Employed to work at pharmacies of all types, pharmacy technicians in New York perform under the direction of the pharmacist to assure that drug prescriptions are filled and clients are taken care of. Being certified isn’t required in all 50 states, but the current trend among employers has been towards only employing individuals who hold a professional credential.

The need for pharmacy techs in New York is forecasted to increase greatly in the near future, so it is an attractive option for those who are beginning their careers. As a matter of fact, according to the most current numbers provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there should be a 12% rise in pharmacy tech employment through the next decade.

What does a pharmacy technician do in New York?

Pharmacy technicians in New York are employed under the guidance of a pharmacist, and are responsible for carrying out a number of support functions that help keep the drug store running smoothly. The following list reflects the typical responsibilities that drug stores place on their techs.

Pharmacy technician job duties

  • Take care of client and patient phone calls and concerns
  • Create and maintain patient documents
  • Assist pharmacist in filling prescriptions by weighing, packaging and labeling prescribed medicines
  • Handle payments for medications and insurance policy claims
  • Organize all inventory in the pharmacy

How to become a pharmacy technician in New York.

The four-part procedure for becoming a pharmacy tech in New York is reflected below.

  1. Determine whether you want to get certified
  2. Should you choose to become certified, enroll in a PTCA-authorized program
  3. Finish the pharmacy tech course and hands-on training hours, as mandated by state
  4. Take and pass either the PTCE (PTCB) or ExCPT (NHA) Exam for certification

Step 1: Decide if you plan to become certified

The very first thing you’ll have to do is choose whether or not you would like to get certified. No matter what you choose, you need to be mindful that the majority of employers choose to pick applicants who have obtained their certification.

With that being the case, it is strongly recommended that you pursue professional certification if you are intent on starting a career in the pharmacy industry. The other steps in this tutorial only matter in the event that you want to get certified.

Step 2: Enroll in a PTAC-accredited training course

Looking for a Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC)-accredited program is the next step if you’ve decided to get certified. The PTAC is a nationally-regarded body that coordinates pharmacy tech coursework across the country with both Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

What’s PTAC accreditation?

It’s simply vital that you finish a training course accredited by the PTAC, because only those students who have completed an approved program are eligible to sit for either of the national certification exams.

Online pharmacy tech school

In order to better support pupils who work or have other responsibilities that can make attending class difficult, a great number of schools are offering pharmacy tech classes online. For people who don’t live near a school that provides the courses they need, online classes are always an attractive option.

While it’s quite possible to complete the classroom part of a course online, it will nevertheless be necessary to finish the internship portion in-person at a specified location.

Step 3: Complete the program and complete the requisite internship hours

The next step will be to graduate from the accredited program you’ve chosen. Even though each program is a little different, it is very typical for students to complete their classroom training and internship in just one year.

The majority of training programs dedicate the classroom section of their course of study to the material that will be covered in the national certification tests. In regards to the hands-on section of the program, this is where trainees get hands-on training in a live pharmacy environment.

Step 4: Successfully pass either the PTCE or ExCPT test

There are two nationally-administered pharmacy technician certification exams – the PTCE and ExCPT. You need to graduate from a course recognized by the PTAC to be eligible to take one of these exams. A passing score on either exam will grant you the title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

We take a better look at these examinations below.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)

Provided by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, or PTCE as it’s referred to, is a multiple-choice exam administered in all 50 states. The test is provided in a timed layout, and is composed of 90 total problems. Students who pass the exam earn the title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

In order to become approved to take this test, a test taker needs to have either:

  • Graduated from a PTAC-approved pharmacy technician program, or
  • Acquired comparable work experience as a pharmacy tech

ExCPT Exam

The other primary national certification assessment is the ExCPT, and is sponsored by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). There are 100 multiple-choice questions on this two-hour, 10-minute timed test.

Eligibility for this exam also is based on the test taker having either:

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

How much does a pharmacy technician make in New York?

Pharmacy technician salary fluctuates based upon several variables, but the median salary was $31,750 in 2017 per the most recent information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The data table below reflects the current numbers on salary offered in New York.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.27$14.86$21.98
New YorkHourly$10.02$14.43$22.95
Nassau-Suffolk, NY Metropolitan DivisionHourly$9.90$15.22$22.81
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY MSAHourly$10.39$14.82$21.74
Ithaca, NY MSAHourly$10.28$14.26$21.12
Kingston, NY MSAHourly$10.17$14.13$18.20
Rochester, NY MSAHourly$9.89$13.77$18.19
Binghamton, NY MSAHourly$10.00$13.73$18.13
Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY MSAHourly$10.03$13.66$19.27
Syracuse, NY MSAHourly$9.52$13.62$19.19
Southwest New York BOSHourly$10.14$13.48$18.74
East Central New York BOSHourly$10.23$13.22$18.32
Elmira, NY MSAHourly$9.55$12.98$18.18
Central New York BOSHourly$10.00$12.92$18.00
Capital/Northern New York BOSHourly$9.82$12.80$19.32
Glens Falls, NY MSAHourly$9.95$12.72$20.46
Utica-Rome, NY MSAHourly$9.66$12.62$26.49