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How to Get a Pharmaceutical Job

how to get a pharmaceutical job

Working in the pharmaceutical industry is so rewarding. Every day, you'll be developing new life-saving drugs that will change people's lives. 

Today we're going to take a look at a few different things that will help you get a pharmaceutical job. Whether you're a recent graduate or someone looking for a career change, these hints and tips should make you feel more prepared for pharmaceutical job applications and interviews.

What kind of pharmaceutical jobs are there?

The first step in getting a pharmaceutical job is determining what's out there, what you're interested in and what you're qualified for. From pharmaceutical analysis to quality control, there are job roles throughout the different stages of drug research, development and creation that are sure to appeal to any budding scientist. Exploring current pharmaceutical job vacancies can give you a good idea of the types of roles out there, and the skills required to get them.

Some of the pharmaceutical job vacancies we currently have on offer are:

  • Senior Solid State Scientist - Pharmaceutical (Essex) - "You will be responsible for supporting Medicinal Chemistry, ADME and Pharmacology in solid-state chemistry, crystallisation science and pre-formulation to provide expert input on our drug discovery programs."
  • Laboratory Support Technician (London) - "You will be supporting the research and development laboratory teams and scientists with all aspects of running safe and efficient laboratory operations."
  • Raw Materials Analyst (Blaenau Gwent) - "You will be responsible for analysing incoming raw materials against current pharmacopoeia."

Looking at the responsibilities of different pharmaceutical jobs is a great way to decide which area is the right fit for you. Once you've got a better idea of what's out there, you can concentrate on getting your dream job. 

What do I need to get a pharmaceutical job?

As will all science jobs, having the right qualifications and work experience under your belt is paramount if you want your job application to be successful. Here are the basic things you need if you want to get a pharmaceutical job.


Most pharmaceutical jobs require you to have a degree in a relevant subject, such as:

  • Pharmacology
  • Medicine
  • Biochemistry
  • Neuroscience

Some bigger pharmaceutical companies may even require you to have a postgraduate level qualification like an MSc or a PhD in your chosen scientific field. There are very few pharmaceutical jobs that you can do without degree-level education, so if you haven't already, consider enrolling in a relevant course.

Work Experience

Along with relevant academic qualifications, some pharmaceutical jobs will expect you to have relevant work experience under your belt. This could be anything from volunteering in a laboratory alongside your studies to doing a 'year in industry' placement at university. Any work you can undertake to show your passion for pharmacology will put your job application miles ahead of other applicants. 

How to get into pharmaceutical research

Pharmaceutical research is one of the most sought after roles in pharmaceuticals because it gives people the opportunities to (you guessed it) research and test new drugs and medications. This is where major medical breakthroughs are made which can often lead to innovative new treatments that save hundreds of lives!

The average salary for a research scientist is £32,000, which makes these roles very appealing! To make yourself stand out in the crowd when applying for pharmaceutical research jobs, we'd recommend getting plenty of research work experience under your belt, carry out research in your own time, and work hard to achieve a 1:1 in your degree.

Pharmaceutical Jobs