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Pharmacy assistant

Pharmacy assistants serve customers and patients in chemists and hospital dispensaries.

Annual Salary

£22,000 to £28,000

Average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on shifts

Future employment

There will be 1.5% fewer Pharmacy assistant jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a pharmacy assistant you could:

  • serve customers and give advice about non-prescription items
  • label products, stock shelves and put orders together
  • take calls from GP surgeries, nursing homes and clinics
  • deliver medicines to wards
  • enter medicine data on computer systems

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work at a health centre, at a store or in an NHS or private hospital.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • a trainee position
  • applying directly

You could do a college course to get some of the skills you'll need as a pharmacy assistant.

You could do a Level 2 or 3 Certificate in Retail Skills.

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
For more information

You could do a Pharmacy Services Assistant or Retailer Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
For more information

You might be able to get a trainee pharmacy assistant job in a pharmacy.

You could work and do a part time qualification like the Level 2 Certificate in the Principles and Practice for Pharmacy Support Staff.

Direct application

You can apply directly for pharmacy assistant roles

You might need:

  • experience of customer service
  • good reading, number and IT skills
  • GCSEs or equivalent

More information

Further information

You can find out more about working as a pharmacy assistant from Health Careers.

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With experience and a recognised qualification, you could become a senior pharmacy assistant, supervisor or manager.

With further training, you could become a pharmacy technician.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • the ability to read English
  • active listening skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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