Pharmaceutical Technology's Ninth Annual Employment Survey

Dec 02, 2006


IMAGES COURTESY OF PHOTOS.COM LAB TECHNICIANS: ARCHIMICA
Market reports, databases, and government documents aside, perhaps the best picture of the state of the pharmaceutical job environment is provided by those who work in it every day. Thanks to the nearly 1100 pharmaceutical industry employees who participated in this year's survey, Pharmaceutical Technology highlights the issues directly affecting workers in the pharmaceutical industry, including demographic information, education and work experience, salary and benefits, and attitudes toward current employment. Some overall results are summarized in Table I, with details provided in this article. When reviewing salary and benefits information, readers should take into account a region's cost of living and economy as well as the wide range of experience, job functions, and educational certification represented. No single statistic should be used for comparison without taking these factors into account.

Demographics


Table I: Profile of a typical industry employee.
Sex and age. Of the total number of responses, 71% overall came from men (see Figure 1). The average respondent age is 44 years old. These values have remained constant throughout the history of this survey.


Figure 1
Work location. More than 89% of the survey responses were received from industry workers in the United States, including Puerto Rico. Of these, approximately 19% work in New Jersey and 17% in California; 9.3% in Pennsylvania; 7.5% each in New York and North Carolina; 6% each in Illinois and Massachusetts; and 4% in Puerto Rico. All other states each accounted 3% or less of the total US responses. Workers also responded from Canada (4%). Other regions represented less than 1% each of the total number of responses. Readers should take into account the number of responses received from each region when noting the results of this survey, especially salary results according to US region.


Figure 2
Education and professional work experience. Fifty-six percent of employees have a degree beyond a bachelor's degree (see Figure 2). The most common fields of study were analytical chemistry, at 17%, and biology (or biology-related fields), at 12%. Ten percent said they had earned degrees in pharmaceutics or pharmacy, and 9% earned degrees in engineering or engineering management. And, 11% said they had studied in a field unrelated to pharmaceutical science or industry.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents said their experience prepared them very well for their current job functions, but only 28% said the same for their educations. A majority of pharmaceutical employees reported at least 16 years of professional work experience, including postdoctoral study.

Employment

Type of employer. As in previous Pharm Tech employment surveys, a preponderance of respondents indicated that they work in private industry (89%), with 31% working at companies employing more than 10,000 people total. Equal percentages of respondents (2.5% each) indicated they work in academia or were self employed. The remaining participants were employed in local or national government. Thus, the information provided in this article, including salary and attitudes toward current employment, clearly best represents those working in the private sector.