Professionals in pharmacies provide a range of front-line services to people. A pharmacy typically has people working in several different roles, including pharmacists, pharmacy assistants, and pharmacy technicians. The responsibilities of staff at a pharmacy don’t just include dispensing medication. They also involve offering medical advice and recommendations for over-the-counter products. A pharmacist can refer people to another medical service if they feel that they can provide better advice and care. Pharmacy staff can be an important part of a community, often being the first people that some ask for advice. The roles available in a pharmacy differ in their responsibilities, skills, and knowledge.
The primary roles in a pharmacy are that of a pharmacist, pharmacy technician, pharmacy assistant, and pharmacy service associate. To become a pharmacist, one must study for a master’s degree in pharmacology. Top institutions include Cambridge, Queen’s Belfast, and Strathclyde. Completing two degrees will take at least four years. However, other roles within a pharmacy do not require a degree. Technicians, assistants, and service associates are managed by the pharmacist and are likely to undergo on-the-job training. They can begin working as a trainee while completing a vocational qualification such as an NVQ or BTEC. They can look for an apprenticeship and may have to register with a professional body.
Types of Pharmacy Professionals
The most important role at a pharmacy is the pharmacist. They have the authority to advise both healthcare professionals and patients about medications. It is their job to ensure that medicines are used safely. A pharmacist might supervise technicians or assistants, who help to purchase, dispense, and test medications. Pharmacy technicians and assistants also play vital roles in a pharmacy and support the pharmacist in their duties. Pharmacies might also have trainees who are working towards becoming a qualified assistant or technician.
Where do Pharmacy Professionals work?
Pharmacists and other pharmacy staff can be based in retail pharmacies, which might be on the high street or in supermarkets. They can also work in hospitals, community pharmacies or health centres. There are also other employers that might provide NHS services and have a pharmacy on site. Some community pharmacists could also spend time visiting people in their homes or in residential homes. Some pharmacies provide delivery services so could also be involved in visiting people to deliver their medication.
The job market for Pharmacy Professionals
The job market for pharmacists has seen improvement recently. There was some worry that the increase in pharmacology graduates could mean an oversaturated market. However, new opportunities have meant that the situation has improved. The number of advertised jobs has risen by almost 25% in the last year. The average salary for pharmacists is £42,773, which is significantly above the national average. Pharmacy technician jobs, meanwhile, have declined slightly. The average salary is £31,277. But pharmacy assistant jobs have risen by 27.2% in the last year and have an average salary of £28,284.
Top employers for pharmacy jobs include Care UK, as well as several NHS trusts. High street chemists and supermarkets are also prominent employers. They include the likes of Boots and Tesco. Working in a pharmacy presents several opportunities for people with different education levels, from apprentices to graduates. This gives several options for anyone looking for a gap in the job market.