Biotech and Pharma Professions

Animal Health

Careers in this area are like other pharmaceutical producing jobs except the products are for animals. In animal health pharmaceuticals, vaccines and drugs for animals and livestock are made and sold.These products are usually sold to veterinary clinics.


Biostatisticians work with product research in the pharmaceutical industry. They compile statistics and data from clinical trials. Most jobs require a master’s or doctoral degree with a Bachelor's in biostatistics or statistics. Biostatisticians work in hospitals, health care facilities and in research laboratories.

Clinical Research

Biological scientist jobs involve the study of living organisms and how they relate to their environment, and may involve more specialized work in zoology or microbiology. Most work is done in a laboratory setting, and funding for projects may come from private sources, government-sponsored programs or through grants. This research becomes fundamental to much of the progress made in areas such as medicine, environmental concerns and the food industry. Biological scientist jobs involve the study of living organisms and how they relate to their environment, and may involve more specialized work in zoology or microbiology. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, biotechnological research is driving job growth in this field. But there is growing competition for basic research jobs, as most employees now hold PhDs; in addition, the number of grant opportunities available for research projects is expected to slow down, increasing the competition for these grants. As these research jobs become more difficult to obtain, candidates are seeking jobs in the private sector.

Environmental Health and Safety

Housed under the operations umbrella is the environmental health and safety function, which assesses the environmental impact of a potential product. Environmental engineers test and monitor air and water quality, investiage the health effects of potential toxins, dispose of regular as well as hazardous wastes, and more. It is especially important in the industrial applications of biotechnology, where chemical spills can have devastating effects on the environment if they are not contained quickly.

Laboratory Management

Laboratory managers make sure the lab is running safely and efficiently. They often coordinate nontechnical activities in the lab. Those in biotech laboratory management must understand the basics of natural sciences and can perform laboratory procedures and strategies.

Laboratory Research

Laboratory research-oriented career paths are found in the research and development (R&D) department. This area is also called "discovery research" because the work involves discovering new processes, drugs and technologies. These careers involve "bench work," referring to a laboratory bench, where scientists set up experiments generate data. In biotech research, two other areas - bioinformatics and animal sciences - are especially tightly integrated.

Pharmaceutical Marketing

Pharmaceutical marketers advertise drugs to encourage sales. It is similar to pharmaceutical sales.

Pharmaceutical Sales

Pharmaceutical representatives work for drug companies and sell their products to doctors. Some companies want their representatives to sell their way and others have a set script. Some companies' training programs are harder than others.

Quality Assurance - Biotech

Biotechnicians that specialize in quality assurance analyze the products they make and ensure that they are meeting certain standards—they make sure the products are what the labels say they are. Those in quality assurance create tests and analyze reports. They make sure things are being done right.

Regulatory Affairs Management

Those in regulatory affairs make sure the company they work for are complying with the biotechnology or pharmaceutical laws, such as the Food and Drug Administration. Those who work in this area are usually very interested in biotechnology or pharmaceuticals but also like regulatory processes. It is similar to quality assurance.


Toxicologists study the harmful effects of drugs.Those in the toxicology field work in a variety of industries including chemical, food, research laboratories and consulting firms. Jobs can range from research to consulting.


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