Pharmaceutical manufacturing jobs have risen by more than 4 percent in the last year and are expected to continue rising over the next 10 years, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. There are a variety of careers in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry that are diverse from one another. Knowing the variety of jobs available in this industry is essential for planning a suitable career in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Research and Development
Before a particular pharmaceutical makes it to the manufacturing floor, it spends years being researched and developed. Jobs in this segment of pharmaceutical manufacturing typically fall into two categories: scientific research and project management. Scientific research jobs typically require a master's or doctoral degree in pharmacy science or a related field, such as biochemistry, and employees will work in a lab to develop and test new medicines. Management jobs typically requires a bachelor's degree and proven experience managing long-term projects.
Production Development Jobs
Once a pharmaceutical has been successfully developed by the research and development team and approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S., the product must be mass produced. Engineers or experienced production planners typically hold jobs in the production and development of pharmaceuticals. Engineers plan and operate the drug manufacturing process, and typically require a bachelor's degree or master's degree in engineering with an emphasis on plastics or production. Production planners help ensure that the manufacturing process is timely and pharmaceutical inventory is maintained. Production planning jobs require a bachelor's degree or proven management proficiency.
Pharmaceuticals can be distributed to humans on the scale of millions of units per month, which means that the production of drugs must follow stringent regulations to ensure quality. Regulatory jobs, often called "regulatory affairs," involve the development of relationships between company researchers, developers and production engineers with the FDA. Regulatory affairs managers stay in constant contact with both parties to ensure that pharmaceutical companies stay within regulatory permits and avoid the government fines that result from exceeding regulatory permits. These jobs typically require a bachelor's degree in a science field and experience managing government permits.
Sales and Marketing
While scientists work to develop, produce and regulate pharmaceuticals, other common jobs within the pharmaceutical industry involve the marketing of pharmaceutical products to health care providers. In these positions, employees may develop information materials and travel to health care provider locations to inform doctors and nurses about new pharmaceutical products for specific conditions. These employees may partner with production planners to ensure the successful transition of pharmaceuticals from inventory to health centers. Sales and marketing jobs with pharmaceutical companies typically require a bachelor's degree in business or marketing or a Master of Business Administration.
Justin King is a writer and scholar of environmental and public rhetoric. He holds a Master of Arts in writing studies from Saint Joseph's University and a Ph.D. from Purdue University. King has been contributing to online publications and print journals since 2004, as well as delivering talks on science writing and environmental theory throughout the United States.