The pharmaceutical industry (sometimes referred to as the pharma industry) is a massive global economic force. Europe is responsible for more than 30% of all worldwide pharmaceutical sales, and the UK alone spends in excess of £4 billion each year on research and development. In total, 65,000 people are employed in the industry, but this figure has been steadily rising over the past decade. Today, pharmaceutical employment is at an all-time high, and is expected to continue its upward growth.
Though pharma recruitment agencies offer employment opportunities for a wide range of jobs in the sector, common positions include Clinical Trials Coordinator, SAS Programmer, and Medical Representative. The industry encompasses professional interests ranging from biochemistry to sales, and draws in experts with diverse backgrounds and specialisations. It is typical for careers in the industry to require advanced degree qualifications, as much of the work is highly technical and involves in-depth medical knowledge. Careers, however, vary widely and there are certainly opportunities for positions requiring limited experience, which provide necessary training on-the-job.
Salaries start at about £20K for most entry-level and junior roles. The top 10% of earners make upwards of £45K, however, and those based in London can expect to earn significantly more than their counterparts throughout the rest of the UK. Overall, the average salary for professionals in the pharmaceutical sector is about £30K.