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Career and Education Opportunities for Pharmacist Technicians in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Pharmacist technician career and educational opportunities abound in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There are currently 1,670 working pharmacist technicians in New Mexico; this should grow 36% to 2,270 working pharmacist technicians in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for pharmacist technicians are expected to grow by about 30.6%. Pharmacist technicians generally prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist.

Pharmacist technicians earn about $13 hourly or $28,330 annually on average in New Mexico and about $13 per hour or $27,710 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for pharmacist technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Pharmacy in New Mexico and not quite as good as general Pharmacy category earnings nationally. People working as pharmacist technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: pharmaceutical care associate, certified pharmacy technician , and iv certified pharmacy technician.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Albuquerque area, including three within twenty-five miles of Albuquerque where you can get a degree to start your career as a pharmacist technician. Given that the most common education level for pharmacist technicians is a post-secondary certificate, you can expect to spend a short time studying to be a pharmacist technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Pharmacist Technician

Pharmacist Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, pharmacist technicians prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. They also may measure, mix, and record amounts and dosages of medications.

Pharmacist technicians answer telephones, responding to questions or requests. They also receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages. Equally important, pharmacist technicians have to maintain proper storage and security conditions for drugs. They are often called upon to assist customers by answering simple questions, locating items or referring them to the pharmacist for medication data. They are expected to prepack bulk medicines, fill bottles with prescribed medications, and type and affix labels. Finally, pharmacist technicians order and count stock of medications and supplies, and enter inventory data into computer.

Every day, pharmacist technicians are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for pharmacist technicians to price and file prescriptions that have been filled. They are often called upon to receive written prescription or refill requests and verify that data is complete and accurate. They also operate cash registers to take payment from customers. They are sometimes expected to clean, and help maintain, apparatus and work areas, and sterilize glassware in line with prescribed methods. Somewhat less frequently, pharmacist technicians are also expected to assist customers by answering simple questions, locating items or referring them to the pharmacist for medication data.

Pharmacist technicians sometimes are asked to deliver medications and pharmaceutical supplies to patients, nursing stations or surgery. They also have to be able to price stock and mark items for sale and restock intravenous (IV) supplies and add measured drugs or nutrients to IV solutions under sterile conditions to ready IV packs for various uses such as chemotherapy medication. And finally, they sometimes have to receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.

Like many other jobs, pharmacist technicians must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Albuquerque include:

  • Health Information Systems Technician. Compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. Process, maintain, and report patient information for health requirements and standards.
  • Licensed Dispensing Optician. Design, measure, and adapt lenses and frames for client according to written optical prescription or specification. Assist client with selecting frames. Measure customer for size of eyeglasses and coordinate frames with facial and eye measurements and optical prescription. Prepare work order for optical laboratory containing instructions for grinding and mounting lenses in frames. Verify exactness of finished lens spectacles. Adjust frame and lens position to fit client. May shape or reshape frames.
  • Pharmacist. Compound and dispense medications following prescriptions issued by physicians, dentists, or other authorized medical practitioners.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Pharmacist Technician Training

University of New Mexico-Valencia County Branch - Los Lunas, NM

University of New Mexico-Valencia County Branch, 280 La Entrada, Los Lunas, NM 87031-7633. University of New Mexico-Valencia County Branch is a small university located in Los Lunas, New Mexico. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,452 students. University of New Mexico-Valencia County Branch has a one to two year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated two students in 2008.

Central New Mexico Community College - Albuquerque, NM

Central New Mexico Community College, 525 Buena Vista SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. Central New Mexico Community College is a large college located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,690 students. Central New Mexico Community College has a one to two year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated six students in 2008.

Pima Medical Institute - Albuquerque, NM

Pima Medical Institute, 2201 San Pedro NE Bldg 3 Ste 100, Albuquerque, NM 87110. Pima Medical Institute is a small school located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 737 students. Pima Medical Institute has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated forty-three students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Pharmacy Technician: The goal of PTCB's certification program is to enable pharmacy technicians to work more effectively with pharmacists to offer greater patient care and service.

For more information, see the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board website.

LICENSES

Pharmacy Technician

Licensing agency: New Mexico Board of Pharmacy
Address: 5200 Oakland NE Suite A, Albuquerque, NM 87113

Phone: (505) 222-9830
Website: New Mexico Board of Pharmacy

LOCATION INFORMATION: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico photo by Debernardi

Albuquerque is situated in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. It has a population of over 521,999, which has grown by 16.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Albuquerque, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Albuquerque cost $176,100 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, 1,067 new homes were built in Albuquerque, down from 2,096 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Albuquerque are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 31.8% of Albuquerque residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Albuquerque is 6.9%, which is less than New Mexico's average of 7.5%.

The percentage of Albuquerque residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 54.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Heights Seventh Day Adventist Church, Hope Church and Baptist Student Union are some of the churches located in Albuquerque. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.

Albuquerque is home to the Menaul School Historic District and the Volcano Ranch as well as Cutler Park and Eunice Kaloch Park. Shopping centers in the area include Del Norte Parkade Shopping Center, Westway Shopping Center and Winrock Shopping Center. Visitors to Albuquerque can choose from Winrock Inn-Best Western, New Mexico State Government - Health Department- Behavioral Health Services Divi and Motel 6 for temporary stays in the area.