Pharmacological Sciences

Learn about careers in pharmacological sciences, including employment information. Read on for details about degree programs and concentration areas available in this field of study.

Are Pharmacological Sciences for Me?

Career Overview

Pharmacological science, also called simply pharmacology, is the study of drugs' effects on systems of the body. As a pharmacology student, you'll obtain knowledge of drug design, the structure of drug molecules, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics. With an educational background in pharmacological sciences, you may pursue a career as a medical scientist in a variety of settings, including colleges and universities, hospitals, labs and other research facilities. Your duties might involve clinical investigation, drug development, laboratory research and technical writing.

Employment Information

If you're interested in pursuing a job related to pharmacological sciences, you can expect average job prospects over the next several years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of medical scientists is expected to grow by about 13% from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reports that medical scientists who worked in the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry earned median annual pay of $92,940 in 2012.

How Can I Work in Pharmacological Sciences?

Education

If you decide to pursue pharmacological sciences, you'll engage in broad, interdisciplinary scientific studies. You might enroll in molecular physiology, medicinal chemistry, cell biology, cell physiology, molecular biology and biochemistry courses to obtain a well-rounded science background. Through pharmacology classes, you'll explore physiological and molecular aspects of drug action, discovery and synthesis. You might take courses in chemotherapeutic, endocrine, neurochemical or behavioral pharmacology. Research projects and laboratory work can give you the opportunity to explore your specific interests within the pharmacological sciences and provide you with training for a future job.

Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in pharmacological sciences are all widely available. A bachelor's degree might prepare you for entry-level employment. Graduate programs can allow you to focus on a specific area of the pharmacological sciences, such as molecular pharmacology, cellular pharmacology or medical pharmacology. You might also study toxicology in conjunction with pharmacology. With a graduate degree, you'll be qualified for a career as a leading pharmacological scientist, researcher and innovator. Having a doctoral degree will afford you much better job prospects, according to the BLS.

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