Career Paths after Graduation in Pharmacy

 

After a B.Pharm in pharmacy there are various opportunities for students, they can either go for higher studies like M.Pharm, MBA. or Ph.D degrees for improving their skills and up gradation of their degree or they can go for jobs in the chemical companies, research institutes ,Pharma companies ,even universities and colleges.

Required Skills:

Pharmacists should be skilled at communicating safety instructions, potential side effects and giving general advice regarding over-the-counter as well as prescription drugs. As pharmacists work with sick patients on a daily basis, they should also be patient, calm, reassuring, understanding and compassionate. They must also have analytical skills and an interest in pharmacy research, so that they stay up to date about information regarding the drugs they are dispensing. For pharmacists who work in hospitals, the ability to work with doctors as well as nurses can be important, so basic medical terms and a clinical attitude, when appropriate, may be helpful.

Eligibility Criteria:

The minimum requirements to become a pharmacist are generally a Diploma of Pharmacy (D.Pharm.), a two-year program and/or a Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm.), a four and a half-year program. Both pharmacy courses require a six-month pharmacy internship. The degree/diploma must be from accredited, Pharmacy Council of India approved pharmacy colleges, and upon completion of training and education, the graduate must register with his/her state’s Pharmacy Council. It’s also possible to continue your education by getting a Master of Pharmacy (M.Pharm.) or Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), but this kind of pharmacy degree tends to be needed for research and/or teaching positions rather than pharmacist positions.

Scope of Pharmacy in India

Scope of pharmacy in India after bachelor degree is varied. We will discuss scope of B.pharm abroad in other post. In India after B.Pharm Job Opportunties can be explained under four heads.

Scope & Salary of B. Pharmacy in Government Sector

After B.pharm and some Job experience one can apply for Drug Inspector and Pharmacist government Jobs exams. B.pharm graduates are also eligible for SSC, UPSC, State PSC and bank jobs etc like other graduates.

Drug Inspector:

Drug Inspector is a best career option. This post is associated with good earning and reputation. State Governments, SSC and UPSC recruit drug Inspectors from time to time. Method of selection vary. As per some drug Inspector notification recruitment is done after a competitive exam, sometimes recruitment is done on basis of direct merit of marks obtained in degree and 10 + 2.

As per some drug inspector notifications about couple of years’ experience in manufacturing or testing of Schedule C drugs is also required.

Salary of Drug Inspector: Gross Starting Salary for drug Inspector range from about 55000 to 65000 Indian Rupees per month. There are annual increments. Inflation adjusted dearness allowance is increased time to time.

Pharmacist:

Pharmacist Employed on permanent basis in Central Government Hospitals like ESIC and AIIMS, Railways, and States Like Delhi withdraw respectable Salary. However, pharmacists working in most state governments and also contract workers get much lesser. Sometime pharmacist working on contract are made permanent but usually permanent recruitment is done on basis of competitive exams.

Eligibility for Government Pharmacist Job is Diploma in Pharmacy or Bachelors in Pharmacy. Registration as pharmacist in Pharmacy Council of state is required. Usually as per pharmacist recruitment notifications, couple of years’ experience in dispensing is required. Pharmacist Job Profile include Dispensing drugs as per prescription and Maintaining store records and Inventory.

Salary of Government Pharmacist: Starting Salary for Pharmacist in Central Government Hospitals located all over India, Railway and Delhi Pharmacists is about 41000 per month for first two years and about 50000 per month after two years. There are annual increments. Inflation adjusted dearness allowance is increased time to time. For some states governments in health programs, and for contract pharmacist salary could be as low as 12000 to 35000 range per month.

SSC, UPSC, State PSC and bank jobs:

If you have good knowledge in pharmacy subjects, qualifying for Pharmacist job in good government department may be comparatively easier. However, vacancies for Pharmacists and Drug Inspector don’t come regularly and recruitment process may take long time.

If you like to make your career in the government sector, pharmacy graduates can give entrance exams for Bank PO, SSC, State PSC and Civil services exams as well, thus widening the opportunities.

