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Highest Paid Pharmaceutical Jobs


Sales within the drugs and pharmaceutical industry are continuing to rise each and every year, so it's not surprising that many aspiring scientists are trying to break into this sector and take the first step towards a highly lucrative career. Speciality and biologic drugs make up more than half of industry sales, and therapeutic vaccines represent a significant new opportunity, allowing young and fledging scientists the chance to get their careers up and running. But what are the highest-paid pharmaceutical jobs?

If you're thinking about pursuing a career within the pharmaceutical industry and you want to know which positions offer the highest salaries, you're in the right place. The five best-paying pharmaceutical jobs are as follows:

Job Title Median Salary Job Growth >2028
Medical Science Liaison £100,255.19* (2020) 8% (Medical scientists, except epidemiologists) (2020)*
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative £61,051.30* (2020) 7% (Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, technical, and scientific products)
Biostatistician £67,375.10*** (2018) 11% or higher***
Pharmacist £96,766.20** (2010) 0%
Research Scientist £60,686.03* (2017) 8% (Medical scientists, except epidemiologists)

Sources: *, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ***ONET Online - Salaries converted from US Dollars

Why Work in Pharma?   Key Skills for This Industry

Career Information for the Highest-Paid Pharmaceutical Jobs

Medical Science Liaison

If you're a person who is more interested in the business and technical side of pharmaceuticals, then a career as a medical science liaison is perfect for you. Individuals in this position specialise in fostering relationships between the big pharmaceutical companies and physicians at clinics and educational institutions. Their main objective is to increase the awareness around diseases through these relationships and by carrying out educational presentations for pharma companies. Other responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring physicians are properly utilising pharmaceutical products
  • Acting as advisors on investigator-initiated clinical trials
  • Publishing trial results in scholarly journals

Medical science liaisons often work for pharma companies and require a doctoral degree with a focus in a therapeutic area such as oncology or dermatology.


Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

For those interested in a lucrative career, working as a pharmaceutical sales rep could be just for you. These sales representatives work for pharmaceutical companies, focusing on selling their products to clients. Workplace duties include:

  • Processing orders for clients
  • Finding new clients through phone calls or appointments
  • Addressing customer complaints
  • Providing guidance to management

Pharmaceutical sales representatives may be based in an office but will mostly be needed to travel in order to meet with clients. To get this role, you will be required to have a bachelor's degree with the option to pursue certification through the Manufacturers' Representatives Educational Research Foundation.



If you're a person who is more interested in applying theory to pharmaceuticals, then the role of a biostatistician is for you. Their role is to utilise statistics and data summaries to draw analyses. Job duties include:

  • Reviewing pharmaceutical trials to ensure protocol is always being adhered to
  • Working with medical colleagues to create new research studies
  • Utilising mathematical knowledge to identify changes in biological conditions

Biostatisticians can work for pharmaceutical companies or educational institutions and require at minimum a bachelor's degree, with many within the sector possessing a master's or doctoral degree.

READ MORE: Biostatistician Job Description & What to Expect



A pharmacist is one of the highest-paid pharmaceutical jobs that may be of interest to those who like to help people. Pharmacists can work in retail pharmacies or hospitals and are responsible for providing their patients with their prescriptions and educating them on how to use them properly. The main responsibilities for a pharmacist are:

  • Ensuring medications will not negatively interact
  • Processing insurance paperwork
  • Managing pharmacy technicians
  • Administering vaccinations and conducting wellness screenings

In order to become a pharmacist, you require a doctor of pharmacy degree and a license which involves passing a number of exams.


Research Scientist

If you're interested in working with pharmaceutical knowledge, then a career as a research scientist is the one for you. Research scientists often work in a laboratory, carrying out experiments to find, create and test new drugs. The goal here is to understand how various elements affect disease-causing agents and if they can utilise these elements to create new medications. Research scientists analyse thousands of elements in their work to find these new medications. They often specialise in a particular area of research such as:

  • Examining how the body responds to certain medications
  • Identifying the proper formula and dosage for drugs
  • Streamlining medication production

Research scientists often require a doctoral degree.

READ MORE: What Do Research Scientists Do?

And there you have it: the highest-paid pharmaceutical jobs! If you are interested in working within the sector and are keen on securing your first role, then HRS is here to help. We provide support and guidance for the top talents across the country in order for them to find their dream role.

If you believe you have what it takes to work within the drugs and pharmaceutical industry, then be sure to browse our full list of pharmaceutical jobs below.

Browse Pharmaceutical Jobs