Apr 20, 2024  
2022-2023 CNM Catalog, Volume 54 
2022-2023 CNM Catalog, Volume 54 [The CNM Academic Year includes Fall, Spring, Summer Terms]

Pharmacy Technician Entry Level, Certificate of Completion

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School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety (HWPS)

The Pharmacy Technician Entry Level certificate of completion prepares graduates, working under the supervision of a licensed and registered pharmacist, for a career as a pharmacy technician in a variety of contemporary settings such as hospital, community, mail-order pharmacies and other pharmacy related industries.

Students will receive classroom, laboratory and practical experience covering all aspects of the profession. Included within the laboratory portions of the program is a 90-hour content-specific block of instruction dealing with the preparation of sterile hazardous and non-hazardous intravenous products. This content-specific block, and documented experiential site sterile compounding training hours, may then be used in satisfying the New Mexico statute 61-11-11.1 training requirements for pharmacy technicians who compound sterile preparations. The laboratory portions also include an additional 90-hour content-specific block of instruction dealing with the preparation of non-sterile hazardous and non-hazardous compounded preparations.  

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to sit for the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB®).  After one year of job experience as a PTCB-Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) in a sterile compounding environment, graduates are eligible to sit for the Certified Compounded Sterile Preparation Technician™ (CSPT™) exam offered through PTCB®.

The Central New Mexico Community College Pharmacy Technician Program is jointly accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP), 4500 East-West Highway, Suite 900, Bethesda, MD 20814 Phone 866-279-0681 and Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), 135 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 4100, Chicago, IL 60603, Phone 312-664-357 and is a PTCB-recognized sterile compounding education/training program.

See Recommended Sequence of Courses

Educational Option Information

  • This educational option is an: Certificate of Completion
  • This educational option can be completed: Four terms
  • This educational option can be started: Fall and Spring
  • Primary course location: Westside campus

Approximate Costs of this Educational Option

Financial Aid Considerations

Special Requirements

New Mexico Board of Pharmacy Registration requirements

  • 18 years old before enrolling in PT2090 Pharmacy Technician Clinical and PT2690 Advanced Pharmacy Technician Clinical
  • Valid Social Security Number (SSN) for registration as a Pharmacy Technician For additional information on New Mexico Board of Pharmacy requirements for Pharmacy Technicians, please click on the following link: https://www.srca.nm.gov/parts/title16/16.019.0022.html

Criminal Background

Most of the health programs in HWPS require students undergo the New Mexico Department of Health caregivers criminal history screening program. This involves state and federal felony criminal background checks with fingerprints. This must be completed prior to starting their program or prior to beginning their clinical experiences. Students with a disqualifying conviction can appeal some of those convictions through the New Mexico Department of Health. Depending on the program, students may or may not be allowed to remain in the program pending appeal. Students who do not successfully appeal a disqualifying conviction will not be allowed to start or remain in the program. A successful appeal does not guarantee eligibility for licensure after graduation in professions that require licensure. 

Other Compliance Requirements

Many of the health programs in HWPS require students to undergo a routine urine drug screen, provide documentation of current immunizations, have a current Healthcare Provider Basic Life Support (CPR) certificate and other training prior to beginning the program or beginning clinical education, all of which, along with the criminal background check, are verified through the Office of Verification and Compliance. 

Illicit drug use, criminal background checks, and immunization status may prevent future employment as a pharmacy technician.  Clinical Extern sites, employers, and State Boards of Pharmacy have regulations about drug use, criminal backgrounds, and immunization status.

Physical Requirements

Students must be in good physical and psychological health. Students may be asked to provide documentation of a recent physical examination. Many health programs require the student to be able to safely lift and/or move a minimum of 50 pounds. Reasonable accommodations are made for students with disabilities. However, some disabilities may prohibit students from completing program specific competencies or gaining employment. Students with disabilities that may interfere with completing program competencies are advised to contact the School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety (HWPS) Office for more information.

Program Fees

Program fees cover costs incurred on behalf of the student for student-issued equipment, background checks, drug screens, etc.


Students are responsible for their own transportation to off-campus training sites. (i.e. clinical courses at hospitals, internships, etc.)

Educational Opportunities

Students planning to continue their education beyond the certificate level are encouraged to complete the Pharmacy Technician Advanced Level Associate of Applied Science degree.

Career Opportunities

Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that pharmacy technician opportunities are projected to increase 12% from 2016-2026 with median pay in 2017 equal to $31,750. New Mexico workforce solutions projects a 24% increase (2014-2024) in the healthcare support industry, which includes pharmacy technician occupations. (Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor. 2019. Occupational Outlook Handbook, Pharmacy Technicians. Online, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-1)

Ten Year Rule for CTE Courses

Career and technical education courses in this program will qualify for credit for a period of ten academic years. Due to changing technologies, trends, and professional demands, courses completed ten or more years in the past will satisfy program requirements only if they are approved by the instructional school in which they were offered. Cohorted programs may have additional restrictions.

Program Requirements


Minimum Credit Hours Required to Complete Certificate: 45

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