For many people, getting a job in pharma is a dream. And while it is not beyond anyone’s reach, there are are a few things that can make it that bit easier, once you decide to make the leap and follow your goals in the pharma industry.


3rd level education

Of course, you will need to have a third level education. Chemical engineers should choose a college with an Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) accreditation. IChemE is a professional engineering institution with over 40,000 members around the world. This will help you become a chartered engineer – which is recognised globally. And with this there are also countless opportunities for career progression.


Grades: First Class Honours

Having a first class honours degree is something that will stand out on your CV for the rest of your days. Working hard throughout your course is vital to maintaining an average of over 70% – and while it might be difficult, the hard work will certainly pay off. Having said that, getting a first in your degree is not a golden ticket and you shouldn’t become complacent. Experience is also crucial!



Internships are a great way of ensuring you have some necessary experience, which is what employers are looking for a lot of the time. The best time to do these placements are during your studies. If you finish your degree already with some essential experience, you may be already one step ahead of your competition. And if you’re not one step ahead, at least you’ll know you’re not one step behind.


Acquire Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) environment experience

GMP is a system that ensures products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards. The regulations relate to record keeping, qualifications, sanitation, cleanliness and complaint handling. Because of its recognition, getting experience in a GMP environment would be priceless. Become an ISPE Member Becoming an ISPE member also has countless benefits. It is the largest not-for-profit pharma organisation and is seen as one of the best organizations to be engaged with in the pharma industry. There are many advantages – as a member you’ll join more than 18,000 of your professional peers from more than 90 countries. ISPE also has all of the technical knowledge and tools you need online.


Important skills

In the pharma industry, there are many important skills that you will need to work on. These include teamwork and organisational skills. It is not enough to just have these skills though – it is also important that you can demonstrate them to potential employers. So during your course or internship, be ready to take notes of how your organisational skills and teamwork lead to positive outcomes and results.


Be open to contract work

If you have no experience, then you need to be realistic and be open to contract work and temping. This might not seem ideal, but know that the clue is in the title – the jobs are temporary, and if you use them to acquire valuable experience in the right places, then it will be well worth it.