9 Career Options In The Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharmaceutical industry has so many different roles that it becomes very easy for graduates to find a suitable career path once they leave college. The good news is that even with all the graduates leaving college with a pharmacy degree, the demand for pharmaceutical professionals keeps growing. Below, we will look at what career options are available in the pharmaceutical industry and what makes each of them exciting.

Sales Representatives

Sales representatives form a bridge between pharmaceutical manufacturers, hospitals, pharmacies, equipment manufacturers, and more. Their primary job is to get the medicines and equipment they market on the pharmacy and hospital shelves. They might work with doctors and pharmacies to achieve this aim. These sales representatives usually have in-depth knowledge about the medicines and equipment they sell so as to position them as better alternatives to what is currently in the market.


This is the most obvious career option in the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmacists are the face of the pharmaceutical industry and are responsible for filling prescriptions for patients, diagnosing disease and so much more. For this, they use capsule filling machines as these machines make filling capsules quick and easy or other tools like stethoscopes, blood pressure monitors and glucose monitors to diagnose common illnesses and diseases in countries they are allowed to.

Some pharmacists also work with doctors in other areas such as the operating room or in orthodontics.

Pharmaceutical Botanist

These pharmacists are not as well known as their counterparts who work in hospitals or in pharmacies but they are just as important. They are tasked with studying plants to find out if they have any medicinal properties. They often combine their botany knowledge with chemistry when compounding drugs. Many of them are researchers who work hand in hand with other chemists and researchers.


Drug discovery and manufacturing needs a lot of chemists, some of whom are actually pharmacists. These pharmacists have a scope of work and usually work with a certain criterion. They can have one specific goal or be left to experiment to find out things like drug interactions or the pharmacology of certain medicines in different people.

Many companies need these pharmacists to have a specific chemistry degree concentration or certification. This condition is non-negotiable.


Many people forget that attorneys are very important in the pharmaceutical industry. They deal with issues such as:

  • Product recalls or product-related injuries
  • Malpractice suits
  • Waste disposal
  • Employee relations
  • Experimentation procedures

If there are any legal issues in the pharmaceutical industries, lawyers have to get involved. These lawyers are often retained by pharmaceutical companies or can be hired whenever they are needed.

Project Managers

Project managers in the pharmaceutical industry are usually found on the industrial side. These project managers are tasked with overseeing healthcare product development, medical equipment, and novel medicines. Their main tasks include ensuring:

  • The company hires the right people
  • Deadlines are met
  • All work is done within budget.

They sometimes work with doctors and clinical researchers if these professionals are hired by the same company.

Laboratory Analysts

Analysts are responsible for testing the biological, chemical, and physical makeup and properties of new medicines and samples. Since they work in an environment that calls for minimal errors, they must have strict and specific knowledge about compliance and standard regulations.

In some cases, they may work with botanists and chemists to see if the medicinal substances they come up with have any medicinal properties or value.

Quality Managers

Quality control and management in the pharmaceutical industry is crucial. Quality managers are tasked with ensuring the highest safety and quality standards of all medicines manufactured by their companies. Quality managers are also tasked with:

  • Investigating any issues related to their medicines
  • Resolving any issues related to their products
  • Creating and delivering quality reports
  • Implementing safety testing procedures
  • Managing production records

Quality managers will often work with manufacturing managers. Manufacturing managers are only involved in the drug manufacturing process and not in quality control.


Successful pharmacists have to be taught at college or university. Those who are tasked with this are usually highly-qualified fellow pharmacists. Those who follow this path usually have a Ph.D. in Pharmacy.

Besides teaching, those who go into academia can also write and publish papers on the finding of others. Because of this, they become an important informational resource since they are the people most likely to know what is happening in the pharmaceutical world.

Other Career Options

Working in the pharmaceutical industry does not mean you have to be a pharmacist. There are other career options in these industries. These include:

  • Human resource managers
  • Transportation personnel
  • Facilities managers
  • Engineers and many others

The one thing to note about the pharmaceutical industry is that there is a lot of overlap of roles. For example, a chemist can also be a pharmaceutical botanist or laboratory analyst.


The pharmaceutical industry is huge and besides those with a pharmacy degree, it can accommodate almost anyone. It is also one of the most lucrative career paths you could follow.



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Written by HealthStatus Crew
Medical Writer & Editor

HealthStatus teams with authors from organizations to share interesting ideas, products and new health information to our readers.

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