Education and Training in Pharma
Home » Pharma Blog » What Types of Jobs are there in the Pharmaceutical Industry?

What Types of Jobs are there in the Pharmaceutical Industry?

  • cartoon-showing-woman-with-question-marks-above-her-head-showing-shes-not-sure-about-the-type-of-pharmaceutical-job-she-can-get

Departments

Before we consider specific roles, we should first discuss the departments typically found within a pharmaceutical manufacturing company:

  • Production (Manufacturing) – operate the machinery and systems that actually produce the pharmaceutical product. (Approx 50% of  total staff)
  • Validation – assess and document all equipment and processes to ensure that an action, process or system leads to a consistent and reproducible result. (Quality, validation and regulatory affairs in combination typically account for approximately 30% of staff)
  • Quality Assurance – monitor the processes and procedures of manufacturing to make sure they meet predefined standards.
  • (Quality, validation and regulatory affairs in combination typically account for approximately 30% of staff)
  • Quality Control  provide testing and checks throughout the manufacturing process to make sure product standards are maintained.(Quality, validation and regulatory affairs in combination typically account for approximately 30% of staff)
  • Regulatory Affairs – deal with the applications and paperwork surrounding regulations that have to be done before a medicine can be sold to the public. (Quality, validation and regulatory affairs in combination typically account for approximately 30% of staff)
  • Operations – ensures the continuous functioning of the manufacturing plant and its equipment. (Approx 10% of total staff)
  • Research & Development – typically work in labs to identify molecules that could be used in medications, or on current medications to improve them. (0% to 5% of  total staff)
  • Other – includes areas such as Supply Chain, Logistics, Marketing, HR, Warehouse, Finance, etc. (Approx 5% of total staff)

Job Roles in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

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

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.
Some companies might call this role:

  • Chemical Process Technician
  • BioProcess Technician
  • Cleanroom Operator

Manufacturing Technician – work in a discrete manufacturing environment, run and maintain factory equipment and assembly processes, monitor and check the product quality and document results in strict adherence to protocols.
Some companies might call this role:

  • Production Technician
  • Manufacturing Operator
  • Production Operator
  • Assembler

Packaging Operator – 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.
Some companies might call this role:

  • Packaging Technician

Production Supervisor – 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.
Some companies might call this role:

  • Process Supervisor
  • Manufacturing Supervisor

Click here for Manufacturing/Production Salaries and Job Descriptions.

Science Background

Biochemist – scientific professionals who study and explore the chemical processes with biological organisms. Within the pharmaceutical industry, biochemists are employed within research and development departments as well as within quality teams in manufacturing departments.

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 – a 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 for science roles.

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.
Some companies might call this role:

  • Document Controller
  • Documentation Coordinator

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.
Some companies might call this role:

  • QA Associate
  • Quality Assurance (QA) Technician
  • QA Specialist

Quality Control Associate – tests the product of a manufacturing process to ensure that it meets predefined criteria. The completion of this quality check ensures that the final product is safe to release for sale or distribution.
Some companies might call this role:

  • QC Associate
  • Quality Control (QC) Technician
  • QC Specialist

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.
Some companies might call this role:

  • QA Engineer
  • QC Engineer

Click here for salary information for quality roles. for salary information for quality roles.

Engineering Background

Instrumentation Engineer – provision of computer programming and instrumentation support as well as designing and developing specialised instrumentation and equipment as required.

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 Pharmaceutical Engineering Salary & Job Descriptions

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.
Some companies might call this role:

  • Electrical and Instrumentation Technician

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).
Some companies might call this role:

  • Maintenance Engineer

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.

Click here for more details on Maintenance Salaries and Job Descriptions

Validation Roles

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 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.

Validation Technician – 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.

Validation Team Member – This role is more focused on working on capital projects, equipment focused, higher salary than Validation Technicians as there would be a lot of overtime associated with the role. You would also need to move to where the job located and you could be working away from home.

Click here for salary information for validation roles.

IT/Automation Roles

Automation Engineer – utilizes 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.

Click here for salary information for IT/automation roles.

No Industry Experience In These Areas?

For ALL other backgrounds such as:

  • Homemakers
  • Restaurant Sector – Chef, Cook Restaurant Manager
  • Healthcare – Nurse, Pharmacist, Radiation Therapist
  • Manufacturing – Production Operator, Toolmaker/Fitter
  • Food Processing – Operator, Butcher
  • Military – Army, Navy, Air Force
  • Construction – Electrician, Plumber/Pipe-fitter, Carpenter/Joiner, Foreman, General Operative
  • Other – Farmers, Designers, Architects, Business, Accountant, Sales, etc

FIRST you’ll need to take our Foundation Course to fill in your knowledge and qualification gaps and meet this program’s minimum academic requirements.

Then, take our Certificate in eBioPharmaChem to retrain for starter level roles such as:

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.
Some companies might call this role:

  • Chemical Process Technician
  • BioProcess Technician
  • Cleanroom Operator

Manufacturing Technician – work in a discrete manufacturing environment, run and maintain factory equipment and assembly processes, monitor and check the product quality and document results in strict adherence to protocols.
Some companies might call this role:

  • Production Technician
  • Manufacturing Operator
  • Production Operator
  • Assembler

Packaging Operator – 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.
Some companies might call this role:

  • Packaging Technician

Click here for salary information for entry-level roles.

Other Useful Articles

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

Post Your Comments Below

Close