From decentralized trials to the rush to reshore ingredients manufacturing to grappling with hybrid ways of working, life sciences organizations are undergoing a variety of major changes. What can these organizations do to stay ahead of the curve in 2023 and beyond? And even more urgently, how can they retain the people they need with so much competition emerging in the industry? Find out all that and more in this chapter, and see life sciences and pharma salaries for dozens of in-demand roles.
During the last few years, businesses have seen record growth leading to an uptick in hiring, implementing new projects and investment in innovation. However, rising economic uncertainty has led many companies to focus on efficiency as they seek to cut costs. Organizations will be committed to finding new ways to complete necessary projects, which will likely cause an increase in contract and project-type work.
With the rapid adoption of digital technology by most employers and others searching for processes to increase automation, new digital roles have emerged, resulting in a shift in the recruiting process. As a result, traditional roles are declining, and companies must take steps like updating team structures, organizational needs and recruitment practices to align with the changing times.
It’s no secret that jobs in the technology sector are in high demand and, as a result, command top salaries. Today’s employers want the best and brightest on their teams to ensure innovation, transformation and excellence. Still, finding skilled STEM talent has remained a challenge. It is vital to ensure you have the right talent, in the right place, at the right time.
As the competition for STEM talent in the coming year will be fierce, leaders have to tap into different ways to find and build a skill-based organization. Organizations should invest in skilling and upskilling initiatives in the coming year to combat this obstacle.
It’s critical to anticipate talent shortages and take steps to retain your workforce. Understanding the needs of these workers is paramount in providing them with an experience that mirrors their new priorities. This must be backed by competitive compensation.
the conversation continues around decentralized clinical trials
Decentralizing clinical trials is a major talking point in the industry as companies hope to improve speed and overall patient and physician experience. It’s a trend that grew out of virtual trials during the pandemic, and now, with 70 percent of patients living more than two hours from trial sites, it will be hard to reverse course.
Still, many companies are hesitant to move forward, given the many uncertainties surrounding this new model’s implementation. However, that’s created new openings for companies willing to lead the charge. Those that do so successfully have the chance of leading on the cutting-edge of the space. However, none of that will come to fruition without the right kind of talent on board. Decentralizing clinical trials will involve a hybrid approach, incorporating virtual elements combined with fewer in-person visits. Employers that are preparing to venture into this new space will need to adjust talent strategies accordingly to ensure their teams are equipped to thrive in this new model.
With life sciences talent in short supply, employers should look to skilling their existing workforces to fill gaps. By providing employees with opportunities to reskill or upskill, employers can ensure their teams have the skills to evolve alongside their roles without having to engage the competitive hiring market. Not providing opportunities for advancement is a top reason employees choose to leave, so connecting workers with opportunities to grow their skill sets and take on new roles can be a sound safeguard against turnover.
brace for the reshoring rush
Eighty-eight percent of active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing has shifted offshore over the past decade. Recent supply chain challenges, however, have reignited the conversation around reshoring to ensure a more steady supply of lifesaving medications. With the U.S. government making a big investment last year, the pieces are in motion, yet reshoring decades’ worth of overseas operations won’t happen overnight. Life sciences companies that don’t start incorporating it into their planning today risk falling behind in the future.
New domestic opportunities will increase demand for talent. However, with experienced life sciences professionals already in short supply, employers who don’t plan will face continued hiring challenges. In anticipation of the growing domestic market, employers should strengthen their networking efforts as early as this year. Much like the world of work today, companies that incorporate both in-person and online outreach will have the greatest chances of success. That means increasing employer presence at job fairs and industry events, along with regular involvement in online communities and social media platforms to become active participants in the conversation.
Remote work is a top preference for today’s job seekers, but many life sciences employers are struggling with knowing when to provide it. Pharma companies like AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson have phased in return-to-work plans. Others, like Merck, are splitting the difference with a hybrid model. With such a wide variety of functions, it’s clear that not all jobs can be accomplished offsite, and employers may have to go above and beyond when it comes to compensation to compensate. However, employers can also look to get a little creative when it comes to providing flexible incentives beyond just remote work.
Experimental models like the four-day work week are gaining traction. For employees who can’t work from home, providing them with the option to work longer hours for fewer days could approximate the experience. More traditionally, increasing paid vacation days or even exploring the idea of employee sabbaticals can help life sciences employers remain relevant in terms of work-life balance where standard flexibility may be harder to achieve.
overcoming talent scarcity
According to a Randstad Sourceright survey, 33 percent of C-suite and HR leaders in life sciences say talent scarcity is a major pain point. As it stands now, it takes about 105 days on average to fill a non-executive position in life sciences — which is much too long. With fewer qualified job seekers on the market, employers will need to prioritize EDI&A as well as reskilling/upskilling to stay competitive. In that same survey:
- 60 percent of life science employers said that workplace diversity, equity and inclusion efforts are fundamental to attracting, engaging and retaining talent.
- 67 percent reported that that reskilling current employees for different roles has been effective in addressing talent shortages.
The good news is both of these improvement areas are well within employers’ control. Improving EDI&A starts with an honest evaluation of where a company currently stands, then setting the tone at the top from leadership on down to widen hiring and promotion practices. On the subject of reskilling, industry-wide transformation has already made this an imperative — one that few employers can afford to ignore if they hope to keep their workforce capacities current in the face of persistent talent shortages.
