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UK Skills Shortage Occupation 15 Pharmacologist


This is the fifteenth in a series of blogs that provide information on occupational roles that employers struggle to fill. In this article we take a look at the role of the pharmacologist.

In this series of blogs, we will be taking a look at skills shortages in the UK as published by, a leading international immigration consultancy firm. The occupations that we will cover in this series are listed as those where the skills shortage is such that employers struggle to fill the roles to such an extent that jobs on this list do not need to be advertised before they can be offered to a non-EEA (European Economic Area) immigrant.

There are regional differences in the skills and occupations where employers are experiencing shortages and throughout this series we will endeavour to provide information on where the greatest demand for the occupations and skills exist geographically.

What does a pharmacologist do?

It is important that we know that the drugs that we take are safe and that we understand any side effects. Pharmacologists work to find out how drugs work. They investigate how drugs interact with biological systems by conducting experiments.

Pharmacologists work within universities on research projects, in government laboratories, for charities, within the NHS on clinical trials and for large pharmaceutical companies.

The work of a pharmacologist includes research and experimentation, the results of which need to be analysed using technology, overseeing clinical trials, working with regulatory bodies, writing papers (getting published) and attending conferences and events both as a visitor and as an expert.

How do you get a job as a pharmacologist?

You’ll need a very good science degree (chemistry, toxicology, biochemistry, pharmacology etc.) and will probably want to complete a master’s degree and PhD too.

Other skills that you will need are:

  • Good data analysis and IT skills
  • Communication
  • Networking skills (for all those conferences)

Pay for pharmacologists

If you develop a career in academia you will probably earn less than you could in you worked in industry. You are also likely to get paid more if you have a PhD. Pay can differ significantly and will depend on your success in research and publishing papers as well as who you work for. Salaries can be anywhere between £25,000 to £80,000.See skills shortage occupation 16 See skills shortage occupation 14

About Lynette Daly

Lynette is the publishing editor of Moving On magazine. Moving On is devoted to helping young people make good choices for their future – education, qualifications and careers. Moving On really wants to motivate you! Our articles cover a range of topics to inspire and give ideas. Our magazines are delivered free to all schools, colleges and sixth forms in England and is also available online.

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