Assistant pharmacists work in medical or pharmacy settings helping pharmacists process prescriptions. This profession only requires a high school diploma or GED, although employers may favor those with related experience.
Assistant pharmacists, also referred to as pharmacy aides, work with pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in a variety of settings, from retail stores to hospitals. Assistant pharmacists perform administrative duties and work directly with customers to meet their prescription needs. While becoming an assistant pharmacist doesn't typically require formal education after high school, it does necessitate customer service and clerical skills.
|Required Education||High school diploma or GED certificate|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||0% (pharmacy aides)|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$24,450 (pharmacy aides)|
Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Salary Information for Assistant Pharmacists
According to the BLS, pharmacy aides earned a median annual salary of $24,450 as of May 2015, with most wages ranging from $18,050 to $42,830 (www.bls.gov). Salaries varied by location and industry. Physicians' offices offered the highest mean wages for pharmacy aides, at $49,500 per year, based on BLS data for 2015. That same year, most of the pharmacy aide jobs were in health and personal care stores, according to the BLS.
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Assistant Pharmacist Duties
Assistant pharmacists work alongside licensed pharmacists and pharmacist technicians to help process prescriptions. Assistants' duties are typically clerical and organizational in nature and might include answering phones, filling out and filing paperwork, running cash registers and stocking shelves. While assistant pharmacists might be able to perform tasks related to drug inventory, such as accepting orders, packaging prescriptions and preparing prescription labels, they can't work directly with medications.
Assistant Pharmacist Requirements
Becoming an assistant pharmacist usually requires only a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) credential. However, employers tend to favor applicants with some pharmacy training or previous experience in a related field, such as customer service, retail or administration.
According to the BLS, employment for pharmacy aides was projected to have little or no growth from 2014-2024. On the other hand, BLS figures showed job opportunities for pharmacy technicians, who are trained to assist pharmacists in dispensing medications, were projected to grow faster, increasing by about 9% over the same time period. Thus, those interested in a pharmacy career might consider pursuing a formal technician training program.
Pharmacy assistant salaries vary based on experience and type of setting. The job growth outlook is expected to have little or no change, which is slower than the job market as a whole.