Income, geographic location, the opportunity for professional advancement, and the balance between work and personal life
were the most important factors that would be taken into consideration changing employment. Scientific opportunities was the
least important, followed by commute time, vacation time, health and safety, and geographic location. Survey participants
anonymously described what they enjoyed best and least in their jobs. Although the intellectual challenge was ranked as one
of the least important factors in considering a new job, it was by far the most enjoyable part of working in the industry.
Survey participants listed their work with colleagues, new technologies, and the satisfaction from completed projects. Judging
from readers' responses, it was clear that the industry's workforce is passionate about the industry's long-term scientific
goals. One quality assurance employee responded, "As QA, I enjoy the challenge of solving problems every day. QA work with
different departments, issues that we face daily are quite different...there is no moment for getting bored!"
Figure 6. Mean annual base salaries since 1998.
Following this question, we asked participants to describe what they least enjoyed about their jobs. Workers complained of
increasing responsibilities, including extensive and repetitive paperwork, with shortened timelines. There were also several
who were unsure about the economic health of their company and the security of their job, and several others who complained
about the commute and not having enough time with family. Others are frustrated over management and corporate politics. When
asked to describe the least enjoyable aspects of the job was the lease enjoyable, one respondent replied, "Too many layers
of management and risk-adverse attitudes. Somewhere what made people successful in the first place, good decision making,
has turned into paralysis."
Pharmaceutical industry employees appear to be determined to stay in their current position. About 67% said it was unlikely
or very unlikely that they will change employment within the next year. If they were to make job changes, however, nearly
70% of respondents would prefer to work in private industry over any other sector, including nonprofit agencies, academic
institutions, or government.
Table V: Importance of various skills in performing daily tasks.
Essential skills and knowledge.
Participants weighed in on the importance of knowledge and skills in various areas (see Table V). At the list was knowledge
of GMP issues and process validation. Respondents also indicated their awareness of FDA's "Quality by Design" (QbD) approach,
process analytical technology (PAT) initiative, and 21 CFR Part 11 rule (see Table VI). Although most respondents indicated they were very aware of the QbD and Part 11 initiatives,
only 35% said the same about FDA's PAT guideline. Perhaps not surprisingly, the direct impact these initiatives have had on
the job performance has not changed over last year.
Table VI: Influence of regulatory guidelines.