Pharmacy Sales Assistants sell pharmaceutical goods, toiletries and related goods in retail pharmacies (Pharmacy Technicians are not included here, they are included in Medical Technicians).

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary. Around one in two workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education.

Tasks

  • accepting prescriptions for filling by Retail Pharmacists
  • determining customer requirements and advising customers on the selection, price and usage of non-prescription medicines
  • advising customers on the correct application and storage of medicines
  • selling goods such as non-prescription drugs, first aid supplies, toiletries and cosmetics
  • accepting payment for goods and services by a variety of payment methods and preparing sales invoices
  • promoting goods and services that are for sale
  • assisting with the ongoing management of stock such as product inventories and participating in stocktakes
  • stacking and displaying goods for sale, and wrapping and packing goods sold

Job Titles

  • Pharmacy Sales Assistant

    Fast Facts

    • Avg. Weekly Pay

      $763 Before Tax
    • Future Growth

      very strong
    • Skill Level

      High School or Certificate I
    • Employment Size

      40,600
    • Unemployment

      below average
    • Male Share

      10.1%
    • Female Share

      89.9%
    • Full-Time Share

      28.7%

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    This is a large occupation employing 40,600 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
    Very strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 25,001 and 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

    • Pharmacy Sales Assistants work in most parts of Australia.
    • They nearly all work in Retail Trade.
    • Part-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 31.9 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
    • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $763 per week (lower than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • The workforce is fairly young. The average age is 25 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Around 5 in 10 workers are young (aged 15 to 25 years).
    • Around 9 in 10 workers are female.
    • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200532500
    200631000
    200731900
    200834000
    200935500
    201034900
    201133400
    201232000
    201339100
    201437600
    201540600
    202048900

    Weekly Earnings

    Full-time Earnings

    All Jobs Average

    Weekly Earnings (before tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsPharmacy Sales AssistantsAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings7631230

    Hours

    Weekly Hours Worked

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
    CategoryPharmacy Sales AssistantsAll Jobs Average
    Full-time28.768.4
    Part-time71.331.6
    Average Weekly Hours (full-time)31.940.0

    Main Industries

    Top Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Retail Trade98.6
    Wholesale Trade0.6
    Health Care and Social Assistance0.5
    Manufacturing0.2
    Other Industries0.1

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StatePharmacy Sales AssistantsAll Jobs Average
    NSW32.431.8
    VIC21.925.5
    QLD18.319.8
    SA11.56.8
    WA10.111.2
    TAS2.72.0
    NT1.11.1
    ACT2.01.8

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketPharmacy Sales AssistantsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-1924.1-5.45.4
    20-2425.7-9.99.9
    25-3415.8-23.423.4
    35-4410.3-21.721.7
    45-5412.6-21.121.1
    55-597.0-8.78.7
    60-643.2-5.95.9
    65 and Over1.2-3.83.8

    Gender

    Male Share

    Female Share

    Gender (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    CategoryPharmacy Sales AssistantsCategoryAll Jobs Average
    Males10.1Males53.6
    Females89.9Females46.4

    Education Level

    Top Education Levels

    Highest Level of Education (% share)

    Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationPharmacy Sales AssistantsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.0-8.68.6
    Bachelor degree13.8-17.917.9
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma2.9-10.110.1
    Certificate III/IV10.9-18.918.9
    Year 1242.4-18.718.7
    Years 11 & 1025.0-17.717.7
    Below Year 104.9-8.18.1

    A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary.
    Around one in two workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education.

    If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
    The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

    It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

    Employers look for Pharmacy Sales Assistants who can communicate well with a variety of people, can provide good customer service and are well presented.

    Knowledge

    The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

    1. Customer and Personal Service

      95% Important

      Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    2. English Language

      67% Important

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    3. Clerical

      62% Important

      Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

    4. Sales and Marketing

      61% Important

      Showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

    5. Law and Government

      59% Important

      How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

    Occupational Information Network Pharmacy Aides Opens in a new window
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Activities

    The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

    1. Interacting With Computers

      90% Important

      Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

    2. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

      88% Important

      Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

    3. Getting Information

      87% Important

      Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

    4. Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge

      83% Important

      Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

    5. Judging Things, Services, or People

      81% Important

      Working out the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

    Occupational Information Network Pharmacy Aides Opens in a new window
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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