Let's review the national averages for salaries across the country.
|biostatistician||$76,197 - $84,217||$106,924 - $118,180||$130,462 - $144,194|
|clinical data analyst||$62,254 - $68,808||$84,407 - $93,291||$105,793 - $116,929|
|clinical data manager||$92,166 - $101,868||$110,787 - $122,449||$133,348 - $147,384|
|clinical SAS programmer||$82,966 - $91,700||$99,845 - $110,355||$117,812 - $130,214|
|clinical trial management and operations||low||mid||high|
|clinical documentation specialist (eTMF)||$61,589 - $68,072||$74,649 - $82,507||$101,548 - $112,238|
|clinical outsourcing manager||$119,251 - $131,803||$159,200 - $175,958||$202,278 - $223,570|
|clinical project manager (CPM)||$104,696 - $115,716||$145,350 - $160,650||$183,282 - $202,574|
|clinical research associate (CRA)||$79,000 - $87,316||$117,384 - $129,740||$132,773 - $146,749|
|clinical trial associate (CTA)||$75,532 - $83,482||$106,086 - $117,252||$122,184 - $135,046|
|clinical trial manager (CTM)||$104,566 - $115,572||$145,303 - $160,598||$183,276 - $202,568|
|medical director||$238,924 - $264,074||$286,144 - $316,264||$338,510 - $374,142|
|drug safety physician||$169,117 - $186,919||$207,261 - $229,077||$251,335 - $277,791|
|drug safety specialist||$74,955 - $82,845||$95,475 - $105,525||$118,525 - $131,001|
|medical monitor/reviewer||$79,000 - $87,316||$117,384 - $129,740||$161,273 - $178,249|
|formulation and drug development||low||mid||high|
|analytical chemist||$74,757 - $82,627||$91,263 - $100,869||$109,880 - $121,446|
|microbiologist||$72,970 - $80,652||$89,114 - $98,494||$107,309 - $118,605|
|molecular/cell biologist||$70,884 - $78,346||$86,606 - $95,722||$104,310 - $115,290|
|research assistant||$46,590 - $51,494||$63,650 - $70,350||$82,526 - $91,212|
|research associate||$75,532 - $83,482||$106,086 - $117,252||$150,684 - $166,546|
|research scientist||$79,000 - $87,316||$117,384 - $129,740||$140,373 - $155,149|
|medical and scientific affairs||low||mid||high|
|commercial trainer||$57,133 - $63,147||$79,348 - $87,700||$100,273 - $110,828|
|medical affairs project manager||$99,673 - $110,165||$194,342 - $214,799||$229,958 - $254,164|
|medical information specialist||$88,966 - $98,330||$122,196 - $135,058||$143,399 - $158,493|
|medical science liaison||$101,881 - $112,605||$127,031 - $140,403||$156,051 - $172,477|
|document manager||$52,714 - $58,262||$68,685 - $75,915||$84,112 - $92,966|
|editor/formatter||$76,175 - $84,193||$95,788 - $105,870||$109,567 - $121,101|
|medical writer||$71,366 - $78,878||$90,761 - $100,315||$106,818 - $118,062|
|quality control reviewer||$58,539 - $64,701||$79,594 - $87,972||$99,136 - $109,572|
|quality, process and validation||low||mid||high|
|process development engineer||$85,412 - $94,402||$99,750 - $110,250||$112,454 - $124,292|
|quality assurance auditor||$89,025 - $98,397||$113,305 - $125,231||$144,177 - $159,353|
|quality assurance specialist||$97,208 - $107,440||$142,113 - $157,073||$165,249 - $182,643|
|quality control analyst||$63,312 - $69,976||$88,721 - $98,060||$113,948 - $125,942|
|quality engineer||$65,152 - $72,010||$90,225 - $99,723||$131,304 - $145,126|
|regulatory advertising and promotions associate||$56,441 - $62,383||$68,264 - $75,450||$81,546 - $90,130|
|regulatory affairs CMC associate||$69,230 - $76,518||$90,288 - $99,792||$111,774 - $123,540|
|regulatory affairs labeling associate||$85,383 - $94,371||$110,065 - $121,651||$138,430 - $153,002|
|regulatory affairs operations associate||$69,230 - $76,518||$90,288 - $99,792||$111,774 - $123,540|
|regulatory affairs publishing associate||$55,956 - $61,846||$76,997 - $85,101||$97,898 - $108,204|
|regulatory affairs strategy associate||$93,738 - $103,606||$115,526 - $127,686||$140,446 - $155,230|
|research and design systems||low||mid||high|
|business analyst||$70,405 - $77,816||$84,952 - $93,894||$101,177 - $111,827|
|clinical database programmer||$99,576 - $110,058||$113,483 - $125,429||$138,170 - $152,714|
|clinical systems project manager||$74,339 - $82,165||$113,542 - $125,494||$190,665 - $210,735|
|validation analyst||$68,337 - $75,531||$86,456 - $95,556||$91,137 - $100,731|
|supply chain management||low||mid||high|
|clinical trial supply manager||$63,812 - $70,530||$88,404 - $97,710||$122,184 - $135,046|
|inventory management specialist||$55,656 - $61,514||$75,620 - $83,580||$93,951 - $103,841|
|material documentation coordinator||$42,248 - $46,696||$55,860 - $61,740||$74,736 - $82,602|
|packaging requirements specialist||$88,626 - $97,956||$101,687 - $112,391||$119,223 - $131,773|
The variance percentages can be applied to the national averages to calculate the salaries in your area.
|city||variance to national AVG|
|AR: Little Rock||-8.0%|
|CA: Los Angeles||57.6%|
|CA: San Diego||42.2%|
|CA: San Francisco||64.8%|
|DC: Washington, D.C.||31.3%|
|FL: Miami/Fort Lauderdale||10.8%|
|LA: New Orleans||0.6%|
|MO: Kansas City||-6.1%|
|MO: St. Louis||-2.1%|
|NV: Las Vegas||9.5%|
|NY: New York City||37.2%|
|TX: San Antonio||-2.2%|
|UT: Salt Lake City||4.4%|