Is Pharmacy Assistant a good career for me?

Are you an organized, approachable person with great attention to detail and an interest in medicine? If so, a career as a pharmacy assistant might be for you.

Pharmacy assistants are responsible for a range of tasks — from customer service to preparing and packaging prescription medications. Good pharmacy assistants are in high demand, as healthcare becomes more predominant in today’s world. The position can prepare you for a career in pharmaceuticals and medicine, with flexible learning options giving you the skills you need to succeed.

If you want plenty of career options and room to move within the medical field, then a pharmacy assistant can be a rewarding and diverse role to consider.

What does a pharmacy assistant do?

Pharmacy assistants are the first port of call for customers wanting to purchase or receive prescription medication and other healthcare-related goods. A diverse role, a pharmacy assistant is very customer-centric, requiring you to perform a range of customer service, sales and retail work.

Pharmacy assistants help customers to choose the right product for their health-related concerns and will advise customers on the usage of non-prescription medications. Pharmacy assistants also accept or fill prescriptions for customers requiring prescription medications.

Typical tasks and duties of a pharmacy assistant include:

  • Greeting and assisting customers
  • Advising customers on retail products or non-prescription medications
  • Ordering, preparing and filling prescription medications
  • Running cash registers and answering phones
  • Maintaining stock lists
  • Stocking shelves
  • Curating retail goods for display and wrapping purchased products
  • Promoting retail goods and items on sale
  • Referring customers to a Pharmacist for advice when required
  • Prescription delivery
  • Inputting patient information and accurately recording it on the computer system

Skills needed to become a pharmacy assistant

There are no set entry requirements or formal qualifications needed to become a pharmacy assistant in Australia. This means you can jump into your dream job even sooner! Plus, you won’t have to worry about any excessive fees or student loan repayments! However, having some educational experience and on the job training may help you to succeed in the role and give you a competitive advantage when applying for work. Courses such as ICI’s Pharmacy Assistant Diploma will equip you with everything you need to know to be job-ready.

During your Pharmacy Assistant training course, you will develop key skills in sales, customer service, medical terminology, anatomy & physiology, nutrition and risk management. You will also get to learn and understand the history of pharmacy and the future of pharmaceuticals.

Aside from formal qualifications, someone wanting to be a pharmacy assistant will need the following traits and skills:

  • Reliability and punctuality
  • Friendly and approachable
  • High attention to detail
  • Accurate and methodical
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Computer literacy
  • Caring attitude towards others

What can I earn as a pharmacy assistant?

The average salary for a pharmacy assistant in Australia is $21 per hour in the Sydney area, with pharmacy assistant’s earning on average between $35,000 and $50,000 a year.

One of the most lucrative features of the role is opportunities for career advancement. It’s common for many pharmacy assistants to progress into roles such as retail pharmacy manager or team leader, dispensary technician or as a medical receptionist.

The job outlook for pharmacy assistants in Australia is promising. According to the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, community pharmacy in Australia has been recognised as “world leading” with approximately 5,700 community pharmacies in Australia and 80,000 staff employed nation-wide. This includes rural and regional communities. As of 2020, pharmacy jobs are one of the most in-demand jobs in Australia, with demand for pharmacy assistants growing by 170%.

The role offers a great work/life balance, with full-time, part-time and casual roles available. Now is an exciting time to enter the pharmaceutical sector, as rapid growth and demand means anyone becoming a pharmacy assistant in 2021 will have the opportunity to work in a range of professional settings including hospitals, care homes and retail pharmacies.

Increase your hireability with accredited pharmacy training

Open up your job prospects and set forth on a rewarding career within the pharmaceutical industry. Our ICI professionals can fast track your growth in Australia’s most in-demand industry as a Pharmacy Assistant. Start your journey today by enrolling in the ICI Diploma of Pharmacy Assisting course.

Online, career focused education that suits your lifestyle.

See our courses
Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.