Pharmacologists are a group of medical scientists with a deep knowledge of mathematics, biology, human anatomy and chemistry, and the complex interactions that drugs have on different types of people. Pharmacologists often complete a PharmD or a PhD. These professionals are different from pharmacists, who fill prescriptions and advise patients on the way in which to take medication. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the mean earned annual wages for medical scientists, which include pharmacologists, were $90,160, as of May 2014. This calculates to more than $43 a hour, with the states of Idaho, Kansas and Connecticut paying the highest, according to the BLS.
Is there job growth in the field?
Job growth for medical scientists is expected to reach 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, shows the BLS. This is job growth that is about as fast as average for all occupations in the U.S., and could result in more than 13,000 new jobs becoming available, the BLS says. Increased reliance on medications, an aging Baby Boomer population and expanded research into diseases like AIDS and cancer should help drive the need for pharmacologists, according to the BLS.
What room is there for advancement?
Pharmacology can be divided into a number of specialties including behavioral, cardiovascular, clinical, endocrine, toxicology and many others, according to the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET). Pharmacologists typically continue to be involved in research after completing an advanced degree, and may be able to work in a niche field based on their areas of interest. The BLS reports that the need for pharmacologists should remain great since they are involved in finding the treatments essential to improving people's health.
- About Pharmacology, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, no date. http://www.aspet.org/knowledge/what-is-pharmacology/
- Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/medical-scientists.htm
- Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes191042.htm