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Pharmacology Master's Degree: Salary & Jobs

Graduates of a master's degree program in pharmacology may be prepared for a number of growing career fields. Learn more about how the degree can prepare you to become a toxicologist, epidemiologist, or microbiologist, among other professions.

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Pharmacology is the study of how drugs and other chemicals affect biological systems. Knowledge of this field factors into a multitude of careers, which can be private or public sector jobs. These positions may involve research, data analysis, teaching, and team leadership, which are all tasks and skills that might be learned in a master's degree program.

Pharmacology Related Career Information

Career Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Outlook (2014-2024)*
Toxicologist $80,530 (for all types of medical scientists) 8% (for all types of medical scientists)
Postsecondary Health Specialties Teacher $99,360 19%
Epidemiologist $70,820 6%
Microbiologist $66,850 4%
Agricultural and Food Scientist $62,920 5%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Descriptions for Pharmacology Related Fields

Toxicologist

Toxicologists are tasked with conducting research into toxic substances and their effects on the human body, which could be used to develop health policy regarding harmful substances, evaluate the safety of new or existing substances, and testify in regards to the regulation of toxic products. Specialties exist within the field, such as immunotoxicology, inhalation toxicology, and reproductive toxicology. In most cases, you will be called on to present your findings to a variety of audiences through presentations and research publications. Knowledge of pharmacology could allow you to bring expertise about drugs and other substances on the body. Toxicologist positions are attainable with a master's, though many employers require or prefer a Ph.D., so you may want to continue your studies to advance.

Postsecondary Health Specialties Teacher

These teachers instruct students in a variety of specialized medical fields, including pharmacology and related fields like toxicology. Postsecondary instructors are often required to have a Ph.D., but smaller schools may hire those with a master's degree. The responsibilities or professors and lecturers might include developing a classroom learning environment, grading student work, and creating syllabi and assignments, as well as leading research teams, keeping up with current events in the field, and publishing or presenting research findings to colleagues.

Epidemiologist

In the field of epidemiology, you will examine public health issues through the collection and analysis of health related data. There are opportunities for epidemiologists in both the private and public sector, and in a number of specializations including maternal health, environmental health, and infectious diseases. A master's degree is usually the minimum requirement for a career as an epidemiologist, and an understanding of pharmacology could help you understand their role in public health issues.

Microbiologist

Microbiologists work with microorganisms, performing experiments to understand the growth, life cycles, and actions of these organisms. Experimental research might look at interactions of microorganisms with their environments, the identification of microorganisms, and maintaining bacterial cultures. Another job responsibility of microbiologists is presenting their findings in various forms, such as papers and presentations. A master's degree is sufficient to become a microbiologist and may be an essential stepping stone to a Ph.D., which could be required to do independent research and lead university research projects.

Agricultural and Food Scientist

People with this job are primarily responsible for testing the safety and quality of agricultural products and processes. They may develop studies and conduct experiments that look into the efficiency of agricultural production, create new methods of production that ensure greater safety or productivity, and communicate these findings to lawmakers, the agriculture industry, a scientific audience, or the general public. Independent work is common, though higher education levels like a master's degree may help you secure a team leadership position, and work may be done in the public or private sector. A degree in pharmacology can enhance agricultural and food science research by pinpointing the effect of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals on food and water supplies.

Many of the positions available to graduates with a master's degree in pharmacology involve research and presentation of findings. These could be performed in settings as diverse as the classroom, the food industry, the public health field, or private industry.

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