Health and Pharmaceuticals Graduate Jobs - Careers Guide

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The health and pharmaceuticals industry has a more highly skilled workforce than virtually any other industry. And for good reason too, because in this business getting things right can mean the difference between life and death.

Careers in this sector offer the opportunity to improve the lives of others through direct health care, groundbreaking research, and developing drugs to treat life-threatening illnesses, so it's easy to see the value and wider importance of a job.

A broad range of careers are available, depending on the type of degree you have. If you have a degree in chemistry, for instance, you might like to consider becoming a research scientist or a biochemist at a pharmaceutical company, or if you like the idea of running your own business you could look into setting up a community pharmacy.

What degree do I need?TOP ^

If you want to work in either health or pharmaceuticals, you are going to need a relevant degree. Some of the subjects you can take include:

  • Pharmacy
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Clinical pharmacy
  • Biomedical science
  • Biology

These degrees provide the building blocks needed to get into a career in health and pharmaceutical. If you want to work in medicine or health-related fields you will need an appropriate degree, often with the relevant postgraduate qualification too.

Large pharmaceutical companies will often employ graduates directly through graduate schemes and offer extensive training to prepare you for a particular area of work.

What skills do I need?TOP ^

Working in the health and pharmaceutical is a very technical job, where you will need to have in depth knowledge of medicine and human physiology, as well as how certain drugs and chemicals react with each other. Some skills you will need to have include:

  • Analytical skills
  • Problem solving
  • Attention to details
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Tact and consideration
  • Specialist knowledge and skills

There are also other important skills that you will need to display, especially if you are in an authority position or become a senior practitioner:

The healthcare and pharmaceutical business is all about providing excellent health care support to people in need. Good communication skills are needed to help patients uncover difficult conditions or cope with illness, while the pressure to create groundbreaking drugs can be high in the pharmaceutical industry. The hours are often long and exhausting too.

What graduate health and pharmaceutical job can I do? TOP ^

There are several well paid roles in the health and pharmaceutical industry that you could go into after graduation - if you have the right qualifications. Some potential jobs include:

  • Research scientist
  • Clinical pharmacist
  • Nursing
  • General practice doctor
  • Paramedic
  • Midwife
  • Dentist
  • Physiotherapist

One of the largest employers in the health and pharmaceutical sector is the NHS, with all jobs offered through the NHS Jobs website.

Alternatively, you could hook a graduate pharmaceutical through one of the major employers such as GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson. Between them, these mega corporations employ thousands of graduates each year, often through graduate schemes and training programmes.

Average health and pharmaceuticals salariesTOP ^

Salaries with the health and pharmaceutical industries vary greatly depending on the role you take. High level surgeons and pharmacists can easily earn salaries above £60,000, whereas nurses have starting salaries of around £20,000.

  • Nurses: £21,000- £32,000
  • Pharmacy: £25,000- £27,000
  • Biochemists: £23,000 - £30,000
  • Doctor: £22,500 - £100,000
  • Dentist: £30,000 - £100,000
Browse all Health and Pharmaceuticals jobs for this guide