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High-Paying Pharmaceutical Jobs

Individuals interested in a high-paying pharmaceutical career will find there are many options from which to choose. This article will cover the educational requirements and key job duties for several positions.

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Career Options for High-Paying Pharmaceutical Jobs

Individuals will need a bachelor's degree for most high-paying pharmaceutical jobs, and some require advanced degrees. Career options range from sales positions to those in research. Individuals looking for a high-paying pharmaceutical job may be interested in one of the below options.

Job Title Median Salary Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Medical Science Liaison $113,845 (2017)* 8% (Medical scientists, except epidemiologists)
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative $77,914 (2017)* 7% (Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, technical, and scientific products)
Biostatistician $80,500 (2016)** 14%+
Pharmacist $122,230 (2016)** 3%
Research Scientist $77,491 (2017)** 8% (Medical scientists, except epidemiologists)

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Clinical and Hospital Pharmacy
  • Clinical and Industrial Drug Development
  • Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Economics
  • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
  • Pharmacognosy
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacy Administration and Regulation
  • Physical Pharmacy and Cosmetic Sciences

Career Information for High-Paying Pharmaceutical Jobs

Medical Science Liaison

A career as a medical science liaison is a high-paying position for individuals interested in the business and technical side of pharmaceuticals. Medical science liaisons specialize in fostering relationships between pharmaceutical companies and physicians at clinics and educational institutions. The primary goal is to increase disease awareness through these relationships and by conducting educational presentations for pharmaceutical companies. Other job duties are ensuring physicians are properly utilizing pharmaceutical products, serving as advisers on investigator-initiated clinical trials, and publishing trial findings in scholarly journals. Medical science liaisons usually work for pharmaceutical companies and will need a doctoral degree with focus in a therapeutic area, such as dermatology or oncology.

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Individuals interested in a high-paying career could consider working as a pharmaceutical sales representative. These sales representatives work for pharmaceutical companies and focus on selling their products to clients. Job responsibilities include order processing for clients, sourcing new clients through cold calling or scheduled appointments, and addressing customer complaints and providing guidance to management. Pharmaceutical sales representatives may work in an office, but primarily travel to meet with clients. This career requires a bachelor's degree, with the option to pursue certification through the Manufacturers' Representatives Educational Research Foundation.

Biostatistician

Individuals interested in applying theory to pharmaceuticals could consider a well-paid career as a biostatistician. They utilize statistics and data summaries to draw analyses. Job responsibilities include reviewing pharmaceutical trials to ensure protocol is followed, working with medical colleagues to create research studies, and utilizing mathematical knowledge to identify changes in biological conditions, such as the spread of infectious diseases. Biostatisticians can work for pharmaceutical companies or educational institutions and need a minimum of a bachelor's degree, with many in the field pursuing a master's or doctoral degree. The International Society for Clinical Biostatisticians offers resources and training for members.

Pharmacist

A pharmacist is a high-paying job that may appeal to individuals interested in assisting people. Pharmacists work in retail pharmacies or hospitals and are responsible for providing patients with their prescriptions and educating them on proper use. Primary job duties include ensuring medications will not negatively interact, processing insurance paperwork, and managing pharmacy technicians. Pharmacists may also administer flu shots and vaccinations and conduct wellness screenings. This career requires a doctor of pharmacy degree and state licensure, which requires passing two exams.

Research Scientist

Individuals interested in working with pharmaceutical knowledge could consider a well-paid career as a research scientist. They usually work in a laboratory setting and conduct experiments to find, create, and test new drugs. The goal is to understand how various elements affect disease-causing agents and if they can utilize elements to create new medications. Research scientists analyze thousands of elements in their work to find new medications. They usually specialize in an area of research, such as finding the proper formula and dosage for drugs, examining how the body responds to medications, or streamlining medication manufacturing. Research scientists usually need a doctoral degree.

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