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What Job and Salary Can a Veteran Get in the Pharmaceutical Industry?
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What Job and Salary Can a Veteran Get in the Pharmaceutical Industry?

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There are a huge variety of roles available within the manufacture of safe medicines. There’s one for every skill set – you just have to know where to look.

In this article, we’re going to consider specific job roles and the work experience background you might have to be suitable for them.

If you’re not quite at that point and are actually looking for a high-level overview of departments and the industry in general, check out this article instead.

Great, so, you want to know about specific jobs roles.

Click on the option below that best describes your experience to jump straight to jobs that are most suitable for you. Or simply scroll down to see all of the jobs. Please note, not all of these are entry-level jobs – we’re trying to show you the whole career path, not just the first step.

All of the jobs listed (even those marked as entry level) will require some industry-specific training to get you up to speed with the technical requirements of this highly-regulated industry.

If you have an Engineering or Technical background…

…check out these Manufacturing roles

Many veterans have a good understanding of the link between leadership, production, quality, safety, maintenance, and procedural compliance. They are able to communicate and build teams from the individual to the whole plant.

Process Technician (average salary $46,850)
This is a typical entry-level role.
Operates equipment, monitors processes and documents results in strict adherence to protocols. They are involved in all stages of the manufacturing process and in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, their role often occurs within a cleanroom environment.

This role might also be referred to as a Manufacturing Technician, Manufacturing Operator, Cleanroom Operator or BioProcess/Chemical Technician, depending on the company and what is being produced.

Packaging Operator (average salary $30,910)
This is a typical entry-level role.
Responsible for taking the finished product of a manufacturing process and ensuring that it is packaged in line with company and industry standards, making it ready for sale or distribution.

Production Supervisor (average salary $55,800)
The person directly responsible for overseeing and organizing the equipment, staff, and processes on a production floor. They will oversee scheduling and routine production activities as well as acting as first-line troubleshooting should problems arise.

…and check out these Engineering / Maintenance Roles

Many veterans and military personnel are highly skilled in using technology as they troubleshoot and repair electronic, electrical, and mechanical systems in the toughest of environments. Those with automation and maintenance experience are perfectly suited to roles which involve the installation, calibration, and servicing of equipment.

Maintenance Technician (average salary $62,950)
This is a typical entry-level role.
Tasked with routine maintenance of manufacturing equipment as well as helping to troubleshoot when issues arise. Due to the regulation of the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, they are required to keep detailed and accurate documentation of their work.

Calibration Technician (average salary $45,420)
This is a typical entry-level role.
Responsible for the routine inspection, testing, maintenance and repair of instruments and manufacturing equipment. The purpose of the calibration technician role is to ensure the accuracy of the measurements taken using this equipment.

Facilities Engineer (average salary $73,300)
Can have an extremely broad remit covering the full infrastructure and utilities of the building, depending on the needs of the company. Areas of direct responsibility might include environmental, health and safety issues, electrical engineering or HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning).

Process Engineer (average salary $88,530)
Present across all stages of the manufacturing process. They are responsible for designing, implementing, controlling and optimizing industrial processes, especially continuous ones. They can be designing innovative processes and equipment for a new facility or they can be involved in the modification and optimization of equipment and processes that are already in place.

Project Engineer (average salary $99,250)
Manages technical or engineering projects. They work with stakeholders at all levels, with direct responsibility for budgeting, personnel and project planning.

Manufacturing Engineer (average salary $88,530)
Responsible for development, design, implementation, and monitoring of equipment, tools and machinery used in the manufacturing process. Their primary goal is to create the stages of a manufacturing system that ultimately produces a product that is safe for the patient to use in the most time-efficient and cost-effective way possible.

Next Steps

As outlined above, you’ll need a conversion course to give you the specific technical information needed within the highly-regulated pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing industries.

Check out our 12- Month eBioPharma Validation program. It is an academically accredited and provides all the industry-specific knowledge you need to get started.

Head on over to our article “What Does Reskilling Look Like?”, for all the information you’ll need to decide if this is the right course option for you.

Feel free to contact us to discuss your specific circumstances or to chat about what opportunities might be available to you within these industries.

If you have a Science/Lab, Healthcare or Medical Background…

…Check out these Science Roles

Laboratory Technician (average salary $49,770)
With relevant experience, this can be an entry level role.
Assist industry scientists in their research and testing. This can involve a number of different tasks and these tasks can vary greatly between roles. Within the pharmaceutical industry, laboratory technicians can be employed in research and development or in production and manufacturing. As a result, the work can be based in a laboratory or on a production line, depending on the specific responsibilities of the role.

