, in New Jersey, it is possible to train with a nationally recognized drugstore, such as Walgreens, as an alternative to more formal education.
NEW JERSEY PHARMACY TECHNICIAN SCHOOLS
If an individual desire to pursue a pharmacy technician as a career, there are several ways to obtain the necessary training. As mentioned, one can pursue training with a nationally recognized drugstore brand, and there are far more opportunities across the Hudson in New York City.
However, if this poses too much of a hardship in terms of commuting, here are two pharmacy technician programs in New Jersey that provide a fully developed curriculum and financial aid:
The American Institute of Medical Science
It has locations in Piscataway and Edison, NJ. Classes start in June and continue for nine months. They meet Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is rigorous training that prepares the student to be a multi-faceted healthcare provider.
Even after the 400 hours of coursework are completed, students are required to fulfill a 250-hour clinical internship, where they are guided by their teachers and professional pharmacists.
The school places students in real-world professional environments so they get hands-on training and experience. These clinical hours must be completed during the regular work week; students cannot fulfill this requirement on the weekends.
The New Educare Institute of Healthcare in Newark, New Jersey
It provides students with a program that lasts from two to four months. Some of the classes they offer include dosage forms and microbiology, law and ethics for technicians, community pharmacy practice, calculations of doses, health insurance, and inventory control, as well as computers and communication within the industry. Students can complete their training in the classroom or online.
The school offers payment plans, and students can learn at their own pace. New Educare Institute of Healthcare is an Approved and Recognized Career School in the State of New Jersey.
Penn Foster Career School
Penn Foster offers an affordable, ASHP Accredited online Pharmacy Technician training program. More information.
CERTIFIED PHARMACY TECHNICIAN (CPHT)
The PTCB offers a national certification, which is not required in New Jersey but may give job candidates an edge in the hiring process. To become certified, one must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or GED certificate
To sit for the exam, applicants must:
- Apply the PTCB
- Pay a fee
There are three ways to prepare for the exam:
1. Complete a pharmacy technician training program that is accredited by ASHP or another organization recognized by the PTCB.
2. On-the-job training with a licensed pharmacist for at least 1,500 hours.
3. A combination of the two methods above.
The exam is four hours long and is made up of 90 multiple-choice questions. The topics covered include:
- Pharmacology for Technicians (20%)
- Pharmacy Law and Regulations (10%)
- Sterile and Non-Sterile Compounding (15%)
- Medication Safety (10%)
- Pharmacy Quality Assurance (5%)
- Order Entry and Patient Care (30%)
Those who pass the exam receive a certificate that is valid for two years. To maintain certification, one must complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years.
JOB GROWTH AND SALARY EXPECTATIONS
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for pharmacy technicians is expected to grow by 10 percent from 2020-2030. This career, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, is notated as a “bright outlook” occupation.
In New Jersey, the average starting salary for pharmacy technicians is $36,810 per year; however, with experience, they can expect to make $46,920 annually.
WHERE TO LOOK FOR A JOB
In New Jersey, CVS Health is a large employer of pharmacy technicians. However, techs can also find work with online pharmacies, retail drugstores, nursing homes, and insurance companies. Pharm Pro, a staffing agency, can help the job seeker with both temp and long-term employment. Indeed, an online job board has many positions to fill. For example, on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, an independent specialty pharmacy is currently looking for a pharmacy technician at an hourly wage of $18.00. Custom Health Care Solutions is looking for the same, with an hourly rate that begins at $30.00. Within a growing industry, pharmacy technicians have many options in New Jersey and the nearby New York City Metropolitan area.
What are the best pharmacy technician schools in New Jersey?
- Salem Community College, Carneys Point
- Pennco Tech, Blackwood
- American Institute of Medical Sciences & Education, Piscataway
- ASA College, Brooklyn, NY
- CUNY Bronx Community College, Bronx, NY
- Penn Foster Career School, Online
How do you become a pharmacy technician in New Jersey?
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a high school diploma or GED
- Apply to the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy (NJBD)
- Complete 30 hours of continuing education
- Certification is not required
How much do pharmacy technicians make in New Jersey?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of New Jersey made an average of $36,810 per year in 2020. Entry-level pharmacy technicians earned around $29,100 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $46,920.
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