FAQ for Veterans who want a Career in Pharmaceutical or Medical Device Industry
Check below to find answers to your most frequently asked questions.
The pharmaceutical manufacturing industry makes prescription, nonprescription medicines and vaccines in highly sophisticated and controlled manufacturing facilities.
This industry makes items such as respirators, contact lens, heart valves, stents, artificial limbs, artificial joints in highly sophisticated and controlled manufacturing facilities.
3. Veterans in Pharmaceutical or Medical Device manufacturing? Seriously? How could being in the armed forces make me suitable for a job in these industries?
There are enormous similarities between the military and the pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing industry.
First and foremost, there, is the sense of a mission and a dedication of helping and serving others, closely followed by the ability to constantly adapt to a changing environment.
These industries value people who are at their best under pressure as these are the kind of people who can help a company grow and succeed. That sense of purpose and work ethic make military veterans a good fit for careers in pharmaceutical and medical device industries,
Here is Lisa Uthgennant from Convance on Veterans.
“Rigorous military training has taught veterans to pinpoint important details and simplify processes. Using these skills, they are particularly adept at executing strategies and tactics with precision and leading teams to work more efficiently, all of which helps Covance deliver the service and solutions our clients need.”
Furthermore you military training has developed level of attention to details and a deep seated belief in the life saving value and need to follow protocols and processes.
Life Sciences is broader term that includes companies in the fields of pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, biotechnology, biomedical technologies, life systems technologies, nutraceuticals, medical devices, biomedical devices, and organizations and institutions that devote the majority of their efforts in these industries.
This will depend on your background and rank.
Veterans with the following backgrounds:
- Engineering, Science & Technical
- Electronic/Electrical Technician
- Transportation & Material Handling
- Combat Specialty (Artillery)
And the following Rank Grade
- E3 – E7
are a great fit for our course.
To be honest, depending on the role you had, in many cases, you may already be qualified enough to get your foot in the door without much if any additional training.
But you many need training on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). It’s going to depend heavily on the role you had in the military and your target role within the pharma space.
In addition, if you want more advanced roles, you are probably going to need to get more advanced level qualifications.
Yes, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these industries pay between 20% to 30% more than average mean salary. Your exact salary will depend of course on your specific role, your level of experience and your location.
The following salary numbers taken from the BLS will give you a rough idea of what to expect.
Please note that these are average median wages for these roles within the pharma and med devices sectors so do expect some variation both up and down.
If you have an Engineering or Technical background…
…check out these Manufacturing roles
Many veterans have a good understanding of the link between leadership and production, quality, safety, maintenance, and procedural compliance. They are able to communicate and build teams from the individual to the plant level.
- Process Technician (average salary $46,850)
This is a typical entry-level role.
- Packaging Operator (average salary $30,910)
This is a typical entry-level role.
- Production Supervisor (average salary $55,800)
…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 capital equipment.
- Maintenance Technician (average salary $62,950)
This is a typical entry-level role.
- Calibration Technician (average salary $45,420)
This is a typical entry-level role.
- Facilities Engineer (average salary $73,300)
- Process Engineer (average salary $88,530)
- Project Engineer (average salary $99,250)
- Manufacturing Engineer (average salary $88.530)
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.
Microbiologist (average salary $76,850)
…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 manufacturing 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.
- Quality Control Associate (average salary $48,550)
With some quality experience, this can be an entry-level role.
- Documentation Specialist (average salary $47,500)
With some relevant experience, this can be an entry-level role.
- Quality Engineer (average salary $99,250)
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)
- Validation Technician (average salary $71,000)
- Validation Engineer (average salary $90,010)
- CSV Specialist (average salary $97,000)
If you have another area of expertise …
… there are many other job roles that could be open to you.
Areas such as:
- Supply chain
- Human Resources
These roles would not typically require the technical industry-specific retraining of the roles outlined above.
In addition, the industry needs people who make good decisions, whilst also being flexible and are effective in new and different environments.
This will depend on:
- Your Role in the Military – Generally speaking, you will be looking at a minimum of 12 months to complete a relevant course. In lots of cases, you can be ready to start applying for a job in as little as 4 months. If you do secure a job, you can keep studying while you work.
- Your rank grade. Our courses work best for Veterans with have a rank grade of E3 – E7. If you are higher, you may already be qualified enough to get your foot in the door but of course this advice comes with the usual caveats.
Absolutely, you can pause the course for up to 6 months and continue on with your studies after your deployment has ended.
