Careers in the Pharmaceutical Industry

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The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most desirable to work for worldwide. There are many reasons for this, but it is principally due to the tremendous benefits and prestige that these companies offer. Research technicians, analysts of every variety, engineers, nurses, doctors, phlebotomists, scientists, biologists, chemists, medical ethicists, microbiologists, geneticists and others such as quality control experts, factory workers and field personnel fill out the careers in this industry.

General Qualifications

  • Due to the complexity and the management of corporate proprietary processes, positions in this industry are highly valued. Higher levels of education are the norm in this industry. Research technicians are one of these positions because they conduct experiments under the watchful eyes of the lead scientist. Bachelors' degrees are usually the minimum educational requirement, with masters and doctorate degrees preferred in the specialty areas. Workers on the factory floor on the other hand can get by with a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma and a certificate of ability to work with forklifts, as an example.

The Scientist

  • If scientific research is your qualification, the reasons for joining a pharmaceutical company (pharma) may lie in the grand flexibility of conducting various research models or focusing on one thread of a larger spool, such as dedicating years to finding a process that may one day cure a disease.

    After a discovery is found, the process is passed along to the other members of the research team such as the biotechnologist and on to others as well to find any variant that may harm or improve the quality of the newly discovered development or culture.

Some Statistics

  • In 2006, pharma and other medical manufacturing provided over 290,000 positions. Most in-facility positions are located Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, California, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana, North Carolina and Puerto Rico according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there should be a 23.7 increase in all positions by the year 2016. Most workers in the industry have a minimum of a bachelor degree and there are twice as many individuals with degrees as in any other industry.

Pharmaceutical Sales

  • For persons with virtually any type of sales experience, the top of the mountain would be pharmaceutical sales. The benefits are simply outstanding and include a nice car with fun toys and two credit cards, one for gasoline and the other for entertaining customers, which happen to be physicians. The main responsibility is to convince the physician that the product you have works better than the product from the competitor. Physicians are showered with pens, cups, promotional samples, prescription forms and other materials that bear the product's name and logo.

    Success in the ability to convince physicians to prescribe a particular product is tracked by how much of the product is sold and/or ordered from the pharmacies in the zip code during a given time, which happens to be in the assigned territory.

The Final Word

  • The pharmaceutical industry is a challenging and rewarding place to work, but be aware of companies that make false claims about preparing people to enter the industry by offering certificates of completion and/or training of some sort. Unless a company is recruiting right from the university, chances are that they want people with industry experience or verifiable success in advertising sales. The reason for this is simple: if success is proven in the advertising industry, then you know first hand what rejection is. In pharma sales, you will receive plenty of rejection.

References

  • Photo Credit http://images.google.com/imgres,http://www.flickr.com,http://farm4.static.flickr.com/
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