Pharmacy technicians do not provide hands-on care like doctors and nurses, but they are a critical member of the health care team. They receive and prepare the medications patients need to treat acute and chronic medical conditions. Working alongside the pharmacist, they receive prescriptions in person or electronically, assemble medication orders, verify the order with pharmacists, and supply the medication to patients along with any information regarding proper usage. Technicians also verify patient information, order stock, update inventory, and submit insurance claims.
The profession offers many rewards. Apart from ensuring patients have healthier and happier lives, technicians enjoy job security, stability, opportunities for growth, flexible schedules, and pleasant working conditions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the job outlook for this career will grow 4% by 2029, which is the average growth for all occupations.
Pharmacy technicians in New Jersey are registered, not licensed. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent. Proficiency in written and spoken English and clean criminal background are some other requirements for registration. Upon confirmation of registration, the technician must keep the large ble registration on display in the pharmacy. Technicians who work more than one pharmacy must carry the wallet sized blue registration on their person to present to a Board investigator upon request.
Pharmacy technicians must apply to the Board for registration within 10 days of hire. The Board will provide the registration within 180 days of application.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old to register as a pharmacy technician in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Board of Pharmacy requires all applicants to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Certification through a national accrediting agency is not required for registration.
Applicants for registration must submit to a criminal background check. There must be no active alcohol or drug abuse within the past year, no federal or state controlled dangerous substances (CDS) or habit-forming drug violation convictions, no criminal convictions involving moral turpitude, and no prior suspensions or revocations by any state board fo pharmacy.
Applicants must schedule an appointment to have fingerprints digitally recorded after receiving the fingerprinting instruction sheet and preprinted form from the Board. Scheduling an appointment at anyone of the 17 locations across New Jersey may be faster than waiting for an appointment closer to home. Applicants who have been convicted of a crime must submit a detailed letter of explanation, all of the relevant police reports, reference letter, and any judgments of convictions, sentencing orders, termination of probation orders, and evidence of rehabilitation if applicable.
The Pharmacy Technician Program
Pharmacy technician training is not required for registration as a pharmacy technician in New Jersey. While it may be thus, it is the sole discretion of the employer to determine whether the prospective employee must be trained and certified. Some employers maintain in-house training for new hires to learn the operations of the pharmacy and the role and responsibilities of technicians in New Jersey.
Technicians can retrieve patient profiles and files, perform data entry of prescription information, transcribe prescription content into patient records, prepare labels, compound, measure and count prescriptions, stock legend drugs, accept authorization of an unchanged prescription for refill, and refill automated medication systems. Training programs will cover theory and practical content in these specific areas that will enable technicians to fill their role under the direction of a licensed pharmacist.
The clinical externship is a critical component of ASHP accredited pharmacy technician programs in New Jersey. It includes a minimum of 250 contact hours of practice in a retail and institutional pharmacy. This real-world practice prepares students for employment after graduation. They will receive and prepare prescriptions for dispensing under the guidance of an experienced mentor. The externship will typically begin after completing the classroom requirements.
Duration and Cost
Pharmacy technician programs typically require six to nine months for completion for full-time students and up to twelve months for part-time students. In-house pharmacy technician programs provided by local pharmacies may require less time and will give trainees the opportunity to earn as they learn.
The average cost of certificate programs in New Jersey is $4,100 for an accredited program includes tuition for the theory and clinical externship. Additional costs for books, uniforms, and supplies will be added to the cost of tuition.
The New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy does not require certification as prerequisite to licensure. Pharmacy technician graduates of an accredited program are eligible to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Successful candidates will earn the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential.
The PTCB determines the eligibility of each candidate to obtain the credential and may be changed at any time.
Eligibility requirements include:
- Completion of a PTCB recognized pharmacy technician training program or equivalent work experience (500 hours minimum)
- Full disclosure of all criminal and State Board of Pharmacy registration or licensure actions
- Meet all the applicable PTCB certification policies
- Take and pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam
- Pay the fee of $129
Preliminary scores may be issued after completing the exam but are not official. The final results will be published within two to three weeks on the PTCB’s website – candidate dashboard. The official certification can be download in the dashboard. Certificates must be renewed biennially to maintain PTCB certification. Requirements for renewal include completion of 20 hours of CE and confirmation of no criminal convictions and/or disciplinary actions by a state board of pharmacy.
Pharmacy technicians who are certified in New Jersey can operate under the greater pharmacist to pharmacy technician ratio, which is 1:2 for uncertified technicians. Certified pharmacy technicians who are employed at a pharmacist to certified pharmacy technician ratio greater than 1:2 must still operate under the supervision of a pharmacist with the specific details outlined in the employment policy and procedure manual. The policies must outline functions that may not be performed by pharmacy technicians.
Acquiring Your State License
Candidates for licensure must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Applications for registration must be submitted within 10 days of hire. The confirmation of registration – the blue registration certification and wallet sized registration – will be provided within 180 days of application for eligible applicants. The certificate must be displayed at the place of employment. Photocopies of the certificate are not permitted.
Pharmacy Technician Application:
- Read the entire application before applying and make sure to fill out every schedule and answered question before submitting it to the Board
- Have a Notary Public notarize your signature on the application
- Include the application filing fee of $70 with the application. Payment can be made during the online checkout of via check or money order
- Submit official transcripts or examination results. Copies sent by the applicants will be rejected
- Schedule an appointment for fingerprinting and have the results submitted to the Board
- Submit a detailed letter of explanation, all of the relevant police reports, reference letter, and any judgments of convictions, sentencing orders, termination of probation orders, and evidence of rehabilitation if applicable if convicted of a crime
- Submit a passport-style photo of your face and shoulders. Full-sized photographs, photos with other people, photocopies, scanned photographs, or photocopies of a passport will not be accepted. Sign full name and print first and last name in the backside of the photo
- Include a copy of marriage certificate, divorce decree or court order in case of name change
- Notify the Board of any new address or change of address after submitting an application for registration
New Jersey pharmacy technicians’ registration must be renewed biennially. The Board will send notification of the pending renewal via email at least 60 days before the expiration. It is important to maintain accurate records on file to receive notifications from the Board. Failure to receive notifications is not a valid excuse for non-renewal. The renewal applications must be completed online. Applicants who do not renew within a specified timeframe must apply for reinstatement of the registration using valid form downloadable from the Board’s website. Renew using the following steps:
- Complete the renewal application online and submit a check or money order made out to the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy. The renewal fee is $70 if submitting before the expiration date.
- See “Yes” if you’ve had any disciplinary action against any government-issued license since the last renewal or “No” if you have not
- Update name and address if there have been changes since the last renewal
Verification of employment may be required during the renewal process.
Contact the Board:
New Jersey Board of Pharmacy
P.O. Box 45013
Newark, New Jersey 07101
Phone: (973) 504-6450
Pharmacy Technician Schools in New Jersey
Blackwood, NJ Pharmacy Technicians programs:
Pennco Tech – Blackwood, NJ Campus
99 Erial Rd.,
Blackwood, NJ 08012
Edison, NJ Pharmacy Technicians programs:
AIMS Education – Edison
2672 Woodbridge Ave,
Edison, NJ 08837
Elizabeth, NJ Pharmacy Technicians programs:
Address: 333 N Broad St # 201,
Elizabeth, NJ 07208
JFK Institute of Healthcare
1210 E Grand St,
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
Hackensack, NJ Pharmacy Technicians programs:
American Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology
210 Lee Pl,
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Paterson, NJ Pharmacy Technicians programs:
Branford Institute, Paterson
302 Main St,
Paterson, NJ 07505
Pascataway, NJ Pharmacy Technicians programs:
4500 New Brunswick Ave,
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Newark, NJ Pharmacy Technicians programs:
Americation Career and Training School
Address: 24 Commerce St #401,
Newark, NJ 07102
Somerset, NJ Pharmacy Technicians programs:
Marie’s Allied Health & Technical Institute, Inc
863 Hamilton St,
Somerset, NJ 08873
Union, NJ Pharmacy Technicians programs:
Healthcare Training Institute
1969 Morris Ave,
Union, NJ 07083