Pharmacogenomics is a new field of study that focuses on how a person’s genetic composition affects how they react to pharmaceuticals. It also encompasses the research and development of drugs that connect with the human genome. Pharmacogenomics experts can research a variety of subjects about how drugs interact with a person’s genetic makeup. A fantastic place to start looking into potential careers in genome editing, health research, and pharmaceutical development is by investigating the many roles in the pharmacogenomics sector.
In this post, we present a list of potential occupations in pharmacogenomics and go over each position’s duties and potential earnings.
What Are Pharmacogenomics Careers?
A pharmacogeneticist studies the relationship between human genes and medicinal therapies and seeks to improve the efficacy, minimize the negative effects, and tailor medications for individual patients according to their genetic makeup. Pharmacogenomics concentrates on a variety of physiological processes, including the composition of liver function and how they react with medications. Clinical studies and pharmaceutical treatment choices are made safer and more effective thanks to research in this area. Lead scientist and research assistant positions are available in this sector. You work with colleagues in these jobs to integrate genomics into clinical studies. As a professor, you can also assume an academic position where you instruct students in the discipline’s pertinent courses.
- A bachelor’s degree in pharmacogenetics, biological science, molecular medicine, genetics, clinical pharmacognosy, or a related discipline is often required for pharmacogeneticists.
- A Master’s degree might be pursued as well for enhanced employment prospects.
- Pharmacogenetics careers typically require a Ph.D. or professional degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Skills in Genetics
- Skills in ethics, society, and economics
- Working together with outside parties
- Incorporating genomics into the design process
- Critical reasoning
- Ability to solve difficult genetic puzzles
- Communication abilities
- Presentation abilities
- Excellent organizational abilities and strong attention to detail
- It is necessary to have the capacity to multitask, be versatile, and be adaptable in a fast-paced environment.
Role of Pharmacogenomics
A pharmacogenomics scientist relies on “customized medications,” which are a combination of genetics and pharmacology. The Pharmacogeneticist is committed to the study and development of customized medicine therapies that optimize the health advantages of pharmaceuticals by tailoring them to a patient’s biology. This is important because each individual responds to drugs differently depending on their unique genetic makeup.
As a Pharmacogenomics Scientist, you would be responsible for the following:
- Promoting the appropriate and routine application of pharmacogenomics screening.
- Providing interpretation of test data and scientific support for the return of findings to patients and healthcare providers in collaboration with other health service professionals, including physicians, laboratory experts, and genetic counselors.
- Adjusting pharmaceutical regimen based on results of pharmacogenomics tests.
- Teaching and supplying information on the clinical use of pharmacogenomics to patients, medical professionals, and the general population.
- Supporting and participating in research, consortiums, and networks that drive and hasten the implementation of pharmacogenomics to science.
- Answer pharmacogenomics questions from medical practitioners and offer pharmacogenomics counseling services to people via the phone, by mail, or in person.
- Give clinical pharmacy guidance on the creation of services and goods based on developments in the pharmacogenomics marketplace and regulatory policy.
- Deliver presentations and marketing/sales materials with your scientific competence.
- Participate in the creation of clinical decision assistance programs for medication management.
What to anticipate
- Although you’ll collaborate directly with genetic technologists, who are typically based in “wet” laboratories, in addition to bioinformaticians, physicians who specialize in genetics and genomics, and genetic counselors, your job is typically office-based or done in a “dry” lab.
- Even though you won’t spend much time with patients directly, your efforts will have a massive effect on them and their families.
- Most regions of the nation provide employment opportunities, mostly at medium-sized or big hospitals. However, there aren’t many positions available, so you might need to move to improve your prospects of advancing in your profession.
- You will need to live close to the job site while undergoing training. Make sure you are content to live there for three years by doing your study before applying. To complete your training, you will also need to commute to the institution, which may be far away.
- After receiving your certification, you might travel between hospital locations or to other pertinent locations for training, but you won’t likely have to stay away from home for extended periods.
15 pharmacogenomics careers
Listed below are 15 pharmacogenomics-related jobs:
1. Coordinator of clinical research
National average yearly salary: $39,711
Clinical research coordinators’ main responsibilities in a pharmacogenomics career include organizing academic, clinical, and scientific projects. They take care of the clerical and administrative tasks involved in carrying out investigations on genetics and pharmaceutical therapies in the field of pharmacogenomics. They find study volunteers, deliver consent forms, manage participant and scientist calendars, provide training, and manage the daily activities of the clinical study.
2. Laboratory technician
National average yearly salary: $51,726
Lab assistants in pharmacogenomics laboratories assist with the execution of tests and trials about gene therapy and pharmaceutical research. They are responsible for setting up laboratories, calibrating equipment, finishing safety checklists, and documenting data from studies. When analyzing clinical study data, lab workers search for patterns in the way a participant’s genetic background affects how well they respond to medication.
