There are thousands of jobs available in major pharmaceuticals. As the pharmaceutical industry is among the fastest-growing industries worldwide, the number of jobs posted is notably increased each year. The good news is that pharmaceutical companies offer a broad variety of job roles, ranging from laboratory-based research & development and drug safety positions to manufacturing and regulatory affairs jobs.
Since there are so many diverse career opportunities in major pharmaceuticals, individuals with pretty much any skill set can find a job position to match their interests and preferences. But how do you get started? If you are having trouble finding a suitable job in major pharmaceuticals, this article is for you.
In the following sections, you will find general information about the types of jobs available in major pharmaceuticals. The article will also list some of the best-paying jobs in major pharmaceuticals along with the education requirements for these positions. Last but not least, you can read more about finding and getting a job in major pharmaceuticals.
What Types of Jobs Are Available in Major Pharmaceuticals?
Pursuing a career path in major pharmaceuticals can be exciting for a number of reasons. Along with having the ability to choose from countless well-paying and stable careers, the major pharmaceutical industry offers a diverse variety of jobs.
There are many different types of jobs available in major pharmaceuticals. Some jobs are lab-based and involve extensive research and a myriad of experiments to improve or create new drug formulations. On the other hand, there are job options that focus on regulatory affairs to ensure that pharmaceuticals are developed, tested, manufactured, and distributed according to safety and regulatory standards.
So, whether you want to be involved in lab experiments and clinical research or you prefer devoting your time to quality control and drug safety, you can easily find the right job for you in major pharmaceuticals.
Besides, every major pharmaceutical company requires a sales team to promote and sell the drugs while ensuring that these drugs are marketed properly. Therefore, if you’re passionate about developing marketing strategies while working closely with the regulatory affairs team, the major pharmaceutical industry might be the right choice for you.
Best-Paying Jobs in Major Pharmaceuticals
Working in major pharmaceuticals usually requires higher academic degrees along with lots of training and may also involve spending time in a high-pressure environment. However, working in the pharmaceutical industry can also be quite rewarding, meaning that you can find some of the highest-paying jobs while being able to help people and truly make a difference.
The best-paying jobs in major pharmaceuticals include pharmacist, pharmacologist, pharmacoepidemiologist, pharmacometrician, research and development scientist, clinical research scientist, project manager, drug safety scientist, quality control specialist, medical writer, formulation scientist, microbiologist, biochemist, pharmaceutical sales representative, and regulatory affairs specialist.
Read more about the duties and responsibilities of individuals working in major pharmaceuticals below. The average annual salaries in the US mentioned in the article are based on the statistics provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Payscale.
Average Salary – $146,000
While the profession is pretty diverse, pharmacists are mainly responsible for dispensing or filling a prescription while providing patients with information about the safe use of prescribed medication. As pharmacists are responsible for ensuring prescribed drug suitability as well as answering patients’ questions about different medicines, they must be registered with the GPhC.
Average Salary – $124,000
Pharmacologists are professionals who study the actions of different chemical substances and medicines on tissues and physiological processes occurring in living organisms. Pharmacologists typically carry out in vitro experiments as well as tests on animals to determine the effects of drugs in different concentrations and formulations.
Average Salary – $62,700
Pharmacoepidemiologists focus on studying the utilization and effects of medicines in large groups of people. The primary duty of pharmacoepidemiologists is to determine the estimated probabilities of the beneficial and adverse effects of drugs. Pharmacoepidemiologists collect critical statistical analysis and data to enrich clinical databases.
Average Salary – $152,000
Pharmacometricians are involved in all processes of research, development, and approval of drugs. As a pharmacometrician, you will be responsible for quantifying the interaction between drugs and patients to contribute to efficient drug development. Besides, pharmacometricians use their knowledge of chemistry, biology, biochemistry, physiology, and pharmacology while creating mathematical models to collect and analyze the data.
Research and Development Scientist
Average Salary – $90,300
Research and development scientists aim to enhance existing formulas, develop new medicine formulations, and conduct experiments to prove theories. As an R&D scientist, you will work closely with other professionals and highly qualified experts to design safe and effective medicines.
Clinical Research Scientist
Average Salary – $93,600
Clinical research incorporates testing and analyzing people or their samples of tissues to understand human health and diseases. As a clinical research scientist working in major pharmaceuticals, your primary goal will be designing medicines that help treat and prevent various health conditions.
Average Salary – $75,900
Every research and development or clinical research team needs a project manager to ensure that everything runs smoothly, with few to no complications. Although project managers working in the pharmaceutical industry are not directly involved in research, this job requires adequate knowledge of the research or experiments being conducted.
Drug Safety Scientist
Average Salary – $118,600
Drug safety scientists are essential for detecting and evaluating potential adverse effects of medicines in order to minimize or prevent them. As a drug safety or pharmacovigilance scientist, your primary role is to increase drug safety by studying drug interactions, assessing risks, and ensuring that drugs comply with FDA regulations.
