How to become a Pharmacy Assistant in Australia

Pharmacy Assistant in Australia

Introduction :- So, what is it like to work as a Pharmacy Assistant? Pharmacy Assistants sell retail items to customers in chemist shops and pharmacies. The retail goods can range from moisturizers, lotions, grooming brushes, perfumes, and cosmetics. Pharmacy Assistants assist customers in selecting the right products to satisfy their requirements, and they support with a chemist’s day-to-day administration and operations. They normally possess a sound knowledge of general pharmacy goods, wellness, and beauty products. How to be a pharmacy assistant in Australia.

Tools and Technologies Pharmacy Assistants Use

Pharmacy Assistants will work with standard retail equipment, including EFTPOS and credit card machines, cash registers, barcode readers and pricing labels equipment. They are also competent in handling PC computers and related basic customer and account keeping software systems.

The Main Tasks and Duties that a Pharmacy Assistant Performs

  • Greeting all customers and receiving prescriptions to give to the Chemist for processing,
  • Asking for extended advice from the Chemist when needed,
  • Advising customers on all retail products and non-prescription remedies,
  • Managing a point-of-sale computer and EFTPOS terminal for customer-related purchases,
  • Handling cash and preparing customer invoices or receipts.
  • Basic stock management, including identifying and preparing inventories for restocking exercises,
  • Informing or showing customers how to utilize and store medications and other related products,
  • Supporting the promotion of items on sale or selling part of a special discounted offer,
  • Stocking and displaying goods for show, stacking shelves, and wrapping purchased products.

You do not need any formal training or qualifications to become a junior or new Pharmacy Assistant, but education may assist you to thrive in the role if you choose to do so.

Below are some of the options to gain experience and expertise in the role of a Pharmacy Assistant:

  1. Gain valuable on-the-job knowledge and expertise under the guidance and supervision of a senior Pharmacy Assistant or a Chemist,
  2. There are formal training courses to enroll in, such as a Certificate 2 In Community Pharmacy or a Certificate 3 in Community Pharmacy with a registered and accredited training institution,
  3. Suppose you have plans to manage and operate your front-of-house service and aspire to hold a Senior Pharmacy Assistant role. In that case, there are training courses that can provide you with those additional skills and knowledge – the Certificate 4 in Community Pharmacy is one course that will complement this ambition.

Skills and Experience Employers are Looking for in a Pharmacy Assistant

  • Community Chemist knowledge and awareness,
  • Retail Chemist knowledge,
  • Customer Service capabilities and friendliness,
  • Reliability, trustworthiness, and dependability,
  • Product knowledge and awareness,
  • Dispensing medicines and medication under supervision,
  • Basic understanding of POS systems and hardware,
  • Basic understanding of POS software,
  • Keenness and a willingness to learn new things about Chemists and pharmacies,
  • A team work ethic and mentality.

Education and Training

It is plausible to obtain work as a pharmacy assistant despite not having any formal training and purely receive education while working on the job. Entry into this profession can be significantly enhanced by gaining a formal certificate in community pharmacy.

Aspiring junior pharmacy assistants can begin a traineeship in a community pharmacy. The traineeship normally takes between ten and twenty months to successfully complete. Previous customer service and any healthcare experience will improve employment prospects.

Certification and Education Pathway for Pharmacy Assistants:

  • Certificate 2 in Community Pharmacy: This qualification is fitting for new pharmacy assistants or those who prefer to work in the community pharmacy industry,
  • Certificate 3 in Community Pharmacy: The accepted qualification is for all existing pharmacy assistants throughout Australia with only a few years of experience,
  • Certificate 4 in Community Pharmacy: Pharmacy assistants can advance their careers in community pharmacy by specializing in management, advanced merchandise knowledge and key health requirements and provisioning,
  • Certificate 4 in Community Pharmacy Dispensary: A recent qualification that is specifically designed for pharmacy dispensary assistants. 

Below are some of the comments that Pharmacy Assistants are reporting online about the positives and challenges they typically experience working in the role:

The Good Things about the job:

  • “I think being able to help people is a huge part of the role, I have been in this role for just over a year and getting to know our customers has been fantastic especially living in the same suburb where I live.”
  • “Being a Pharmacy Assistant is a rewarding job. You help customers with their health needs, they appreciate your help, and you build good relationships with your customers. I would definitely recommend it.”
  • “The best part of my job is helping people with their health concerns and recommending specific products for their ailments.”

The Challenges about the job:

  • “My biggest challenge has been not working in the industry before, completely changing careers, which meant I had to start from the beginning, ensuring I was giving the correct advice.”
  • “The challenges will be if it’s a busy period, managing customers, queries, telephone calls and trying to do daily tasks all at the same time.”
  • “The challenges are long hours on your feet and not getting enough credit from difficult customers.”


Pharmacy assistants use a range of developed service skills to identify and satisfy customer needs. They have sound knowledge of an extensive range of pharmacy goods and health support services. Some pharmacy assistants are also involved in helping with a limited range of medicine dispensary activities.

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