The pharmaceutical sector is one of the principal ones that we serve here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, with many employment experts in this field among our staff.

There’s also no question that the industry is a diverse, complex and potentially highly rewarding one for new recruits, with even starter pharmacologists typically earning between £25,000 and £28,000 a year, according to the National Careers Service.

But what do you need to know if you are to break into the sector for the first time?

First of all, make sure you have the right skills

There is a wide range of skills that will require in order to succeed in the pharmaceutical industry. These include strong IT skills, encompassing data retrieval and analysis, as well as good communication skills for giving presentations and writing papers and reports.

You will also need to be able to solve problems and come up with creative solutions in experiments, work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams and organise yourself and manage your time well. Leadership potential is another key requirement.

What qualifications are necessary?

Although it isn’t unheard-of for school leavers to secure pharmaceutical jobs – according to the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) – this is not common and further career progress would depend on the possession of higher qualifications.

To stand the best chance of securing your first pharmaceutical role, you are likely to need a degree in pharmacology, although entry may be possible with a degree in another scientific subject such as biochemistry, neuroscience, microbiology or physiology.

For employment at the major pharmaceutical companies that receive an especially high level of interest from candidates, a relevant postgraduate qualification such as a pharmacology MSc or PhD may be essential, or at least highly advantageous.

What is the role of work experience?

Work experience can be invaluable for enabling you to see what life in the pharmaceutical industry is really like, as well as to talk to those already in the sector and start making useful contacts. The presence of work experience on your CV will also show to employers that you have a genuine interest in working in the sector.

Finding a relevant placement can be extremely difficult if you are under 16, but not impossible, with some pharmaceutical firms happy to provide local students with experience in an office.

If you are 16-18, you may be able to secure a one-week or two-week work experience placement during school holidays. However, such opportunities are rarely advertised, so you will almost certainly need to get in touch with companies directly.

When you are considering university courses, it is strongly advisable to choose a course that offers a ‘year in industry’ – also sometimes referred to as a sandwich or industrial placement year. If such a placement year is not possible, it’s a good idea to aim to obtain work experience during the long summer holidays.

How can Hyper Recruitment Solutions help?

When you are looking to secure that all-important first role in pharmacology, the assistance of the right science recruitment agency can be invaluable. Hyper Recruitment Solutions has long been that agency for a wide range of individuals seeking science jobs, with a high level of expertise in relation to the pharmaceutical sector.

Talk to our experts today about how we can serve you with our broad range of services geared towards the needs of candidates. 

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