Pharmacist Aide: Employment & Career Info

Pharmacist aides perform clerical and inventory work under the supervision of pharmacists at retail pharmacies or medical facilities. Keep reading to find out about the training, skills, salary and employment outlook for this occupation.

Career Definition for a Pharmacist Aide

A pharmacist aide handles most of the administrative duties in a pharmacy. This typically involves answering the telephone, assisting customers with insurance claim forms, restocking shelves with over-the-counter products, keeping accurate inventory records and handling cash.

Education High school diploma required
Job Skills Transcription, record keeping, long periods of standing, physical strength
Median Salary (2017)* $26,120 for pharmacy aides
Job Growth (2016-2026)* -5% (decline) for pharmacy aides

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Prospective pharmacist aides need to have a high school diploma, and computer literacy is a must. High school classes in accounting, consumer math or business communication are hiring pluses.

Skills Required

While most training occurs on the job, a pharmacist aide must be able to transcribe verbal information without error, count accurately and keep meticulous records. He or she also must possess good phone etiquette. Additionally, a pharmacist aide should be able to stand on his or her feet for prolonged periods of time, climb a stepladder and lift up to 35 pounds.

Career and Economic Outlook

Employment of pharmacist aides is predicted to decline from 2016-2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, many pharmacist aides are transitioning into the position of 'pharmacist technician,' a more highly skilled and regulated position. Employment prospects for pharmacist technicians are faster than average, at 12% growth, for 2016-2026. According to BLS estimates, pharmacist aides earned a median annual salary of $26,120 nationally as of May 2017.

Alternate Career Options

Here are some other choices in the field of medical support to consider:

Medical Assistant

Usually earning a postsecondary certificate, these assistants can also sometimes secure employment with a high school diploma and learn the necessary skills while on the job. Depending on the employer and the location, medical assistants might be responsible for administrative and clinical tasks. A much faster than average employment growth of 29% was forecast by the BLS from 2016-2026, for this occupation that offered a median annual salary of $32,480 in 2017.

Dental Assistant

Some states require that assistants complete programs with licensing exams, while others have no formal requirements. Depending on the state of employment and the employer, these assistants might take x-rays, provide patient care, schedule appointments and keep patient records. In 2017, the median annual pay reported by the BLS was $37,630 and a much faster than average job growth of 19% was anticipated during the 2016-2026 decade.


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