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Career profile Pharmacy Aide

Also known as Certified Pharmacist Assistant, Drug Purchaser, Front Counter Clerk, Pharmacist Assistant, Pharmacy Aide, Pharmacy Ancillary, Pharmacy Assistant, Pharmacy Cashier, Pharmacy Clerk

Pharmacy Aide

Also known as Certified Pharmacist Assistant, Drug Purchaser, Front Counter Clerk

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Realistic
  • Social
Pay Range
$20,960 - $50,390 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Service Orientation
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Administrative
  • Sales and Marketing
Core tasks
  • Greet customers and help them locate merchandise.
  • Prepare prescription labels by typing or operating a computer and printer.
  • Accept prescriptions for filling, gathering and processing necessary information.
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What does a Pharmacy Aide do?

Pharmacy Aides record drugs delivered to the pharmacy, store incoming merchandise, and inform the supervisor of stock needs.

In addition, Pharmacy Aides may operate cash register and accept prescriptions for filling.

What kind of tasks does a Pharmacy Aide perform regularly?

Pharmacy Aides are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Greet customers and help them locate merchandise.
  • Accept prescriptions for filling, gathering and processing necessary information.
  • Operate cash register to process cash or credit sales.
  • Answer telephone inquiries, referring callers to pharmacist when necessary.
  • Receive, store, and inventory pharmaceutical supplies or medications, check for out-of-date medications, and notify pharmacist when inventory levels are low.
  • Unpack, sort, count, and label incoming merchandise, including items requiring special handling or refrigeration.
  • Restock storage areas, replenishing items on shelves.
  • Maintain and clean equipment, work areas, or shelves.

The above responsibilities are specific to Pharmacy Aides. More generally, Pharmacy Aides are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People
Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

What is a Pharmacy Aide salary?

The median salary for a Pharmacy Aide is $29,280, and the average salary is $32,250. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Pharmacy Aide salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Pharmacy Aides earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Pharmacy Aides earn less than $20,960 per year, 25% earn less than $24,720, 75% earn less than $36,690, and 90% earn less than $50,390.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Pharmacy Aides is expected to change by -14.7%, and there should be roughly 4,100 open positions for Pharmacy Aides every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$20,960 - $50,390
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Pharmacy Aides?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Pharmacy Aide are usually higher in their Conventional and Realistic interests.

Pharmacy Aides typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Also, Pharmacy Aides typically have moderate Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Pharmacy Aide tend to value Relationships, Support, and Independence.

Most importantly, Pharmacy Aides strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Pharmacy Aides strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Pharmacy Aides moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Pharmacy Aides must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, self-control, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Pharmacy Aides, ranked by importance:

Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

What education and training do Pharmacy Aides need?

Working as a Pharmacy Aide usually requires a high school diploma.

Pharmacy Aides need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Pharmacy Aides

  • 3.8% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 27.5% completed high school or secondary school
  • 24.8% completed some college coursework
  • 15.4% earned a Associate's degree
  • 18.9% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 2.3% earned a Master's degree
  • 7.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Pharmacy Aides

Pharmacy Aides may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, administrative, or sales and marketing knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Pharmacy Aides might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Pharmacy Aides

Pharmacy Aides must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Pharmacy Aides need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and speech clarity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Pharmacy Aides, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Critical Skills needed by Pharmacy Aides

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Pharmacy Aides frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and service orientation to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Pharmacy Aides, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.