6 Jobs in Pharmaceutical Industry – Responsibilities – Qualifications – Salary

Pharmaceutical Industry is an industry that engaged in the manufacturing of drugs, both drugs derived from natural materials and synthetic chemical compounds. The main purpose of the pharmaceutical industry is to prevent the spread of disease, reduce pain, cure disease, and slow the effects of aging. Every pharmaceutical industry is racing to find new drugs that can be used to cure illness that keep growing today. In addition to the existence of new drugs, competition among industries is also increasing. Hence, developing new drug is needed for the existence of a pharmaceutical company.

The Pharmaceutical industry does not only produce drugs, but they also produce animal health products, livestock feed supplements, vitamins, and other goods. Many Pharmaceutical Industries have headquarters in the United States, and some in European Countries. The pharmaceutical industries have opened branches around the world and led to the significant development of pharmaceutical industries from time to time.

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Keep in mind that pharmaceutical is one industry that has many profits. Therefore, many industries are competing to build a new pharmaceutical industry. And with many new pharmaceutical industries, more jobs are being opened in this field.

In a pharmaceutical industry, a pharmacist can occupy almost at every position in the company. And in general pharmacy work in the pharmaceutical industry is divided into 6 areas, namely:

  1. Research
  2. Clinical Development and Medical
  3. Manufacturing and Quality Operation
  4. Business Operations
  5. Sales
  6. Research

Jobs in Pharmaceutical Industries are vary depends on the individual. Yet, the knowledge of chemistry is needed to develop the industries.

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1. Research Scientist

A research scientist is someone who works by doing research to find new scientific knowledge related to medicines. In addition, they also play a role to develop, or improving the existing medicines and treatments. The research is about preventative, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease. The investigation is also carried out by molecular level by using animal cells or human volunteers to see the clinical effects of the developed drugs.

So in general, work in this field of research is work in the lab. Although it looks boring to have to work in the lab, the field of research is one important element in the success of a pharmaceutical industry.

Qualification for research work is someone must graduate with a Bachelor of Science or a Master of Science degree in related sciences. In addition, many pharmaceutical industries are also looking for workers who already have experience in the field of lab, both at school and in industry. For this qualification, the position that can be obtained is a research associate. Research associates work in fields related to science, such as experimenting and analyzing data under supervision of senior scientists. Above research associate there is a research specialist who is also called pharmaceuticals specialist. Pharmaceutical specialists usually have more autonomy and provide input to the performed research.

In addition to BS or MS graduates, PhD graduates can also work in research field as an associate scientist. The work to be done is to conduct research and collaborate with other parties in conducting this research. In the conducted research, associate scientists must be able to run the lab and planning an experimental project on a larger scale.

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  • Technician Lab

Technician labs are assigned to perform routine maintenance tasks such as cleaning and maintaining glassware, working with animal colonies, operation of lab equipment, and other things that are required for the lab to operate properly. This position can be occupied by high school graduates, though not infrequently university graduates also work from this level first. Within a year, the technician lab can earn a salary of 4,500 USD.

  • Research Associate

A research associate is usually a graduate of BS or MS in biochemistry or other appropriate field and has experience working in the lab field. This position enables one to experiment under the guidance of a PhD scientist. A research associate should also be able to work well in a team while conducting a study.

The salary of a research associate within a year is about 6,000 – 7,500 USD and depending on the experience they have.

  • Research Scientist

Research scientist is someone who has completed a post-doc and earned a PhD. The task of a research scientist is to lead a research and write the results of such research to the public if necessary. A research scientist with less experience can earn a salary of 18,000 USD in a year. And if they have a lot of experience then the salary will be increasing up to 65,000 – 90,000 USD per year.

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2. Clinical Development and Medical

Clinical Development and Medical fields within a company play a role to be responsible and ensure the safety of a drug product and ensure that the development program works well. Usually those who work in this field are PharmD graduates as well as Masters and sometimes PhDs.

