Clinical Pharmacist Assistant Career Information

Find out what a clinical pharmacist assistant does. Learn about the required training and skills, in addition to the salary expectation and employment outlook, to see if this career is the right one for you.

Career Definition for a Clinical Pharmacist Assistant

Clinical pharmacist assistants, also known as pharmacy aides, work in hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies under the direction of pharmacists and clinical pharmacist technicians. Clinical pharmacist assistants most often perform administrative and clerical tasks. Their duties include cashiering, answering telephones, stocking shelves, maintaining patient profiles, and preparing insurance claim forms. Pharmacy assistant jobs often offer benefits.

Education High school diploma, on-the-job training
Job Skills Customer service, communication, computer, typing, math, and reading skills
Median Salary (2017)* $26,120 (for pharmacy aides)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 5% decline (for pharmacy aides)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

While some employers may not require it, a high school diploma will make you more competitive for a position as a clinical pharmacist assistant. Most clinical pharmacist assistants receive on-the-job training on the systems and computers used in their particular place of employment. With experience and additional education or certification, clinical pharmacist assistants can advance to become pharmacy technicians.

Skills Required

Clinical pharmacist assistants often interact directly with customers and thus should have good customer service skills. Good communication, math, and reading skills will also be invaluable in a career as a clinical pharmacist assistant.

Some employers may request a background check and drug test. Computer and typing skills are also important, and a certain typing speed (like 30 words per minute), may be necessary.

Employment and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of pharmacy aides, including clinical pharmacist assistants, will see a 5% decrease during the 2016-2026 decade. The median hourly earnings of pharmacy aides in May 2017 were $12.56, and the median annual salary was $26,120. Pharmacy aides who worked in physicians' offices earned the highest mean salaries in 2017, per the BLS.

Alternate Career Options

Other careers within the field are:

Pharmacy Technician

Most states require completion of a formal training program with some type of licensing, certification, or registration for pharmacy technicians who help dispense prescription medications to customers under the supervision of the licensed pharmacist. Their annual median earnings in 2017 were $31,750, per the BLS, and faster-than-average job growth of 12% was expected from 2016-2026.

Medical Assistant

Some employers prefer those with postsecondary training, but it isn't always required, for assistants who complete both clinical and administrative tasks in doctors' and other health providers' offices. A much faster-than-average increase in jobs, at 29% from 2016-2026, was forecasted by the BLS. An annual median wage of $32,480 was reported in 2017.


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