pharmacist looking at camera

7 Popular Careers for Pharmaceutical Professionals

If you work in the pharmaceutical industry or aspire to find a pharma job, you know it’s a well-paid field with plenty of opportunities for those with science, medical, and technical backgrounds.

Over 25% of employed pharmaceutical professionals reported salaries exceeding $100,000, and 19% reached the $150,000 mark, according to a 2019 report from Pharma Manufacturing. Further, 91% of those surveyed reported a solid level of job satisfaction.

What are the requirements for a pharmaceutical job? What skills and credentials should you include on your pharmaceutical resume? To help answer these questions and assist with your job search, we rounded up seven of the top jobs in the pharmaceutical industry right now.

1.   Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

As a pharmaceutical sales rep, you’ll travel to doctors’ offices to sell your company’s product. You’ll be required to cultivate client relationships and maintain extensive knowledge of the product and its intended purpose. To qualify for a pharmaceutical sales representative job, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, preferably in the life sciences or marketing, sales, advertising, or business administration.

2.   Quality Manager

A pharmaceutical quality manager role can be an exciting opportunity for someone with high attention to detail. Quality managers make sure that their companies are following quality-control protocol for manufacturing, testing, and inspection procedures. To qualify for this role, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in science or business, as well as several years of managerial experience in the pharmaceutical or similar industry.


Job Seeker Sign In


3.   Project Manager

A project manager oversees the development of a new drug or a new iteration of an existing drug, managing the entire project from start to finish. Their responsibilities are similar to those of project managers in other industries — making sure a project is completed on time, under budget, and in line with company requirements. Project managers seeking roles in pharmaceutical companies may benefit from an undergraduate degree in physical or life sciences as well as an advanced degree, such as a Master of Business Administration or Master of Public Health.

4.   Laboratory Analyst

If you enjoy conducting scientific experiments in a lab, a job as a laboratory analyst may be for you. In a pharmaceutical company, laboratory analysts conduct analyses or experiments, either for quality control or as part of the development of new products. Laboratory analysts may assist scientists with research. To qualify for this role, you’ll need at least an associate’s degree as well as work experience in a lab.


pharmacist assisting patient


5.   Research and Development Professional

If you choose to work in Research & Development (R&D), you’ll spend your time working on the development of new chemical and drug entities and evaluating existing products. In this role, you’d also manage projects and work with large quantities of data. A job in R&D may require a PharmD degree or an advanced degree such as an M.A., M.S., M.B.A., or Ph.D.

6.   Pharmaceutical Scientist

Pharmaceutical scientists perform research, discovery, development, and testing of drugs and other pharmaceutical treatments. Most pharmaceutical companies require their candidates for these popular pharma jobs to hold a master’s degree in fields such as pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical sciences, or pharmacology.

7.   Clinical Research Associate

As a clinical research associate, you’ll get a firsthand look into the exacting testing protocol that a drug must undergo before it’s introduced to the market. Clinical research associates oversee clinical trials on behalf of pharmaceutical companies. To work in clinical research, you’ll typically need a bachelor’s degree in life sciences, nursing, biotechnology, or another clinical science.


Ready to find a rewarding career in the pharmaceutical field? Take the next step by searching for jobs on iHirePharmacy

By iHire | March 26, 2021
Sign In or Register to access all articles and insider tips for help in your job search.

Search for Pharmacy Jobs