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Graduate Pharmaeuticals Jobs

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          Helping you find a career in the pharmaeuticals industry

          The pharmaceutical industry is broad and encompasses everything to do with developing, producing and distributing medicine. Working in this field means that your time is ultimately dedicated to improving people's lives through medicine.

          As a pharmaceutical professional, you will have a high level of responsibility towards the public and ensuring that they receive the best possible treatment. Therefore, most of the roles require advanced education and will also be paid quite highly.

          A common choice for graduates within the pharmaceutical industry is to become a pharmacologist. Through this role you will be involved with the research and development side of pharmaceuticals. They conduct all of the research and trials into medicine before the drugs are able to enter the mainstream market. There are numerous areas that you could choose to specialise in as a pharmacologist such as veterinary, neural or clinical pharmacology.

          According to the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) more than 65% of all medical research and development in the UK is carried out by the pharmaceutical industry, so your work will have a tangible impact on millions of people.

          Many pharmaceutical graduates choose to become a pharmacist, which is usually a more customer-facing role. They are responsible for ensuring that people receive the right medicine for them and know the recommended dosages and potential side effects. They also provide general healthcare advice to customers. As a pharmacist you could also be involved with writing guidelines for drug use and preparing medication according to industry standards.

          There are also more commercial roles available in pharmaceuticals, such sales representatives and support staff in pharmacies, which will not require a degree.

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          Skills & interests required for a career in Pharmaeuticals

          You will need to have a strong scientific mind and, most likely, a degree to kick-start your career in this industry.

          You must be able to work quickly, accurately and have a logical approach to work. You also will feel most satisfied in this industry if you are genuinely interested in helping make people's lives better.

          Some of these roles may be customer facing, so it's also important to be able to work with people from all different backgrounds and be able to provide good levels of customer service.

          Graduate schemes & other typical career progression routes in Pharmaeuticals

          Pharmacologists generally progress their career through taking positions of increasing responsibility on pharmaceutical projects before eventually managing them.

          Alternatively, your pharmaceutical knowledge could enable you to move into other areas of the industry such as medical writing, business development or marketing.

          If you work for the NHS as a pharmacist the career progression is clearly outlined through a band system. The band system outlines the earning potential of a role alongside showing what responsibilities you would have to take on. You will begin at band 5, but with experience can move up into band 7. From here, there are opportunities to progress further with specialist training. More information on the NHS band system can be found here.

          Tips for getting into the field

          Try to gain some work experience as early as possible. The ABPI offers a handy tool that allows you to search for pharmaceutical recruiters to find those that offer short term placements and internships.

          How much can graduates earn in Pharmaeuticals?

          The earning potential for a career in pharmaceuticals varies, but here is the pay range for some common career choices within the industry:

          Pharmacist: £22,307-£47,361 Pharmacy technician: £19,500-£41,750 Pharmacologist: £25,000-£80,000

          What qualifications do I need for a career in Pharmaeuticals?

          To be a pharmacist you have to be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). To register you have to study for an accredited master's degree, which means that university pharmacy courses are four years long. Most pharmacy courses will require you to have three strong A-levels and at least one science A-level.

          To become a pharmacologist and work in the research side of pharmaceuticals you will need a science degree that is preferably in pharmacology or biology. Biology at A-level may also be advantageous.

          Read more about the Pharmaeuticals industry

          Tomorrow's Pharmacist

          Pharmaeuticals industry bodies

          Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)
          British Pharmacological Society