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Pharmacy assistant

Alternative titles for this job include Chemist’s assistant, dispensing assistant

Pharmacy assistants serve customers and patients in chemists and hospital dispensaries.

Average salary (a year)

£22,000 Starter


£28,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Pharmacy assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • a trainee position
  • applying directly


You could do a college course to get some of the skills you'll need as a pharmacy assistant.

You could do a Level 2 or 3 Certificate in Retail Skills. 

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information


You could do a Pharmacy Services Assistant or Retailer Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information


You might be able to get a trainee pharmacy assistant job in a pharmacy. 

You could work and do a part time qualification like the Level 2 Certificate in the Principles and Practice for Pharmacy Support Staff.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for pharmacy assistant roles

You might need:

  • experience of customer service
  • good reading, number and IT skills
  • GCSEs or equivalent

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about working as a pharmacy assistant from Health Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • the ability to read English
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a pharmacy assistant you could:

  • serve customers and give advice about non-prescription items
  • label products, stock shelves and put orders together
  • take calls from GP surgeries, nursing homes and clinics
  • deliver medicines to wards
  • enter medicine data on computer systems

Working environment

You could work at a health centre, at a store or in an NHS or private hospital.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience and a recognised qualification, you could become a senior pharmacy assistant, supervisor or manager. 

With further training, you could become a pharmacy technician.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

L2 Pharmacy Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage: £12,480 a year Annually
  • Location: CLAPHAM, LONDON

L2 Pharmacy Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage: £12,480 a year Annually
  • Location: London

Courses In England

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Jobs In the United Kingdom

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