3. A genetics analyst
National average yearly salary: $65,156
Genetic data analysts’ main responsibilities are to examine sets of data from clinical studies, investigations, and patients to spot trends and decipher information concerning genetic abnormalities. They enter data into databases, track data, change the specifics to produce various data sets, and develop visual depictions of the data. Outliers are eliminated, conclusions regarding the statistical importance of the results are drawn, and data reports are created by genetic data analysts.
4. Research project manager
National average yearly salary: $68,215
Principal responsibilities of research project managers in the area of pharmacogenomics include organizing research projects, developing procedures for data collection, formulating research objectives, hiring researchers, identifying required technologies for the project, and choosing project methodology. Research project managers keep clients informed about the status of a study and the findings of their research through communication. Additionally, they might plan the release of their study and any press conferences revealing project outcomes.
5. Medical director
National average yearly salary: $71,968
Medical managers keep in touch with doctors, pharmaceutical researchers, and other influential figures in the medical field to gather data for the creation of medical technologies, goods, and therapies. They offer stakeholders strategic guidance on the development of various genetic therapies and treatments, educate salesmen about how to sell medical items, and synthesize research. Medical managers provide administrative support, deliver presentations at meetings and events, comment on policy, and represent pharmacogenetic firms.
6. Medical analyst
National average yearly salary: $71,355
Clinical analysts create systems and systems to manage patient and medical research results for evolutionary biologists and healthcare institutions. They create software systems, check information security protocols, install databases, and offer support for debugging to maximize the effectiveness of these systems. Clinical analysts evaluate how companies conduct their research operations and offer suggestions on how to boost output and enhance patient care.
7. Genetic sales advisor
National average yearly salary: $71,388
The main responsibilities of genetic sales consultants often referred to as molecular sales representatives, are to market biotechnology products to physicians and other medical providers. They discuss the advantages and disadvantages of pharmaceuticals and gene treatments. In addition to making sales calls and managing customer databases, genetic sales consultants travel to business expos, give samples, and negotiate deals.
8. Pharmaceutical sciences supervisor
National average yearly salary: $74,902 is the average yearly wage in the country.
Managers of pharmaceutical sciences are primarily responsible for monitoring the process of creating new medications. They oversee the development of pharmaceutical medicines that help with gene testing and can be used to cure genetic problems. They are responsible for setting deadlines, monitoring adherence to healthcare laws, recruiting researchers and scientists, analyzing trial data, and keeping records of medication development.
9. A molecular biologist
National average yearly salary: $79,410
Molecular biologists’ main responsibilities are to investigate human biology at the cellular level, including genetics, cell biology, and DNA. They look at cells, plan tests, and gather genetic material. Molecular biologists create theories on how to resolve genetic issues and enhance medical therapies at the molecular level by writing and publishing research papers to communicate their hypotheses and discoveries with other scientists.
10. Genetic counselor
National average yearly salary: $85,700
The main responsibilities of genetic counselors, a unique type of geneticist, are educating patients about their genetic background and assisting them in managing any potential repercussions of inherited disorders. Customers’ genetic samples are obtained, their DNA is examined, their family history is reviewed, and their risk of developing numerous hereditary diseases and disorders is assessed. Then, genetic counselors provide information on genetic testing, medical possibilities, and treatments for these disorders.
11. Field application scientist
National average yearly salary: $96,445
The main responsibilities of field application scientists are to train other researchers on how to employ specialized equipment in their research and to explain how lab equipment operates. They visit hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities to provide demonstrations, set up equipment, and address problems with biomedical items. They utilize genetic and pharmaceutical tools like centrifuges, DNA sequences, spectrometers, and electrophoresis devices.
12. A pharmacologist
National average yearly salary: $101,452
Pharmacologists’ main responsibilities include doing research on drugs to generate new ones, identifying drug interactions, and assessing how drugs impact patients. They describe the chemical composition of drugs and how the body metabolizes substances at various stages of digestion and absorption. Pharmacologists plan studies, assess the toxicity of substances, document the results, and report their findings to companies that make pharmaceuticals.
13. A clinical researcher
National average yearly salary: $104,420
Primary responsibilities: Clinical research scientists supervise trial groups, record outcomes, and report their results to the test administrator as part of their participation in medical trials and research. They may carry out tests alone or in collaboration with other scientists. They follow protocols, monitor participants’ vitals, give medications and therapies, and contrast their results with those of the control group.
14. A biostatistician
National average yearly salary: $114,046
Biostatisticians’ main responsibilities are processing data and information about living things. Pharmacogenomics is the study of genetic information and the metabolism of chemical molecules in the human body. Biostatisticians examine intricate data sets from the past, including historical information on sickness and birth rates across many cultures.
