There is a variety of job roles for a pharmacist in the pharmaceutical industry. Most involve market research, regulatory affairs, and clinical development. Major pharmaceutical companies are usually located along the east and west coasts in the US so relocation may be necessary if you want to pursue a career in industry.
Industry pharmacists work with a team of professionals to bring a new drug to the market or to manage an existing drug that is already on the market. The corporate workday is usually 8-9 hours a day, but occasionally some work may be required outside of the office. Many entry level pharmacists enter the industry in drug sales, drug safety, or medical writing.
Salary for industry pharmacists in the US vary depending on position and pharmacists usually move around from one position to another in the industry. Starting salaries may begin around $70,000 a year, but there is a lot of potential for increases in the industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the growth rate of pharmacist jobs is faster than average for the future.
To get a job as an industry pharmacist, it is important to go through a fellowship program if you are about to graduate from pharmacy school. Otherwise, you should get a few years of work experience prior to making a career switch into industry. Also, getting a job as an intern in the pharmaceutical industry will help you find a job.
There is a lot of competition for pharmaceutical industry jobs because people from various educational backgrounds can apply, but a specialized knowledge from the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) degree will help you stand out from the crowd.