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What Types of Jobs are there in the Pharmaceutical Industry?

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The types of role you’ll be able to apply for, and the salaries associated with them, will be influenced by your qualifications and work background.

Below you’ll find a list of common backgrounds of people who take our courses. Under each heading is a sample of the sorts of jobs someone from that background might be suitable to do, depending on their level of experience.

Click on each link for an article that explains more about what the job involves within the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry and what skills you need to be successful.

Each section also includes a link to a more general job description and salaries page that gives a less detailed insight into more jobs – as well as potential salaries.

Manufacturing Background

Packaging Operator – responsible for taking the finished product of a manufacturing process and ensuring that it is packaged in line with company and industrial standards, making it ready for sale or distribution.

Process Technician – 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 clean-room environment.

Production Supervisor – directly responsible for overseeing and organising 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.

Click here for salary information and more manufacturing roles (including assembler and manufacturing technical specialist).

Science Background

Laboratory Technician – 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 – scientific professional who studies 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.

Click here for salary information and more science roles (including chemist and lab analyst).

Quality Background

Documentation Specialist – 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 Assurance Associate – 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 – 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.

Quality Engineer – 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.

Click here for salary information and more quality roles (including project quality engineer and associate quality engineer).

Engineering & Maintenance Background

Calibration Technician – 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 – can have an extremely broad remit covering the infrastructure 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).

Maintenance Technician – 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.

Manufacturing Engineer – 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 in the most time-efficient and cost-effective way possible, while always maintaining staff safety and product quality.

Process Engineer – responsible for designing, implementing, controlling and optimizing industrial processes, especially continuous ones within the chemical, petrochemical, agriculture, mineral processing, advanced material, food, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological industries.

Project Engineer – manages technical or engineering projects. They work with stakeholders at all levels, with direct responsibility for budgeting, personnel and project planning.

Click here for salary information and more engineering and maintenance roles (including chemical engineer, HVAC technician, industrial engineer and electrician).

Highly Specialised Roles

Automation Engineer – utilises technology to improve, streamline and automate a manufacturing process. They are responsible for planning, implementation and monitoring of such technology.

CSV Specialist – 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.

Validation Engineer – responsible for planning, implementing and monitoring the validation strategy in highly regulated industries such as pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturing. They measure and analyse 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.

Validation Technician – works as part of the Validation team to measure and analyse 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.

Click here for salary information and more highly specialised roles (including systems engineer and applications engineer).

No Experience In These Areas?

For trainees who are reskilling from another industry and don’t have experience in any of these backgrounds, check out entry level positions such as:

Packaging Operator – responsible for taking the finished product of a manufacturing process and ensuring that it is packaged in line with company and industrial standards, making it ready for sale or distribution.

Process Technician – 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 clean-room environment.

Click here for salary information and more entry level roles.

Still Not Sure? Try This Tool!

What kind of job can I get based on my experience?

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You might also be interested in:

No Manufacturing Experience? No Problem. (Aaron’s story)

From Optician to Chemical Process Technician! (Adrian’s story)

How to Find a Job in Pharma Manufacturing – Infographic

Of course, if you have any questions that you can’t find the answers to, get in touch with us for a chat about your particular circumstance

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