With a high school diploma or GED, it's possible to begin a career as a pharmacy clerk. Pharmacy clerks perform basic administrative and organizational tasks in a pharmaceutical setting. They create and maintain patient files, but they are not permitted to fill prescriptions.
Pharmacy clerks work alongside pharmacists and pharmacy technicians and are responsible for basic tasks such as answering phones, ringing up purchases and stocking shelves. Also known as pharmacy aides, pharmacy clerks might attend specialized education programs, but normally only a high school degree is required to work in this field. They usually complete some on-the-job training after hiring. Good interpersonal skills, computer proficiency and attention to detail are important in this occupation.
|Education Requirements||High school diploma or GED certificate|
|Projected Job Outlook (2014-2024)*||0%|
|Median Wage (2015)*||$24,450|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Pharmacy clerks, also called pharmacy aides, are responsible for basic administrative and organizational tasks in a pharmaceutical setting. They create and maintain accurate patient files anytime a new customer receives a prescription from a pharmacy. These records also might be used to facilitate payment from insurance companies. While pharmaceutical clerks work alongside pharmacy technicians and pharmacists, they are not permitted to fill prescriptions or mix medications.
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The duties of a pharmacy clerk include answering telephones, forwarding calls, taking messages, assisting customers, stocking shelves, operating cash registers, cleaning work areas and sterilizing containers. In some organizations, pharmacy clerks order medications, organize supplies and label drugs as well. Pharmacy clerks also might work directly with patient data and complete tasks such as preparing insurance forms and maintaining patient profiles.
Career and Education Requirements
Education requirements for pharmacy clerks might be limited to a high school diploma. Most pharmacy clerks receive on-the-job training rather than formal education before beginning their careers. Employers might look for candidates who have strong customer service skills as well as experience managing supplies and working with computers. While not required, education programs are available that provide students with pharmacy skills, retail training and clinical experience. Students enrolled in a pharmacy clerk program take courses in mathematics, microcomputer keyboarding, speed typewriting and pharmacy basics.
Pharmacy clerks might decide to seek a two- or four-year degree in order to advance their careers and become pharmacy technicians. In addition to completing a pharmacy technician program, individuals need to register with the state and seek professional certification as they pursue career advancement opportunities.
A pharmacy clerk's duties can include answering phones and ringing up sales. They normally are required to complete some on-the-job training after they're hired. Formal postsecondary training is not required to be a pharmacy clerk, although with an associate's or bachelor's degree they can advance to a position as a pharmacy technician.