23 Alternative Careers For Pharmacists (With Average Salary)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 19 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you possess a pharmacology degree, the traditional career path for you is to become a pharmacist. A career as a pharmacist may offer you many benefits, but there are other careers also in this field that may be more suitable for you. Knowing what these career options are may help you choose the right career path for yourself when and if you decide to change your career from being a pharmacist. In this article, we define the role of a pharmacist, list 23 alternative careers for pharmacists and provide you with tips for a career change in this field.

Related: How To Write A Pharmacist CV? (With Template And Example)

What Is A Pharmacist?

A pharmacist is a health care professional who specialises in the preparation and dispensing of prescription medications. Pharmacists counsel patients on their medications, communicate with prescribers and insurance companies, manage a pharmacy staff and ensure patient safety. They also ensure patients receive the right medication and the right dosage.

Related: How To Become A Pharmacist: A Complete Guide

Alternative Careers For Pharmacists

There are many jobs in pharmacology where you may use your skills to perform a variety of duties and get a lucrative salary. It is important for you to know the salary details and primary duties of these jobs so that you can determine if you want to pursue them. Here are 12 alternative careers for pharmacists where you may apply your skills:

1. Laboratory Technician

National average salary: ₹14,991 per month

Primary duties: Laboratory technicians are responsible for performing different procedures inside a laboratory. They work on maintaining equipment, ensuring a clean workspace and helping lead scientists with various experiments. Laboratory technicians also work on analysing samples and conducting laboratory tests based on standard operating procedures.

Related: How To Become A Lab Technician: A Step-By-Step Guide

2. Pharmaceutical Technician

National average salary: ₹16,246 per month

Primary duties: Pharmaceutical technicians assist veterinarians, doctors or scientists in conducting research and developing new or improving existing medications. They work on supervising experiments, documenting laboratory results, maintaining records and testing for different compounds. Pharmaceutical technicians also work on ensuring a clean environment in the lab.

3. Clinical Research Coordinator

National average salary: ₹18,120 per month

Primary duties: A clinical research coordinator administers clinical trials. They do so under the supervision of clinical research managers. They work on managing and conducting clinical trials, gathering data, letting participants know about the objectives of a study and administering questionnaires.

Related: How To Become A Medical Researcher (Complete Guide)

4. Medical Science Liaison

National average salary: ₹1,08,333 per month

Primary duties: Medical science liaisons work as scientific peers in the medical community. They work on ensuring a product gets used in the proper manner and also provide their scientific expertise to their colleagues. Medical science liaisons also work on maintaining communication and building relationships with academic researchers, attending conferences and engaging in discussions on diseases and drug therapies.

5. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

National average salary: ₹23,099 per month

Primary duties: A pharmaceutical sales representative sells pharmaceutical products manufactured or marketed by a company. They work on educating medical professionals about these products and inform them on how these devices, drugs and treatments may meet the requirements of their patients. Pharmaceutical sales representatives also work on helping medical professionals understand how their products are better than the ones from their competitors.

6. Medical Writer

National average salary: ₹20,342 per month

Primary duties: Medical writers create scientific papers like drug-related or research-related documents. They also create content or literature for healthcare or medical websites. They work on writing and editing their medical writing deliverables and may work alongside doctors or scientists.

7. Clinical Research Associate

National average salary: ₹28,165 per month

Primary duties: Clinical research associates manage clinical studies and trials. These studies or trials usually are about biotechnological and pharmaceutical products, procedures and drugs. They work on performing research and ensuring the safety of such products in the market.

8. Medical Representative

National average salary: ₹17,763 per month

Primary duties: A medical representative sells a company's products, including pharmaceutical drugs and medical equipment. They are responsible for travelling to different locations and contacting potential customers at healthcare facilities like clinics, hospitals and nursing homes. Medical representatives also work on arranging appointments with the hospital medical teams to showcase the company's products.

9. Regulatory Affairs Manager

National average salary: ₹60,649 per month

Primary duties: A regulatory affairs manager ensures companies comply with all the rules and regulations put in place by various regulatory agencies. They work on overseeing the regulation process and creating procedures for verifying compliance. They also work on coordinating company inspections.

10. Research Scientist

National average salary: ₹36,682 per month

Primary duties: A Research scientist designs and analyses information in laboratory trials, investigations and experiments. They work on planning and conducting experiments, writing grant proposals and completing funding applications. They usually work alongside other team members and the support staff.

11. Pharmacologist

National average salary: ₹36,573 per month

Primary duties: Pharmacologists study and test new medications and chemical compounds for the development of drug therapies and the prevention of harmful drug interactions. They evaluate potential side effects of different drugs, conduct experiments and interpret data. They also work on managing laboratory and staff members.

Related: 7 Careers After Microbiology Course (With Salary)

12. Clinical Research Scientist

National average salary: ₹47,475 per month

Primary duties: Clinical research scientists perform medical research in a laboratory setting. They spend most of their time researching and investigating various diseases to identify health conditions. They use their findings to help physicians provide patients with accurate diagnoses. Clinical research scientists also ensure the safety and effectiveness of medications, treatments, procedures and devices and design trial materials.

Additional Career Options

Here are 11 more jobs that you may consider:

  • Science writer

  • Toxicologist

  • Regulatory affairs officer

  • Product development scientist

  • Process development scientist

  • Veterinary pharmacist

  • Higher education lecturer

  • Medicinal chemist

  • Biomedical scientist

  • Neuroscientist

  • Medical sales executive

Tips For A Career Change As A Pharmacist

Here are a few tips to help you get a career change as a pharmacist:

Attend conferences

You may attend pharmacology conferences to learn new skills and abilities and meet new people in your field. You can also use these conferences to learn more about other opportunities in the pharmacology field. These conferences also help you in networking with other people in your field and establish professional connections.

Consider taking time off from your current role to focus on your job search

You may find it challenging to search for a new job while working on your existing one. Working full-time as a pharmacist may not leave you with sufficient time to focus on your job search. In such a situation, you may consider taking some time off from your full-time job to focus on finding a new role for yourself.

Identify your personal and professional requirements

It is important for you to consider your requirements, both personal and professional, when you start looking for new roles. You may want an increase in your salary or you may want some flexibility in your work hours. Whatever your requirements may be, make sure you consider only those jobs that meet these requirements.

Pursue additional education or training

Based on the jobs you want to apply for, you may require additional qualifications to complement your existing skill set. Completing a certification or attending a course on such qualifications may improve your chances of getting the role you desire. You may even opt for online courses or certifications to manage your full-time job along with your education.

Update and tailor your resume when applying for jobs

When you apply for new jobs, make sure you tailor your resume according to each individual application. You may be applying for jobs in a few completely different industries. In such cases, submitting a generic resume to each one may not highlight your candidature appropriately. This is why it can be beneficial to tailor your resume for each of these industries and this may improve your chances of getting shortlisted.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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