They work in drafting a clinical development plan of a drug product in the form of a strategic and tactical document conducted prior to marketing approval. In addition they also play a role in clinical trial protocols, the instructions for an investigator describing the objectives, design, and methodology of a clinical trial.

Clinical Development offers several career options such as clinical research physician, clinical research associate, regulatory affair associate, bio statistician, clinical data manager, and medical science liaison.

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  • Clinical Research Physician

Clinical Research Physician (CRP) is a Master of Pharmacy graduate who is in charge of developing and implementing experimental drugs plans through preapproval clinical trials. They work in cross-functional teams to maximize their understanding in terms of pharmacological, regulatory, and clinical dimensions of drug being studied. A CRP earns a salary of 35,000 USD every year.

  • Clinical Research Associate

Clinical research associate (CRA) is a person who conducts clinical trials to see the effectiveness, risks, and benefits of the patient who use the drug product. CRA can be found in the pharmaceutical industry and play an essential role in company. The work covered all stages in clinical trials including investigation, composing, setting-up, monitoring, until the end of the trial before the drug being released. To become a CRA then the required qualification is a PharmD degree from a qualified university. Within a year a new CRA can earn about 35,000 USD and 50,000 USD for CRA with more experience.

  • Regulatory Affair Associate

Regulatory officers play a role in ensuring licensing, marketing, and legal compliance of pharmaceutical products to ensure the safe and efficacy of the drug is guaranteed. They must combine science knowledge with legal and business issues to ensure the product meets the established requirements. Within a year the regulatory affair officer can earn a salary of about 25,000 – 38,000 USD, and at a higher level they can earn salary of 77,000 – 100,000 USD. To become a regulatory affair officer, the required qualifications are a Bachelor of Pharmacy with a PharmD degree.

  • Bio Statistician

In the field of clinical development, it takes a statistician who is tasked to apply the analytical plan in clinical studies, design tables and figures that display information clearly, interpret the final study data, and write the statistical sections of clinical study reports.

Bio statistician in a pharmaceutical company will be distinguished by experience and education. For the initial level, the bio statistician is a master’s degree or PhD specialist in statistics or therapeutic specialty. For bio statistician in upper level requires a PhD graduate with experience in the industry for several years. The salary that can be earned in a year by a bio statistician is 60,000 USD.

  • Clinical Data Manager

Clinical Data Manager acts as a supervisor in all aspects related to clinical data. They specify how metrics will be collected and assist in standardizing data management procedures for internal operations and external reporting. This position is typically occupied by master graduates who have had experience in relevant areas for several years. Within a year a clinical data manager can earn a salary of 65,000 USD.

  • Medical Science Liaison

This position is occupied by PharmD graduate, master, even PhD with therapeutic area specialties. Their work is to interact between physician and scientist in healthcare community to maximize acceptance and proper use of company products. If experienced, a medical science liaison can earn up to 120,000 USD per year.

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3. Manufacturing and Quality

Manufacturing department in the pharmaceutical industry plays a role in designing a manufacturing process of drugs, ensuring the integrity of finished product, creating product packaging, and special planning work space.

In addition in the pharmaceutical industry there is also a Quality department that is divided into two divisions, namely Quality Control and Quality Assurance. Both divisions are working to ensure that the resulting drug products compliance with applicable standards.

  • Production Officer

This work is a job that can be found in pharmaceutical companies. They are required to understand and control all processes of drug manufacturing into finished products in industry. In addition to medicines, they can also work in the food, cosmetics, and chemicals industries. Within a year they can earn a salary of 28,000 – 45,000 USD. The required qualifications are pharmacy graduates with PharmD degree. In addition, workers are required to understand the current Good Manufacturing Practice which is the basic standard in the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Quality Control Analyst

Quality Control (QC) analyst in a pharmaceutical company is responsible for the biological and chemical evaluation of products, materials and facilities. The main job of a QC analyst is to assay and define the specifications and standards of operating procedures. To be a QC analyst, someone must be a Bachelor of Science graduate. QC analyst deals with work in the lab and they must be able to work well in a team structure. A QC analyst can earn a salary up to 33,000 USD every year.