15. Manager of pharmacovigilance
National average yearly salary: $140,243
Pharmacovigilance managers are primarily responsible for ensuring security and compliance in the pharmaceutical research and development sector. They remain informed of the most recent rules and laws about the development, research, distribution, and advertising of drugs. They uphold strict guidelines throughout the research procedure to safeguard the well-being of volunteers trying out novel pharmacological therapies.
The NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) is a three-year, full-time program that combines work-based training and education with academic research at the Masters’s level to prepare participants to serve as pharmacogenomics scientists in the field of genomics. For the specializations in cancer genomics, clinical bioinformatics (genomics), and genomics, appropriate STP programs are available.
To be eligible to apply to the program, you must have a first- or second-class undergraduate degree, an integrated master’s degree, or a similar field that includes genetics, like molecular biology, human biology, microbiology, biochemistry, or cellular sciences. If you have a 2:2 bachelor’s degree in any field and a greater degree in a pertinent field, you may also apply.
All applicants should aim to demonstrate their research skills through a pertinent master’s or doctoral degree. It also helps to have strong academic performance and suitable professional experience.
Applications for the STP are submitted online through Oriel, which also serves as the application site for pre-registration training programs in pre-medical, pre-dental, global health, and healthcare science. Every year, recruitment occurs, typically around January. There is a limited application period, and incomplete applications will not be considered.
You must complete every step of the application procedure, which involves an online situational judgment exam (JST), an online application, and company interviews. On the Pearson VUE webpage, you can find sample JST questions.
Consider your research before applying to make sure it’s the proper specialty for you because you can only apply to one specialization. You should confirm that your specialization is open before applying because not all specializations are hired every year and rely on NHS needs.
If hired, you will receive a wage and a fixed-term contract with an NHS Trust (or, in certain situations, an NHS private partner or independent medical provider) as a trainee clinical scientist for the length of the training. Before focusing on one area of study in years two and three, the first year of training is spent rotating among a variety of venues.
Training consists of:
- A workplace training program
- A fully-funded, part-time program leading to a master’s degree in genetics sciences that is recognized and authorized.
- An evaluation of proficiency.
You may submit an internal candidate application to the STP if you currently work for the NHS.
You will get a Certificate of Completion for the Scientist Training Program (CCSTP) from the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS) upon successful completion of the STP, and you may then seek to be registered as a Pharmacogenomics scientist with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).
Visit the NSHCS website for all the information you need for the STP, including guidelines for applying and competition percentages for each specialty.
To learn more about training opportunities in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, visit:
- Wales – Health Promotion and Education Wales (HEIW)
- NHS Scotland – clinician scientist, life sciences
- A scientist with NI Direct Healthcare in Northern Ireland
Other paths to becoming a clinical scientist registered with the HCPC are provided through the:
- Certificate of Attainment from the Association of Clinical Scientists.
- Certificate of Equivalence from the Academy for Healthcare Science.
To earn a BSc (Hons) in Healthcare Science without previously holding a degree, you can enroll in the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) (Genetics Sciences). There are at least 50 weeks of in-house training in the NHS as part of the full-time (often three-year) courses.
You will be qualified to practice healthcare science after you graduate. You will be able to enroll with the HCPC as a biomedical scientist if your course has both HCPC and IBMS accreditation. If you have a 2:1 or higher, you can also apply for the STP.
There are significantly more applications than there are openings in the STP, which has a stringent admissions process. You must be knowledgeable about the program, the specialization you are applying to, and the tasks you will be performing.
A visit to the local genetics laboratory in your area before applying will help you increase your chances by giving you a better understanding of how a hospital laboratory operates. Additionally, make an effort to speak with program participants to learn more about how it feels to be an STP trainee to demonstrate that you comprehend the function and the commitment required. Another option is to look for temporary employment at a genetics lab.
Volunteering with patients, for instance, can be helpful because getting lab work can be challenging. To demonstrate your breadth of skills, it is beneficial to have a variety of life experiences. If you’re enrolled in a degree or master’s program that is relevant, you might be able to finish a placement as a requirement for your course.
You might need to look outside the box. For instance, participating in university societies, working a part-time job, or joining youth organizations might help you develop transferable skills like cooperation, communication, and goal setting.
Attend a specialty-specific open day if you have the opportunity to do so to learn more about the position and the STP program. Participation in research initiatives and publications counts as extra experience.
The majority of clinical scientists in the field of genomics work for the NHS and are stationed in the laboratories of sizable hospitals all over the UK. Some are employed by private hospitals and other specialized labs.
It’s also feasible to pursue a career in research and work for a university or an academic organization.
