Pharmacy Tech Salary & Career Opportunities in NJ
You’re thinking about completing a certified pharmacy technician program in New Jersey, but don’t know what the job market will look like when you finish. That’s why AIMS Education has collected the most useful and current information to help you on your way towards a rewarding allied health career.
What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do?
A pharmacy tech supports a pharmacist and their patients. While most find work in pharmacies and drug stores, they might also be employed by hospitals and clinics. Each workday requires a diverse set of customer service and medication-related tasks, including:
- Counting pills
- Mixing medications
- Distributing medications to customers
- Taking payments
- Answering phones and providing general customer service
- Speaking with insurance companies regarding prescription coverage
- Taking prescription orders
- Labeling medications
Hospital pharmacy technician duties may require creating custom medications for individual patients (also known as compounding) with very little supervision.
What Is an Average Pharmacy Technician Salary?
In the US, the median salary for a pharmacy tech is about $33,000 – not too shabby for an allied health career that takes less than one year of training.
Understandably, pharmacy technician pay varies greatly throughout the country, with the highest along the West Coast and lowest in the South.
Pharmacy Technician NJ Salary
Garden State pharmacy techs average around $1,000 less than the US average ($34,020). According to government statistics, however, these same allied health workers could earn a mean average of $35,000 per year, assuming they work in the New York-Jersey City-Newark metro area.
National Job Outlook for Pharmacy Techs
If you’re looking for an in-demand career, you’ll be excited to know that there’s a growing demand for pharmacy technicians. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technician jobs should grow by nearly 7% between 2018 and 2028.
Pharmacy Tech Job Opportunities in New Jersey
When looking for employment, you’ll find ample opportunities across the Garden State. Because of the high urban population and its close proximity to NYC, New Jersey’s metropolitan areas offer some of the best job opportunities in the state.
For pharmacy technicians, the New Jersey-New York metro area actually boasts the highest level of employment in the entire country.
How to Become a Pharmacy Technician
Wondering how to become a pharmacy technician? While you can receive on-the-job training from a variety of drugstores, a certified pharmacy tech program (at a vocational school or college) can make your application more competitive in an ever-growing field.
Most pharmacy technician training programs take less than one year to complete, but you may also encounter two-year associate degree programs. A shorter training program, however, allows pharmacy techs get into the job market quickly – without accumulating as much debt.
There are a few requirements you’ll need to meet before you can apply. Most schools require a high school diploma and you may also be required to complete a criminal background check.
Training is usually comprised of two parts.
What You’ll Learn During Pharmacy Tech Training
You’ll start by attending courses like medical terminology, drug administration, drug regulation and control, sterile and non-sterile compounding, and pharmaceutical formulation.
After completing the classroom education, students will often do a clinical internship at a hospital or retail pharmacy. There, they’ll be paired with a pharmacy tech mentor to assist in providing the hands-on experience future pharmacy techs need to get ahead of other applicants.
Do I Need Pharmacy Technician Certification?
Not all states require certification, but many do. Completing your Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is advantageous, regardless of whether or not your state requires it.
Not only does this certification show prospective employers that you’ve mastered the skills to be an outstanding pharmacy tech, but you’ll also be prepared to do your job from Day One.
Why Pharmacy Technician Is a Good Career
Working as a pharmacy tech means that you’ll help patients stay healthy every day.
Combined with flexible hours and a fast-paced environment, you’ll be able to advance your career over time.
Increase your earnings and your status by moving away from retail pharmacies and towards compounding pharmacies. Here, you’ll create custom medication mixes based on the individual patient’s needs, providing more opportunities to significantly impact patients’ lives.
Experienced pharmacy technicians could find work in clinical settings (like a hospital or surgicenter), resulting in higher incomes and a wider variety of opportunities to hone skill sets.
In addition to the usual tasks, these allied health professionals might learn about aseptic and clean room techniques which could advance techs into supervisory and/or management positions.
Some pharmacy techs go back to school to get their pharmacy degree. This is a great transition that encourages professionals to apply the skills they’ve learned towards a career as a pharmacist.
Start Your Pharmacy Technician Career Today
Ready for an exciting, fast-paced career? There’s never been a better time to take enter this growing field. Pharmacy technician training gives students the opportunity to learn about medicine while promoting skills that keep customers healthy.
If you’re in the New Jersey area, contact us today to jumpstart your future career.