Let’s get this out of the way first of all… you need to aim for the right jobs.
If you aim too high, then you’re likely to see adverts with a strong experience requirement.
Our students with no previous pharma industry experience typically fall into one of two camps:
- Bringing a specific and relevant skill set (such as quality or engineering experience), and taking a course to get to grips with the specific rules and regulations of the industry.
- Bringing a more general skill set from an unrelated industry (such as retail or hospitality), and taking a course to start a brand new career.
If you’re in the first group you probably have a clear idea about the types of roles you can apply for – since they’re very similar to the roles you’ve done in another industry.
If you’re in the second group, you might find it a little more difficult to find the right roles for you. You run the risk of aiming a little high and losing motivation when all you see are jobs that require significant experience.
The second group should generally be aiming at entry level manufacturing jobs.
Even if you know that in the long run you want to move into quality, validation, or more advanced manufacturing/production roles – entry level manufacturing is where you should aim for as a first step.
You should see these roles as the easiest door to open into the industry. These roles are an great way to get experience working directly with the rules and regulations of pharma. This makes them an ideal stepping stone to move on to advanced roles later.
Well, the issue is that different companies call these roles different things.
There’s no standard job title – especially if you’re willing to consider pharma, biopharma, and medical device companies (see our Ultimate guide to pharmaceutical careers page for a breakdown of the differences).
Examples of suitable job titles include:
- Production Team Member / Packaging Team Member / Manufacturing Team Member
- Bioprocess Associate
- Biotechnician, Manufacturing
- Cleanroom Operative / Production Operative
- Product Builder
- Manufacturing Technician / Process Technician (BUT be aware that technician roles can be a more advanced role in some companies.)