Scope & Salary of B. Pharmacy in Privet Sector

Research & Development:

If you are really enjoying the core subjects like Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacology during your 3rd and 4th year of B.Pharma, then you could consider a career in research and development. You can get R&D roles within pharmaceutical, biotech, agro and FMCG sectors. Ideally you will need to have M.Pharma, MS or PhD degree. GPAT qualified candidates do get preferences. If you wish to purse M.Pharma from some of the top institutes like NIPER, then do start your preparation from the 3rd year itself. Other options will be going for MS (or MSc) abroad. The B.Pharma course itself does not provide that much research opportunities. So, a foreign education and training will really help you. With B.Pharma background you can specialize in Pharmacology, Drug Delivery, Drug Chemistry, Biochemistry etc.

In India, an M.Pharm graduate can start with 22K per month (average), and the salary package can be 42K per month (average) after 5 years if you do not add any further skills or qualifications to your name.

Analytical R & D and Formulation Development (F&D):

Few people might consider QC / QA roles as boring. But, if you are skilled and intelligent, you can make a satisfying and rewarding career. Assay development and assay validation roles are really exciting. M.Pharma with Pharmaceutical Chemistry or Pharmaceutical Biotechnology specialization will help you in this role, also known as Analytical R&D.

A fresher in India will earn something between 8K – 18K per month. Yes, the starting salary could be quite low; but after 5 years you can see yourself taking home 32K – 42K per every month, provided you keep on learning new techniques and methods.

Manufacturing, Quality control, Quality Assurance, Regulatory Affairs:

If you are not too keen about research and development but you want to stay in the core domain – go for roles within QC & QA. With a PG Diploma (or Masters) in Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs or Pharmacovigilance and with few years of experience in the industry can really help you in terms of career progression and financial growth. Another less explored job function is medical writing.

If you have got sound knowledge about Pharmaceutical Sciences, like being creative, have got a flair for writing, possess attention-to-details, and happy with desk job – then do try Medical Writing.

The number of medical writing jobs in India is on the rise; and the pay packages are also good. Manufacturing (or production) also involves QC/QA because each and every batch need to maintain a certain level of efficacy and safety. The pay packages are similar to the above job roles (Analytical R&D and F&D).

Sales and Marketing: 

The sales and marketing job function absorbs the maximum number of pharmacy graduates. The number of jobs available in the sales function is plenty. The salary structure is also decent. More importantly, on good performance the incentives are really lucrative. The job is challenging of course, but rewarding as well.

You always need to be updated with the current market knowledge, scientific research and many other things. People might also think that even B.Sc. graduates can also do MR jobs – true.

But, if you are from B.Pharm background, then you will have various advantage during your job duties. You can get promoted from Field Officer to Area Manager level within 3 years (on average it takes 2 to 5 years). You can also move in to the Product Management Team (PMT) with 4 – 7 years of experience under your belt.

M.Pharm candidates with Pharmacology specialization or MBA graduates can also get PMT jobs. You will be dealing with making strategy, sales, marketing, analysis and financial stuff a lot within the PMT.

If you land up as a Medical Representative after B.Pharm, you can expect to earn something between 14,000 and 25,000 Rupees per month (excluding incentives). With experience and promotions, you can end up earning between 25K and 32K per month, after 3 years. If you switch to PMT or do an MBA after 3 years, you can land up with 40K to 60K per month (again excluding incentives). So monetarily, this is the most rewarding job role.

Academia: 

M.Pharm graduates are the ideal candidates to get Lecturer roles. But, Pharm.D candidates are also eligible for lecturer jobs. Clearing GPAT, NET, SLET will be of great advantage. Almost every state in India has got decent number of Pharmacy colleges. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala have got the Pharmacy Colleges in the range of 60 – 200.

B.Pharm graduates can also get Lecturer jobs in D.Pharm colleges. In the academia you will also have the opportunity to be involved in research as well, though not all the colleges will have the quality research scope.

You can also undertake part-time PhD while teaching undergraduate and post-graduate students. An extensive lists of Pharmacy Colleges in India, segregated state-wise, can be found here as well.

 

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