Pharmaceutical Engineer

Use your engineering skills in the pharmaceutical or biotech industries.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$50,000 – $139,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Pharmaceutical Engineers do?

A Pharmaceutical Engineer determines what technological devices will be used in manufacturing a drug, how the drug should be offered to consumers, and how it will be labeled. Pharmaceutical Engineers don’t make all of these decisions arbitrarily, however, as all aspects of the job are guided by federal regulations. Therefore, when you determine how a drug will be offered, for example, you must be familiar with federal guidelines that specify which drugs should be produced in pill form and which should be produced as liquids.

As a Pharmaceutical Engineer, you’re responsible for all of the safety issues associated with the drugs that the pharmaceutical company produces. This includes the design of the machines that make the drug, the manufacturing process, and the labeling of the product. These intricate details of the job make you a highly significant part of the pharmaceutical industry, which is worth billions worldwide.

Depending on the extent of your training, you may also be tasked with developing products in laboratories, where you research and test them. In addition, if pharmaceuticals don’t interest you—despite your job title—you can work in manufacturing and development for the cosmetics or food industries. In these industries, your job is similar to the work you do in the pharmaceutical industry, the main difference being the products you focus on, of course.

Regardless of the industry that you elect to work for, however, as a Pharmaceutical Engineer, you will experience consistent stress, and probably need to take some of the headache medicine that you, or one of your colleagues, are responsible for making. In spite of that, you’ll find satisfaction in knowing that the products you help make provide better lives for countless consumers.

Should I be a Pharmaceutical Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • How to become a Pharmaceutical Engineer

    Most Pharmaceutical Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaa9li&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2876%25%29|master%27s+%2814%25%29|doctorate+%2810%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,76
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