As mentioned, people in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry are well paid and with the skills you’ll learn on this course you should be able to earn back your tuition within 2 to 4 months.
Companies in these industries also tend to be found in clusters. Examples of cluster locations for these industries include:
- New Jersey
- Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina,
- Maryland/DC Metro
- San Diego
- Seattle, Washington
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco, Bay Area
- Long Island
- Denver Colorado
- Minneapolis/St Paul
Important: Of course, there are pharmaceutical and medical device plants located outside of these clusters as well but they won’t be at the same level of concentration.
You will automatically be enrolled in our career coaching which will go through everything including building out your network, identifying the best roles to apply for, customising your resume to every application, speculative job application and much more.
We expect you to make a minimum of over 100 fully customized job applications over the duration of the course where you will have to customize your resume and cover letter (if required) to every single job application. Frankly speaking, a one resume fits all job applications approach yields very poor results.
Our previous graduates have gone on to work for companies including:
Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Roche, GSK, Teva, Sanofi, Amgen, Abbott, Abbvie, Boston Scientific, Stryker, Mylan, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), MSD, Merck Group, Gilead Sciences, Regeneron, Medtronic, GE Healthcare, Lilly, West Pharma, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Zimmer Biomet, Becton, Dickinson & Co and many more.
15. Will working in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries give me the same sense of accomplish and mission as with the armed forces?
We believe so. Working in these industries requires people who are dedicated and mission orientated and who work with a high level of attention to detail and you will find plenty of like minded people working there.
Take this quiz and find out if you are eligible.
It only takes 30 seconds.
You can pay this upfront before you start or you can pay in monthly installments, for the year of your study, at no extra cost (0% interest).
There are no hidden costs with our courses.
- No registration fees.
- No book fees.
- No exam fees.
The price you see listed is the price you pay.
And we’re also not going to try to sell you any loans.
We believe in making our program affordable to help you avoid student debt. In fact, we strongly recommend you take a pay as you go approach so you can finish the program without any debt.
In addition to our $5000 scholarship for military personnel and veterans, we offer a money back job offer guarantee.
To qualify, within 50 miles of the Philadelphia to New Jersey pharmaceutical manufacturing corridor (we are expanding this to include other pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing hubs) or be willing to relocated and actively job hunt within this area.
You also have to successfully complete both your academic program and your weekly job hunting tasks. If you meet all those criteria and you don’t manage to get a job offer, we’ll give you all of your tuition fees back.
Now we know that might sound too good to be true and you might be looking for “the catch”. So we’ll try to be as clear as possible… If you pay us $11,999 for a course, you meet all the criteria outlined above and in the T&C’s and you don’t get a job offer, you’ll get your $11,999 back.
You’ll either have a job offer or you get your tuition fees back. It’s that simple.
Job Offer –Terms & Conditions
GetReSkilled guarantees that you will receive a Job Offer as an employee or a contractor within 3‐ months of successfully graduating from your training program and all its assessments (the Job Offer Period). Further, in your new job GetReSkilled guarantees that your gross income from such job over a 4‐month period will be greater than the cost of your course fees following job placement.
- Must have been enrolled on the eBioPharma Validation program,remain enrolled and successfully graduate and be in compliance with the GetReSkilld
- Terms and Conditions throughout the Job‐Hunting program.
- Must be eligible to legally work in USA for at least 1‐year following successful completion of the Job‐Hunting program.
- Must be over the age of 25 years.
- Must have completed all Career Coaching assignments in accordance with the Job‐Hunting program schedule.
- Must have completed the GetReSkilledProfessional Profile (Resume) format and allowed Recruiter Access to same in accordance with the Job‐Hunting program schedule.
Terms for Successful Compliance with the Job Hunting Program Schedule
- Must be active in job search and demonstrates this activity by submitting a minimum of 5‐job applications each week.
- Must track all applications submitted and be able to furnish details and communications relating to the job search upon reimbursement request Including:
- The employer, position, date of submission,and all application materials for each position applied to within the Job Offer Period.
- The application materials must show clear good faith effort and be tailored to the role and company.
- Applied positions must meet the skill level obtained through the relevant eBioPharma Validation program.
- Must be responsive to outreach from the GetReskilled Career Coaching Team within 72 hours during the Job‐Hunting program schedule. An example of communication is to confirm/deny interest in a given role from an employer.
Must not have rejected any Job Offers that match ability and expectations as defined by theirGetReSkilled Professional Profile (Resume) upon completion of the training program.
- Must be subject to auditing at any point in the Job Offer Period for GetReSkilled to check that terms have been adhered to.
