Is Major Pharmaceuticals A Good Career Path?

Is Major Pharmaceuticals A Good Career Path

Major Pharmaceutical careers are respectable, in demand, and well-paid. You won’t struggle to get employment in the field or locate other options because of the complexity of the industry.

The ability to assist people is a bonus for many of the occupations in this industry, hence, why Major Pharmaceuticals is a good career path. Although it takes time, new medications and treatments can significantly increase peoples’ lifespans and quality of life.

You should consider a career in the industry if it sounds appealing to you and the entry requirements don’t appear demanding.

Due to how big the pharmaceutical industry is, many people will ask questions like “Is Major Pharmaceuticals a good career path?” This article will teach you everything you need to know about Major Pharmaceuticals careers, the pros, and cons, and how many jobs are available in the Major Pharmaceuticals industry.

Table of Contents

What are Major Pharmaceuticals?

Major Pharmaceutical Company refers to any organization (including corporations, joint ventures, partnerships, or unincorporated entities) with pharmaceutical product sales of at least $500,000,000 annually, as well as any affiliates or divisions of such organization engaged in the research, development, manufacturing, registration, and marketing of drug products that have received approval under NDAs, HRDs, ANDAs, or biologics license applications.

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Is Major Pharmaceuticals A Good Career Path?

Is Major Pharmaceuticals a good career path? Yes, Major pharmaceutical is a promising career. On the one hand, the industry offers decent income and work security. One of the most significant advantages of working in major pharmaceuticals is the salary.

Pharmaceutical sales jobs are some of the highest-paying jobs in the country. The average salary for a pharmaceutical sales representative is over $100,000 per year. And top performers can earn even more than that.

Another essential advantage of working in major pharmaceuticals is job stability. Unlike many other industries, the demand for pharmaceutical products will not likely go away anytime soon.

As long as people are getting sick, there will be a need for medications and other medical treatments. That means that jobs in the primary pharmaceutical industry are relatively safe from downsizing and layoffs. 

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What are the Examples Of a Major Pharmaceuticals Career?

The primary pharma industry offers various career paths, from research and development (R&D) to sales, marketing, manufacturing, and science. Following are a few of the most typical vital pharmaceutical roles:

  • Scientist
  • Chemist
  • Pharmacist
  • Sales representative
  • Clinical research manager
  • Project manager
  • Manufacturing manager
  • Quality manager
  • Lab manager
  • Contract manager
  • Supply chain director
  • Regulatory affairs officer
  • Patent attorney
  • Financial analyst
  • Pharmacoeconomics analyst

The National Association of Manufacturers states that nearly 30% of all pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing jobs are related to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

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What are the Pros and Cons of a Career in Major Pharmaceuticals?

Of course, depending on the role, major pharmaceutical careers have benefits and downsides to consider when researching this career path.

Pros of Major Pharmaceutical Careers

Low Barrier to Entry

Not every job in the pharma sector demands a Ph.D., and some enable you to start working without a college degree — particularly if you want to work in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

It’s estimated that approximately 47% of pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing positions require only a high school certificate or GED, and a little over 4% require no formal education.

Career Advancement Opportunities

People working in major pharmaceuticals have the potential to climb the corporate ladder, Cobin says.

“Talented individuals identified as having potential for advancement can rise quickly, especially if they can relocate — first to the corporate headquarters, then to a geographical area where there is a need,” he says. “Diversity of experience is available and encouraged once an employee is on such a career track,” the statement reads.

Leal agrees that there’s an “incredible opportunity for growth for those who perform” in the pharmaceutical sector.

Continued Demand

The National Association of Manufacturers points out that among about 7,000 rare diseases, just 5% have available treatments. Therefore, pharma makers will continue researching and creating medications to treat those and many more disorders.

Rewarding Work

In many circumstances, employees engaged in the significant pharmaceutical sector can receive a very coveted and exceptionally financially gratifying income, paired with advantages such as bonuses and stock options.

“Pharmaceutical occupations are “very fulfilling” because “you truly serve people in need for a living,” says Leal, who has spent more than 30 years working in the pharmaceutical sector, helping find a “cure” for hepatitis C.

Cons of Pharmaceutical Careers

High Educational Requirements

The highest-paying jobs in the pharmaceutical industry frequently require advanced education, even though many of the jobs there don’t.


A career in major pharmaceuticals may be riskier than in other industries because the sector can be unstable and characterized by abrupt layoffs. For example, drug-making giant Novartis laid off 8,000 workers in 2022 to slash $1 billion in costs.

Rise of Tech

Artificial intelligence (A.I.), machine learning, and robotics may eliminate the need for some positions in the primary pharmaceutical manufacturing business, either now or in the future.

While robots may replace some lower-level pharmaceutical manufacturing jobs, the sector’s hiring for I.T. and A.I. jobs is rising.

Conservative Corporate Culture

Progress might be sluggish at some major pharmaceutical companies. For instance, a report published in 2022 by Reuters Events and Graphite found that digital initiatives like apps and websites are stalled by the industry’s “naturally risk-averse nature.” In this culture, projects take longer to market, leading to lesser favorable benefits than initially expected.

