If you are studying a science related degree or if you are already working in this area, you could not have picked a better time. The pharmaceutical industry is one of the biggest and fastest growing industries in Ireland, not to mention science wages are on the rise.

In terms of starting salaries for permanent roles in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries, I have looked at the Cpl salary guide and other major recruitment agencies, specifically within Quality, R&D and Regulatory Affairs from 0 to 3 years of experience. If you’re unsure of what you should be getting paid or expecting to earn once you graduate here is a salary overview.

Entry level Pharmaceutical & Biopharmaceutical salary guide

  • Quality Control and Quality Assurance – €30,000- 35,000
  • Microbiologist – €30,000- 35,000
  • Process Chemists – €30,000-38,000
  • Biochemist/Biotechnologist – €35,000- 40,000
  • Analytical Chemist – €35,000-40,000
  • R&D Scientist – €40,000-45,000
  • Formulation Scientist – €40,000-60,000
  • Regulatory Affairs – from my experience in recruitment, the Regulatory Affairs area isn’t an easy field to get your foot into. It generally requires some previous experience within the pharmaceutical industry, so salaries tend to be on the higher end of €40,000

As with any type of industry, salaries go up the more experience you have. However, Biopharmaceutical companies are investing billions into facilities in Ireland so scientists within this industry are generally paid higher than within API or pharma platform companies.

6 out of 10 of the world’s top-selling drugs are produced in Ireland and 18 of the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies have substantial manufacturing operations here.

Some of the top pharmaceutical giants have also recently announced further expansion plans: MSD in Cork and Carlow, Shire in Dublin, Almac in Dundalk, Mallinckrodt in Dublin and Aerie Pharmaceuticals in Athlone to name a few!

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