Microbiologist (average salary $76,850)
Scientific professionals who study microorganisms. They play a key role in pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturing by testing to monitor levels of microbial contamination at all stages of the manufacturing process.

…and check out these Quality Roles

Many Veterans make good candidates for compliance and quality related positions. Safety compliance and procedural compliance are taught and reinforced in the military and these skills readily translate into the highly regulated environment of pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturing. Veterans with this skill set can easily understand the cGMP (current good manufacturing practices) and SOPs (standard operating procedures) that are essential here.

Quality Assurance Associate (average salary $48,550)
With some quality experience, this can be an entry-level role.
Monitors and records results from processes and procedures within manufacturing industries. Results are continually compared to predetermined expected ranges and any deviation from expected results leads to corrective measures.

Quality Control Associate (average salary $48,550)
With some quality experience, this can be an entry-level role.
Tests the product of a manufacturing process to ensure that it meets with predefined criteria. The completion of this quality check ensures that the final product is safe to release for sale or distribution.

Documentation Specialist (average salary $47,500)
With some relevant experience, this can be an entry-level role.
The individual responsible for the writing, distribution, collection, storage, and maintenance of a company’s documentation. In highly regulated industries, these activities are a requirement for regulatory compliance.

Quality Engineer (average salary $99,250)
Works within the quality team to ensure the overall quality of a manufactured product and are tasked with creating documentation, devising quality tests and defining the criteria a test result should meet. They play a key role in fixing issues when they arise.

Next Steps

As outlined above, you’ll need a conversion course to give you the specific technical information needed within the highly-regulated pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing industries.

Check out our 12- Month eBioPharma Validation program. It is an academically accredited and provides all the industry-specific knowledge you need to get started.

Head on over to our article “What Does Reskilling Look Like?”, for all the information you’ll need to decide if this is the right course option for you.

Feel free to contact us to discuss your specific circumstances or to chat about what opportunities might be available to you within these industries.

If you have an Information Technology/Automation Background…

…check out these Specialised Roles

With advanced specialist training, many veterans and military personnel would make ideal candidates for the following specialist and highly paid roles.

Automation Engineer (average salary $96,350)
Utilises technology to improve, streamline and automate a manufacturing process. They are responsible for planning, implementation, and monitoring of such technology.

Validation Technician (average salary $71,000)
With some relevant experience, this can be an entry-level role.
Works as part of the Validation team to measure and analyze the manufacturing process, audit and calibrate equipment and create a document trail that shows the process leads to a consistent result. This ensures that the product is consistently of the highest quality for the patient.

Validation Engineer (average salary $90,010)
Responsible for planning, implementing and monitoring the validation strategy in highly regulated industries such as pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturing. They measure and analyze the process, audit and calibrate equipment and create a document trail that shows the process leads to a consistent result to ensure the highest quality products are produced.

CSV Specialist (average salary $97,000)
Work to plan, write, implement and review the Computer Systems Validation protocols in place within highly regulated manufacturing industries. Their work is essential to make sure that all computer-based systems are operating as intended (with documents to prove it) to meet regulatory requirements.

Next Steps

As outlined above, you’ll need a conversion course to give you the specific technical information needed within the highly-regulated pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing industries.

Check out our 12- Month eBioPharma Validation program. It is an academically accredited and provides all the industry-specific knowledge you need to get started.

Head on over to our article “What Does Reskilling Look Like?”, for all the information you’ll need to decide if this is the right course option for you.

Feel free to contact us to discuss your specific circumstances or to chat about what opportunities might be available to you within these industries.

If you have another area of expertise …

… there are many other job roles that could be open to you.

Areas such as:

  • Logistics
  • Supply chain
  • Warehouse
  • Sales
  • Human Resources
  • Procurement

Next Steps

These roles would not typically require all the specific content covered in our Certificate in eBioPharma Validation. However an overview of the industry and it’s rules and regulations which govern product quality and patient safety would be hugely beneficial to secure an interview.

Check out our Manufacture Safe Medicines (Introduction) program. It provides the industry overview you need to get started and to negotiate the interview process for these non-technical roles. You may also need to supplement this with a specific industry module, which your course advisor can discuss with you on a one-to-one basis to reflect your career goals.

Head on over to our article “What Does Reskilling Look Like?”, for all the information you’ll need to decide if this is the right course option for you.

Feel free to contact us to discuss your specific circumstances or to chat about what opportunities might be available to you within these industries.

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