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.
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN SCHOOLS IN NEW MEXICO
You don’t have to enroll in post-secondary pharmacy technician schools 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.
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION BOARD
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) provides a standardized certification program for pharmacy technicians. The PTCB requires applicants to have at least 500 hours of work experience in a retail, hospital, or mail-order setting, and they must also pass the PTCE exam. Applicants who do not meet these requirements can enroll in an accredited training program. Once the certification has been completed, technicians must renew it every two years. Certification renewal requires 20 hours of continuing education and is dependent on good moral character and a criminal background check. The PTCB also offers additional certifications for pharmacy technicians who specialize in compounding and medication therapy management.
JOB OUTLOOK AND SALARY ESTIMATES
The national average growth rate for this career is 5 percent. Pharmacy technician jobs in New Mexico are currently experiencing an average growth of 8 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 $36,690 yearly or $17.64 hourly. Those with more experience and additional credentials can potentially make as much as $47,830 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 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.
What are the best pharmacy technician schools in New Mexico?
- Central New Mexico Community College, Albuquerque
- Pima Medical Institute, Albuquerque
- Carrington College, Albuquerque
- Eastern New Mexico University, Roswell
- El Paso Community College, El Paso, TX
- Penn Foster Career School, Online
How do you become a pharmacy technician in New Mexico?
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a high school diploma or GED
- Pass a criminal record check
- Apply to the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy
- Verify on-the-job training from a licensed pharmacist
- 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 $36,690 per year in 2020. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $28,980 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $47,830.