Requirements to Become a Pharmacy Technician in New York

Requirements to become a pharmacy technician in New York

As of June 1st, 2012, the state of New York supports roughly 4,280 local retail and institutional pharmacies.  According to data recently compiled by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York state pharmacies employ well over fifteen thousand full time professional pharmacy technicians.  However, less than half of New York's pharmacy technicians hold valid, up-to-date licenses from the New York State Board of Pharmacy.  This statistic is somewhat misleading, as pharmacists unanimously prefer licensed assistants.  A plausible explanation is that many currently unlicensed pharmacy technicians are in the process of earning their licenses, or in the process licensing renewal.  Guidelines and regulations regarding the employment of pharmacy technicians vary from state to state. 

New York State Regulations for Pharmacy Technicians

The Pharmacy Board of the state of New York does not impose any regulations on its locally employed pharmacy technicians.  Their on-the-job activities are guided primarily by local pharmacists in conjunction with existing state and federal laws.  For instance, federal law mandates that unlicensed pharmacy assistants are not permitted to process, handle, verify or transfer prescription medications.  This is why most pharmacists insist on licensed technicians, and why licensed technicians earn higher starting salaries (on average) than unlicensed assistants.  Although certification is voluntary, New York pharmacy technicians can obtain nationally recognized licenses by achieving a passing grade on the standardized Exam for Certified Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT).  No state-approved training program or continuing education is required to maintain employment as a pharmacy technician in New York State.  There is also no designated maximum allowable ratio of pharmacy technicians to pharmacists. 

New York Training Programs for Pharmacy Technicians Include:

Residents of the state of New York who are interested in pursuing local employment as pharmacy technicians will often acquire professional skills at accredited local colleges.  Schools in New York featuring degree programs for pharmacy technicians include Albany College of Pharmacy in Albany, Sanford Brown Institute in Iselin, Long Island University's Brooklyn campus and ASA College, featuring locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan. On the other hand, many local pharmacy assistants in New York are “grandfathered” into the industry and trained entirely on the job.  Other aspiring New York pharmacy technicians earn certificates by way of enrollment in online schools.  Popular accredited online colleges with Board approved courses for pharmacy technicians include InterCoast College, Landsdale School of Business, Remington College, Argosy University and Ultimate Medical Academy, to name only a few.