By Gladys Mae
Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.
Are you interested in becoming a pharmacy assistant? If you are a person who has compassion and who wants to make a difference in the lives of others every day, you may want to consider this career field. However, you also want to enter an area of interest that offers you opportunities to develop your skills and that has promising growth prospects with a reasonable salary. How much do pharmacy assistants get paid, and what growth is expected in this field?
A pharmacy assistant primarily works under the direction of a registered pharmacist to order, prepare, and dispense medications to customers. Depending on the demands of the pharmacy, an assistant may obtain prescription approval, and receive, confirm, and hand out prescriptions. In some pharmacies, assistants may need to stock inventory and medications both over and behind the counter. Other duties can include completing inventory returns, loading and unloading deliveries, and submitting insurance claims. Perhaps the most crucial part of the job is interacting with customers and making a difference in their daily lives.
Because the above duties are varied, specific job requirements and skills are necessary to succeed in this career. Here’s what you need to become a pharmacy assistant:
If you have these skills or are willing to develop and strengthen them, then a pharmacy assistant may be the right job for you. Combining practical and engaging medical training with high-quality customer service makes for a fulfilling career with purpose.
There are no formal entry requirements for a career as a pharmacy assistant. Most employers look for literacy, IT skills, and numeracy grades and skills. Some pharmacies may ask for GCSE scores or equivalent qualifications. However, you can strengthen your skills for this job and open the door for advancement through additional career training, on-the-job training, and professional development. Many pharmacy assistants enrol in online courses and certifications as a thorough yet quick way to improve their pharmaceutical knowledge and advance their career.
Pharmacy assistants who enrol in courses gain their initial certification, then work toward obtaining an NVQ level 2 qualification in pharmacy service skills. Those assistants who choose to continue in their studies can earn a BTEC level 2 in pharmaceutical science. These qualifications prepare a pharmacy assistant for becoming a pharmacy technician.
The average salary of a pharmacy assistant typically depends on a pharmacy’s location and the assistant’s level of expertise and experience. The average pharmacy assistant salary in the UK is ￡20,755, with higher wages correlating with proximity to larger cities such as London. Assistants in Northern Ireland make slightly more at roughly ￡22,832 a year while Scottish pharmacy assistants average an annual salary of about ￡19,798.
Entry-level and average salaries for pharmacy assistants are a starting point in a career field that continues to grow. With qualifications, experience, and effort, you can climb that ladder toward becoming a pharmacy technician (annual salary ￡37,500) or eventually a pharmacist (yearly wages of ￡40, 486).
With the growing demand in the healthcare population, pharmacy assistants can start their career with a decent salary, and work up from there to create a secure, well-paying job.
The position of a pharmacy assistant, much like many other avenues of healthcare around the world, is in high demand. Projected employment in this field is expected to reach 75,847 jobs in the UK by 2023 and 6,813 jobs by 2027 in Scotland. Demand as a whole is increasing in this area of medical care, primarily due to the ageing population, which often requires more medications. Varied drug options for medical conditions and an increased number of chronic diseases has also prompted the public’s increased reliance on pharmacies. As such, the job growth in the pharmaceutical field, primarily in jobs for assistants and technicians, is projected to increase by 12% through 2026.
Are you interested in health and science? Would you like to help people and make a difference in their lives? Then how does an engaging, exciting career with a purpose that has excellent growth prospects sound? Don’t wait a moment longer. Enrol in the ICI UK Pharmacy Assistant course today. Our courses will challenge you and develop your skills for a career that will pay well, but more importantly, give you a sense of goodwill and fulfilment.