What Is the Average Pay for a Pharmacy Assistant?

If you enjoy customer service and have an interest in pharmaceutical science, a job as a pharmacy assistant might be a good fit. Read on for information about the job duties, educational requirements and factors affecting the average pay for a pharmacy assistant. Schools offering Pharmacy Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Duties

As a pharmacy assistant, you would help pharmacy technicians and pharmacists by completing routine administrative and customer service tasks, such as ringing up customer purchases and answering telephones. In most cases, you do not deal directly with prescriptions beyond restocking shelves.

Important Facts About Pharmacy Assistants

On-the-Job Training Apprenticeships available
Licensure Voluntary; requirement vary by state
Key Skills Clear communication, attention to detail, time management, organization, close listening, empathy
Similar Occupations Teller, postal service clerk, gaming cage worker, hotel, motel, and resort desk clerk, gaming change person and booth cashiers

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that job growth for pharmacy aides will be zero percent over the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). This growth is slower than average and will result in 100 new jobs over the period.

Salary Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), pharmacy assistants, also known as pharmacy aides, earned a mean annual salary of $23,200 as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov). The lowest paid 10 percent of professionals made $17,440 a year or less, while the highest paid 10 percent of professionals made $37,930 or more. Your earnings potential depends on the industry in which you work, the amount of experience you have and the state in which you live.

Salary by Industry

The BLS reported in May 2014 that the highest number of pharmacy aides were employed by health and personal care stores and earned a mean wage of $23,530. Grocery stores and general hospitals also employed many of these workers, and the average wages for these industries were $23,650 and $35,220, respectively. Department stores paid a lower average wage of $21,030.

Those working for the offices of physicians made the highest average wage of $43,720. Outpatient care centers paid an average wage of $33,330, and colleges, universities, and professional schools paid the third highest average wage of $34,570. Pharmacy aides working for psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals made an average wage of $34,060.

Salary by Location

If you work in the western U.S., you might also make more than the national average, according to May 2014 BLS figures. Colorado and New Mexico were among the top-paying states in the country, and their average wages were $32,430 and $29,780, respectively. However, pharmacy assistants working in the District of Columbia made the most, with a mean annual salary of $40,130, according to the BLS. Likewise, working in a metropolitan area may also allow you to earn a higher salary. The metropolitan area with the top average pay was Anchorage, Alaska, with an average wage of $44,060. Some areas with low pay included Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia and Arkansas. Mean wages ranged from $19,530-$22,200 in these locations.

Salary by Experience

In September 2015, PayScale.com listed yearly salaries for pharmacy assistants based on the number of years of experience they possessed. This source reported that those with 0-5 years of experience made a yearly wage of $25,000. Salaries rose to $33,000 with 5-10 years of experience, $30,000 with 10-20 years of experience and $42,000 with over 20 years of experience.

Educational Requirements

You don't need any formal education beyond a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) credential to work as a pharmacy assistant, though it may be helpful if you're familiar with computers. Customer service or retail experience could also be a plus.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster

    Penn Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »