Career Development

What Does a Pharmacy Clerk Do?

Find out what a pharmacy clerk does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a pharmacy clerk.

Pharmacy clerks are the front-line workers in pharmacies. They help pharmacists provide patient care by filling prescriptions, handling inventory, and performing other tasks to ensure that patients get the medications they need.

Pharmacy clerks may also be responsible for interacting with customers directly. This might include answering questions about medications or providing information about how to use certain products correctly.

Pharmacy Clerk Job Duties

Pharmacy clerks have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Filling prescriptions by measuring and mixing ingredients according to instructions provided by a physician or pharmacist
  • Reviewing insurance coverage and eligibility requirements to ensure that patients can receive medications they need
  • Processing insurance claims to ensure accuracy of billing to patients’ accounts
  • Providing information about medications and their uses to patients and physicians
  • Verifying that prescriptions have been filled accurately and completely
  • Greeting customers and assisting them with any questions they may have regarding their prescriptions
  • Preparing invoices for payments due on prescriptions and sending them to patients via mail or email
  • Reviewing prescription orders for accuracy, such as making sure each drug is prescribed in the correct dose or form
  • Maintaining inventory of pharmaceuticals by rotating stock and placing new orders when necessary

Pharmacy Clerk Salary & Outlook

Pharmacy clerks’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of overtime.

  • Median Annual Salary: $31,500 ($15.14/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)

The employment of pharmacy clerks is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

The continued growth in the older population is expected to lead to greater demand for pharmacy services, particularly in retail pharmacies. As people age, they are more likely to take multiple medications and to have chronic conditions that require regular medical attention. Pharmacists will be needed to counsel older patients about their medications and to ensure that these patients do not experience negative drug interactions.

Related: Pharmacy Clerk Interview Questions and Answers

Pharmacy Clerk Job Requirements

Pharmacy clerks typically need to have the following background:

Education: Most employers require pharmacy clerks to have a high school diploma or equivalent and to have completed courses in math, English and computer skills. Some employers prefer candidates who have completed a two-year associate’s degree program in pharmacy technology.

Training & Experience: Pharmacy clerks typically receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or managers. This training may include learning the store’s policies and procedures, the inventory management system and the cash register. Training may also include shadowing a current pharmacy clerk to learn the process of completing tasks.

Certifications & Licenses: Some states require pharmacy clerks to obtain a license to work in the field. Students can expect to study pharmacology, business, math and chemistry to earn a license. Many employers will also expect employees to be licensed.

Pharmacy Clerk Skills

Pharmacy clerks need the following skills in order to be successful:

Attention to detail: Pharmacy clerks must be able to pay close attention to detail when entering customer information, entering prescription information and entering insurance information. This is important because it ensures that the pharmacy is receiving the correct information and that the customer is receiving the correct medication. Attention to detail is also important when entering prescription information because it ensures that the pharmacy is filling the correct medication.

Communication skills: Pharmacy clerks communicate with customers, other pharmacy staff and managers and other employees in the store. Effective communication skills can help you be an active listener, ask questions and respond to questions. You can also use communication skills to listen to and follow directions from your managers and other pharmacy staff.

Computer literacy: Pharmacy clerks should have basic computer literacy skills, as they may be required to use a computer to enter patient information, search for information and complete other tasks. Having computer literacy can help you learn new software and programs that may be required for your job.

Organization: Pharmacy clerks must be able to organize their work area and the products they handle. This includes keeping track of inventory, maintaining cleanliness and ensuring that products are in the correct location. Being able to organize your work area and the products you handle is an important skill for a pharmacy clerk.

Customer service: Customer service skills can help you interact with customers and answer their questions. Customer service skills can help you provide information about products, answer questions about insurance and help customers find the right products for their needs.

Pharmacy Clerk Work Environment

Pharmacy clerks work in pharmacies, which are usually located in drugstores, grocery stores, hospitals, and clinics. They work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist and are responsible for a variety of tasks, including answering customer questions, filling prescriptions, and stocking shelves. Pharmacy clerks typically work 40 hours per week, although some may work evenings, weekends, and holidays. They may also be required to work overtime during busy periods, such as the flu season.

Pharmacy Clerk Trends

Here are three trends influencing how pharmacy clerks work. Pharmacy clerks will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

Pharmacy Automation

Pharmacy automation is a trend that is quickly gaining popularity in the pharmacy industry. This trend involves using technology to automate tasks that are traditionally done by pharmacists, such as filling prescriptions and checking insurance coverage.

As pharmacy automation becomes more popular, pharmacy clerks will need to learn how to use these systems in order to be successful. They will also need to be able to provide customer service support for these systems, as well as train other employees on how to use them.

The Use of Technology in Pharmacies

The use of technology in pharmacies is becoming increasingly common as pharmacists look for ways to improve efficiency and patient care.

Pharmacists are now using technology to help manage inventory, track patient data, and communicate with other healthcare professionals. As this trend continues to grow, pharmacy clerks will need to be familiar with these technologies in order to be successful.

More Patient-Centered Care

Pharmacies are moving towards a more patient-centered model of care, which means that pharmacists will need to develop new skills in order to meet the needs of their customers.

One of the most important changes that pharmacists can make is to focus on providing better customer service. This includes being more responsive to customer inquiries, as well as providing information about products and services that they may not be aware of. In addition, pharmacists can also work to create a more welcoming environment for customers by offering amenities such as coffee or snacks.

How to Become a Pharmacy Clerk

Pharmacy clerks have a lot of opportunities for growth. They can move up the ranks to become pharmacy technicians, pharmacists, or even pharmacy managers. Pharmacy clerks should be prepared to learn new things and keep up with the latest trends in the pharmacy field.

Pharmacy clerks should also be familiar with all aspects of the pharmacy business. This includes knowing about different medications and their uses, as well as how to process prescriptions correctly. Pharmacy clerks should also be able to work effectively with patients and provide excellent customer service.

Advancement Prospects

Advancement prospects for pharmacy clerks are good. Many pharmacy clerks eventually become pharmacy technicians or pharmacists. Some pharmacy clerks may advance to supervisory positions, such as head clerk or assistant manager. Some may also open their own pharmacies.

Pharmacy Clerk Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we understand that our customers rely on us for more than just their medication. They rely on us for knowledge and support during some of the most difficult times in their lives. That’s why we’re looking for a pharmacy clerk who is not only knowledgeable about medications and the pharmacy industry, but also compassionate and empathetic. The ideal candidate will have experience working in a pharmacy, as well as excellent customer service skills. He or she will be responsible for greeting customers, answering questions, and helping the pharmacist fill prescriptions.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Answer the telephone in a courteous and professional manner
  • Greet customers and patients in person and on the telephone
  • Schedule patient appointments
  • Receive prescription requests from patients and doctors’ offices
  • Verify insurance coverage
  • Enter prescription information into the computer
  • Retrieve prescriptions that have been filled
  • Answer questions about medications
  • Stock shelves with medications
  • Count inventory and order supplies
  • Clean the pharmacy area
  • Help pharmacists fill prescriptions

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Previous experience working in a pharmacy (retail or hospital)
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree in pharmacy technology or related field
  • National Certification as a Pharmacy Technician
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish)
  • Experience with data entry and computer systems


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