Pharmacologists play an important role in medicine and in science by studying the effects of drugs, chemicals, and other substances on humans, animals, and plants. These highly educated scientists conduct research on living tissues and organs to determine how drugs and other chemicals act at the cellular level. Their results help to discover how drugs and other chemicals should be most effectively used. The study of pharmacology is necessary to standardize drug dosages; analyze chemicals, food additives, poisons, insecticides, and other substances; and identify dangerous substances and harmful levels of controlled chemicals. There are currently 104,280 medical scientists, including pharmacologists, in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Behavior Pharmacologists, Clinical Pharmacologists, Molecular Pharmacologists, Toxicologists, Veterinary Pharmacologists
Duties Study the effects of drugs, chemicals, and other substances on humans, animals, and plants; teach at the university level; write articles for journals; present research findings orally; maintain and analyze research data
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Nationwide
Minimum Education Level
  • Doctorate
School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
Experience Internship
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
  • Interpersonal
  • Math
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Excellent
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Research Director of Pharmacology
  • Senior Pharmacologist
  • Pharmacologist

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