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Working as a Pharmaceutical Scientist

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a pharmaceutical scientist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $34.45 an hour? That's $71,661 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 10,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Pharmaceutical Scientist Do

There are certain skills that many pharmaceutical scientists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed observation skills, critical-thinking skills and communication skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a pharmaceutical scientist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 9.7% of pharmaceutical scientists included pharmaceutical sciences, while 7.9% of resumes included hplc, and 7.8% of resumes included formulation development. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the pharmaceutical scientist job title. But what industry to start with? Most pharmaceutical scientists actually find jobs in the pharmaceutical and health care industries.

How To Become a Pharmaceutical Scientist

If you're interested in becoming a pharmaceutical scientist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 21.7% of pharmaceutical scientists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 34.8% of pharmaceutical scientists have master's degrees. Even though most pharmaceutical scientists have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a pharmaceutical scientist. When we researched the most common majors for a pharmaceutical scientist, we found that they most commonly earn master's degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on pharmaceutical scientist resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a pharmaceutical scientist. In fact, many pharmaceutical scientist jobs require experience in a role such as scientist. Meanwhile, many pharmaceutical scientists also have previous career experience in roles such as research assistant or senior scientist.

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Average Salary$71,661
Job Growth Rate8%

Pharmaceutical Scientist Jobs

Pharmaceutical Scientist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Pharmaceutical Scientist

Scientist
10.8 %

Top Careers After Pharmaceutical Scientist

Scientist
10.0 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Pharmaceutical Scientist

Pharmaceutical Scientists in America make an average salary of $71,661 per year or $34 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $98,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $52,000 per year.
Average Salary
$71,661

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
South San Francisco, CA
Salary Range75k - 127k$98k$97,786
North Brunswick, NJ
Salary Range61k - 103k$80k$79,937
Cambridge, MA
Salary Range62k - 101k$80k$79,542
Frederick, MD
Salary Range59k - 100k$77k$77,377
Miramar, FL
Salary Range52k - 100k$73k$72,777
New York, NY
Salary Range53k - 88k$69k$68,660
$35k
$127k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Scientist 1-Pharmaceutical Development
Scientist 1-Pharmaceutical Development
Pace Analytical Life Sciences
Pace Analytical Life Sciences
06/12/2019
06/12/2019
$106,09206/12/2019
$106,092
Scientist 1, Pharmaceutical Development
Scientist 1, Pharmaceutical Development
Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.
Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.
03/18/2019
03/18/2019
$95,00003/18/2019
$95,000
Pharmaceutical Scientist
Pharmaceutical Scientist
Galaxy Bio, Inc.
Galaxy Bio, Inc.
03/14/2019
03/14/2019
$70,34603/14/2019
$70,346
Scientist 1, Pharmaceutical Development
Scientist 1, Pharmaceutical Development
Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.
Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.
03/11/2019
03/11/2019
$95,00003/11/2019
$95,000
Pharmaceutical Scientist & Regional Manager
Pharmaceutical Scientist & Regional Manager
Acrobiosystems Inc.
Acrobiosystems Inc.
03/07/2019
03/07/2019
$68,78603/07/2019
$68,786
See More Recent Salaries

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Pharmaceutical Scientist Demographics

Gender

male

62.1 %

female

29.1 %

unknown

8.7 %

Ethnicity

White

58.7 %

Asian

27.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0 %

Vietnamese

50.0 %
See More Demographics

Pharmaceutical Scientist Education

Majors

Pharmacy
26.2 %
Chemistry
19.0 %

Degrees

Masters

34.8 %

Doctorate

34.8 %

Bachelors

21.7 %

Top Colleges for Pharmaceutical Scientists

1. Duke University

Durham, NC

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

2. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

6. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

8. Yale University

New Haven, CT

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

9. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

10. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

In-State Tuition
$49,816
Enrollment
6,840
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Pharmaceutical Scientist

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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Pharmaceutical Scientist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 9.7% of pharmaceutical scientists listed pharmaceutical sciences on their resume, but soft skills such as observation skills and critical-thinking skills are important as well.

Best States For a Pharmaceutical Scientist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a pharmaceutical scientist. The best states for people in this position are Nevada, Delaware, Rhode Island, and California. Pharmaceutical scientists make the most in Nevada with an average salary of $96,092. Whereas in Delaware and Rhode Island, they would average $95,173 and $90,420, respectively. While pharmaceutical scientists would only make an average of $89,703 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Delaware

Total Pharmaceutical Scientist Jobs:
17
Highest 10% Earn:
$153,000
Location Quotient:
0.74
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. California

Total Pharmaceutical Scientist Jobs:
1,953
Highest 10% Earn:
$149,000
Location Quotient:
2.14
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Connecticut

Total Pharmaceutical Scientist Jobs:
97
Highest 10% Earn:
$135,000
Location Quotient:
1.08
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Pharmaceutical Scientist Employers

1. Allergan
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$92,129
Pharmaceutical Scientists Hired: 
12+
2. American Association for Cancer ...
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$54,002
Pharmaceutical Scientists Hired: 
8+
3. AbbVie
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$87,573
Pharmaceutical Scientists Hired: 
8+
4. Abbott
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$71,892
Pharmaceutical Scientists Hired: 
5+
5. Teva Pharmaceuticals
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$68,882
Pharmaceutical Scientists Hired: 
4+
6. Novartis
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$97,203
Pharmaceutical Scientists Hired: 
4+

Recently Added Pharmaceutical Scientist Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020