Industrial Pharmacy and Cosmetic Sciences

A career in industrial pharmacy and cosmetic science may involve developing new drugs that save lives or creating products that reduce the signs of aging. Read on to learn about education and licensing requirements for pharmacists and cosmetic scientists.

Are Industrial Pharmacy and Cosmetic Sciences for Me?

Career Overview

Industrial pharmacy and cosmetic sciences are related fields that are primarily concerned with producing new medicines and cosmetic products for consumers. As a pharmaceutical scientist, you might perform research, create new drugs or oversee the quality control process. Potential job titles include pharmaceutical or medicinal chemist.

Cosmetic scientists, also called cosmetic chemists, use their scientific skills to research, develop and test new cosmetics, perfumes and toiletries for the industry. Potential employers for pharmaceutical and cosmetic scientists include drug companies, government agencies or universities.

Employment and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that employment of chemists would increase 6% between 2012 and 2022. Job opportunities for pharmacists were anticipated to grow 14% during the same decade. As of May 2013, chemists earned a median yearly salary of $72,350. At that same time, the median annual salary for a pharmacist was $119,280 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Industrial Pharmacy and Cosmetic Sciences?

Educational Requirements

A bachelor's degree in chemistry or another relevant major may help you qualify for an entry-level job as a chemist; many research positions require a master's or doctoral degree. Some pharmaceutical companies favor experienced chemists with a doctoral degree when hiring personnel to oversee research teams. A bachelor's degree in pharmaceutical science can serve as a gateway into the industry. Earning a graduate degree in the same field of study might help your chances for promotion, as well as prepare you for a position in academia.

Master's Degree Programs

Degree programs in industrial pharmacy and cosmetic sciences are usually found at the graduate level and may lead to a master's degree in pharmaceutical sciences or pharmaceutics with a concentration in industrial pharmacy. Course topics may include the study of pharmaceutical analysis and dosage, product development and processes, pharmacokinetics and physical chemistry. As a qualified graduate, you may find work in research and development, quality control or manufacturing.

Completion of a master's degree program in cosmetic science or pharmaceutics (concentration in cosmetic science) may qualify you for a career as a fragrance chemist. Core coursework might include topics in biochemistry, skin anatomy, physical pharmacy and perfumes. The study of pharmaceutical analysis, dermatological formulas and hair chemistry might also be covered.

Doctoral Degree Programs

A Doctor of Pharmacy is the minimum educational requirement for working as a pharmacist and usually takes four years to complete. You'll also need a pharmacist's license. If you want to work in research, you'll most likely need an additional year or two of training. Doctoral degree programs specific to industrial pharmacy are also available, which can lead to teaching position at a university; you might also supervise a research team.

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