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Occupation Details

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Pharmacy Assistant

Job Zone

Education
These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, jobs requiring you to deal with the public would benefit from previous experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€18k > 28
Pharmacy Assistant
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€18 - 28
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
Payscale.com

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Works as an assistant to the pharmacist in a community pharmacy environment.


Videos & Interviews header image

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The Work header image

Pharmacy sales assistants are responsible for carrying out a range of tasks within a pharmacy. These include handling payments, communicating with and serving customers and recommending appropriate grooming and skincare products to clients.

A pharmacy assistant undertakes stock rotation and merchandising, selects and assembles stock items for delivery to customers and monitors and maintains stocks of items for sale.

Work can also include taking in prescriptions from customers to pass on to the pharmacist to dispense and finding out information to deal with their medical queries.

Pharmacy assistants must be open to working some late nights and weekends. Employment opportunities for pharmacy assistants can be found in pharmacies and health care facilities.

Work Activities

Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as co-workers, customers, or patients.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analysing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Tasks

  • Greet customers and help them locate merchandise.
  • Recommend appropriate grooming and skincare products to clients.
  • Accept prescriptions for filling, gathering and processing necessary information.
  • Operate cash register to process cash or credit sales.
  • Answer telephone inquiries, referring callers to pharmacist when necessary.
  • Unpack, sort, count, and label incoming merchandise, including items requiring special handling or refrigeration.
  • Restock storage areas, replenishing items on shelves.
  • Maintain and clean equipment, work areas, or shelves.

Knowledge

Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

Skills

Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.

Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Operate cash register to process cash or credit sales.

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Prepare prescription labels by typing or operating a computer and printer.

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Accept prescriptions for filling, gathering and processing necessary information.

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Answer telephone inquiries, referring callers to pharmacist when necessary.

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Greet customers and help them locate merchandise.

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Receive, store, and inventory pharmaceutical supplies or medications, check for out-dated medications, and notify pharmacist when inventory levels are low.

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Unpack, sort, count, and label incoming merchandise, including items requiring special handling or refrigeration.

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Prepare, maintain, and record records of inventories, receipts, purchases, or deliveries, using a variety of computer screen formats.

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Maintain and clean equipment, work areas, or shelves.

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Perform clerical tasks, such as filing, compiling and maintaining prescription records, or composing letters.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Performing for or Working Directly with the Public: Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Handling and Moving Objects: Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Assisting and Caring for Others: Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

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Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others: Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

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Documenting/Recording Information: Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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Clerical: Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

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Mathematics: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

bullet

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

bullet

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

Good communication skills are essential in this role as you will be dealing with a range of customer queries and may also have to relay information to the pharmacist.  

It is crucial that you can read and take instruction well.

Excellent attention to detail is vital in dealing with prescriptions, medications and skincare queries.

A caring personable attitude is and good organisational skills are necessary.

An ability to be discreet is also very important.


Entry Routesheader image

A Traineeship in Retail Skills in Health and Beauty is available with SOLAS via a local ETB. This is a 36 week programme consisting of 30 weeks off-the-job training and 6 weeks on-the-job training with a host employer in a pharmacy. Certification awarded is QQI Level 4 Major Award in Retail Skills (4M1998). Irish Pharmacy Union Medicines Counter Assistant’s Cert. Participants must successfully complete assessments in the 8 assessed modules to achieve the QQI Level 4 Major Award.

Pharmacy Assistant and Pharmacy Studies courses at Level 5 are available in Further Education colleges around the country.

Progression to Pharmacy Technician is possible from certain awards, for registration with the IACPT, the leadership and advisory body for Community Pharmacy Technicians or NAHPT, National Association of Hospital Pharmacy Technicians.

Last Updated: October, 2017


Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Irish Pharmacy Union
Address: Butterfield House, Butterfield Avenue, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14
Tel: (01) 493 6401
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: SOLAS
Address: Castleforbes House, Castleforbes Road, Dublin, 1
Tel: (01) 533 2500
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Sales, Retail & Purchasing

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