Health & Wellness

What Types of Jobs Exist in the Pharmaceutical Industry?

The pharmaceutical industry is massive, to say the least, and it would be hard to list down every career niche in it. The industry has only continued to rise and expand consistently since 2002 after it reported a staggering $400-billion generation in prescription sales alone.

If you’re looking for a career opportunity in this expansive field, you have an endless list of options to choose from. The primary objective of the pharmaceutical industry is to produce effective and safe treatments and drugs.

You will find multiple departments that rely on the expertise and training of a PharmD. The pharmaceutical world accommodates a diverse range of interests, right from medical writing to clinical research to the typical business functions, like sales, marketing, and legalities.

Let’s take a look at some of the top career opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry:

Pharmaceutical Researchers

This industry thrives on research and development, and no drug or treatment can ever come into existence without it. Hence, there is always a place for medical scientists, medical professionals, chemists, technicians and research assistants, etc. here.

Researchers contribute largely in specifications, new dosages, distribution, absorption, elimination, and metabolism of new medicine. They also play a critical part in clinical trials.


These are the first representatives of the pharmaceutical industries and responsible for delivering the end-products to patients. These individuals must have complete knowledge of all types of drugs, their existing study data, their interactions, risks, and benefits etc.

These individuals are also responsible for managing whole prescription departments of pharmacies.

Medical Communication and Information

This pharmaceutical role involves individuals who perform clinical and in-house scientific and expert duties. They serve both external and internal stakeholders who belong to the department of medical affairs.

Largely speaking, their responsibilities include reviewing information for medical accuracy from the initial clinical trial phases to the marketing materials post their approval.

Data Managers

The pharmaceutical industry is functionless without extensive researchers, involving huge amounts of data. These require a diverse group of professionals for managing and collating all the data the various studies produce.

Pharmaceutical industries are always in need of data managers.

Sales Representative

Sales representatives are instrumental for all, including a clinical trial supply company, equipment makers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, etc. These experts can pick one industry niche and specialize in it, including those sales areas that are crucial to an industry area.

The pharmaceutical industry is a wide market for everything, including facility supplies, tools, equipment, experimentation media, and employee insurance provisions, etc. No matter what side of the pharmaceutical market, there are always sales representatives driving it.

Medical Science Liaison

These individuals serve as clinical experts and field-based scientific professionals. They work on products that the department of Medical Affairs allots to them and on focus on specific therapeutic areas. These professionals also have to devote sixty percent of their time in conversing with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders).

The primary objective of these professionals includes linking the development and research division with the industry’s commercial side. They also constantly communicate medical information to external and internal stakeholders.

Quality Control Personnel

These are the individuals who make sure that every manufactured pharmaceutical product is top-grade and regulatory authority compliant. They ensure the products meet all necessary regulations between the supply companies can start distributing those to the market.

The quality control managers have to follow the control procedures that mostly the government agencies or manufacturers themselves dictate. This job type can also range from quality control associates to managerial positions.

Pharmaceutical Botanist

These pharmaceutical professionals combine their expertise in drug-compounding and chemistry with that of plant life. They conduct plant life studies in laboratories to deduce all the possibilities for drug and medical use.

Pharmaceutical botanist is not only a significant job for the industry but also a great service for mankind because it often leads to successful cures to life-threatening diseases.

Regulatory Affairs

These are the pharmaceutical industry professionals that manage rules and regulations for directing product quality. Their primary aim is to secure public health who will be consuming the products. The primary responsibility of these professionals is to connect pharmaceutical companies with relevant regulating bodies to ensure compliance.

They also ensure that the drug development process abides by the regulatory standards throughout the conception, pre-clinical and clinical trials as well as post-marketing sight. There are multiples other facets of this job as well.

Manufacturing Positions

These professionals directly participate in the actual manufacturing of drugs, medical equipment, and other relevant products. The manufacturing sector offers various positions as well.

For example, the processing operators are responsible for dispensing raw materials that the manufacturing process requires. There are also the processing officers who supervise the entire manufacturing process.

Then we have the personnel who have to ensure that the packing and stacking process of new products completes seamlessly. Some of these positions may require formal degrees, while higher education may not be a requirement for others.


Just like the sales representatives, the chemists are also always at work behind driving the ultimate purpose of the pharmaceutical industry. Qualified chemists are those that work towards specific goals, such as freely experimenting on new pharmaceutical-related ideas.


Pharmacovigilance professionals perform drug-safety officer duties. They work to discover, prevent and evaluate any problems drugs might come forth with. They also supervise the safety profile of a drug continuously, all through its pre and post-marketing life cycle.

The primary objective of these officers is to ensure that the benefits of a particular drug outweigh its risks and that they communicate any adverse effects posthaste to the regulatory authority. These officers also bear the responsibility of educating the medical communicating about patients.


Because the pharmaceutical industry is so drug-focused, often we forget that legal matters are a vital part of the operations too. From employee relations, experimentation procedures, waste disposal to injuries or product recalls, there is a matter of law in everything.

Individuals can even find job opportunities in the legal capacity of this industry.

Final Thoughts

The pharmaceutical industry virtually has endless vocational opportunities for individuals. From conceptualization to clinical trials, manufacturing and distribution of new drugs, and medical equipment, there are a range of jobs.

This industry includes all the vital business processes as well, including sales, legalities, profit-making, etc. In addition to research and development.


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