- Should the Successful Graduate fail to receive a Job Offer within these parameters, GetReSkilled will reimburse the full tuition amount minus any rebates, scholarships and payments which may have been received from GetReSkilled.
- The reimbursement will be paid within 1‐month.
- The reimbursement request must explicitly be made via email to email@example.com within one calendar month following the Job Offer Period. Failure to provide timely notice will void the guarantee.
- GetReSkilled is not liable if the Successful Graduate fails to pass any background check associated with the Job Offer.
- GetReSkilled is not liable if the Successful Graduate loses the job for any reason.
- GetReSkilled may involve third parties in its job placement efforts at no extra cost to the Successful Graduate.
Nothing herein is intended to establish or create a fiduciary relationship, partnership, or joint venture between the Successful Graduate and GetReSkilled.
- This offer applies without regard to race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical
handicap or medical condition.
- These terms and conditions shall be governed by the laws of USA without regard to its
conflict of law provisions.
- These terms and conditions contain the full and complete understanding regarding their subject matter, superseding all prior agreements and understandings, written or oral, about such subject matter.
Got More Questions?
If you have any questions or comments about these Terms and Conditions or our Website, please contact us:
Call Geraldine: (617) 901 9268
You cannot use your GI Bill funding for this program. But, even if you could, we recommend that you don’t.
Studying an online program reduces the amount you can claim for the housing portion of the funding.
We’d suggest you keep your funding for a more costly graduate programme delivered at a campus. We’re working hard to make our courses affordable to military personnel without you having to use your funding.
“For students on their G.I. Bill who take all of their classes online, their monthly housing allowance is equal to half the national average of the BAH for an E-5 with dependents, or just over $700 per month.
Even if you went to school in one of the locations with the lowest housing rates in the country — Owensboro, Kentucky, or Alpena, Michigan; for instance — you’d receive more than $1,000 in monthly housing allowance, substantially more than the online rate. If you go to school somewhere with high housing rates, like New York City or San Francisco, those allowance rates are more than $3,000 a month. We’re talking serious money that you’re missing out on by going to school online.”
And if you on Active Duty:
“1/ You’ll be missing a lot of the financial incentives that come along with the G.I. Bill. When a vet uses the G.I. Bill on active duty, he or she is ineligible for the relocation allowance and the basic allowance for housing that come with the G.I. Bill benefits. In using your G.I. Bill on active duty, you’re lessening its value by tens of thousands of dollars.
2/ The last reason not to use your G.I. Bill on active duty is that you don’t need to. Every branch has some form of tuition assistance that will let you take college classes for free while not dipping into your G.I. Bill benefits.”
1) First we put our money where our mouth is. We offer a no strings job offer guarantee. If you don’t get a job within 3 months of graduating, we’ll refund you your tuition. Currently we offer this guarantee within 50 miles of the Philadelphia to New Jersey pharmaceutical manufacturing corridor only but we we will be rolling it out to other pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing hubs.
2) Second, some online courses just open their doors and leave you to get on with it – our courses are different.
Your Class Director is going to check when you log in and when you complete assignments and only will release the subsequent week’s materials to you if you have been logging in for more than 10 hours per week.
We check this every week, for every trainee. If you start to fall behind, we notice and we WILL reach out by email or by phone to get you back on track.
3) Finally, we are an Irish/American company that grew out of an engineering consultancy, DPS Engineering.
- We have retrained over 3,350 experienced workers in the last 10 years into new jobs and careers. These people have come from engineering, science, maintenance, quality and manufacturing backgrounds in other industries and sectors. In addition:
- 81% of our 2016 graduates found a new job in 6 months, with over 40% of them securing a new position even before they completed our programme.
- Our graduates have gone on to work for the world’s leading blue chip pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing companies such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Roche, GSK, Teva, Sanofi, Amgen, Abbott, Abbvie, Boston Scientific, Stryker, Mylan, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), MSD, Merck Group, Gilead Sciences, Regeneron, Medtronic, GE Healthcare, Lilly, West Pharma, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Zimmer Biomet, Becton Dickinson and many more.
- We’re serious about helping you find a job. As well as your pharma course, you’ll have access to our career coaching program where we’ll teach you how to find a job in this sector. And we produce a huge amount of resources to help you with your job hunt.
- Our programs are supported by Governments in both Ireland (through the Springboard+ Program) and in Singapore (via the WDA) – two of the world’s major pharmaceutical manufacturing hubs.
