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Industrial pharmacist

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Summary of occupation

​Industrial pharmacists conduct research, testing and analysis in the development of medicines and production of pharmaceuticals and related supplies. Industrial pharmacists use the latest methods, technologies and processes to develop new medications, and may be involved in clinical drug trials. In Western Australia, industrial pharmacists usually work for pharmaceutical manufacturing companies or research organisations in the greater Perth metropolitan region. They may also work in areas of quality assurance, regulatory services, and the marketing and provision of drug information.

ANZSCO description: Undertakes research, testing and analysis related to the development, production, storage, quality control and distribution of drugs and related supplies. Registration or licensing is required.
Alternative names: Pharmaceutical chemist
Specialisations:
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

An industrial pharmacist needs:

  • an interest in science, chemistry and pharmacology
  • to enjoy conducting experiments and analysing test results
  • the ability to work accurately and methodically
  • strong analytical and problems solving skills
  • good communication skills
  • to be able to work independently and also as part of a team.
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Working conditions

​Industrial pharmacists usually work in industrial laboratories or clinical environments and may occasionally work in manufacturing plants. Industrial pharmacists may work with potentially hazardous materials. Following proper workplace safety standards such as wearing protective clothing greatly minimises any associated risks.

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Salary details

​On average, industrial pharmacists, classified under pharmacists, can expect to earn between $1 500 and $1 999 per week ($78 000 and $103 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As an industrial pharmacist develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

​Industrial pharmacists usually use computers and laboratory equipment to conduct tests and record results. They work with medicinal drugs in tablet, capsule, liquid, cream and powder forms. They may be required to wear sterile clothing such as gloves and laboratory coats and protective safety glasses.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an industrial pharmacist you need to complete a pharmacy degree at university.

Curtin University offers a four year Bachelor of Pharmacy. The University of Western Australia offers a two year Master of Pharmacy.

Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

To work as an industrial pharmacist in Western Australia, you must obtain professional registration with the Pharmacy Board of Australia.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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