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.

Quick Facts
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
Alternate Title(s) Behavior Pharmacologists, Clinical Pharmacologists, Molecular Pharmacologists, Toxicologists, Veterinary Pharmacologists
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Employment Prospects Excellent
Advancement Prospects Good
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Nationwide
Education and Training
  • Doctorate
Related School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
Experience Internship
  • Interpersonal
  • Math
  • Scientific
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
Licensure/Certification Recommended
Special Requirements None
Career Ladder
  • Research Director of Pharmacology
  • Senior Pharmacologist
  • Pharmacologist

Career Update Newsletter

Tips and tools to help you manage your ideal career.