Featured Advice
What are your interests?

Social?

Social

The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.

Salary Range
€18k - €28k
Job Zone

In Brief...

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

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.
  • Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

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.

In Summary - Pharmacy Assistant

Career Sectors

Pharmacy Assistants typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Brick and Mortar Stores
Sales, Retail & Purchasing

Videos on the Web

The Work - Pharmacy Assistant

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.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Operate cash register to process cash or credit sales.
  • Prepare prescription labels by typing or operating a computer and printer.
  • Accept prescriptions for filling, gathering and processing necessary information.
  • Answer telephone inquiries, referring callers to pharmacist when necessary.
  • Greet customers and help them locate merchandise.
  • Receive, store, and inventory pharmaceutical supplies or medications, check for out-dated medications, and notify pharmacist when inventory levels are low.
  • Unpack, sort, count, and label incoming merchandise, including items requiring special handling or refrigeration.
  • Prepare, maintain, and record records of inventories, receipts, purchases, or deliveries, using a variety of computer screen formats.
  • Maintain and clean equipment, work areas, or shelves.
  • Perform clerical tasks, such as filing, compiling and maintaining prescription records, or composing letters.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Interests - Pharmacy Assistant

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:

Administrative

Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.

Realist

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

Qualities

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 Requirements - Pharmacy Assistant

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

Pay & Salary - Pharmacy Assistant

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €18k - €28k

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.

Labour Market Updates - Pharmacy Assistant

With 130,000 persons employed, this occupation will continue to offer job opportunities due to replacement demand alone. Half of those working are in part-time roles and job churn is a significant factor. Approx. 6,000 job ready job seekers previously worked in this occupation.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Useful Contacts - Pharmacy Assistant

Career News

Centra to create 400 new jobs nationwide
Centra to create 400 new jobs nationwide
Posted by Musgrave Group
400 jobs to be created by new Clerys Quarter
400 jobs to be created by new Clerys Quarter
Posted by CareersPortal
Aldi to hire 500 new staff this year in Ireland
Aldi to hire 500 new staff this year in Ireland
Posted by CareersPortal
ThousandEyes will create 20 jobs with new Dublin office
ThousandEyes will create 20 jobs with new Dublin office
Posted by CareersPortal
AMCS to hire up to 100 in Limerick
AMCS to hire up to 100 in Limerick
Posted by CareersPortal
30 new jobs at Citrix in Dublin
30 new jobs at Citrix in Dublin
Posted by CareersPortal