- Most importantly, our courses are academically accredited by the Dublin Institute of Technology which is backed and funded by the Irish Government and is:
- The Largest University in Ireland
- A World Top 2% Times Higher Education (THE) ranked University
- 20,000 registered students and over 2,000 members of staff
- A Member of the European University Association
21. How do the pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing industries view candidates from the armed forces?
Armed service members have an excellent reputation due to your attention to detail and disciplined experience with life-saving processes.
A number of these companies have dedicated sections in their HR Departments focused solely on recruiting Veterans.
22. Why do I need retraining? Why can I just apply with the training I already have from being in military service?
For some roles, you can.
But for the roles we’ve outlined above, you are going to need to demonstrate that you can work with GMPs (Good Manufacturing Practices) and for that, your are going to need experience or a relevant industry qualification.
Now a lot of Veterans and military personnel will find GMPs super easy to relate to as there is a huge amount of overlap between what you do on a daily basis and working in a pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturing facility.
In fact, you can check just how much has your military training prepared you to work in pharma.
Take this Quiz. It only takes 60 seconds.
We offer military scholarships of $5,000.
Take this quiz and find out if you are eligible.
It only takes 30 seconds
There are significant opportunities for career growth within these sectors.
The United States is a global leader in the medical device, pharmaceutical and biotech industries, which directly and indirectly supports millions of jobs across the United States.
The industry is continuing to grow and open up plenty of opportunities along with the chance to climb the career ladder
Yes, this industry offers jobs that are stable, secure and free from the ups and downs of the economy. It takes time to bring people up to speed working in a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) regulated environment so companies tend to hire for the long term and have low turnover rates.
You’ll be able can get help from your Course Advisor, who will be there to keep you on track and make sure you get to the end of the course.
We take a very hands on approach to our course delivery and believe the success in any learning program depends enormously on excellent communication between the student and your Course Advisor.
As such, we will constantly be in touch with you throughout the duration of course and afterwards until you finally find a job. We offer a structured and disciplined environment throughout the program. You’ll also be enrolled in our robust career coaching program from day one.
- Flexibility to learn at any time from anywhere
- Accountability to a course advisor to keep you on track.
- Structured curriculum covering what you need for entry level roles in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device manufacturing industry.
- Career Coaching to help you get the job you want.
- An industry relevant academic certificate with college credits that provides a pathway to a degree
- Complete the program requirements in full.
- Dedicate time to your job search consistently during and after your program ends.
- Communication with your course advisor about your progress and goals throughout.
We will continue to support and coach you until you find a job offer.
Upon successful completion of all assignments and assessments, you will receive your academically accredited certificate from the Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland (A Top 2% Times Higher Education globally ranked University).
You will also receive college credits which can be used to gain a BSc degree with further additional study.
It takes on average 12-months part-time, online study to complete your academic program, however, you will be able to start applying for jobs after 4-months study.
This is self-paced study and so this timeframe can be reduced or extended based on your needs. Our students report to us that class work takes 14-16 hours/week.
All of the courses are delivered online. And there are some clear benefits of NOT having to attend a classroom for your education:
- No wasted time commuting to class – spend more time doing the things you love with the people you love
- No parking fees, gas expenses or public transportation costs – surely there’s something else you could spend that money on!
- Spend time in the evening with your kids. Study after they have gone to bed.
- No scheduling conflicts – if your weekly commitments change, your study times can change too
- Learn from a distance – still in the military? No problem! Start your course now and be job-ready by the time you leave the military
Each week, you’ll complete a series of videos, quizzes, interactive activities and projects through our online platform, available to access 24/7.
Online courses can start off great, but staying motivated can be a challenge. So, you’ll get regular feedback reports (and emails or phone calls if you fall behind!) to keep you on track.
Because it’s online there are no long commutes, traffic jams or crowded trains to deal with on the way to class. Wherever you are, we bring your class to you
We know your military schedule can be unpredictable so we offer flexible delivery. Slow down, speed up or pause your course at any time.
If you’ve not applied already, the first step is to email your resume to your Course Advisor, Geraldine Creaner. Once done, she will respond within a maximum of 2 working days to arrange a convenient time to talk you through the application process.
Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
We don’t do placements or internships.
We deliver academically accredited conversion courses that help people leverage their qualifications and work experience to move into a career in the pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing industry.
Our offices are based in the heart of Boston MA, in the Prudential Tower (close enough to hear roars from Fenway) but we deliver our courses online so you are able to complete it at home.
Feel free to get in touch if you have any other questions or would like to discuss your specific circumstances.