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Pharmacy technicians remain committed to serving despite pandemic-related challenges

While a majority of certified technicians remain committed to their careers, many were significantly impacted by pandemic stressors, according to a survey conducted by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.

Results from a survey conducted by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board found that the majority of certified pharmacy technicians remained dedicated to serving patients and advancing their careers despite pandemic-related challenges. However, the data also revealed that, of the people who reported leaving the profession, more than 25% noted they would have continued working as pharmacy technicians if not for COVID-19 pandemic stressors. 

The online survey, which garnered more than 20,000 responses, showed that a desire to help people remained one of the primary reasons a majority of participants chose their profession. These pharmacy technicians said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their careers. 

In addition, 60% of PTCB-certified technicians consider the profession as their career – 14% more than non-certified technicians. Nearly 40% of all survey respondents have been certified for more than 10 years, an increase of almost 10% over a similar PTCB national survey conducted in 2019. Furthermore, half of the PTCB-certified technicians surveyed have worked in the field for at least 10 years compared to just 8% of non-certified techs. 

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“Having the CPhT-Adv credential is opening doors for pharmacy technicians within the physician’s office and other opportunities in hospital and retail settings,” said Charlie Ann Montgomery, CPht-Adv, transplant medication access coordinator. “Overall, this improves patient healthcare outcomes. I couldn’t be prouder to work in this profession.”

Pharmacy technicians have played an invaluable role as frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic, adding COVID-19 testing and vaccinations to their ever-expanding responsibilities. While more than 60% of those surveyed reported a significant increase in their workload since the start of the pandemic, nearly as many techs (53%) believe their work during this public health crisis had a much greater impact on patient care. 

“Our survey confirms what we at PTCB always knew: pharmacy technicians are dedicated to their patients and profession,” said PTCB executive director and CEO William Schimmel. “As technicians’ responsibilities grow, they are investing in their career growth by completing continuing education programs and earning advanced credentials. Keeping our finger on the pulse of the pharmacy technician workforce ensures that PTCB continues to advance patient care and provide technicians with flexible career advancement opportunities.” 

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Participants reported better wages, more opportunities for advancement and an increase in responsibilities as the most significant factors that would enhance their job satisfaction, a finding consistent with the 2019 study. While certified technicians reported making higher wages than non-certified technicians, overall average hourly rates ranged from $17.63 to $23.22 depending on the practice setting. Lack of pay and/or incentives was the main reason respondents said they left the profession, along with a lack of career advancement opportunities. 

PTCB fielded an online survey to 366,850 pharmacy technicians, with 20,000 certified and non-certified pharmacy technician respondents in May 2022. Respondents represented a statistically representative cross-section of the pharmacy technician workforce, including techs in all 50 states plus Guam, Puerto Rico and D.C., working in a variety of pharmacy practice settings.

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