The Eighth Annual International Employment Survey - Pharmaceutical Technology

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The Eighth Annual International Employment Survey

Pharmaceutical Technology

Figure 2: Highest level of education.
Education and professional work experience. Fifty-two percent of employees had a degree beyond a bachelor's degree (see Figure 2). The most common fields of study were analytical chemistry and biology (or biology-related) (14.5% each). A significant number of respondents (12%) also said they earned their degree in pharmaceutics or pharmacy. Surprisingly, 9% said they had studied in a field unrelated to pharmaceutical science or industry.

Success on the job may be attributed more to experience than education, however. Sixty-four percent of respondents said their experience had prepared them "very well" for their current job function, compared with only 27% who said the same for their education. Pharmaceutical employees reported an average of 17.4 years of professional work experience, including postdoctoral study.


Type of employer. A preponderance of respondents are employed in private industry (89%), with more than one-third working at companies employing more than 10,000 people total. Those employed in academia represented 3.4% of respondents. The remaining participants were employed in either 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.

Table II: Top five job functions.
Job description. About one in five respondents work in quality assurance and quality control (22%), followed by pharmaceutical development (11%), pharmaceutical analytical development (9%), validation (8%), and engineering or engineering management (6%) (see Table II).

Ninety-five percent of respondents are employed full-time. On average, employees are contracted to work 39 h per week, but actually work more than 46 h per week, with 89% reporting that they do not receive financial reimbursement for extra hours worked.

On average, employees have worked for their current employer for 7.6 years. As a confirmation of the activity of the pharma industry, 58% of respondents say they have been through company downsizing, restructuring, or a merger or acquisition in the past two years. Nearly an equal percentage of respondents indicated these activities have changed their job responsibilities (23%) as those who reported no significant change (28%).

Salary and benefits

Figure 3: Annual salaries of men and women.
Overall results. The mean base annual salary was $87,646 overall, and $92,412 for US respondents only (an increase of 5% over last year's average). Overall, employees reported an average of $11,309 in additional income from their principal employer, including bonuses, summer work, and grants, and an average $1576 in additional income from other professional work.

Salary according to gender only. On average, women working full time earn 82% of the average salary reported by men working full time (see Figure 3). The gap between men's and women's salaries is slightly less than it was last year, but still close to the 80% reported in the third quarter 2005 report by the US Department of Labor (1).


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