most in-demand jobs life sciences.

what you need to know

As new breakthroughs continue to emerge, so do new opportunities for job seekers in the life sciences field. Ongoing growth means that demand, especially for the positions listed below, will remain high over the next several years.

top in-demand life sciences jobs

1. clinical research associate

job description: A clinical research associate (CRA) is responsible for conducting monitoring visits at investigative sites that are participating in clinical trials for drugs, devices, biologics, vaccines, diagnostics or combination product. The CRA must follow sponsor SOPs and protocols, ICH guidelines, CFR and GCP/GLP. Their work is preformed in various settings, such as pharmaceutical companies, medical research institutes, hospitals, clinics, Phase 1 research facilities and government agencies.

skills or certifications needed: clinical research, GCP, pre-study visits (PSV), case report forms (CRF), site monitoring, study protocols

skills or certifications needed:

  • clinical research
  • GCP
  • pre-study visits (PSV)
  • case report forms (CRF)
  • site monitoring

average salary: $111,870

low: $56,952

high: $144,414

2. drug safety specialist

job description: A drug safety specialist is involved in drug safety management including the processing of adverse events data from clinical trials, triaging complaints and inquiries and keeping a check on all the applicable regulations and SOPs. They serve as a link between the company and the patients or healthcare experts to provide valid information on product safety. Some even work in co-ordination with chief medical directors.

skills or certifications needed: adverse events, pharmacovigilance, call triage, drug safety reports, GCP, SOPS

average salary: $77,292

low: $54,918

high: $108,819

skills or certifications needed:

  • adverse events
  • pharmacovigilance
  • call triage
  • drug safety reports
  • GCP

3. medical writer

job description: A medical writer's role is to take technical specifications and arrange that information as part of a compliance package aligned with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifications. Medical writers author documents to support regulatory dossiers such as new drug applications (NDA) and marketing authorization applications (MAA). In addition to regulatory writing, some medical writers focus on other areas, such as safety reports or post-marketing materials.

skills or certifications needed: medical writing, technical writing, editing, clinical research, detail-oriented, GCP

average salary: $117,972

low: $76,275

high: $148,482

skills or certifications needed:

  • medical writing
  • technical writing
  • editing
  • clinical research
  • GCP

4. cellular biologist

job description: A cellular biologist studies biochemical processes within living cells of animals, people, plants and other living organisms. These biologists participate in all levels of bio-product development including proposing new products, performing market analyses, designing and performing experiments and collaborating with operations and quality control teams during product launches.

skills or certifications needed: molecular biology, cell biology, assays, drug discovery, science, quality control, biochemical, laboratory, GLP

average salary: $58,986

low: $43,731

high: $84,411

skills or certifications needed:

  • molecular biology
  • cell biology
  • assays
  • drug discovery
  • science

5. quality assurance specialist

job description: A quality assurance specialist is accountable for decisions regarding the development, implementation and administration of quality assurance across a product's life-cycle. A QA specialist's role is vital in the ongoing monitoring and continuous improvement of the quality system by evaluating supporting documentation to ensure compliance to cGMP, GCP, GLP and industry standards and change coordinator activities. Their specific duties are based on the specific focus area and type of site.

skills or certifications needed: quality control, GMP, CAPA, CMOS, auditing, process development

average salary: $62,000

low: $41,400

high: $74,600

skills or certifications needed:

  • quality control
  • GMP
  • CAPA
  • CMOS
  • auditing

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