Retail Pharmacist

Work closely with customers to get them the right medicine.

What does a Retail Pharmacist do?

Retail Pharmacists can be seen behind the counter at local drug or grocery stores. In this position as a Retail Pharmacist, you fill prescriptions, explain over-the-counter medicine options, and ensure that customers get the right type and amount of medicine.

When a customer needs a prescription filled, you’re the person they talk to. The Retail Pharmacist counts pills, measures liquids, and, in general, fills medicine bottles. Although you follow the prescription written by the customer’s Doctor, you also check to make sure everything is correct. For example, you would note if an incorrect drug is being given, or if too much of the right drug is prescribed.

You also make sure to ask customers about other drugs they’re taking, since some medications can have bad reactions when taken with others. Your job serves as another check against people getting the incorrect medicines in the wrong doses.

For drugs that don’t require a prescription-things like cold medicine or some allergy pills-you serve as an expert when customers have specific questions. You listen as they describe their symptoms, then make suggestions based on your knowledge of the different medicine types and their side effects. Because you’re working with people and pills, you need to have a mix of customer service skills and scientific abilities for this role.

In some positions, you do managerial duties too, like overseeing the work of a Pharmacy Assistant. You check to make sure they’re doing things properly, like filling pill bottles correctly or filing medicines in the right places.