Additionally, there are certain employment prospects with governmental and non-departmental public organizations, including NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).
Search for open positions at:
- Association for Clinical Genomic Science (ACGS)
- British Society for Genetics Medicine (BSGM)
- Jobs for New Scientists
- NHS Jobs, NHSScotland Jobs, and Jobs.hscni.net are resources for jobs in England and Wales (to find job openings in Northern Ireland).
- For positions as STP trainees, Oriel and the NSHCS.
A crucial component of maintaining registration with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) is continued professional development (CPD). You need to improve your managerial abilities while staying current with advancements in your field of expertise.
Any activity that helps you learn and grow is considered CPD, and examples include:
- Extending your job through work-based training, like on-the-job training
- Professional endeavors, such as membership in a professional organization
- Self-directed education, including reading articles and academic papers
- Taking part in conferences seminars and workshops
- Publishing in journals with peer review
- Delivering papers and research at conventions
- Pursuing international work exchanges
- Conducting PhD-level research
- Submitting a grant application.
Joining the BSGM and ACGS is beneficial for connecting with other professionals, learning about events, and attending conferences.
You can apply to the Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) program to train for the position of consulting clinical scientist once you have experience (often at least one year after registration). This customized, five-year training course includes doctoral-level coursework in a genetics field. Additionally, FRCPath must be obtained by passing tests provided by The Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath).
The NSHCS issues a Certificate of Completion of Higher Specialist Scientist Training (CCHSST) to individuals who complete the HSST program.
Additionally, you can get a conventional Ph.D. and engage in research. You will need to have your work published in an appropriate journal and presented at conferences if you choose to advance into research or academic responsibilities within a university context.
Pharmacogenomics examines how a person’s genetic makeup influences how they react to drugs. The field’s objective is to assist clinicians in making the optimum medicine and dosage decisions for each patient’s particular requirements. Precision medicine, which strives to treat each patient uniquely, and pharmacogenomics are intertwined.
The potential for growth and career options in this area is fascinating. The discipline of pharmacogenomics is anticipated to expand by 10% over the following five years, based on the Pharmacogenomics Market Report.
Expanding Career Options
Students who get an MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences have a wide range of job options, including pharmacogenomics and customized healthcare. Alumni can anticipate being qualified for a range of leadership positions and prospects for career advancement.
Higher education opens up more chances, pays more, and comes with more responsibility, much like in other highly technical jobs. Since this industry is still developing, various persons will have varying entry requirements, albeit a degree in a similar discipline like genetics or pharmaceutics may be sufficient to launch or advance in a career.
Making a Career in Pharmacogenetics
A pharmacogeneticist typically requires a bachelor’s degree in biomedicine or a closely related discipline, in addition to a master’s degree in pharmacogenetics. One to two years might be spent on a master’s degree program, which also offers courses in clinical pharmacology and stratified medicine. It is anticipated that demand will rise for this branch of biomedical research at a rate similar to the national average for all professions. The U.S. population’s aging trend and the expanding pharmaceutical industry are mostly to blame for the rise in employment opportunities.
Even though the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists website claims that positions are accessible for those with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that pharmacogenetics careers often require a Ph.D. or professional degree. Higher education opens up more chances, pays more, and comes with more responsibility, just like it does in other highly specialized professions. Since this sector is so young, different people will have different experiences entering it. For others, a degree in a similar discipline like genetics or pharmaceutics will be sufficient to launch a career.
Pharmacogeneticists routinely produce significant discoveries, but because this area of study is so young, these findings typically reveal that the issue they are trying to solve is considerably more intricate than initially believed. Individuals who have a strong enough passion for human genetics and drug research can find work because there aren’t many obstacles to beginning a career in pharmacogenetics. Learn more about the educational requirements and several work opportunities in pharmacogenetics if you possess the analytical abilities necessary to solve challenging genetic issues.
Frequently Asked Questions on pharmacogenomics
- What is the salary of pharmacogenomics?
The median annual salary for a Pharmacogenomics in the US is $72,927 as of February 2, 2023. That comes out to about $35.06 an hour, in case you need a quick pay calculator. This amounts to $6,077 per month or $1,402 per week.
- How do I enter the field of pharmacogenomics?
A pharmacogeneticist typically requires a bachelor’s degree in biomedicine or a closely related discipline, as well as a master’s degree in pharmacogenetics. One to two years are often allotted for master’s degrees, which also cover additional fields of study such as clinical pharmacology and stratified medicine.
- Is the field of pharmacogenomics expanding?
Pharmacogenomics is a developing subject, and clinical studies are investigating new strategies. Pharmacogenomics will be utilized in the future to create custom medications to address various health issues, such as heart disease, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.