The pharmaceutical industry in Germany is one of the world’s leaders with its products and services. Pharma jobs in Germany are therefore not only interesting and meaningful, but also very well paid. How to get started? With a pharmacy degree or a pharma education?
What are the advantages of pharma jobs in Germany?
Jobs in the pharmaceutical sector have various advantages compared to other industries. For example, there are usually good job prospects in the pharmaceutical industry, as the industry is important and growing and is always looking for qualified employees. Also, the pay in the pharmaceutical industry is usually higher than in many other industries.
Furthermore, a job in the pharmaceutical industry offers many opportunities for further education and training in order to expand one’s own skills and knowledge and to improve career opportunities.
In addition, there are many varied and interesting activities in the pharmaceutical industry that can take different forms, for example in the research and development of drugs, in the production of medicines, in quality assurance or in the sale of medicines.
Have you been dreaming of working in the pharmaceutical industry for a long time? Then a pharmaceutical degree could be just right for you! In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about studying.
The opportunity to participate in the design of health processes and thus contribute to improving the health of the population also makes a job in the pharmaceutical industry attractive.
Which course of study is recommended for pharma jobs in Germany?
Study of Pharmacy
If you want to work in a job in the pharmaceutical industry, a degree in pharmacy is usually recommended. A pharmaceutical degree is an academic study that deals with the science of pharmacy. This includes the development, manufacture and use of drugs as well as the investigation of active ingredients and their mechanisms of action. As part of the pharmaceutical studies, topics such as chemical and biological basics, drug development, pharmacological and clinical studies, formulation, quality assurance and health economics are covered.
The study of pharmacy in Germany lasts 6 years and leads to a state examination, the so-called “pharmaceutical examination”. This is a prerequisite for admission to the license to practice pharmacy in Germany. After passing the exam and completing several months of practical training in a pharmacy, pharmacists can practice their profession in Germany.
The aim of the pharmaceutical degree is to train graduates who are able to solve scientific and practical problems in the field of pharmacy, taking into account ethical and legal requirements. Graduates of the pharmaceutical degree are usually qualified for various fields of activity in the pharmaceutical industry, in public health administration or in academic research.
Alternatives to studying pharmacy
As an alternative to studying pharmacy, courses such as biology, chemistry, biochemistry or medicine could also provide a good foundation for a career in the pharmaceutical industry. However, these courses of study are usually not specifically geared towards the pharmaceutical industry and usually do not lead to a license to practice medicine as a pharmacist. After completing such courses, however, you could work as a research assistant in pharmaceutical research or in quality control in pharmaceutical production, for example.
After successfully completing your pharmacy studies, you have many career opportunities in pharma jobs in Germany. For example, you can work in drug research and development, in production, or in marketing and sales.
In order to be successful in in pharma jobs in Germany, in addition to a good scientific background, you should also have an interest in medical topics and be good at teamwork. The ability to think analytically and the willingness to continuously educate oneself are also important characteristics for a career in the pharmaceutical industry.
Universities with an offer for a pharmaceutical degree
In Germany, there are various universities that offer special pharmacy studies. Here is a list of universities in Germany offering pharmacy degree programs:
|University||Study Program and Type of Studies||Special Features of the University or Study Program|
|University of Hamburg (Germany)||Pharmacy, State Examination||Wide range of research topics and close collaboration with pharmaceutical companies|
|University of Salzburg (Austria)||Pharmacy, Diploma Program (Magisterstudium)||Focus on drug synthesis, analytics, and pharmacokinetics|
|University of Bern (Switzerland)||Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees||Strong emphasis on pharmaceutical research and innovation|
|University of Bonn (Germany)||Pharmacy, State Examination||Focus on drug development and safety|
|University of Vienna (Austria)||Drug Discovery and Development, Master’s Degree||Unique program combining pharmaceutical sciences and industry-oriented skills|
|University of Zurich (Switzerland)||Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees||Multidisciplinary approach with a strong emphasis on research|
|Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (Germany)||Pharmacy, State Examination||Focus on interdisciplinary pharmaceutical research and development|
|Johannes Kepler University Linz (Austria)||Pharmaceutical Technology and Biotechnology, Master’s Degree||Emphasis on cutting-edge technologies and biopharmaceuticals|
|University of Lausanne (Switzerland)||Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees||Collaboration with the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics for computational drug discovery|
|Technical University of Braunschweig (Germany)||Pharmacy, State Examination||Focus on innovative drug development and biopharmacy|
|Freie Universität Berlin (Germany)||Pharmacy, State Examination||Focus on interdisciplinary research and teaching|
|University of Vienna (Austria)||Pharmacy, Diploma Program (Magisterstudium)||Emphasis on pharmaceutical biotechnology and drug development|
|ETH Zurich (Switzerland)||Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees||Strong focus on research and innovative drug development|
|Goethe University Frankfurt (Germany)||Pharmacy, State Examination||Modern labs and close collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry|
|University of Innsbruck (Austria)||Pharmacy, Diploma Program (Magisterstudium)||Specialization in clinical pharmacy and drug safety|
|University of Basel (Switzerland)||Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees||Interdisciplinary approach and strong industry partnerships|
|Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Germany)||Pharmacy, State Examination||Research-intensive university with renowned professors and international focus|
|University of Graz (Austria)||Pharmacy, Diploma Program (Magisterstudium)||Emphasis on pharmaceutical technology and drug discovery|
|University of Geneva (Switzerland)||Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees||Bilingual education (French and English) and strong research focus|
|University of Tübingen (Germany)||Pharmacy, State Examination||Traditional university with a focus on research and practice in clinical pharmacy|
These courses are Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes. The exact duration and structure of pharmacy studies can vary from university to university, but it usually takes six to eight semesters and includes both practical and theoretical content. During their studies, students learn, among other things, about the development, manufacture and effect of drugs, the use of drugs in therapy and the pharmaceutical consultation of patients.
