Pharmacy Aides: Salary Overview
A pharmacy aide is an assistant to the pharmacist and they typically fulfill a variety of roles in a pharmacy: they record drugs delivered to the pharmacy, store merchandise, and inform the supervisor about stock needs.
They may also operate the cash register and accept prescriptions for filling.
Pharmacy aides answer phone inquiries, prepare bottles of solid and liquid medications for dispensing, help customers find merchandise in the store, and provide them with information about the effects of medication.
Depending on the place of employment, they may also clean shelves and work areas and deliver medication to clinics and other treatment centers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for pharmacy aids was $26,450 as of May 2019 which means that half the workers in this profession earned less than this and half earned more.
Salaries in this field vary based on many factors, such as the place of employment, the region, and the worker’s level of experience and education.
The lowest 10 percent of pharmacy aides made less than $19,370 while the highest 10 percent earned more than $44,450 per year.
Pharmacy Aide Salary by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the biggest employer of pharmacy aides were health and personal care stores.
Pharmacy aides employed in this sector earned, on average, $26,800 per year as of May 2019.
The mean annual wage for pharmacy aides who worked for food and beverage stores (which are their second-biggest employer) was $26,020.
Pharmacy aides who worked for general medical and surgical hospitals earned, on average, $36,110 a year- higher than the average for all industries.
Another field where pharmacy aides reported higher-than-average earnings are outpatient care centers.
In this sector the mean annual wage for this profession was $50,380 in 2019- almost double the median for all industries.
However, outpatient care centers hire only a few pharmacy aides, and job prospects may not occur very often.
Another field where you may find employment as a pharmacy aid are electronic shopping and mail-order houses.
Although at the moment there are not very many pharmacy aides employed by online stores, as online shopping in the pharmacy sector is growing new job opportunities may occur.
The mean annual wage reported by pharmacy aides in this sector was $43,770 in 2019.
Pharmacy aides who work for insurance carriers earned, on average, $43,770 while those who work for psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals reported an average annual wage of $39,710.
In conclusion, salaries for pharmacy aides vary widely depending on the industry of employment but there are also other factors that can help you earn a wage that is higher than the average for this profession.
Experience plays an important role in how much a pharmacy aide makes.
As an entry-level employee, you may earn a starting salary that is lower than $20,000 and after earning 10-20 years of experience you may earn more than $40,000.
Your level of education may also influence how much money you make as a pharmacy aide.
Graduating from a post-secondary program in pharmacy technology may help you earn a higher starting salary.
Earning an associate’s degree can give you an advantage over your competitors on the job market and may improve your earnings potential.
Depending on the state where you reside you may also need a license which means passing an exam and completing some formal education.
Two organizations offer certification in this field: the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the National Healthcareer Association.
Your level of skills may also help you earn a higher than average salary.
As a pharmacy aide, you will need math skills, customer service skills, but also organizational skills.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Pharmacy Aides. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.