Sep 22, 2023  
2022-2023 CNM Catalog, Volume 54 
2022-2023 CNM Catalog, Volume 54 [The CNM Academic Year includes Fall, Spring, Summer Terms]

Pharmacy Technician Advanced Level, Associate of Applied Science

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School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety (HWPS)

As healthcare services continue to grow to meet demand, pharmacies are increasingly becoming an integral part of the healthcare system. Because pharmacists are fulfilling a more significant number of clinical duties that were traditionally carried out by physicians, Pharmacy Technicians responsibilities are increasing and including additional skill sets and knowledge that will enable them to assist the pharmacist in the daily operations of the pharmacy. The advanced technician roles support the goals of ASHP’s Practice Advancement Initiative (PAI) and demonstrate critical and innovative roles pharmacy technicians have in patient care.

The Pharmacy Technician Advanced Level Associate of Applied Science is designed to prepare students for a career in the emerging roles of advanced pharmacy technicians 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 additional knowledge, skills, behaviors, and abilities needed for advanced practice. Included within the didactic and simulated portions of the program are content-specific blocks of instruction dealing with Medication Therapy Management, Point of Care testing processes, Medication Reconciliation processes, Pharmacy Informatics, Medication and Patient Safety, and other advanced pharmacy technician roles.

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: Associate of Applied Science
  • This educational option can be completed: 6 terms:  Students that have obtained training and received a certificate from an ASHP/ACPE accredited program may be eligible to reduce their time to graduate to less than six 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

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

Embedded Entry Level Certificate of Completion

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,

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 Degree: 65


*Recommended for transfer ECON 2120  or PSYC 1110 

**Recommended for transfer MATH 1350  or MATH 1130 

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