The pharmaceutical industry offers many career options. Like many businesses, pharmaceutical companies require managers, financial staff, clerical staff, warehouse workers and delivery people. Two occupations, however, are specific to the business of pharmaceuticals.
The Science of Drugs
Pharmaceutical scientists discover, develop, test and manufacture medications, according to Explore Health Careers. They might be trained in biology, chemistry, informatics, engineering or medicine. Although you can get a foot in the door with a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree or doctorate is likely to result in higher pay and greater career advancement. A doctorate is typically required for independent research. Most pharmaceutical scientists spend their days in the laboratory, working on promising compounds that might become new medications. Explore Health Careers reported an average starting salary of $85,000 a year and a salary range of $104,000 to $210,000 for pharmaceutical scientists in 2014.
Making the Sale
Pharmaceutical sales representatives spend long days on the road to bring their products to physicians, pharmacists and other health care professionals. A bachelor’s degree is the standard for this occupation, according to “The Princeton Review.” A degree -- or at least training -- in sciences such as biology, chemistry, biophysics or organic chemistry helps reps understand the scientific issues related to the products they sell and explain relevant research to customers. Sale representatives must be aggressive in promoting and selling their products. Pharmaceutical sales representatives earned an average of $64,000 a year in 2014, according to the Indeed job site.
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