PhD in Regulatory Science: Salary & Jobs

Individuals with a PhD in Regulatory Science have the necessary science, management and legal background to work a variety of careers. These jobs range in duties from ensuring compliance with regulations to teaching in a classroom. Compare and contrast a few of the career options for individuals with a PhD in Regulatory Science.

Career Options for a PhD in Regulatory Science

Job Title Median Salary Job Growth (2016-2026)**
Medical Writers $70,896 (2018)* 11% (for all technical writers)
Regulatory Affairs Managers $96,034 (2018)* 8% (for managers, all other)
Clinical Research Coordinators $48,176(2018)* 10% (for all natural sciences managers)
Postsecondary Teachers $75,430 (2016)** 15%
Compliance Managers $75,825 (2018)* 8% (for managers, all other)

Source: *, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Regulatory Science PhDs

Medical Writers

Medical writers are considered a type of technical writer, and these professionals usually only need a bachelor's degree; however, a PhD in Regulatory Science would give graduates advanced knowledge concerning drug development and other medical topics as well as the advanced research and writing skills needed to present technical medical terms and concepts in a way that is easy to understand for readers. These writers must organize their work, maintain copies of drafts and continuously edit and update their work as needed. They may also utilize pictures, diagrams or other visuals to help make their writing understandable.

Regulatory Affairs Managers

Most regulatory affairs managers need at least a bachelor's degree, but those with a PhD in Regulatory Science may work in advanced positions with their expertise in the field. These managers work for a variety of organizations to ensure that all production and operation procedures comply with current laws and regulations in that particular industry. This task requires them to be fully up to date on current regulations in order to help develop the necessary procedures for compliance. They also help coordinate the distribution of regulatory information across the different departments involved and often need to run reports and submit them to the necessary regulatory agencies.

Clinical Research Coordinator

Clinical research coordinators may hold an undergraduate or graduate degree in science, but they must have work experience as a scientist. Individuals with a background in regulatory science may oversee teams of chemists, biologists and other scientists working on developing and/or testing drugs, food products and other medical devices to ensure that their work is accurate and that all safety rules and regulations are obeyed. Clinical research coordinators may help train scientists working on a project in procedural requirements as needed as well as handle the administrative duties of a project, such as managing the budget. These coordinators also stay in close contact with the client and upper management to inform them of any progress and/or issues that arise.

Postsecondary Teachers

Postsecondary teachers typically need a PhD to teach courses at a postsecondary institution, although some may only need a master's degree. A degree in regulatory science could qualify graduates to teach various of courses in regulatory science, chemistry, biology or even law. Educators at this level must develop their own material for each course they teach and may be responsible for advising undergraduate students and/or supervising graduate students with their studies. Most postsecondary teachers also perform research in their particular area of expertise while working at the institution.

Compliance Managers

Individuals with a PhD in Regulatory Science may also work as compliance managers for various organizations. Their knowledge of patents and the regulatory process allows them to check compliance with various laws and regulations, whether by investigating different activities or conducting audits. These managers may train employees on proper procedures and reporting methods and update executives on the effectiveness of any compliance policies.

Graduates with a PhD in Regulatory Science can pursue several different supervisory positions in the area of regulatory affairs as well as positions as educators. According to, most of these positions make a median salary greater than $70,000.

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