Pharmaceutical Chemist

Prepare and test new medicines.
picture of Pharmaceutical Chemist

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$39,000 – $116,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Pharmaceutical Chemists do?

Pharmaceutical Chemists are on the front line of pharmaceutical creation. If you can imagine yourself as a mad Scientist, destined to discover the next medicinal miracle, then the job of Pharmaceutical Chemist might be the one for you. Armed with your lab coat, set of beakers, and acute understanding of every element in the periodic chart, you’ll spend your days as a Pharmaceutical Chemist testing and creating medicines.

But medicines are just the start. You’ll also have a hand in the creation of lotions, cosmetics, hairsprays, shampoos, perfumes, foods, and drinks. The pharmaceutical field is a strong area to work in due to the popularity of these goods with the aging population, as well as the sheer mass of new products on the market.

As for the day-to-day tasks, you’ll spend so much time in the laboratory, it’ll be like your second home. The lab is equipped with everything you’ll need to study the properties of chemicals. This information is the basis for deciding which chemicals work in conjunction with other chemicals. Even the slightest variation in chemical combinations can alter the outcome, or blow up the lab, so you’re ever vigilant in your work.

You’ll also work to evaluate drugs that are already on the market. You’ll run tests to measure how effective medicines are, and how the chemical makeup changes when exposed to light, different temperatures, or other chemicals. Thanks to you, pharmaceutical companies have a better understanding of the products they offer, and can produce safer products with fewer side effects.


Should I be a Pharmaceutical Chemist?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Pharmaceutical Analyst

    How to become a Pharmaceutical Chemist

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