Pharmacy aides help licensed pharmacists with
administrative duties in running a pharmacy.
Job opportunities for pharmacy aides are expected
to be good for full-time and part-time work,
especially for those with related work experience
Many pharmacy aides work evenings, weekends, and
holidays. About 80 percent of pharmacy aides work in
retail pharmacies, grocery stores, department
stores, or mass retailers.
Aides often are clerks or cashiers who primarily
answer telephones, handle money, stock shelves, and
perform other clerical duties. They work closely
with pharmacy technicians.
Pharmacy technicians usually perform more complex
tasks than do aides, although in some States the
duties and titles of the jobs overlap. Aides refer
any questions regarding prescriptions, drug
information, or health matters to a pharmacist.
Aides have several important duties that help the
pharmacy to function smoothly. They may establish
and maintain patient profiles, prepare insurance
claim forms, and stock and take inventory of
prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Accurate recordkeeping is necessary to help avert
dangerous drug interactions. In addition, because
many people have medical insurance to help pay for
prescriptions, it is essential that pharmacy aides
correspond efficiently and correctly with the
third-party insurance providers to obtain payment.
Pharmacy aides also maintain inventory and inform
the supervisor of stock needs so that the pharmacy
does not run out of the vital medications that
customers need. Some also clean pharmacy equipment,
help with the maintenance of equipment and supplies,
and manage the cash register.
Working conditions of pharmacy aides
Pharmacy aides work in clean, organized,
well-lighted, and well-ventilated areas. Most of
their workday is spent on their feet. They may be
required to lift heavy boxes or to use stepladders
to retrieve supplies from high shelves.
Aides work the same hours that pharmacists work.
These include evenings, nights, weekends, and some
holidays, particularly in facilities, such as
hospitals and retail pharmacies that are open 24
hours a day. There are many opportunities for
part-time work in both retail and hospital settings.
Earnings of pharmacy aides
Median hourly wage and salary earnings of
pharmacy aides are $8.86. The middle 50 percent earn
between $7.39 and $10.96; the lowest 10 percent earn
less than $6.34, and the highest 10 percent earn
more than $13.79. Median hourly earnings of pharmacy
aides are $8.29 in health and personal care stores
and $9.80 in grocery stores.