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The Average Salary of Careers in Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Pharmaceutical chemists are involved in the business of developing drugs to combat diseases and pain. While salaries are typically significant, employment opportunities over the next decade will be minimal compared to other career paths.


A career in pharmaceutical chemistry may include employment opportunities with private or government laboratories like those at the National Institutes of Health or the Food and Drug Administration. Jobs with pharmaceutical companies typically involve working on a drug development team, or in quality control, sales, or production--all to help prevent, cure, or control diseases and conditions.

Beginning Salary

Entry level positions normally require a bachelor's degree in chemistry, with advanced degrees necessary for some organisations and for further career development. The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia suggests that B.S. graduates in biochemistry, chemistry or pharmaceutical chemistry may expect starting salaries of between £26,000 and £39,000 upon graduation as of 2010.


As of May 2008, the median annual salary for chemists was £43,049. "The lowest 10 per cent earned less than £24,596, and the highest 10 per cent earned more than £73,502," reports the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those employed by the federal executive branch earned the highest average wage--$95,690--while chemists working for pharmaceutical manufacturers averaged compensation of £43,238 yearly.