Finding Opportunities as a Pharmacy Technician during The Great Resignation


by Nichole Barnes, BHI, CPhT

The Great Resignation of 2021 was a wild ride, with people quitting their jobs because they were burnt out from being overworked and underappreciated. What does this mean for pharmacy technicians? Did you find yourself as one of those who quit, or are you barely holding on because you are so burnt out with no relief?

The good news is there is NOT a shortage of pharmacy technician jobs out there. The key is finding the right job for you! Trust me. I know how hard this is. I spent 15 years working as a “typical” pharmacy technician slinging pills to pay the bills. If I am candid, it was barely paying the bills. I found myself working multiple jobs throughout my career to make ends meet, especially around the holidays.

Unfortunately, it took a movement and pandemic to wake the pharmacy and hospital leaders up. Some of them are still hiding under a rock, but they know the problem is there. They know that employees will no longer “put up” with their mediocre pay and benefits. So, let me tell you about some incredible ways to find the right job for you during “The Great Resignation.”

First, LinkedIn. I am sure you all have heard of this, but if you haven’t, join now. It is a social media type of platform for working people worldwide. You can search through thousands of jobs and see what the company is all about in one place. You can also find like-minded pharmacy technicians trying to make a difference and advocate for our positions and titles.

Next is the National Pharmacy Technician Association Job Board. Here, you will see many different jobs in a place that is SPECIFIC to pharmacy technicians. Something I hate the most about “job boards” is that you search for ‘pharmacy technician’ and then get tons of Pharmacists’ job positions in your feed. That is the most frustrating thing to get halfway down a job description that sounds perfect for you – just to find out it requires a PharmD.

I will also briefly mention the very familiar places like Indeed or ZipRecruiter. They serve a purpose and do their job, but I don’t prefer them. I do like to look at Glassdoor to see salary ranges for companies. Not all companies provide them, but I do want to look.

But, my favorite way to think about job hunting as a pharmacy technician is to THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. Think outside of everything you’ve been taught or everything you think about what a pharmacy technician can do. There are so many more opportunities out there. Think of any vendor that works with your pharmacy. If you work retail or hospital, you likely have a wholesaler like Cardinal or McKesson from whom you purchase medications. Guess what? They hire pharmacy technicians! If you work in a hospital, you likely have automated dispensing cabinets Pyxis or Omnicell. Guess what? That person helping you install your machines probably started as a pharmacy technician doing the same thing you’re doing right now.

There are so many opportunities outside the normal box that we place around ourselves. Trust me. It may be difficult to find or even think about these other opportunities, but they are there! Heck, I even worked with a DEA officer one time who was a pharmacy technician by trade. You just never know what opportunities are out there unless you look! It is a great big world, and the sky is the limit. Work hard and dream big!