  • Quality Assurance Specialist

Quality Assurance (QA) specialists are highly needed in pharmaceutical companies because they play a role in ensuring that every process within the company is conducted in accordance with regulatory requirements. They have to make sure that the resulting drug product is safe and efficacious when used by the patient. To become a QA specialist, a person must have at least a Bachelor of Science degree. The salary of a QA specialist is 40,000 USD every year.


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4. Business Operation

The field of business operations in the pharmaceutical industry consists of several divisions such as finance, HR, and purchasing. Position that can be occupied by a pharmacy is the position of purchasing. A purchasing officer is tasked to get the raw material for the manufacture of drugs with good price and high quality. Therefore for this position required a pharmacy graduate who is familiar with the handling and quality of raw materials of the drug.

In addition to purchasing, a pharmacist can occupy a position in the field of marketing. In marketing pharmacist can work in related field about market research, forecasting, and promotional response analysis. Nowadays, position in the field of marketing requires many Master graduates without experience in the field of industry.

There is also a position as an assistant or associate product manager. The job of an associate product manager is to execute the brand strategy under the supervise product manager. Product manager is someone who responsible for the success of a brand. They will work together with therapeutic-focused business directors or other representatives of higher management to set targets and design that are appropriate with marketing demand. This position requires Master graduates with several years experience in pharmaceutical industry.

  • Market Research Analyst

Market Research Analyst (MRA) works by collecting and analyzing data that support drug marketing during the early stages of product life cycle, including pre-launch, launch, and when the product is marketed. They play a role in designing and conducting market research, analyzing and accumulating data, as well as communicating the findings to management on matters that support the business. MRA generally works with product manager. Within a year the MRA can earn a salary of 46,000 USD and will increase if you have experience in the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Associate Product Manager

Associate Product Manager is responsible for coordinating and implementing campaigns on specific drugs, audiences, or both. This work requires appropriate strategies and executions such as developing collateral pieces, working as a liaison to advertising agencies, and establishing a company’s presence at conventions. This position begins first by being a salesperson. However within a year this position can earn a salary of 52,000 USD.

  • Product Manager

The job as a product manager is to determine price, distribution, brand image, forecasting, and other strategies against medicinal products. This work is usually done in a team. Product manager must also be responsible for the work of an associate product manager who works under his supervision. In one year a product manager can earn a salary of up to 115,000 USD.

  • Strategy Director

The role of the strategy director is to develop a plan to maximize the commercial potential of drug products. They will conduct qualitative and quantitative analyzes of emerging diseases and treatments, and also see opportunities to develop market share in the marketplace. To occupy this position, a person must be a graduate of a health department and experienced in the industry. Within a year strategy director can earn a salary of 68,000 USD.

  • Business Development

Business development plays a role in the development and evaluation of new business opportunities. They must establish the strategic goals of the company so that the company can compete with other companies. This position requires master graduates with good analytical skills along with experience in industry for several years. In some companies PhD graduates also work in this position. For the manager level, the salary that can be earned in a year is 130,000 USD.

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5. Sales

Pharmaceutical companies require a sales representative or often referred to as medical representatives to be able to introduce their products to the market. The job of a medical representative is as a link between drug companies and healthcare professionals.

They work by selling drug products (medicines, medical devices) to doctors, hospitals, and pharmacists. The ability that must be possessed by medical sales representatives is medical knowledge so they can present the product that they sell.

The salary that can be received by a medical sales representative is 25,000 USD per year. At the level manager the salary is about 50,000 USD per year. The required qualifications for this job are the Bachelor of Pharmacy or graduates from other faculties that are related to health and medicine.

Indeed, there are many Jobs in Pharmaceutical Industries with good future, good salaries, and opportunities for the students who is taking major in the field.

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