What's the Salary of an Assistant Pharmacist?

As an assistant pharmacist, or pharmacy aide, it's your duty to help free up the pharmacist's time for patient consultations. You'll handle duties including answering phone calls, organizing the pharmacy and performing clerical tasks. Read on to learn about how much you could earn in this role, as well as what factors affect your potential salary. Schools offering Pharmacy Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Salary Overview

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that pharmacy aides earned a mean annual wage of $25,540 in May 2014 (www.bls.gov). The bottom 10% of workers earned $17,440 annually or less, while the top 10% of workers were paid $37,930 or higher. Like with most occupations, salaries are affected by the employer you work for and the geographical location where you work.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Salary (2014) $23,200
Required Education High school diploma or GED
Key Skills Listening, speaking, reading and critical thinking skills
Similar Occupations Teller, desk clerk, postal service clerk

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Salary by Employer

In May 2014, there were 41,240 of these professionals employed in the nation, according to the BLS. Most of them were employed by health and personal care stores, earning a mean annual wage of $23,530. Others worked for grocery stores, general hospitals, physicians' offices and department stores. Average wages for these employers were $23,650, $35,220, $43,720 and $21,030, respectively.

Physicians' offices and general hospitals were among the highest-paying employers of pharmacy aides in May 2014. Others included higher education institutions, psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals and state government. These employers offered respective average wages of $34,570, $34,060 and $33,680.

Salary by Geographical Location

According to the BLS, states employing the most pharmacy aides in May 2014 included California, New York, Texas, Florida and Minnesota. Workers in these locations received average wages of $29,240, $26,900, $24,740, $25,320 and $24,690, respectively. On the other hand, states offering the best average wages included the District of Columbia ($40,130), Colorado ($32,430), New Mexico ($29,780), Hawaii ($29,620) and Utah ($29,530). Arkansas, North Carolina and Nevada were among the states offering the lowest average wages, which ranged from $19,530-$22,200.

Career Overview

As an assistant pharmacist, you'll work under the supervision of a pharmacy technician and licensed pharmacist. You will not be allowed to provide patient consultations or prepare prescriptions. Instead, you will handle various administrative tasks around the pharmacy, such as maintaining patient files, managing pharmaceutical inventory, preparing prescription labels and accepting prescriptions that customers drop off. When shipments arrive, you may stock the shelves in the pharmacy and ensure medications are being stored properly according to label directions. You'll also have various customer-service duties, such as answering phones, greeting customers and processing transactions at the cash register.

Career Outlook

The BLS reports that job opportunities for pharmacy aides were projected to increase very little from 2014-2024. This rate is about average but much slower than the expected growth for pharmacy technicians over the same decade. Technician employment was projected to grow 9%, which was faster than average.

Advancement Opportunities

With experience, you may earn promotion to a pharmacy technician position, which tends to offer greater responsibilities and higher pay. Pharmacy technicians' main duties involve receiving and processing prescription requests, and these professionals earned a mean annual wage of $31,090 in May 2014, according to the BLS. A technician position may entail completion of a formal training program, certification and, in some states, registration with a board of pharmacy.

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:

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  • The George Washington University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Regent University

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  • Capella University

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