Pharmacy Clerk Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a pharmacy clerk. Learn about training requirements, job duties, salary and employment outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Pharmacy Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Pharmacy Clerk?

Also known as pharmacy aides, pharmacy clerks complete administrative tasks under the direction of pharmacists. For instance, they keep track of the pharmacy's stock by keeping records of drugs delivered to the pharmacy and informing pharmacists when the store is running low on certain prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. When clients come to the pharmacy to fill prescriptions or buy over-the-counter medications, they may accept the prescription for filling or use the cash register to take the payment.

Get information about this career field in the following table:

Training Requirements Entry-level training can be completed on the job
Required Skills Customer service and organizational skills, experience working with computers, an attention to detail
Job Growth (2014-2024) 0.3%*
Median Salary (2015) $24,450*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Would I Do as a Pharmacy Clerk?

As a pharmacy clerk, you would perform many of the administrative duties in a pharmacy, such as answering phones, accepting prescriptions, filing records and receiving payment from customers. You may be the cashier much of the time, so you would need to have good customer service skills and feel comfortable completing sales. Paperwork and records are an important part of the pharmacy business, so you would need to be organized and detail-oriented. You would likely work under the direction of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, either in a retail pharmacy or in a hospital. Though you would not be able to dispense medications, you could help in most other aspects of pharmacy work.

What Education Do I Need?

You are not required to have any formal training in order to be a pharmacy clerk, and many of your skills can be learned through on-the-job training. However, you still might choose to enroll in a pharmacy clerk training program at a community college or adult education center. Such programs cover basic administration skills, as well as pharmacy terminology and procedure. Pharmacy clerks also should have a polite manner, excellent communication skills and experience with computers. If you want to further your career, you could attend a pharmacy technician training program, wherein you would study the distribution of medication and the laws governing pharmaceuticals.

What Salary Could I Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2015 that pharmacy aides made a median yearly wage of $24,450 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also noted that employment of pharmacy aides was projected to increase 0.3% in the 2014-2024 decade.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Another administrative career possibility in the healthcare industry is a job as a medical secretary. Medical secretaries can work in a variety of medical facilities, including doctor's offices and hospitals, where they schedule appointments, answer phones, process insurance claims and register patients. The minimum educational requirement for this job is a high school diploma, but a postsecondary certificate can improve job prospects. If you would rather get a job where you would care for patients directly, you could consider becoming a nursing assistant. In this job, you would help patients at hospitals or residents at long-term care facilities with daily activities like eating, bathing and transportation. You might also be able to administer medications. To become a nursing assistant, you need to have a high school diploma or the equivalent.

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