How Old Do You Have to be to Work at Walgreens?

Article Summary:

You must be at least 16 years of age to work at Walgreens as a customer service associate. However, Walgreens’ minimum hiring age for pharmacy technicians is 18. There are also different education requirements depending on the position you are seeking. An in-store Walgreens customer service associate must be enrolled in high school, be a high school graduate, or hold a high-school equivalent (GED). Depending on the state, Walgreens employees who work in the pharmacy department may need to have completed some higher education to qualify for a position.

Working at Walgreens can be a great way to begin or advance your career. There is a lot of room for advancement, and Walgreens is known for hiring from within for advanced positions. Plus, Walgreens locations can be found in all 50 states, making it easy to find a job wherever you decide to live.

If want to work at Walgreens, read on to learn more about the different job positions, and what you need to know about the hiring process and job interview. First, let’s learn a little more about the second largest pharmacy chain in the United States

About Walgreens

Walgreens is an American company started by Charles R. Walgreen, who founded the Walgreens dynasty beginning with a single shop in Chicago in 1901. By 1919 there were 20 stores in this rapidly-growing chain, and by 1929 Walgreens boasted 525 stores that included locations in New York City, Florida, and other large markets.

As of 2022, Walgreens operates more than 9,000 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. CVS Health is the only drug store chain with more locations than Walgreens in the United States.

How old do you have to be to work at Walgreens?

The short answer is that you must be at least 16 years old to work at Walgreens. However, that’s only if you’re applying for an entry-level job such as a sales associate or customer service representative.

If you want to be a pharmacy technician, for example, Walgreens’ minimum hiring age is at least 18 years old. Pharmacy techs and some other managerial or corporate positions may require further education, which would require you to be a bit older.

Job opportunities at Walgreens locations

Here are some in-store job opportunities you might be eligible for at a young age, and/or can use as stepping stones toward pharmacy, corporate, or managerial roles as you advance your Walgreens career.

  • Customer service associate
  • Beauty advisor
  • Inventory specialist
  • Shift lead
  • Photo specialist
  • Assistant manager
  • Store manager
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Pharmacist

Working up to management positions

If you’re looking to make a career out of employment within Walgreens, you may want to consider a position in management. One of the paths to this goal would be to start as a sales associate, or customer service representative, and work your way up the chain.

This way you can start to become familiar with all facets of merchandise retailing including running a cash register, helping out in the photo department, and learning to handle customer concerns, complaints, or related questions. From the experience you gain working the floor, you can work your way up to shift lead, then assistant manager, and eventually to a store manager position.

Becoming a pharmacy technician

As previously mentioned, if you’re interested in working in the pharmacy department of Walgreens, the minimum age requirement is 18. You must also possess a high school diploma or equivalent. Many pharmacy tech jobs don’t require higher education or certification, but your duties will be limited to more of a customer service representative type of position until you’ve received significant on-the-job paid training.

If you choose to eventually become a certified pharmacy technician — through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcare Association (NHA) — you can earn a higher pay grade and assume more responsibilities. These duties might include filling prescriptions and assisting the pharmacist with administrative tasks, such as dealing with doctors, nurses, and insurance companies.

What is the difference between NHA and PTCB?

To become a certified pharmacy technician, which can expand your career options since many states require it, you basically have two options. The organizations that provide certification are the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcare Association (NHA).

The main difference between the two is that PTCB certification requires only that you be a high school graduate and have a passing score on the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT). The NHA requires applicants to be a minimum age of 18 years old, with a high school diploma, a completed a training program (or have one year of work experience), and pass the ExCPT exam. Once the tech is certified, they must meet continuing education requirements every two years to maintain their certification.

Beauty consultant positions

If make-up and skincare solutions are your passion, Walgreens has positions in this area as a beauty advisor or beauty consultant. In these positions, you may assist customers with questions about beauty and skin-care routines, products and services, provide product demonstrations, and assist with in-store events to promote brand awareness, for instance.

Some of the preferred qualifications for a beauty consultant position at Walgreens include:

  • A license in cosmetology or as an esthetician as granted by an appropriate state licensing authority.
  • Experience establishing and maintaining relationships with individuals at all levels of the organization, in the business community, and with vendors.
  • Experience demonstrating makeup application and providing mini makeovers to customers.
  • A degree from beauty school.
  • Prior experience in other beauty product retail businesses and selling prestige brands.

Walgreens interview and application process

As you look at available job openings and decide whether you want to work at Walgreens, it’s important to be aware of what you might encounter during the application and interview process. You’ll want to present your best self to get hired, and that can take some preparation and planning before you apply.

Pro Tip

If you’re interested in jobs at Walgreens, go to your nearest store and take a look around. Pay attention to what sales associates are doing and how they interact with others. You could even talk to some Walgreens employees to see how they feel about working there, and if they have any advice for you as a prospective new hire.

Applying to Walgreens

As with most career opportunities these days, you can begin by filling out your application online. If possible, try to include a resume as well, although that may not be possible if this is your first job.

Do your research and pay special attention when pointing out any special skills you have. This is particularly important if you don’t have any previous job experiences to showcase your talents. Some specific abilities that Walgreens wants to see in its job candidates are:

  • Team player
  • Responsible
  • Problem-solver
  • Trustworthy
  • Efficient
  • Helpful
  • Good communicator
  • Multi-tasker

Interviewing at Walgreens

If you do well with the application process, you may be invited to come in for an interview with the store manager. It’s important to come prepared to answer some tough questions and try to look your best. It’s also good to practice answering questions and try to come up with some examples from your life to illustrate how you plan to be a successful new member of the team.

Walgreens interview questions for pharmacy positions, for example, might include queries as to your proficiency in math, computers, and dealing with customer needs, questions, or complaints.

In addition, here are some general questions you can expect as you apply for any position within the Walgreens world.

  • What do you know about the Walgreens company?
  • Have you worked in retail before and what is your level of experience?
  • How do you think your previous work experience will help you in this position?
  • Why do you want to work at Walgreens?
  • Why do you want to work in this particular position?
  • If you don’t have any work experience, why do you think you will be successful in this role?
  • Are you comfortable working irregular hours? (Many Walgreens are 24-hour stores that may require you to work strange hours.)
  • What other skills or experience do you have that will make you successful in this position/company?

You’ll probably also need to pass a skill assessment test to prove your experience and capabilities in certain areas and fill out a computer questionnaire to assess your proficiency in that area as well.

Walgreens benefits

Like most large corporations, Walgreens has a solid benefits package that may include (depending on your hours and position):

  • Health, dental, and vision insurance
  • 401(k), profit-sharing, and employee stock purchase programs
  • Paid time off
  • Flexible hours
  • Employee discounts

You may also want to take advantage of training programs through Walgreens University. This school offers tons of courses that are developed both internally and through other educational institutions.

This is a great way to help further develop your skills and capabilities — whether you’re interested in learning more about your current role, gaining experience in a new area, or moving up the ladder within Walgreens.

Key Takeaways

  • You must be at least 16 years old to work at Walgreens in an entry-level position.
  • To get a job in the pharmacy, you need to be a minimum of 18 years old and have finished high school or have a high-school equivalency.
  • There are many different jobs at Walgreens, ranging from an entry-level, in-store sales associate to photo specialist, pharmacy tech, beauty consultant, or a managerial or corporate position.
View Article Sources
  1. Career Development — Walgreens
  2. In-Store — Walgreens
  3. Pharmacy Technician Certification —
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