A Career as a Pharmacy Technician in New Mexico

Pharmacy technicians are healthcare professionals who are managed by pharmacists and work in a pharmacy setting. They handle inventory, print prescription labels, dispense prescriptions and complete administrative tasks. This job is ideal for someone who chooses to work in the healthcare field but is not interested in going to medical school. This career is high in demand and is experiencing growth in most states. The job is regulated by state, meaning each state has its own licensing requirements, if any. Keep reading to learn the guidelines for the state of New Mexico.
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How to Become Licensed and Certified in New Mexico

If you wish to work as a pharmacy technician in New Mexico, you must first register through the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy. You can register as either a certified pharmacy technician or a non-certified pharmacy technician. However, if you register as non-certified, you must get your certification within a year of when you register. To register as non-certified, you must apply and pay the $25 application fee. You must also complete training and education. You don’t have to complete a formal training program, but you do need to be trained in the following areas:

•    Federal and state regulations for pharmacy practice

•    Specific guidelines for technicians

•    Ethical and professional practices

•    Medical and pharmaceutical terminology

•    Pharmaceutical calculations

•    Manufacturing, preparation, packaging and labeling of prescriptions

•    Routes of administration and dosage

•    Generic and trade medication names

•    Basic pharmacology comprehension

•    Basic knowledge of pharmacy references

You also need to supply the name of the pharmacist or training sponsor who trained you in these areas. When you register as a certified pharmacist technician, you will also need to complete an application and pay the application fee. Additionally, you will need to show proof of completion of training signed by the pharmacist or training sponsor responsible for training you and proof of passing the certification exam. Once you register as certified, registration must be renewed every two years on the last day of the month you were born.

You have two options to receive national certification. You may take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE) administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Your other choice is to take the Examination for Certification as Pharmacy Technician (ExCPT) that the National Health career Association (NHA) offers. Continued education isn’t required to renew the registration, but it is necessary to keep your certification current. Twenty hours must be taken every two years. One of these hours must be in pharmacy law.

New Mexico Pharmacy Technician Training Programs

You don’t have to enroll in a post-secondary pharmacy technician training program to register in New Mexico, but doing so could help you further advance in your field and earn a higher salary. If you do complete a formal training program, you should take one that has been accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

The following programs in New Mexico are accredited:

  • Central New Mexico Community College. This program is in Albuquerque and consists of 45 credit hours of classroom, lab and practical experience. Students will also receive training in handling sterile and non-sterile products. Students will receive a certificate of completion and be prepared to take the PTCE. Central New Mexico also offers an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in pharmacy technology. The A.A.S. degree program is more in-depth than the certificate program and consists of 65 credit hours taken over six semesters.
  • Pima Medical Institute. Also located in Albuquerque, PMI offers a certificate program that can be completed in just nine months. Students will receive classroom and clinical training in customer service, drug inventory maintenance, patient profiling and prescription preparation. Students who take this program are eligible to sit for the PTCE and work as entry-level pharmacy techs.
  • Penn Foster Career School. Penn Foster offers an affordable, ASHP Accredited online Pharmacy Technician training program. More information.

Job Outlook and Salary Estimates

The national average growth rate for this career is 12 percent. Pharmacy technician jobs in New Mexico are currently experiencing an average growth of 7.6 percent. This is below the national rate but still promising. This data is provided by the Projections Managing Partnership.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that pharmacy techs in New Mexico earn an average salary of $33,710 yearly or $16.21 hourly. Those with more experience and additional credentials can potentially make as much as $44,980 a year.

Working as a Pharmacy Tech in New Mexico

Pharmacy technicians may work in hospitals, retail pharmacies, independent pharmacies, compounding labs or pharmacies, mail-order pharmacies and long-term care facilities. Some pharmacies are open for 24 hours, meaning that you may work nights or weekends. Pharmacy technicians can work full-time or part-time.

The highest paying pharmacy tech jobs in the state can be found in Albuquerque. Albuquerque is also one of the cities in New Mexico that is known for a high employment rate of pharmacy technicians. Other cities with high employment in this field include Las Cruces and Santa Fe.

FAQs

What are best pharmacy technician schools in New Mexico?

  1. Central New Mexico Community College, Albuquerque
  2. Pima Medical Institute, Albuquerque
  3. Carrington College, Albuquerque
  4. Eastern New Mexico University, Roswell
  5. El Paso Community College, El Paso, TX
  6. Penn Foster Career School, Online

How do you become a pharmacy technician in New Mexico?

  1. You must be at least 18 years old
  2. You must have a high school diploma or GED
  3. Pass a criminal record check
  4. Apply to the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy
  5. Verify on-the-job training from a licensed pharmacist
  6. Pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) or ExCPT within one year of registration

How much do pharmacy technicians make in New Mexico?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of New Mexico made an average of $33,710 per year in 2018. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $24,220 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $44,980.

All School Listings

Albuquerque, NM Area

Brookline College-Albuquerque

4201 Central Ave NW-Ste J, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87105Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Brookline College’s Certificate-level Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their Albuquerque campus in the city of Albuquerque. The majority of of the school’s 272 students are on 4-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.* Tuition fees for the Medical Assisting program are in the order of $15,515 yearly. Program completion is usually 10 months.

Carrington College-Albuquerque

1001 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107-1642Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Carrington College’s Certificate Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their Albuquerque campus in the city of Albuquerque, NM. The majority of of the school’s 647 students are on 2-year programs. Carrington College-Albuquerque has institutional accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, and the program itself is accredited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* The retention rate of full-time students at this college is 82%. The cost of tuition for the Pharmacy Technician program is, as a rough guide, in the order of $14,127 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $882. Program completion is normally 10 months. This program has AHSP candidate status.

Central New Mexico Community College

525 Buena Vista SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Central New Mexico Community College’s Certificate-level Pharmacy Technician program is imparted at their campus in the city of Albuquerque, NM. This public college has about 28,891 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Central New Mexico Community College has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, while the program is separately accredited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.* Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be about $1,364 and for students from other states likely to be about $6,656 yearly, while study materials may cost about $720, although this will vary with the program. This program is ASHP accredited. Staff on the program includes 2 technicians. The school offers start dates in January and August. Class scheduling: Full Time. Acceptance Requirements: HS diploma or GED General Location Training Sites: Albuquerque-Santa Fe.

Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area Area

Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Campus

52 University Blvd, Roswell, New Mexico 88202-6000Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

Eastern New Mexico University offers various Certificate Pharmacy Technician program options. Classes are taken at their Roswell Campus campus in the town of Roswell. The majority of of the school’s 3,883 students are on 2-year programs. The school has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Fees for tuition for in-district students are likely to be about $1,605 and are $1,664 and $5,330 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while study materials may cost about $1,066, although this will vary with the program.

Albuquerque, NM Area

Pima Medical Institute-Albuquerque

4400 Cutler Avenue NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110Pharmacy Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Pima Medical Institute can be taken at their Albuquerque campus in the city of Albuquerque. The majority of of the school’s 930 students are on 2-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.* Tuition fees for the Medical Assisting program are, as a rough guide, around $11,510 annually, while books and supplies may cost about $759. Program completion is normally 9 months.

* 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.

Out-of-State Options

See options in the neighboring states of Utah, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado.