New York Pharmacy Technician Requirements and Training Programs

The coronavirus pandemic has transformed dining, shopping, travel, and the entertainment industries – among others. While most of the affected industries have been privileged to direct consumer activities online, the health care industry remains the most impacted as they manage the rise in cases and rollout of vaccines. There has been a special emphasis on the commitment of nurses and physicians, but less focus on those professionals working behind the scenes to prepare and distribute medications to support recovery. The pandemic has taken its toll on the health care industry – transforming it in more ways than one. The pharmacy technician role in New York came under the spotlight, prompting new legislation for technicians operating in the hospital system.

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Previous to this, technicians were unlicensed and unregistered. In April 2021, a new law will go into effect that provides for a licensure and registration process for technicians. The law specifically includes guidelines for compounding and details a scope of practice to establish consistency across the state. With this update, technicians can now register with the state, carry the credential of Registered Technician, and compound and assist with compounding. These provisions are strictly for technicians in institutional settings. Pharmacy technicians in other facilities will continue to function as unlicensed technicians and compounding will be outside their scope of practice.

Pharmacy Tech Schools in New York

New York Pharmacy Technician License Requirements

Pharmacy technicians in New York are not registered or licensed and function as unlicensed. Recently, in response to the need for establishing a standard scope of practice across the state and for technicians in institutional pharmacies to continue compounding, the state signed a legislature to register hospital technicians.  This also creates a permanent professional title of Registered Pharmacy Technician and establishes what they can and cannot do. Registered Pharmacy Technicians must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be of a good moral character
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Must have and maintain national certification – PTCB and NHA accepted
  • Must have completed site-specific training
  • Must be supervised by a pharmacist and have all compounds checked before distribution

Age Requirement

Applicants must be at least 18 years old to register as a pharmacy technician in New York.

Education Requirement

The New York State Board of Pharmacy requires all applicants to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. All applicants for registration must first complete site-specific training.

Other Requirements

There are currently no background check requirements for registration.

The Pharmacy Technician Program


New York’s community colleges and vocational schools offer online, hybrid, and traditional pharmacy technician programs. Some are accredited by the ASHP, giving graduates the opportunity to apply for national certification. At the conclusion of the theory and practical training students will be able to perform the typical responsibilities of a pharmacy technician, adhere to personal and professional ethics that guide the profession, define the role of the technician in relation to the pharmacist, list the major classification of drugs and their indications, side effects and dosing recommendation, interact with customers and team members. They will perform the general duties of a pharmacy technician including patient profiling, recordkeeping, aseptic operations, inventory management, and dispensing drugs. Keep in mind that there limits to what an unlicensed pharmacy technician can perform in New York. Nevertheless, after completion of a formal, accredited program in New York followed by national certification, many graduates can secure employment in an institutional pharmacy such as a hospital or nursing home.

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The pharmacy technician training conducted in-house at community and institutional pharmacies include extensive opportunities for hands-on practice. Technicians learn through theory and practical activities the duties needed to perform within their scope of practice. The training will also include preparation for national certification.

Duration and Cost

Pharmacy technician programs can be completed in six months based on full-time attendance. The cost of online and traditional programs varies but average $2,499 when paid in full. In-house training is continuous, but the formal part of the training can be completed in one year. Training at a local pharmacy is generally free and may include paid hours.

National Exams

The New York State Board of Pharmacy does not require certification as a prerequisite to licensure. However, national certification through the PTCB or ExCPT will improve your job prospects. Employers today expect it from prospective employees and may even pay for current employees to complete certification. The Board will accept PTCB certification as in demonstration of your ability to function as a competent pharmacy technician.

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board bestows the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential to successful candidates. 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

The preliminary scores presented upon completion of the exam provide an indication of your performance but are not official. The official scores will be published within two to three weeks following the exam. The PTCB will update your certification status (verifiable on the website) after this time. The certificate will be available to download on your PTCB dashboard if you pass the exam. The certification must be renewed every 2 years to maintain the credential. Recertification requires the completion of 20 hours of CE.

The NHA designs and develops the ExCPT exam. To be eligible to take the ExCPT, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must have a completed a training program or have at least 12 months of pharmacy-related experience – completed within 36 months of the application date
  • Take and pass the ExCPT exam
  • Pay the exam fee of $125

Pharmacy technician programs include preparation for success on the PTCB and ExCPT exams.

Acquiring Your State License


Pharmacy technicians working in institutional settings may apply for registration to carry the Registered Pharmacy Technician Credential and be able to compound medications under the guidance of a pharmacist. Requirements for registration include:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Must have and maintain national certification – PTCB and NHA accepted
  • Must have completed site-specific training
  • Must be of good moral character as determined by the Department;
  • Submit the fee of $75 for initial licensure and $100 for initial registration to the Department


Registration is for a three-year period, except for the first registration renewal after licensure, which is prorated to move licensees to month of birth renewal.

While national certification is not required for registration renewal purposes, Rules of the Board of Regents requires licensees to be professionally competent in the tasks which they perform. One way by which Registered Pharmacy Technicians can help to ensure competency is by maintaining their national certification.

Contact the Board:
New York State Board of Pharmacy
89 Washington Ave, 2nd Floor W
Albany, NY 12234-1000
Office: 518/474-3817 ext. 130
Fax: 518/473-6995

ASHP Accredited Pharmacy Technician Schools in New York

New York, NY Pharmacy Technician programs:
Distance Education Co. / New York Institute of Career Development
192 Lexington Ave, Suite 701
New York NY 10016
(212) 867-8800 ext. x204

NYU Langone Health Department of Pharmacy
Tisch Hospital
560 First Avenue, Tisch 3rd Floor, TH-380
New York NY 10016
(212) 263-5111

New York Institute of Career Development
192 Lexington, Suite 701
New York, New York 10016

Rochester, NY Pharmacy Technician programs:
The College at Brockport, Rochester Educational Opportunity Center
161 Chestnut Street
Rochester NY 14604
(585) 232-2730 ext. ext 453

University of Rochester Medical Center
Box 638, 601 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester NY 14642
(585) 275-6148

Search Pharmacy Technician Programs

Get information on Pharmacy Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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