Career Options in the Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most popular industries out there. It’s a large business that employs people all across the world, and its influence stretches into nearly every facet of society. So what are some potential careers in this field?  Well, they span across science, and generic skill areas including manufacturing, sales, marketing, legal and business management.

For the generic skill areas, a science qualification is always a bonus but by no means necessary. Pharma is a high-value and high-growth industry area and there is lots of scope for people with generic manufacturing, business, sales and marketing experience to successfully transfer their skill set to the Pharma industry. 

And for those who have a science degree as a minimum, there are a plethora of opportunities. However anyone wanting to succeed as a scientist in the pharmaceutical sector should aim to gain a master’s degree or better still a doctorate. Here are just a few of the growing career opportunities for scientists in the pharmaceutical industry.


Pharmacists are responsible for dispensing drugs to patients, as well as many other responsibilities. Pharmacists must be licensed to dispense medication in their jurisdiction. A pharmacist can have a variety of jobs within the pharmaceutical industry depending on his/her specific education and experience level. Some pharmacists focus on researching new medications that will help people who suffer from certain diseases or conditions, while others work closely with doctors by providing them information about which medicines may best suit each patient based upon that person’s unique needs and medical history. Other pharmacists choose to specialize in manufacturing different types of drug products at pharmacies across the country.

Others who work in the pharmaceutical industry and life science consulting companies may also be involved with marketing new drugs to doctors and other healthcare providers or educating these professionals about different medications that they should consider prescribing for their patients. The average salary for pharmacists in the UK is just over £48,000 per year, but some pharmacists may earn more than this amount depending on their specific job responsibilities. 

Pharmaceutical chemist

Pharmaceutical chemists design, test, research and analyse better drugs for healthcare. Scientists working in this area work to create and synthesize more effective medicines that have fewer side effects and are cost-effective. They also review and evaluate existing medications, to improve them and measure how well or otherwise they work alongside other medical regimes. 

Medical Scientist

Medical scientists study the effects of drugs and other medical treatments on human health, they also carry out research on diseases. Their work is essential for improving our ability to prevent and cure illness. They can be employed in a variety of settings: drug companies, universities, hospitals, or clinics. The working environment varies depending on where you are based but generally involves spending time carrying out experiments in laboratories as well as visiting patients either at their homes or in healthcare facilities. The role includes conducting tests that may involve taking samples from them such as blood, saliva, or urine before undergoing clinical analysis by scientists. Medical scientists often have a holistic approach that includes formulating possible treatment options with consulting doctors who will usually provide specialist advice about how best to proceed with any particular case under consideration before making recommendations. The might include advising certain types of medication or therapy to be administered or carried out according to the results of tests that have been conducted.

It is possible for people with a degree in life sciences such as human biology, chemistry, and physics but other qualifications can also prove useful including postgraduate degrees which are available by studying part-time while working at some institutions offering higher education courses online. Other essential skills include strong communication skills so you can discuss your findings with doctors who may need help constructing treatment plans. Good numeracy is important as scientists require an understanding about research statistics when they conclude from their data then attempt to formulate hypotheses along with problem-solving ability if experiments do not guarantee results then it might mean having to reformulate an approach again until positive outcomes are achieved.

Regulatory Specialist

A regulatory specialist position has recently emerged within the pharma industry. To qualify you should have at least five years of experience working in clinical research, preferably as a CRO or pharmaceutical sales representative. They would like to see that you have worked on projects involving small molecules and biologics. A BS degree will be required along with an MBA if desired. However, they are less concerned about your GPA than previous job-related accomplishments (i.e., publications). Along with excellent communication skills, this person should also possess strong leadership abilities to successfully work through cross-functional teams while keeping clear lines of communications open between managers/staffers who need guidance throughout their daily activities related to project management and other important initiatives (such as regulatory compliance). Of course, it is expected that you will also have the ability to provide high-quality product development and management services.

Nutritional Scientist

The role of a nutritional scientist is to research the human body’s reaction to food and diet, in order to develop new products. A stimulating career in this industry will allow you to learn about how nutrition works on a cellular level in both healthy individuals as well as those with disease conditions. These scientists are involved in everything from product development, analysis of adsorption through various methods including electron microscopy or computer modeling, stability testing at different temperatures due to being exposed directly by heat during processing/storage, etc., clinical studies which involve applying dietary formulations for specific diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease or obesity under government guidelines and regulatory compliance i.e. if something may cause harm it has not been tested properly, and finally they work with the production team to produce food/products that meet these requirements. These scientists are skilled in chemistry, biology, physiology as well as a desire for creativity which will allow them to develop new products or methods of processing fermentation.

If you’re interested in the pharmaceutical field, there are plenty of career options to consider. We’ve discussed several types of careers above, so it’s up to you which path will best suit your interests and qualifications. Many people find jobs as entry-level professionals with an opportunity for advancement, while others choose a more specialized role that involves research or clinical work.