A pharmaceutical degree not only offers you a solid education in an exciting and promising field, but also excellent career opportunities. Whether as a researcher, developer or manager – with a degree in pharmaceutical studies, you have many doors open.
Is there also a dual course of study that qualifies you for pharmaceutical jobs?
An example of a dual course of study in the pharmaceutical industry is the study to become a “state-approved pharmacist (dual study)”. This course lasts 7 years and combines the study of pharmacy with an in-company training in a pharmacy. After successfully completing their studies and practical training, graduates receive their license to practice pharmacy in Germany and can practice their profession.
Questions and answers on pharma jobs in Germany
What types of pharma jobs are available in Germany?
There are a wide variety of pharma jobs available in Germany, including positions in research and development, manufacturing, quality assurance and control, regulatory affairs, clinical trials, marketing, sales, and pharmacovigilance.
What qualifications are required for a career in the pharmaceutical industry in Germany?
The qualifications required vary depending on the specific job. A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in pharmacy, chemistry, biology, biochemistry, or a related field is typically required for research, development, and manufacturing roles. Additional qualifications or certifications may be required for specialized roles such as regulatory affairs or clinical trials.
Do I need to speak German to work in the pharmaceutical industry in Germany?
While knowledge of the German language is not always mandatory, it can be a significant advantage when seeking employment in the pharmaceutical industry in Germany. Many companies prefer candidates who are fluent in German as well as English to ensure effective communication within the organization and with regulatory authorities.
Are there opportunities for career growth in pharma jobs in Germany?
Yes, Germany’s pharmaceutical industry is well-established and offers ample opportunities for career growth and development. Employees can advance in their roles through continued education, certification programs, and on-the-job experience.
What is the average salary for pharma jobs in Germany?
Salaries in the pharmaceutical industry in Germany can vary widely depending on the role, experience, and qualifications. Entry-level positions typically start at around €40,000 per year, while more experienced professionals can earn upwards of €80,000 or more per year.
Is a work visa required for international candidates seeking pharma jobs in Germany?
Yes , international candidates who are not citizens of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) will require a work visa to be employed in Germany. The specific type of visa required depends on the candidate’s nationality, qualifications, and the job role. The German “Blue Card” is a popular option for highly skilled professionals in fields like the pharmaceutical industry.
How can I find pharma jobs openings in Germany?
Job openings in the pharmaceutical industry in Germany can be found on various platforms, including online job portals, company websites, professional networking sites like LinkedIn, and recruitment agencies specializing in the pharmaceutical sector. Attending industry conferences and events can also help to build connections and discover job opportunities.
Are there any prominent pharmaceutical companies based in Germany?
Germany is home to several leading global pharmaceutical companies, including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA, and Fresenius. There are also numerous small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups that contribute to the country’s thriving pharmaceutical industry.
There are also dual courses of study that deal with the production and quality assurance of medicines. An example of this is the degree course “Pharmaceutical Technologist (Dual Studies)”. This course combines the study of pharmaceutical technology with in-company training in a pharmaceutical company. After successfully completing their studies, graduates are able to develop, manufacture and control medicines.
A dual course of study offers the advantage that you already gain professional experience during your studies and are thus better prepared for pharma jobs in Germany. However, dual courses of study are usually tied to a permanent position in a company and there are only limited places. Therefore, it is important to apply for a study place at an early stage.
Can you get good pharma jobs with an apprenticeship?
Yes, it is possible that you will work in a profession in the pharmaceutical industry with an apprenticeship. In the pharmaceutical industry, there are various professions that can also be learned without studying.
An example of training in the pharmaceutical industry is training as a “pharmaceutical commercial employee (PCA)”. In this training you will learn how medicines are manufactured, controlled and sold. The PKA training lasts 3 years and can be completed in pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies or hospitals.
Another possibility is the training as a “pharmaceutical technical assistant (PTA)”. In this training you will learn how medicines are produced and controlled. The PTA training lasts 3 years and can be completed in pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies or hospitals.
In the study of pharmacy you will learn how to develop, produce and distribute medicines. You will receive a sound education in the fields of chemistry, biology and medicine. But important soft skills such as project management and teamwork are also taught.
After successfully completing your training, you can work in the pharmaceutical industry in various areas, for example in the production of medicines, quality assurance, pharmaceutical production or the sale of medicines. In the profession, there are then various professional development opportunities, which allow more career opportunities and a higher salary.
For example, after training as a PCA, you can complete further training as a “specialist pharmacist” and thus acquire the license to practice medicine as a pharmacist. There are also further training opportunities for PTAs, for example as a “state-certified pharmaceutical technical assistant (STA)”.
It is therefore possible to make a career in the pharmaceutical industry without studying, but the career opportunities and salary are usually higher if you have completed a degree. If you decide to do an apprenticeship, you should also think about further training opportunities to improve your career opportunities.