How to Become a Pharmacy Aide

Training and Education Jobs and Salaries

Most pharmacy aides are trained on the job and in general, employers prefer applicants with previous experience and strong customer service skills. Many pharmacy aides go on to become pharmacy technicians. Since most pharmacy aides receive informal on-the-job training and employers favor those with at least a high school diploma, prospective pharmacy aides with experience working as cashiers may have an advantage when applying for jobs.

Employers also prefer applicants with experience managing inventories and using computers. Pharmacy aides begin their training by observing a more experienced worker. After they become familiar with the store equipment, policies, and procedures, they begin to work on their own. Once they become experienced, aides are not likely to receive additional training, except when new equipment is introduced or when policies or procedures change.

Strong customer service and communication skills are essential, as pharmacy aides frequently interact with patients, fellow employees, and other health-care professionals. Aides entering the field also need strong spelling, reading, and mathematics skills. Successful pharmacy aides are organized, dedicated, friendly, and responsible.

Pharmacy aides should be willing and able to take directions. Candidates interested in becoming pharmacy aides cannot have prior records of drug or substance abuse. With experience or certification, many pharmacy aides go on to become pharmacy technicians. Some become pharmacists but only after completing a substantial amount of formal training.