Thinking about leaping into the pharmaceutical industry? We take a look at the pharmaceutical salaries you can expect from the various roles available in this life-changing industry.
Entry-level pharmaceutical salaries
According to a detailed survey by The Institution of Chemical Engineers from 2018, graduates looking to go into chemical engineering can earn a median salary of roughly £28,600/pa. The type of work depends on the engineer’s background in chemical processes which could have an impact on their overall salary.
The national average salary for a graduate scientist in the UK is roughly £29,000. However, many graduate scientist programmes and jobs offer a salary of between £23,000-£30,000. This figure entirely depends on the firm you apply to. For example, a graduate role at a top pharmaceutical firm like AstraZeneca would mean you’re likely to receive a higher salary in comparison to working at a smaller, independent firm.
A graduate research assistant is a broad role. Depending on your degree and personal interests, you have several different areas to choose from - think about different areas of life sciences for example - microbiology, oncology, bioinformatics, and biotechnology. If you’re looking for a research assistant role as a new graduate without a PhD, you would be looking at a starting salary of £19,000 - £21,000.
Pharmacists work in local drugstores, pharmacies and hospitals, dispensing medications and organising prescriptions. An entry-level graduate pharmacist can expect to earn a salary from £25,000 to £31,000.
Pharmaceutical sales salaries largely depend on how much experience you have selling products or medicines and your scientific knowledge or ability to learn. A graduate starting salary ranges from £19,000 to £24,000.
Mid-level/senior pharmaceutical salaries
Further on in your career as a chemical engineer, you could be looking at a rising income of between £30,000 - £50,000 as you become more experienced over time. Chemical engineers may work for industrial companies that could require in-depth involvement in research, product development, or improvement.
Moving to research assistants. After completing a PhD, you could earn anything from £24,000 - £39,000 depending on your experience and specialism. Qualifications and experience is key! Similarly for roles in a pharmacy, which have salaries ranging from £31,000 to £35,000 with 1-4 years worth of experience.
For pharmaceutical sales, your fixed salary can reach up to £45,000 as your experience grows. In pharmaceutical sales, pay may be supplemented by performance-related pay or bonuses if you achieve or exceed sales targets set by your firm or manager. This is a great way to earn more than your annual salary, but bear in mind that working towards high targets can be stressful and time-sensitive - so you must have your organisation and time management skills up to scratch! You could also be working as a group, alongside other pharmaceutical sales employees or representatives, sharing the same targets and goals - team working is a must for this role.
Why do Pharmaceutical salaries differ so much?
The figures above are a guide and based on our own independent research. But, as with many industries, pharmaceutical salaries differ because they’re dependent on the size of the firm you choose to work for, location, level of experience at the time of applying, qualifications and skill set.
Overall, the pharmaceutical industry is a great place for graduates to earn a high income with growing experience and build a fulfilling career.
Now you know all about different pharmaceutical roles and salaries, take that next step and browse industrial placements in the Pharmaceutical sector today!