Pharmacy support workers work either in a community or retail pharmacy or in a hospital or clinical pharmacy.
Community or Retail
You could be:
dealing with enquiries from customers, face to face and on the phone
giving basic health advice to customers and selling over the counter medicines
taking in and handing out prescriptions
packaging and labelling prescribed items
checking stocks and ordering supplies
referring customers to the pharmacist if need be
keeping records of customers and stock
Hospital or Clinical
You could be:
delivering medicines to other departments or wards
checking stock, ordering and storing supplies
keeping records as required.
Within the NHS Agenda for Change scales, pharmacy support workers' salaries are usually on Band 2, £23,362 to £25,368 a year. The current pay scales are from April 2023.
Many dispensing or pharmacy assistants work outside the NHS. Starting pay is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or the National Living Wage (NLW).
As of 1 April 2023 the National Minimum Wage is £5.28 an hour for workers under 18, £7.49 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £10.18 an hour for workers aged 21 to 22. The National Living Wage for those aged 23 and over is £10.42 an hour. With experience hourly rates can reach up to £9.50 an hour.
In community and retail pharmacy you work in shops, where hours are regular and may include weekends or evenings.
In hospitals and clinics you work in laboratories or dispensaries or in health centres and may have to work shifts.
Pharmacy support workers usually wear a white lab coat or uniform.