Best Career option In Pharma Industry

Best Career Option In Pharma For Life Sciences

The pharma sector is a blend of individuals who distribute, produce, test, develop, and research medical services, devices, products, and substances. This comprises sales professionals, marketing specialists, data analysts, and researchers. The pharma industry has both private and public organizations.

This industry provides plenty of career and job opportunities for potential young graduates with a good academic background in disciplines like life sciences. With the rising demand for experts in the healthcare and medical domain, the pharmaceutical industry is offering more job opportunities than ever and is still expected to increase in the coming years. This article discusses the best career option in the pharma industry.

How To Build A Career In the Pharmaceutical Industry?

Competencies & Strengths For Pharmaceutical Experts  

There are a few skills & traits that can help pharmaceutical experts succeed in their field.

  • Biology: Biology deals with living organisms. By integrating biology & chemistry, scientists & researchers can develop new treatments. Learning the mechanism of the human body and its reaction to medicines is a crucial element of any position in the pharma sector.
  • Chemistry: Chemistry deals with materials and their reaction to each other. Using chemistry, the pharmaceutical sector can develop new medicines and treatments.
  • Leadership: Based on your professional objectives, leadership might be a crucial skill. If you aspire to become a lead manager or researcher, it is vital to have good leadership qualities.
  • Technology: Manufacturers, data analysts, pharmacists, and researchers all employ technology to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of their tasks. Productively employing computers and learning how they influence your job is a crucial competency.
  • Communication: Regardless of the job type, you probably have to liaise with other clients or professionals. Figuring out how to express complex data and closely observe others is essential for any pharma adept.

Leading Pharmaceutical Jobs For Life Science Students

  1. Pharmacovigilance officer

Pharmacovigilance is one of the best career option in the pharma industry. A pharmacovigilance officer usually prevents, tests, and detects adverse drug reactions, unwanted effects, or any other errors of medicines. India has surplus growth opportunities for pharmacovigilance compared to any other field. Pharmacovigilance scientist is one of the works alongside medical safety physicians (brand safety leader & pharmacovigilance leader), clinical safety scientists, and clinical safety associates. They help medical safety physicians with appropriate timely production/processing of regulatory periodic reports & individual case reports, present DS&E (Drug Safety & Efficacy) at external & internal meetings, work with other associate groups, co-author all requisite periodic reports with medical safety physicians, sort literature cases for databasing, and assures that reports are correctly databases & evaluated.

Salary: Pharmacovigilance officers earn around 4.2 Lakhs annually.

Advanced Program in Pharmacovigilance – Online Certification

2. Clinical research associate

Clinical research is another booming sector providing many job opportunities for qualified experts. Professionals in this domain deal with scientific assessment of the medicine’s effect on the body and its related adverse impacts. This sector offers an exciting career opportunity as a clinical research analyst, clinical research scientist, or clinical research associate. Graduates aiming to enter this profession have more scope in European countries.

Pharmaceutical products have to go through clinical studies & trials in order to assure their efficacy and safety. Clinical research associates mainly work for universities, hospitals, biotech & pharma companies, and CROs (Clinical Research Organizations). Their primary duties include documenting, results, gathering data, and running experiments for clinical trials.

They perform closeout visits, monitoring, initiation, and pre-studies for research sites according to Sponsor/Medpace GCP and SOPs. Some of the other responsibilities of a clinical research associate include reviewing clinical research data & patient charts, monitoring clinical research sites, maintaining study-associated databases, completing visit reports, and maintaining site files & ongoing site correspondence.

In other words, they coordinate the storage, distribution & collection of data during clinical trials. Nonetheless, there are plenty of other duties. For instance, each & every trial is monitored by an ethics team assuring that the study follows ethical principles. They will have to work with this team and apprise them of the clinical trial’s progress.

Salary: The salary package for clinical research professionals starts from 3 Lakhs and increases with more experience.

Clinical Research – Eligibility, Job Scope, Salary & Top Companies Hiring

3. Clinical data manager

Clinical data management is one of the leading career option in the pharma industry. Clinical data managers give advice to the teams of researchers & data analysts who evaluate & gather clinical data. They sort the information from pharmaceutical & clinical trials and liaise with other data experts to organize the data. Following assessment, they make data reports for elucidating their inferences and findings. For instance, a clinical data manager might guide a team of individuals who elucidate if a new drug meets expectations.

