The Last Pharmacy Assistant Job Guide You’ll Ever Need

Pharmacy Assistant Jobs in Canada

A wide range of pharmacy assistant job opportunities exists for anyone looking to start their career in this field. By the way, we’ve created a list of job opportunities by province. Check it out here!

Read on to learn more about the work environment selection you’ll have once you’ve gained certification or some experience in the field.

Types of Pharmacy Work Environments

Community or Retail Pharmacies

This is the most common place of employment for pharmacy assistants. We’re sure you’ve been to a retail pharmacy plenty of times in the past or at least seen them at your local grocery store. On the other hand, some are small, independent locations.

In retail pharmacies, you’ll spend a lot of time as a pharmacy assistant working with customers. Expect to frequently receive and assist with prescriptions by phone or in-person customers. Beyond customer service responsibilities, you’ll also help run transactions, process insurance claims, and update inventory or customer records.

Your responsibilities include office tasks, such as filing paperwork and speaking with insurance companies. You’ll always be supervised by the pharmacist when assisting with filling or labeling prescriptions.

You must enjoy working with people to succeed and love your job here. In this environment, it also helps to be a fast learner and an excellent typist. Further, you must respect your customers’ privacy as you work diligently to help fulfill their prescriptions.

Hospital Pharmacies

Working at a hospital pharmacy is a much different experience than working at a retail pharmacy. For example, client service isn’t a significant responsibility.  Instead, you’ll be busy filling prescriptions the hospital has sent to the pharmacy.

A large portion of a pharmacy assistant’s responsibility in hospitals is maintaining inventory records. This task, in particular, is more demanding in hospital pharmacies since there is a higher volume of prescriptions coming in and out.

To succeed in a hospital environment, you must enjoy moving quickly while keeping organized. Don’t expect a leisurely, relaxed pace if you sign up to work here!

Long Term Care Pharmacies

In assisted living facilities or long-term care environments, pharmacy assistants support pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in filling prescriptions for the facility’s patients. Similar to other pharmacies, you’ll also help maintain accurate inventory and patient records.

The pharmacy in an assisted living facility operates differently than retail pharmacies because it focuses on delivering quality long-term drug schedules for patients within the facility. Also known as LTC pharmacies, these locations actively manage the drug profile of each patient, ensuring specialty care. As the goal of such pharmacies is to creating a lasting relationship or loyalty with each patient, any associate within them should be personable and reliable. There are more coordination requirements for the pharmacy assistant to help with since the facility is another involved party, in addition to the patient, care provider, and insurance.

Specialty Pharmacies

These pharmacies provide pricey medications used for complex ailments. Since these pharmacies are specialized, many highly emphasize quality service. Their background requirements may be more demanding since they focus on providing top-rated services.

In specialty pharmacies, you’d be in more of an office than in the other environments we’ve reviewed. These may provide a more ideal work-life balance than other environments and offer higher pay. If this environment interests you, take a look at what the specialty pharmacies in your area are providing to see which one piques your interest!

We’ve highlighted the primary pharmacy environments, but many more exist. These include universities, government facilities, industrial pharmacies, clinics, and labs. However, many of these additional environments would require more experience.

So, for first-timers, you may have more opportunities within the environments above. Wherever you decide to work, stay confident in your skills and education, and you will do well!


The Last Pharmacy Assistant Career Guide You’ll Ever Need