Career of the week – Pharmaceutical

Career in Pharmaceutical

When you catch a cold and need something to help you breathe again, you can thank a pharmaceutical chemist for the medicine that finally gives you relief. Pharmaceutical chemists work to create medicines to help combat both temporary illnesses and severe diseases that may otherwise cripple you for life. They also are in charge of testing new drugs to make sure the drugs are safe and the side effects aren’t too severe.


Pharmaceutical chemists generally practice in two areas: synthetic chemistry and analytical chemistry. A synthetic chemist helps design drugs and modify how they are delivered into the body, such as whether a pill or patch is used. These chemists must have bachelor’s degrees in chemistry, and often require a master’s or Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry. In contrast, an analytical chemist creates procedures to make sure drugs are pure and can be detected in a person’s blood. This detection is critical for clinical trials. These chemists may obtain jobs with a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical chemistry, but will find greater opportunities with master’s or doctorate degrees.

Job Opportunities

Chemists who work for pharmaceutical companies use their knowledge of how chemicals interact with diseases and the human body to develop methods to treat diseases. As they develop new drugs, they analyze their effectiveness in particular populations, determining whether it is ready to be distributed on the market or it needs further development. Pharmaceutical chemists who work in medical marketing may help find funding for expensive drug development; promote a new drug to the public; or work with the FDA to get a drug approved.                                                               

Government Sector Jobs

Even after a drug is approved, it still has to be monitored to make sure side effects don’t pose a danger to the public. A pharmaceutical chemist for the Food and Drug Administration may work on both the approval of a new drug and the monitoring of ones already on the market. If a drug is discovered to be dangerous, he will help write warnings and determine whether the drug needs to be removed from the market. A pharmaceutical chemist might also choose to work for a local government agency, such as helping solve crimes as a forensic pharmacist for his city or county law enforcement. In this role, he uses his expertise to identify how a victim died by analyzing the substances and drugs in the person’s system.                                                                                 


Pharmaceutical chemists receive some of the highest salaries in the field of chemistry in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, chemists who worked pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing in 2011 earned a yearly mean wage of $71,990 i.e; Rs. 53,00,000 approx. Unfortunately, the BLS projects the growth in jobs for chemists and material scientists will be only 4 percent job from 2010 to 2020. This is slower than the job growth for most careers. Chemists may improve their job prospects getting advanced degrees.

Perks and Remunerations

Chemists and materials scientists in U.S. earned a median annual salary of $75,840 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, chemists and materials scientists earned a 25th percentile salary of $55,450, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount.

Top Universities/Colleges

  • DUET PG: DUET PG is the entrance exam for admission for post graduation courses in Delhi University. It is a 2 hour long MCQ type exam.
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