They perform data review according to IDRP (Integrated Data Review Plan), request DTS (Data Transfer Specifications) making & ensure finalization of DTS, make slides for study-specific EDC (Electronic Data Capture) investigator training, handle audit & migration trail reports, finish appropriate documentation, perform amendment impact analysis, compiles HoS data, carry out a regular review of TMF/eTMF, close-out and/or perform activities.

Salary: These professionals earn around 4.4 Lakhs annually.

Clinical Data Management Certification Program

How To Build A Career In Clinical Data Management?

4. Research & Development (R&D)

R&D is one of the major divisions of pharmaceutical companies and an evergreen career option in the pharma industry. Job profiles within the division vary based on the projects. The job primarily comprises managing customer complaints, forming an innovative culture to make new revenue for the company, preparation of documentation & SOPs, observing in-process quality assurance & quality control activities, assessment of packing materials & raw materials, aligning & working with IPD (Integrated Product Development) team to deliver on time, contributing to prioritization decisions & new product selection, compliance with guidelines (HACCP, ISO, GMP) & international/local regulatory bodies, and validating, developing & designing troubleshooting, bottlenecks eradication, process validations & new analytical methods.

Salary: The pay scale for R&D professionals range from 0.9 to 20.5 Lakhs with an average pay of 5.3 Lakhs per year.

5. Quality Assurance (QA)

Careers within QA are system-oriented, mostly concentrated on managing, implementing, and designing new methods for the manufacturing process. They are accountable for assuring the quality of the products according to the standards. They require packing material development skills and good comprehensive knowledge of SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) according to GMP & FDA norms & documentation. Primary responsibilities of the QA Executive are helping the preparation of quality guidelines & training manuals, helping the implementation of quality control systems, rejecting & accepting many based on the samples checked, recording observations, conducting different tests on the samples retrieved, monitoring the units of goods manufactured for visible faults, looking out for particular issues, and overseeing the whole production process. They even have to monitor and carry out QMS (Quality Management System) associated activities (Self-inspection, risk assessment, CAPA, deviation, change control, etc.)

Salary: The average pay for QA officers is around 2.8 Lakhs per year.

How To Become An Expert In Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance?

6. Quality Control (QC)

QA & QC are two closely associated divisions in the pharmaceutical sector. QC involves designing a set of methods to assess the developed products. QC chemists tests products to assure that all the QA methods are working. These professionals test & prepare samples from all stages of production ensuring that the product meets the requirements or standards of the project. They are accountable for calibration of instruments, validation, and stability program procurement. They carry out method validation and/or method transfers to & from other institutions/laboratories/sites to support intermediate & in-process sample analysis. QC professionals release, review & analyze raw materials, prepare TDS (Test Data Sheet), SPEC (Specifications), MOA (Method Of Analysis), MTR (Method Transfer Report), MTP (Method Transfer Protocols), and departmental SOP for stability analysis.

Salary: The salary for Pharma QC officers ranges from 2.5 to 4.9 Lakhs with an average annual pay of around 3.6 Lakhs.

Quality Control Inspector Career – Learn All About Being a Quality Control Inspector

7. Medical science liaison

Medical science liaisons educate federal agencies, investors, and consumers about a treatment, medicinal substance, or device. They investigate data using medical samples and carry out projects to ascertain medical treatment methods. They mostly focus on particular therapeutic areas like hematology or oncology. Their main aim is to help leaders at leading clinics & academic institutions and maintain & establish peer-to-peer relationships with major physicians. They guarantee that the products are used effectively. These professionals write grant proposals and test & create medical devices.

Salary: Medical science liaisons earn annually around 10.6 Lakhs in India. The pay ranges between 3.5 to 19.1 Lakhs.

8. Medical writer

Medical writers provide & review scientific feedback on the necessary documents, offer fundamental medical writing support for clinician’s documents, help the authoring of intricate scientific documents like publications & abstracts, prepare & author sections of the medical newsletter, brochures, PPTs for doctors, medical documents, and patient education material. The primary skill required for a medical writer is the ability to apprehend complex scientific practices, theories & information and convert that into accurate & concise language that can be easily understood.

Salary: Medical writers earn around 4 to 8 Lakhs annually.

Medical Writing As A Career

9. Clinical SAS/SAP programmer

SAS (Statistical Analysis System) and (SAP Statistical Analysis Plan) are distinct lines of work compared to pharmaceutical jobs. SAS programming and statistics are crucial parts of drug development and clinical trial in the pharmaceutical industry. SAS/SAP professionals are involved in preparing study termination data, adverse event data, investigational therapy drug log, lab data, medical history data, clinical trial data, and so on. Their job comprises escalating any problems to AZ management, giving accurate & regular reports on plans, issues & progress to pertinent stakeholders, having continuing & complete awareness of the plans, progress & milestones, remaining committed to the assigned work, ensuring all stakeholders are engaged, troubleshooting & EHP upgradation, system upgradation, support package installation, monitoring the system for performance & health issues, RFC & STMS configuration, and so on.

