Drug Developers

Drug Developer in Lab

Drug developers are the scientists and technicians involved in the development of pharmaceuticals. The research and development departments of drug manufacturers employ engineers, chemists, biologists, pharmacists, pharmacologists, and other professionals to develop and test the pharmaceuticals used by doctors to treat illness and injury. In 2015, there were 5,850 medical scientists and 4,480 biochemists and biophysicists employed in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Research, develop, and test pharmaceuticals
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist throughout the country, with highest demand in California and Massachusetts, followed by New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania
Minimum Education Level
  • Master's Degree
  • Doctorate
School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Health
Experience Any experience in the pharma/biotech industry—such as an internship, volunteering, or a part-time job—will be useful
Personality Traits
  • Curious
  • Organized
  • Scientific
  • Organizational
  • Research
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Company Executive
  • Manager of a Research Development Company
  • Drug Developer
  • Drug Development Technician