Pharmaceutical Industry Workers

Worker Examines Pills

Pharmaceutical industry workers are involved in many aspects of the development, manufacture, and distribution of pharmaceutical products. Pharmaceutical operators work with machines that perform such functions as filling capsules and inspecting the quality and weight of tablets. Pharmaceutical sales representatives sell and distribute pharmaceutical products and introduce new items to pharmacists, retail stores, and medical practitioners. Approximately 281,440 people are employed in the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry. 

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Ampule and Vial Fillers, Ampule and Vial Inspectors, Capsule Filling Machine Operators, Fermenter Operators, Granulator Machine Operators, Hand Packers and Packagers, Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Pharmaceutical Operators, Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives, Production Managers, Research and Development Professionals
Duties Meet established sales goals if a pharmaceutical salesperson; conduct research if a research and development professional; inspect finished goods on the production line if a pharmaceutical operator; run machines and other equipment if working directly in production
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Nationwide
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
Experience Varies by position
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Hands On
  • Organized
  • Business Management
  • Interpersonal
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
Certification or Licensing None
Special Requirements Valid driver's license for sales representatives
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Supervisor
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Trainee