A pharmacist's assistant, or pharmacy aide, differs from a pharmacy technician in that she does not normally handle medication. Instead, she is responsible for clerical tasks such as record-keeping, support services such as stocking shelves and tracking inventory, and sales work, such as operating the cash register or serving as a receptionist.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacist assistants earned an average of $23,350 a year, or $11.23 an hour, as of May 2011. There were 45,130 of these pharmacy aides working nationwide in the bureau survey. The top 10 percent of earners made $32,790 or more, the equivalent of $15.76 an hour. The bottom 10 percent made $16,810 or less, the equivalent of $8.08 an hour.
Most pharmacist assistants were employed in pharmacies and other personal and health-care stores, according to the bureau. The 30,490 aides in this industry averaged $22,800, or $10.96 an hour. The second-largest employer was grocery store pharmacies, where 7,610 aides earned $23,260, or $11.18 an hour. The best-paying employer for these assistants was outpatient care centers, where they earned $36,280, or $17.44 an hour.
The largest states for pharmacist assistant employment were also among the most populated. California had the largest number of these assistants, with 7,810 earning $25,780, or $12.39 an hour, according to the bureau. Florida was second, with 3,660 assistants earning $21,350, or $10.27 an hour. The District of Columbia was the best-paying jurisdiction in the survey, with pharmacy assistants there earning an average salary of $34,570, or $16.62 an hour.
The Los Angeles area was the municipal zone with the largest number of pharmacy assistants. The bureau reported 1,980 of these workers averaged $26,570, or $12.78 an hour. The New York City area ranked second, with 1,810 aides averaging $24,570, or $11.81 an hour. The most lucrative metro region for pharmacist assistants was the Vallejo-Fairfield section of California, where they averaged $38,820, or $18.66 an hour.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images