The pharmacy tech in New Jersey is an entry-level medical field worker who aids the pharmacist in multiple day-to-day tasks in the store. Certification might not be mandatory in every state, yet the current trend among organizations has been towards only hiring individuals who carry a certification.

The demand for pharmacy technicians in New Jersey is projected to increase sharply in the coming years, making it an attractive option for all those who are starting their careers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016 report forecasts that the number of new employment opportunities for pharmacy technicians will increase by 12% by 2026.

What do pharmacy technicians do in New Jersey?

Pharmacy technicians in New Jersey are employed under the guidance of a pharmacist, and are given the task of carrying out a range of support duties that help keep the drug store running efficiently. The subsequent list displays the traditional responsibilities that drug stores place on their techs.

Basic pharmacy tech duties

  • Take customer or patient calls and questions
  • Establish and maintain patient medical records
  • Support pharmacist in satisfying prescriptions by measuring, packaging and labeling prescribed medicines
  • Handle payments for prescriptions and insurance coverage claims
  • Maintain all inventory in the local drugstore

What is the process to become a pharmacy tech in New Jersey?

The four-part procedure for becoming a pharmacy technician in New Jersey is displayed below.

  1. Determine whether you would like to get certified
  2. If you should choose to get certified, register for a PTCA-accredited program
  3. Finish the pharmacy technician class and on-the-job training hours, as required by state
  4. Take and pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Examination for certification

Step 1: Decide if you plan to become certified

Your first step towards becoming a pharmacy tech is deciding whether or not you are planning to get certified. Holding a certification isn’t a mandatory condition to work in every state, but it does come with a lot of added benefits and advantages.

With this being the situation, it is strongly suggested that you get a certification if you’re serious about beginning a career in pharmacy. In case you still don’t feel that you are interested in getting your pharmacy certification, your next step is to get a job.

Step 2: Choose a program accredited by PTAC and register for classes

If you have chosen to get your professional certification, the next move is to sign-up for a pharmacy technician training program that is approved by the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC). The PTAC is a nationally-regarded organization that coordinates pharmacy technician training throughout the nation with both the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

What is PTAC accreditation?

Accreditation by the PTAC is viewed as imperative since only students from a program approved by this organization can take one of the national certification exams.

Online pharmacy tech school

A popular alternative option to on-campus courses, pharmacy tech classes online supply college students the opportunity to attend class and complete their education based on their personal schedules. For pupils who don’t live close to a physical campus that provides the training they need, online classes are always an appealing alternative.

To clear up a popular false impression, even though online programs permit students to undertake their academic studies through online learning, the clinical, internship part of their education has to be finished at a physical location.

Step 3: Fulfill all requisite internship hours and complete the program

Once you’ve found an approved course that satisfies your needs, the next thing is to finish it. The academic part can often be finished in twelve months or less, but finishing the required internship hours (occasionally called an “externship”) at an actual pharmacy can often take longer.

A lot of training courses dedicate the classroom portion of their syllabus to the subject matter that will be covered in the national certification assessments. Giving college students hands-on practice in a real pharmacy, alternatively, is the focus of the internship part of a course.

Step 4: Successfully pass the PTCE or ExCPT test

The PTCE and ExCPT are exams that grant nationally-recognized pharmacy technician credentials. Once you’ve completed a PTAC-accredited course, you’ll be able to sit for either of them. You’ll acquire the national credential of CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) by passing either test.

The following is a brief explanation of the two tests.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

Offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, or PTCE as it’s referred to, is a multiple-choice examination accepted throughout the country. The PTCE is composed of 90 questions given in a one-hour, 50-minute timed format. Upon passing the exam, the pupil gets the CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) credential.

To become permitted to challenge this test, a test taker must have either:

  • Graduated from a PTAC-accredited pharmacy tech program, or
  • Obtained equivalent work experience as a pharmacy technician

ExCPT Exam

The other popular national certification test is the ExCPT, and is administered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). There are 100 multiple-choice problems on this two-hour, 10-minute timed examination.

You must have the ability to meet one of the following conditions so that you can can take the assessment:

  • Completed a PTAC-accredited pharmacy technician course, or
  • Acquired equivalent work experience as a pharmacy technician

How much does a pharmacy technician make in New Jersey?

The median annual pharmacy tech salary was $31,750 in May 2017 per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pharmacy tech compensation in New Jersey may differ somewhat from the national average, as is shown in the table below.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.27$14.86$21.98
New JerseyHourly$10.29$14.61$22.03
Ocean City, NJ MSAHourly$10.55$16.55$21.77
Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ MSAHourly$12.29$16.37$23.27
Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ Metropolitan DivisionHourly$10.44$15.45$23.73
Newark-Union, NJ-PA Metropolitan DivisionHourly$10.75$15.34$23.25
Camden, NJ Metropolitan DivisionHourly$9.91$13.47$19.06
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ MSAHourly$9.32$12.87$18.95
Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton, NJ MSAHourly$10.09$12.23$16.82
Trenton-Ewing, NJ MSAHourly$9.45$12.02$19.45