Careers in Pharmaceuticals: What Are My Options?
The pharmaceutical industry develops, manufactures and markets a variety of medications that continue to save and improve lives. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities will continue to be favorable, particularly in the scientific fields. Keep reading to find out about some of the career options in pharmaceuticals. Schools offering Psychopharmacology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Careers in Pharmaceuticals
The pharmaceutical industry incorporates a wide variety of careers, but every profession incorporates chemistry and biology in its job description. Workers in these various positions work together to research, develop and test products. Some of the careers in pharmaceuticals include the following.
Chemists work in a number of research and production jobs in the pharmaceutical industry. Using combinatorial methods, chemists are able to test large chemical compounds in different combinations. According to the BLS, analytical chemists are in high demand in the pharmaceutical industry because they work on the structure and composition of substances and identify each compound before combining them for testing (www.bls.gov). Chemists then research and record how substances interact.
Biochemists help to develop drugs by studying the reactions of drugs on the body and looking at how combinations of chemicals combine with a person's metabolism. Biochemists who work in applied research and development are employed by the pharmaceutical industry. Applied research means that you work on treatments that can be marketed to the general public. The BLS reports that much of your work will have to be presented to non-scientists for approval.
Chemical engineers use both chemistry and engineering principals in order to fix or streamline chemical production or usage and that of other products. The equipment used in the production and packaging process is designed by chemical engineers, as well as mechanisms that aid in the testing of medications and treatments. Chemical engineers must have a thorough understanding of chemistry, engineering, electronics and mechanics. You must also have a working knowledge of the environmental impact on the manufacturing process to work as a chemical engineer.
Pharmacologists combine the principals of chemistry and biology in order to develop and evaluate new medications. Mostly you will be researching and monitoring the effects of drugs and treatments on animals. Pharmacologists must understand how to gauge the positive and negative reactions to medications in order to determine if the treatments are safe and effective for human beings. You would be working with chemists and biologists, testing prototypes and recording the results in order to improve the products.
Toxicologists study the safety of medications and medical compounds on the body. Their work is essential to ensuring the distribution of safe medications. In many cases, toxicologists study bodily fluids in order to see if there are any adverse effects to medications. As a toxicologist, you would gauge and study how medications are being absorbed into the body and what parts of the body they can affect positively or adversely.
Technical Jobs in Pharmaceuticals
Support staffers such as biological and chemical technicians are valuable to all facets of pharmaceutical development and manufacturing. The BLS reports that most technicians study geology, chemistry or engineering at community or technical colleges. There are also support opportunities in shipping and receiving, marketing, maintenance, packaging and office work.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: