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Pharmacy career in the United States

Pharmacy aides - Jobs, work and earnings

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.

Information for Pharmacists

Information for Pharmacy Technicians

Information for Pharmacy Aides

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