Quality Control Specialist
Average Salary – $62,000
When designing and producing medicines, it is of huge importance to ensure that all drugs meet the predetermined quality standards. And this is when quality control specialists come into play. The quality control team aims to perform tests and experiments on raw materials and products to verify that they meet the specifications.
Average Salary – $85,600
If you are passionate about writing scientific documents in the medical field, then you should consider becoming a medical writer. As a medical writer, you will most likely work with doctors and other scientists to craft documents, including but not limited to research papers, review articles, drug-related educational and promotional literature, content for healthcare websites, and other research-related publication articles.
Average Salary – $90,000
Formulation scientists are mainly chemists who also have adequate knowledge of biology, biochemistry, and physiology. These scientists create chemical formulations for different medicines. To ensure drug safety and effectiveness, formulation scientists often work with other professionals in the medical and pharmaceutical fields.
Average Salary – $56,000
Microbiologists are typically responsible for planning and executing various projects, ranging from simple experiments to complex research. As a microbiologist, your primary role is to develop new drugs, specifically antibiotics, to combat infectious diseases.
Average Salary – $102,300
Biochemists play a critical role in the pharmaceutical industry. Since biochemists study the chemical processes occurring in living organisms, their knowledge is absolutely crucial for developing new drugs. Biochemists working in the pharmaceutical industry study and determine the effects of chemical products and subsequent processes on living beings.
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
Average Salary – $89,700
As the pharmaceutical industry is advancing rapidly, many pharmaceutical manufacturer and distributor companies hire sales representatives to inform physicians about newly-developed drugs. This position is a great opportunity to get involved in the pharmaceutical field without holding a degree in one of the related sciences. Still, you need sufficient knowledge and understanding of how different medicines work to be hired as a pharmaceutical sales representative.
Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Average Salary – $65,600
Since obtaining and maintaining government approval for medicines and other pharmaceutical products is essential, companies in this sector hire regulatory affairs specialists. So, if you are someone with a degree in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacy, pharmacology, or a related field but you are more into legal work, pursuing a career path in regulatory affairs might be the right choice.
Which Industries Offer Major Pharmaceuticals Jobs?
The pharmaceutical industry is the one offering jobs in major pharmaceuticals. While the industry focuses on the discovery, development, production, and marketing of drugs, there are many different types of companies in the pharmaceutical sector.
Major pharmaceutical companies can be further classified into a few different categories. Different pharma businesses focus on oral drugs, oncological formulations, topical medicines, vaccines, parenteral formulations, modified release formulations, and novel drug formulations.
Besides, companies in the major pharmaceutical industry do not always develop and manufacture drugs. Rather, many businesses are involved in regulatory affairs to ensure that the drugs comply with predetermined standards and are both efficient and safe for consumption.
What’s the Average Salary of People Working in Major Pharmaceuticals?
The average salary of individuals working in the major pharmaceutical industry depends on a number of factors, including the type of company they work at, the kind of business they are involved in, their duties and responsibilities, their level of knowledge and experience, and the country or state of employment.
The average annual salary of individuals working in major pharmaceuticals is $83,495, according to Comparably. Depending on the position and company people work at, the annual salary ranges from approx. $16,000 to $430,600.
As long as you have adequate knowledge and experience, you can easily find a high-paying job in major pharmaceuticals. To increase your chances, consider getting as many certificates and licenses as you can.
What Are the Education Requirements for Major Pharmaceuticals Jobs?
As there are many different types of companies and jobs available in major pharmaceuticals, the education requirements vary greatly. While entry-level jobs do not require advanced university degrees, you may need years of experience working in the field to be hired for certain positions.
Major pharmaceuticals is a crucial industry and holding higher education degrees is strongly recommended when choosing a career in this field. To work in major pharmaceuticals, you will typically need a degree in one of the following areas: pharmacy, pharmacology, medicine, chemistry, biology, and biochemistry.
While academic degrees are pretty much essential for getting a job in major pharmaceuticals, you may also be required to have certificates and licenses to work in the field. Being certified lets you choose better-paying jobs at some of the top-notch pharmaceutical companies.
Keep in mind that working as a sales representative or a pharmacy clerk does not require holding higher education degrees. Your experience level along with your personal and professional skills are generally valued more.
Where Can You Find Jobs in Major Pharmaceuticals?
Undoubtedly, pursuing a career path in major pharmaceuticals is pretty exciting and you get a chance to choose from a myriad of jobs. But how do you get started or where can you find a suitable job for you? Here’s the answer you’ve been looking for.
To find a job in major pharmaceuticals, use job boards and filtering options. The best job search engines are Indeed, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, Google for Jobs, and Linkedin. You can also search for jobs on official company websites or social media platforms. Besides, networking with people in the pharmaceutical industry is an excellent way to find a job, even jobs that haven’t been advertised.
In a nutshell, when searching for a job in major pharmaceuticals, make sure you check online job search tools while attending job fairs and industry events to meet as many people working in the field as possible.