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How Do You Get Started in a Career in Major Pharmaceuticals?

You must clearly understand what you must accomplish to succeed before you start. From job to job, this is probably going to vary substantially. Regulatory affairs and quality assurance positions may require different skills and traits from clinical research positions.

Here are several methods in detail:

Enhance your knowledge

  • Make the most of training and development
  • Make the most of your current position

Build your profile

  • Networking and being social media active
  • Keep abreast with industry news
  • Find your niche

Enhance your opportunities

  • Work in another country
  • Consider learning another language

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What are the Skills Required to Succeed in a Career in Major Pharmaceuticals?

Is Major Pharmaceuticals A Good Career Path? We can’t answer this question without discussing the skills needed to scale in this industry. The major pharmaceutical sector demands a wide range of essential talents based on their level of responsibility and specific areas.

Here are the top skills and qualities that will make you a valuable asset at work.

  • Keen researcher, Compiling and analyzing reams of data
  • Problem solver
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Attention to detail, Diligence is part and parcel of every project you undertake.
  • Specialist skills for roles such as chemical engineering, you have a relevant degree to back it up.
  • Ability to effectively interact with peers and leaders.
  • Strong attention to detail and organizational skills.
  • Empathy
  • Quality-oriented
  • Strong oral and written, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Product and industry knowledge
  • Basic computer literacy
  • Ability to work in a challenging and fast-paced environment and multitask effectively.
  • Reliable and goal-oriented
  • Ability to handle the pressure
  • Creative problem-solving and strategic thinking
  • Awareness of industry trends and Business skills
  • Teamwork and conflict resolution
  • Understanding of legal and regulatory matters
  • Relationship-building and communication

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What are the Education and Training Requirements for a Career in Major Pharmaceuticals?

You must possess the hard skills to navigate the regulations because the major pharmaceutical industry is heavily regulated. You should be knowledgeable in fields like marketing, accounting, and finance. A background in science or medicine will also benefit you when applying for jobs.

A Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree is a prerequisite for a career as a pharmacist, for instance. You must possess a bachelor’s degree in chemistry to succeed in this field as a chemist or chemical engineer.

You’ll need solid team-leading abilities and excellent problem-solving abilities for management-level employment. Those in managerial roles are also in charge of developing and putting plans that will benefit their firm. An MBA or other advanced degree may be necessary for these positions.

See the lists below to get an idea of which degrees and experience levels are required for some of the top positions in the primary pharmaceutical industry.

  • Doctor of Pharmacy – (PharmD) degree
  • Chemist or a chemical engineer – Bachelor’s degree in chemistry
  • Medical sales representative – Bachelor’s degree; Master’s optional
  • Product manager – Bachelor’s degree; Master’s optional
  • Regulatory affairs manager – Bachelor’s degree; Master’s optional
  • Clinical research associate – Bachelor’s degree; Master’s optional

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What are the Salary and Job Outlook for a Career in Major Pharmaceuticals?

Employment of pharmacists is anticipated to expand by 2 percent from 2021 to 2031, slower than the average for other occupations.

Over the next ten years, there are expected to be, on average, 13,600 opportunities for pharmacists, notwithstanding the modest expansion in employment.

Most of those positions are anticipated to be caused by the need to replace workers who change careers or leave the workforce due to retirement.


Pharmacists are expected to be in greater demand in several healthcare settings, including hospitals and clinics. Increasingly, pharmacists will be included in healthcare teams to provide medication management and other patient care services in these institutions, as their responsibilities go beyond simple drug dispensing.

Meanwhile, many pharmacists operate in retail pharmacies, including individual and chain drug stores and supermarket and mass merchandiser pharmacies. Fewer pharmacist positions are projected in these settings as the business consolidates, and more customers fill their prescriptions online or by mail.

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How Much Can You Make From Major Pharmaceuticals?

According to the BLS, the average yearly income in major pharmaceutical and medical production stood at $74,560 in 2021. That is significantly more than the yearly average wage of $58,260 for all U.S. occupations.

The business has various roles; thus, the remuneration varies greatly. For instance, on average, compliance officers made $82,510 annually, compared to pharmacy technicians’ $35,250.

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What Are the Lists of Best Paying Jobs in Major Pharmaceuticals?

Is Major Pharmaceuticals A Good Career Path? Lets talk about the high paying jobs in this industry. Some of the most promising pharmaceutical occupations are on the list. Any person can succeed in the pharmaceutical industry with the necessary qualifications and experience.

Check out the list of highest-paying works below if you’re interested in pursuing a career in this area.

1. Pharmacist – $100K+/year

Assuring that patients receive safe medication is the pharmacist’s responsibility. A pharmacist ensures that medicines are prescribed correctly and dispenses them safely. Pharmacists collaborate closely with doctors and nurses to track patients’ progress and offer counsel.

2. Medical Assistant – $72K+/year

Medical assistants carry out a variety of duties related to patient care, such as gathering patient histories, assisting physicians and nurses, collecting specimens, setting up appointments, distributing medication, and guiding patients through diagnoses.

