Top High Salary Pharma Jobs - Pharmacy Career Opportunities

Top High Salary Pharma Jobs – Pharmacy Career Opportunities

Pharmacists are a pivotal part of the healthcare puzzle and are on the front lines of ensuring individuals health issues and ensure safe pharmacological practices. Their role is very crucial ranging from distributing prescription medication, counseling and educating patients on their options and potential hazards of pharmaceuticals and recommending over the counter options. These huge responsibilities come after years of education along with the necessary skills and knowledge to work in the field. Pharmacists must be well versed in the language and also in the knowledge of drug-drug interaction. Though it is a challenging career but a rewarding one and is suitable for the people who love to learn in every stage of life and help people in making their lives better and happier.

According to a recent report by US News & World, a pharmacist was found to be in the top 100 professions selected for the highest paying and best overall jobs of 2018. For the best jobs list, various factors were considered including salary, unemployment rate, 10-year growth percentage, future job prospects, stress level, and work-life balance.

Since most of us regularly interact only with the retail pharmacist, we are unaware of the breadth of this field. Based on the educational degree whether coming from high school, graduate or higher education, there are numerous opportunities and requirements for pharmacists available for those who are hard-working and choose to pursue this important career. To acquire more information about these opportunities, see below.

Top High Salary Pharma Jobs

Academic Pharmacist: Professor/Reader

As the name implies, pharmacists interested in training the next generation can work in an educational setting as an academic pharmacist. This will allow you to pursue a career as a faculty at any college focusing on teaching as well as scholarly research and publication. The job profile of the academic pharmacist is much more focused on teaching as well as scholarly research and publication.

Depending on the institute, besides undergraduate pharmacy studies, academic pharmacist positions may either require a PharmD or a PhD in the related field, such as biology, microbiology, or chemistry. But Ph. Ds are most welcomed in this field in shaping the future of the next generation. Depending on the specialization, academic pharmacists may teach in varied fields such as pharmaceutical sciences or clinical practice. Being a Professor is one of the most respectable jobs. As in all the other fields, faculty positions around the country for pharmacy is also vacant with a severe shortage of pharmacy faculty. Clearly, there is a huge demand for academic pharmacists.

Hospital Pharmacist

Hospital pharmacists work in hospitals interacting with physicians and other medical professionals regularly. They are qualified to prepare medications for patients. The job profile of hospital pharmacists involves providing information to medical staff, monitoring medication use, implementing hospital regulations related to medication, and other administrative tasks like filling out paperwork, monitoring and ordering inventory.

Individuals interested in hospital pharmacy typically require a professional degree PharmD or M.Pharm. Besides the degree, this job also requires the individual to have good communication skills as they have to constantly interact with doctors. Since the work is in hospitals, the working hours are irregular. You may be scheduled during any hours, and it’s common to work rotating shifts throughout the day or night.

Clinical Pharmacist

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Clinical pharmacists work with physicians and other healthcare professionals in a clinical setting, such as hospitals, health clinics, nursing homes or other patient care facility. As a clinical pharmacist, you have to participate in direct patient care. Responsibilities of clinical pharmacist include evaluation of untreated health issues, performing medical tests on patients, ensuring patients receive the correct medications, tracking the patient’s response to prescribed medications, and advising patients about health-related matters

Clinical pharmacists and hospital pharmacists are both involved in providing medication to patients but their scope of duties differs. Also, clinical pharmacists are required to complete a pharmacy residency program after earning a professional degree. They also tend to earn a higher salary than hospital pharmacists.

Nuclear Pharmacist

Nuclear pharmacists work in a specialized area of pharmacy practice involved in compounding and dispensing of radioactive materials for use in medical procedures. The job here is to measure and deliver these radiopharmaceutical materials used in digital imaging (MRI, CT, etc..) and other procedures in medical offices and hospitals.

This job is for early risers as the working hours are a little different here. Due to the nature of the radioactive materials, they must be delivered within a few hours of their use, or they lose their effectiveness. And hence nuclear pharmacists are required to start each work day very early.

In order to practice Nuclear Pharmacy, individuals must complete a training program after earning a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. This includes training for a minimum of 500 practice hours under an approved preceptor in a nuclear pharmacy and 250 classroom-based hours.

Managed Care Pharmacists

Managed care pharmacists work directly with other health care professionals to manage prescription drug benefits to improve patient care while considering the pharmacoeconomic impact on patients. They provide a broad range of services including implementation of clinical programs, providing medication therapy management, managing drug rebates, targeting pharmacy and medical fraud, waste and abuse, developing drug formularies and many more.

Managed care pharmacy consists of many organizations, including pharmacy benefit management (PBM) firms, preferred-provider organizations (PPOs), Medicare Advantage (MA-PD) and health maintenance organizations (HMOs).

Individuals interested in managed care pharmacy can complete managed care residency programs. Various internships and certificate programs are also valuable for managed care pharmacy in developing competencies for future managed care pharmacists. Other advanced degree training or experiences in public health, business and finance, and outcomes research also complement the skill set of managed care pharmacist.

Consultant pharmacist

Consultant refers to any person expert in their field and is thus consulted for their expertise, advice, and help. On extending to healthcare, it refers to the most senior clinician, scientist, nurse or allied health professional in a specialty.

Pharmacy consultant also known as senior care pharmacist is an expert in medication therapy management who provides advice on the usage of medications by elders, living in either community or in long-term care facilities. Nursing homes, mental institutions, home health agencies, hospital care, rehabilitation centers, and adult day care centers are all long-term care facilities. The work here involves reviewing drug regimens, offering pharmacokinetic dosing services, patient counseling, and therapeutic drug monitoring.

Pharmaceutical Benefit Manager

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Pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) is an organization that negotiates with pharmaceutical companies and healthcare insurance companies regarding coverage and reimbursement amounts for drugs on various health plans. The PBM is an intermediary platform for insurers and other members of the healthcare industry. It plays a pivotal role by holding great responsibilities in getting you the drugs you need at affordable options, processing claims from patients and pharmacies, operating medications delivered directly to the patients’ doors.

The number of these jobs are much lesser than for traditional pharmacist. But if you are seeking for a job switch from core domains, then PBM could be a workable option for you.

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians work closely with pharmacists by providing customer service to patients and relay patient needs to the pharmacists. The role of pharmacy technicians requires them to interact with patients, take necessary information to fill prescriptions, maintain inventory, compound medicines, use computer software to track patients and their confidential health data, and process purchases for patients. Depending on the work environment they can fulfill different roles. And it has been noted that they can work in nearly every environment where pharmacists work, including hospitals, clinics, retail pharmacies, and ambulatory clinics.

The qualifications required here are the bare minimum with a high school diploma or equivalent to enter as a pharmacy technician. Usually, this profile involves on-the-job training to learn the necessary duties. If you are keen on going for further education, you may complete a postsecondary education program in pharmacy technology or take some certificate or training program. Since the pharmacy techs are just high school diplomas the salary offered for this job is very low relative to a pharmacist’s expected salary.

Industrial Pharmacist

There is a broad range of opportunities available to pharmacists in the pharmaceutical industry as an Industrial Pharmacist. It is one of the Best High Salary Pharma Jobs. They are mainly involved in the research and development, testing and ensuring the quality of newly manufactured drugs. Although many pharmacists start off their careers in industry in R&D role, the industrial pharmacists can also be involved in different stages of this process like in drug information, sales, marketing, regulatory affairs, clinical trials or marketing and business development. Industries also offer Ph.D. fellowship and Post-doc programs for graduates interested in industrial Ph.D. and postdocs.

Industrial pharmacy is an extremely rewarding career path. As an industrial pharmacist develops their skills, they can switch to managerial positions or other positions that are not traditionally associated with a pharmacy within the same company along with a potential increase in earnings.

Retail Pharmacist

Most of the people when they hear the term ‘pharmacist’ think of a retail pharmacist. In fact, the majority of the pharmacists work at retail pharmacies only.  A retail pharmacist generally is employed at a drugstore for filling prescriptions. Their role is to verify and dispense medications, guide patients on the usage of medicine, and endorse over-the-counter products. Depending on the pharmacy, in addition to all this, retail pharmacists are often responsible for tasks such as vaccinating patients or offer medication therapy management to patients with chronic disorders or do both. This is not the case always, but at many pharmacies, pharmacists may have this duty as well. Retail pharmacists may also be required to manage pharmacy technicians.   

Since most of the retail pharmacies are open on weekends and some are even open 24 hours a day, the working hours are expected to be pretty long as well as unusual for retail pharmacists. But in exchange for this hectic scheduling, retail pharmacists enjoy a comfortable and appealing salary along with various benefits. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2012, it has been found that retail pharmacists earn a median salary of $117,850.

To attain this level of salary as a retail pharmacist, it is necessary for the pharmacist to complete a professional degree, Pharm. D. Doctor of Pharmacy usually requires minimum four years of enrollment with prerequisites such as university-level chemistry and biology. The demand for pharmacists is expected to grow with an additional 40k pharmacist jobs becoming available by 2022.

Higher studies in Pharma

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After graduation, B.Pharma, students can also go for higher studies like M.Pharma, Pharma.D, MBA or PhD. The higher education has to be chosen with looking at your future interests since these degrees provide you with more knowledge and improved skills for jobs in the above-mentioned opportunities.

An overseas career in Pharma

Graduates of B.Pharm or M.Pharm can choose to fly overseas for pursuing MBA or other pharmacy degree courses. For doing so it is required to sit in GRE, TOEFL, IELTS etc entrances depending on the requirements of the choice of your country and institute.


So these were the Top High Salary Pharma Jobs. Many people think that being a pharmacist means working in a drug store, but there is a lot more to it. Throughout the history of modern medicine, pharmacists have consistently been employed to revolutionize the quality of life for millions of people with their deep understanding of the drugs and various treatments. Becoming a pharmacist is an enriching career, both financially and spiritually. You will have many more options besides being a retail pharmacist if you want to pursue a career in pharmacy depending on the educational qualifications and licenses you have acquired. Also, the pharmacist salary range varies across all of these employment options depending on the job profile and working hours.

The global pharmaceutical market is steadily growing and expanding in all the areas and creating more jobs for qualified pharmacists and is expected to be $1.12 trillion markets in 2022. It is an incredibly exciting time to pursue a career in pharmacy with a wide range of career opportunities available.

About the Author:

This article on the topic “Top High Salary Pharma Jobs” has been contributed by Dr. Pallavi Rungta, a Senior faculty at Biotecnika who specializes in Physical and Inorganic chemistry. Dr. Rungta is a passionate reader and rapidly identifies research opportunities and job market trends in her field. She keeps a track of biotech ventures emerging and loves to know more about them. She is an inspiration to her students who under her guidance, have developed the habit of unwinding the mysteries of chemistry & Pharma.

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