Pharmaceutical science is an industry that uses scientific procedures to develop new medications and treatments. This industry offers a variety of careers that can allow you to take part in scientific discovery and earn a competitive salary. If you’re interested in science and want to contribute to the medical field, a career in pharmaceutical science might be the right choice for you.
In this article, we explain what a pharmaceutical sciences job is and provide a list of 10 positions to consider, with the national average salary and typical job duties for each.
What is a job in pharmaceutical sciences?
A pharmaceutical science job refers to a career working with pharmaceutical products. These products can include compounds used in medications and cosmetics. Jobs in the pharmaceutical sciences industry might involve:
Researching experiments that can lead to the development of new medications
Manufacturing and testing new medications to ensure that they’re safe and effective
Working in sales and marketing to promote and sell new pharmaceutical products
10 pharmaceutical sciences jobs to consider
If you’re interested in becoming a pharmaceutical scientist, it can be helpful to learn about your career options. Here are 10 jobs you can get in the pharmaceutical science industry. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries.
National average salary: $37,049 per year
Primary duties: A pharmacy technician helps pharmacists serve customers. Their job can involve keeping a pharmacy and areas where they prepare medications clean and organized. They may also offer information to customers who visit the pharmacy to pick up their prescriptions and help ensure that all operations in a pharmacy adhere to laws and regulations. Some pharmacy technicians can also mix solutions for medicated products like ointments or creams.
National average salary: $50,888 per year
Primary duties: A liaison, or medical science liaison, is an expert in their chosen field who evaluates an organization’s operations and makes recommendations for improvements. In pharmaceutical science, a liaison might oversee product testing to ensure that products work effectively. They may also collaborate with research scientists on experiments for developing new pharmaceuticals and keep track of a product’s development from its creation to its distribution.
National average salary: $60,049 per year
Primary duties: A chemist is a scientist who studies and works with chemicals and chemical compounds. A chemist in the pharmaceutical industry might conduct experiments with chemicals to create new chemical compounds for medications. They can also test new pharmaceuticals to ensure they’re safe for human use and work with regulatory bodies to verify that any new pharmaceutical they work on adheres to government and industry standards. Chemists may review data from other researchers and facilities to determine how other findings can contribute to the development of new medications.
National average salary: $69,630 per year
Primary duties: A pharmaceutical manufacturer uses raw materials and chemical compounds to create pharmaceutical products like medications. Pharmaceutical manufacturers can measure and blend materials to create powders for medications that might benefit the pharmaceutical company for which they work. They may also synthesize components of new pharmaceuticals with specialized tools and procedures. They often work with potentially hazardous materials, so following safety regulations to ensure the safety of everyone in the workplace is an important element of this job.
National average salary: $74,887 per year
Primary duties: A regulatory specialist ensures new products adhere to industry regulations. Regulatory specialists can collaborate with scientists to organize trials for new pharmaceuticals and create procedures for standardizing pharmaceutical operations. They may also submit applications for approval and permits for new medications. Additionally, a regulatory specialist can perform audits on a facility’s processes to verify that they follow applicable regulations and to find areas that might need improvement.
National average salary: $75,895 per year
Primary duties: A pharmaceutical sales representative is a salesperson who promotes and sells new pharmaceuticals to health care providers. These individuals meet with doctors and additional medical professionals to educate them about new medications. They may also recommend new pharmaceutical products to health care facilities and stay updated on trends in the industry so they can adjust their sales strategies as necessary. Most pharmaceutical sales representatives develop a thorough knowledge of their products and the ways they can treat medical conditions to explain those products to potential customers effectively.
National average salary: $91,089 per year
Primary duties: A clinical research associate helps clinical research scientists complete their projects and experiments. This can involve developing new clinical protocols, gathering data, synthesizing results and performing quality control for clinical trials. Clinical research associates can also keep detailed records during studies and research projects. This may help them monitor progress and recommend adjustments to strategies when needed.
National average salary: $118,037 per year
Primary duties: A pharmacologist is a researcher who helps to develop chemical substances to use in new pharmaceutical products. Pharmacologists can organize and oversee the completion of pharmacology studies and prepare research grants to apply for funding. A pharmacologist might also conduct research on human subjects to observe how the human body reacts to specific chemical compounds, then use their findings to create standards for medication doses.
Related: Learn About Being a Pharmacologist
National average salary: $127,311 per year
Primary duties: A pharmacist distributes and advises consumers about medications. This can involve collaborating with physicians to learn about how different medications work and offering guidance to customers about how to use their medications correctly. They may also organize the inventory in a pharmacy to ensure all customers receive their medications. A pharmacist can sometimes recommend other treatment options, like over-the-counter medications, to clients who experience minor health conditions.
Related: Learn About Being a Pharmacist
10. Patent attorney
National average salary: $142,474 per year
Primary duties: A patent attorney is a lawyer who helps businesses register and protect their intellectual property. Patent attorneys can file applications to secure patents for new products and attend courtroom hearings to represent their clients in litigation about patent-related challenges. They may also conduct research on patent law to stay updated on changes to regulations and procedures. Some patent attorneys also act as courtroom experts and present their opinions and understandings about patents in court.