3. Registered Nurse (RN) – $65K+/year

Registered nurses are experts in pathology, disease processes, treatment methods, and anatomy and physiology. R.N.s order tests, prepare medications, educate patients and families, assess patients’ illnesses, arrange treatments, and dress wounds.

4. Physical Therapist Assistant – $60K+/year

Physical therapist assistants help physically disabled people who need assistance with movement and function. PTAs create exercise programs, provide exercise instruction, and treat illnesses and injuries.

5.Clinical Laboratory Scientist – $55,000+ annually

Scientists working in clinical laboratories examine blood samples and analyze urine samples for different substances. To pinpoint individual substances in these samples, they might employ chemical reagents.

6. Dental Assisting – $53K+/year

Assisting dentists during normal operations and surgeries are dental assistants. They clean teeth, provide anesthesia to the patient, and take X-rays.

7. Radiologic Technologist – $52K+/year

Radiologic technologists operate imaging equipment to produce images of internal organs and tissues. Physicians are then emailed these photos for evaluation.

8. Optometrist: $50K+ annually

Optometrists look at the eyes through an optical instrument called a slit lamp to diagnose diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye disorders.

9. Dietitian – $47K+/year

A dietician plans and manages diets for individuals to keep them fit. This entails creating menus, grocery shopping, preparing wholesome meals, and serving them. They also work for organizations.

10. Veterinarian Technician: $46,000+ annually

Veterinary technicians examine animals like dogs and cats to determine what might be wrong with them. They also give shots and vaccinate animals against fatal diseases.

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What Companies are in the Major Pharmaceuticals field?

Knowing which organizations have a lot of room for growth and have excellent employee satisfaction ratings when thinking about a career in major pharmaceuticals is helpful.

According to ratings of employee satisfaction and the variety of jobs available, the following pharmaceutical companies rank highest:

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is made up of close to 300 businesses that specialize in consumer goods, medical technology, and medicines. Although the company’s headquarters are in New Brunswick, New Jersey, jobs are available nationwide.

Aside from work in administrative assistance, research and development, engineering, consumer research, and statistics, you may discover an internship fit for your desired sector.


This is a global pharmaceutical business specializing in generic drugs and eye care. Novartis integrates cutting-edge analytics and artificial intelligence into its production processes.

The company has more than 115,00 employees worldwide and more than 160 projects in progress. Professionals working for the company include marketers, software developers, scientists, and medical technicians.


Pfizer, headquartered in New York City, is a biopharmaceutical business that develops vaccines in addition to treatments in urology, anti-infectives, dermatology, and gastrointestinal.

The company has 130,000 employees nationwide, including scientists, lab workers, data managers, and computational scientists.

PPD conducts business with governmental agencies, academic institutions, medical device manufacturers, and biotechnology companies on a global scale. They offer numerous laboratory and project management services to facilitate clinical studies, such as biomarker identification and compliance.

Lab managers, quality assurance specialists, research scientists, and programmer analysts are frequently hired by PPD.


Pharmaceutical research is carried out by Roche, a company based in Switzerland, in fields of medicine like oncology, immunology, and ophthalmology. The business also has a diagnostics division that excels at in-vitro diagnostics and its pharmaceutical section. Roche employs scientists, consultants, lab technicians, and account executives.

Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk, Inc.’s primary areas of interest include research and treatment for diabetes, which provides for creating various insulin delivery methods.

The business also conducts research to develop treatments for patients with hemophilia and a lack of growth hormone. Novo Nordisk, Inc., based in Akron, Ohio, employs diabetes educators, cloud computing engineers, machine learning scientists, and diabetes care specialists.

Bristol Myers Squibb

Although Bristol Myers Squibb is headquartered in New York, the company operates across other nations. Combining biotech and pharmaceutical initiatives, the company produces oncology, hematology, cardiology, and immunology medicines and undertakes research in neurology and arthritis therapeutics.

Human resources, finance, sales, and management opportunities are frequently available at Bristol Myers Squibb.

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FAQs on Is Major Pharmaceuticals A Good Career Path

Is Major Pharmaceuticals a Good Career Path in the U.K.?

For those who want to work in the healthcare sector, Major Pharmaceuticals is a fantastic career option. Due to the aging population and rising demand for medical treatments, the job market is expanding quickly.

What is the highest-paying job in pharmaceuticals?

#5. Pharmaceutical Financial Analyst.
#4. Pharmaceutical Manager.
#3. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative.
#2. Pharmaceutical Research Scientist.
#1. Medical Science Liaisons.

Are pharmaceutical jobs in demand?

Getting a pharmaceutical industry job is an excellent opportunity for anyone. There are various roles available, and many are in high demand.


It is crucial to examine the benefits and cons of a job in large pharmaceuticals before making a decision. Before making a choice, it’s vital to consider all the relevant factors because there are numerous opportunities for growth and challenges.

This article has answered the popular question “Is Major Pharmaceuticals A Good Career Path?” and has given a proper analysis of the Pharmaceuticals industry.



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