Pharmacy Sales Assistants
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).
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
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow moderately
- is likely to reach 27,600 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 28% of people employed as Pharmacy Sales Assistants work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 38 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 39 hours per week in their main job. This is 5 hours less than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $919 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $836
- 1 in 4 earn more than $987
Median hourly earnings are $24, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Pharmacy Sales Assistants||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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.
Most Pharmacy Sales Assistants work in the Retail trade industry.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Pharmacy Sales Assistants||All Jobs Average|
Around 45% of Pharmacy Sales Assistants live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Pharmacy Sales Assistants is 26 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 15 to 19 years.
Females make up 90% of the workforce. This is 42 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Pharmacy Sales Assistants||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||2.1||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not usually required to work as a Pharmacy Sales Assistant. Some workers have a certificate II, III or IV in community pharmacy.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Retail Services VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Pharmacy Sales Assistants||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||1.8||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||20.5||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Pharmacy Sales Assistants who can communicate well with a variety of people, can provide good customer service and are well presented.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Looking for ways to help people.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Talking to others.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
39%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
34%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Using maths to solve problems.
32%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Teaching people how to do something.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
25%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
20%Management of material resources
Providing the right equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do work.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
64%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
44%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
36%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
35%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
34%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
30%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
29%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
29%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
28%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
23%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
23%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
17%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Communicate by speaking.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Read and understand written information.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
See details that are far away.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
39%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Do two or more things at the same time.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
78%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
73%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
73%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
73%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
73%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
73%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
71%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
71%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
70%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
69%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
68%Leading and encouraging a team
Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
66%Guiding and directing staff
Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.
65%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
65%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
62%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
62%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
50%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
50%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
47%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Convincing people to buy something or to change their minds or actions.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
98%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Talk on the telephone.
98%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
97%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Work with people in a group or team.
91%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
90%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Talk with people face-to-face.
85%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
83%Disease or infection
Be exposed to disease or infections.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
79%Angry or unpleasant people
Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.
76%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
76%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
75%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
Use electronic mail.
74%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
73%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
73%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
70%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 31-9095.00 - Pharmacy Aides.