What is it?

Pharmaceutical companies make medicines which prevent the spread of disease, ease pain or cure illnesses. Pharmaceutical companies generally seek to discover the next groundbreaking medicine which causes it to be a highly lucrative industry.

What skills do you need?

Problem-solving skills ➕ Commercial awareness ➕ Communication and interpersonal skills ➕ Creativity ➕ Enthusiasm ➕ Numeracy skills ➕ Project management skills


  • Pfizer
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Novartis
  • Hoffmann–La Roche
  • Eisai
  • AstraZeneca

Salary range

  • 1-4 years' experience average: £28,000
  • 10-19 years' experience average: £49,648
  • 20 years or more: £67,500

What qualifications do you need?

To get onto a degree course in pharmacy you need three A-B grade A-levels in chemistry and biology, maths or physics along with five GCSEs (grades A-C), including English language, maths and at least one science.

Link to blog / stories linking to this industry / link to Uptree events etc

Pathway options / different routes in / next steps

Very varied

Helpful tips

Science or engineering qualifications are generally required but companies also recruit people without a science background into a range of roles in sales and marketing, IT, human resources, training, finance and many administrative areas.

Job roles

  • Lab Technician
  • Research Associate
  • Research Scientist
  • Clinical Research Physician
  • Clinical Research Associate
  • Regulatory Affairs Associate
  • Bio Statistician
  • Clinical Data Manager

Current Opportunities