Salary: The average pay for clinical SAS/SAP programmers is around 6.3 Lakhs per year. The pay scale ranges from 3.8 to 11.1 Lakhs.

Best Career Lines In Pharma Industry

Clinical Trials Master Certification Course

10. Pharmaceutical manufacturer

Drug manufacturers facilitate the distribution & industrial production of medical products. They manufacture huge amounts of devices or medicines and distribute them to hospitals, mail order facilities, medical supply stores & pharmacies. These professionals need to focus on quality aspects as well. Production adepts must be well versed with quality assurance & formulation manufacturing and quality system. They need to maintain & support procedures, systems, and equipment associated with the manufacturing process. They have to meet all the requirements for the products according to the coordination & plan with warehouse, engineering, quality control, quality assurance, and API research team functions to assure compliance with the committed plan.

Salary: Their pay ranges between 1.8 to 6.8 Lakhs with an average pay of around 3.5 Lakhs per annum.

11. Formulation & Development (F&D) scientist

R&D and F&D professionals work together but in F&D, professionals focus on formulation aspects. F&D scientists compile CDR (Comparative Dissolution Report) & PDR (Product Development Report), carry out exhibit/scale-up batches in order to find the suitability of the manufacturing & formulation process for higher scales, execute trials to decide the process optimization & prototype for the small-scale production, characterize & select reference products for application in the bio-equivalence studies & development trials, and perform & design the pre-formulation experiments.

Salary: F&D scientists earn around 5.3 Lakhs annually in India. Their pay ranges from 2 to 12.9 Lakhs.

12. Research scientist

These professionals assess the latest technologies and their uses to propose, manage, and plan to handle research projections and report findings. They complete applications & funding bids and write reports, reviews, research papers & grant proposals. They carry out experiments for improving, creating, or discovering new medicines. They perform studies with natural and synthetic materials to ascertain the potential side effects and the pharmaceutical reactions of any new medicine. They plan and conduct clinical studies.

Salary: Research scientists can earn around 50 to 72 Lakhs annually. The salary package can increase depending on the experience.

13. Pharmaceutical consultant

These professionals offer advice and guidance to managers at pharma companies on developing improved medical devices & medicines. They discuss the latest trends in the biotech sector with leaders to start a new project or find conditions that require treatments. Good pharma consultants understand developing products, medical devices, and treatments within the sector thoroughly to give proper guidance for raising profits.

Salary: Pharma consultants earn around 19 Lakhs annually.

14. Drug regulatory affairs

Professionals in this domain support clinical studies for internal and/or external clients and assess & prepare reports for market approval. They offer support for complex projects and provide top-notch CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing & Controls). Drug regulatory affairs is a blooming career option in the pharma industry for life sciences.

Salary: Initially they can earn around 5 to 8 Lakhs annually. With more years of experience, one can earn around 20 Lakhs per year.

Bioinformatics & Drug Discovery Certification Course

Career In Regulatory Affairs

15. Drug inspector

These experts tests medicines for the valuation of safety, quality, and efficacy of drugs. They gather samples and execute tasks such as raids and inspections.

Salary: These professionals usually work in the public sector. The starting package is around 6 to 10 Lakhs per year.

Drug Inspector: Eligibility, Exam, Syllabus, Role, Salary & Career Discussed

16. Project manager

In the pharmaceutical sector, project managers oversee the development of new drugs and medical devices. They work together with clinical researchers, doctors, and engineers to assure that all stays on budget and the timely delivery of the end product.

Salary: The pay scale for pharma project managers range from 11 to 21 Lakhs annually.

17. Laboratory analyst

These professionals assess the physical or chemical composition of new samples & products to assure accuracy. If there is a faulty product, they should test the sample to ascertain what faults were made. This job requires mandatory expertise in federal compliance standards and regulations.

Salary: The average annual pay for a lab analyst is around 1.8 Lakhs in India.

Biotech & Pharma Industry Interview Guide – Pdf

Further Read For Job Seekers In Life Science 

Best Career Option In Pharma Industry


  1. Thank you mam(Geema grorge) its full of wonderful information…can you educate me about carrier growth in pharma industry as QC microbiologist

Comments are closed.