Headed Up or Down? Pharma's Position in the Current Economy - Pharmaceutical Technology

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PharmTech Europe

Headed Up or Down? Pharma's Position in the Current Economy
Results from our annual employment survey.

Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 33, Issue 12, pp. 30-33

My Job Is Secure
Valued by employers. Most workers feel their work is fully valued by their employers. Most valued are experts in drug stability; almost 100% of these report feeling fully valued. Over 90% of workers in drug delivery and packaging also feel fully valued by their employers. At least 70% of workers in all other job functions feel fully valued, with the exception of two functions. Only 60% of workers in drug metabolism feel fully valued, but the rock bottom position belongs to workers in preformulation, with little more than 30% feeling fully valued by their employers.

My Work Is Fully Valued by My Employer
About 65% of preformulation developers say they would leave their jobs if the opportunity presents itself. Forty percent of workers in drug metabolism say they'd choose to leave their jobs. Workers in drug stability are least inclined to leave their jobs.

Figure 1: Respondents demographics.
Not all workers have the choice to leave. PharmTech asked how many felt circumstances would dictate that they change jobs in the coming year. It should come as no surprise that workers who feel most secure in their jobs are the least likely to foresee a job change in their near futures. In fact, of the more than 70% percent of those who feel it is unlikely that they'll be changing jobs this year also feel secure in their jobs. In contrast, among those who feel they're most likely to change jobs, only 24% feel secure.

Figure 2: Respondents possibility of leaving job next year.
A large number of respondents—almost 70%—feel their jobs make full use of their skills and education, while 12% do not. Interestingly, the best employer in that regard is oneself, as 96% of the self-employed feel they fully use their skills. At the other end, only 57.7% of workers in nonprofit organizations feel that way. Just under 70% of employees of private industry feel their skills are fully used, and just over 70% of academics feel their skills are fully used. Almost 77% of government employees feel their skills are used to the fullest extent.

Figure 3: Regional distribution of respondents within the US.
Attractive job attributes. Most important to employees considering a job change is income, as reported by almost 60% of respondents. Other important attributes when considering a new job are work/life balance (33%), intellectual challenge (32%), and geographic location (31%). Least important to job seekers are scientific opportunities (40%), vacation allotment (35%), and pension or retirement benefits (27%).


Figure 4: Organization type of respondents.
The big surprise this year is that salaries were up universally. Whereas last year's average for workers inside and outside of the US was $85,087; this year's average was $94,079. The rise may be due to several factors, including the weakening dollar, which would make overseas salaries relatively higher than in years past. It may also be that when downsizing does occur, lower paying jobs are preferentially eliminated.

Figure 5: Respondents job function.
Employees received an additional $14,536 from their principal employers, including income from bonuses, grants, and summer work. Again, this figure represents an increase over last year s average of $10,892. Workers reported earning another $2860 from other professional work, more than $1000 over last year s earnings.

Figure 6: Effect of reorganization on respondents.
Not only are salaries on the rise in general, but it appears that the gender gap is closing in the US and abroad. Overall, men earned on average $97, 538, while women earned $85,995. The gap of a little more than $11,000 represents a decline over what has traditionally been a $20,000 gap. Interestingly, the gap is greater inside the US than it is overall. US men earned on average $110,981; women, $97,758.

Figure 7: Respondents experience with downsizing.
Salary by job function. The best paid workers in the pharmaceutical industry are not involved with pharmaceuticals at all. They work in information technology and information services and earn on average $123,462. Earning $111,372 on average, the second highest paying function is technology transfer. Other six-figure salary jobs are, in descending order: pharmaceutical development, regulatory compliance, engineering and engineering management, and drug delivery.

Figure 8: Respondents likelihood of changing jobs.
Professionals in drug metabolism and production management saw a decline in their pay. These workers now earn on average less than the $100,000 they did last year. Least remunerative is education; educators earn $65,500 on average. Also toward the bottom are packaging professionals at $71,816, drug stability professionals, with an average salary of $72,287, and workers in preformulation development, with an average annual salary of $78,833.

Figure 9: Respondents salary (US workers) by gender.
Salary by region. Pay rose over last year's averages for all regions within the US, with those in the Northeast continuing to garner the highest pay, with an average salary of $117,372, up from last year's regional average of $111,171. As in years past, those in the Southwest come in second with an average of $106,580, which also represents a rise over last year s average of $102,240. With an an average salary of $83,896, employees in the Northwest realized the lowest average pay but also enjoyed the highlest pay raise, reporting on average almost $9,700 over last year s average.


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