Pharmacy Aides Careers

The job of pharmacy aides is to perform administrative duties in pharmacies. Aides are cashiers or clerks who deal with money, stock shelves, answer telephone, and carry out other clerical duties. They work together with pharmacy technicians. A pharmacy technician executes more complex tasks.

Job Description
Aides refer questions pertaining to drug information, health matters, or prescriptions to a pharmacist. Pharmacy aides prepare insurance claim forms, set up and maintain patient profiles, and take inventory. Appropriate recordkeeping is essential to help prevent dangerous drug interactions. Some of the aides keep maintenance of supplies and equipments.

Work Environment
Pharmacy aides work in organized, well-ventilated, clean, and well-lighted areas. Much of their work is performed on their feet. They may need to move and lift heavy boxes and use stepladders to get back supplies from high shelves. Aides work on evenings, nights, holidays, and weekends. Sometimes, they need to work twenty four hours a day. They may serve in retail pharmacies and hospitals.

Training and Educational Qualification
Many pharmacy aides are given on-the-job training. Candidates who have good customer service skills and extensive experience are preferred. Some of the pharmacy aides move to pharmacy technicians. Many employers favor candidates with a high school diploma. Candidates who have experience as cashiers may have an advantage while applying for the position. Employers seek for the candidates with computer skills and experience in managing inventories.

Pharmacy aides work under the direction of more experienced workers. Pharmacy aides are made accustomed to the stores' policies, equipment, and procedures. Upon gaining enough experience, they start working on their own. When they receive ample experience, pharmacy aides are not given additional training until advanced equipment is employed or when procedures and policies change.

Skills set
Candidates who would like to get into this field need to have strong communication and customers care skills. A pharmacy aide has to interact with patients, health care professionals, and fellow employees. Candidates who enter this field must have strong reading, spelling, and mathematical skills. To become a successful pharmacy aide, one needs to be dedicated, organized, responsible, and friendly. They must be able to take decisions on their own.

A number of pharmacy aides turn to become pharmacy technicians. Upon completing ample amount of formal training, candidates may become pharmacist. Candidates who have good educational background and hold extensive experience in this field have good career prospect. They may obtain higher position in short period of time in their respective profession.


In 2006, pharmacy aides held approximately 50, 000 jobs. Almost eight-two percent worked in retail pharmacies, some of which were in grocery sores, drug stores, mass retailers, department stores. Around seven percent of aides served in hospitals. Demand for pharmacy aides may fall as pharmacy technicians becoming responsible for operating cash registers, stocking shelves, answering phones, and executing other administrative tasks.

Job Prospect
Job opportunities for skilled professionals are expected to grow in near future. The increasing need to replace employees who leave the job shall create extensive opportunities for desired candidates. Pharmacy aides who have related experience in pharmacies such as stock clerks or cashiers in other retail firms may have good opportunities.

A pharmacy aide helps licensed pharmacists in various administrative tasks to run the pharmacy smoothly. A pharmacy aide should have good listening and interpersonal skills. They must communicate with clients in an effective way. A pharmacy aide has to be detailed and accurate person. They often deal with the tasks where accuracy is highly important such as updating patients' record and profile.

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