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Occupational Profile

Pharmacologist

Pharmacologists are biomedical scientists who investigate the mechanisms underlying the effects of drugs and chemicals on living systems. They use this knowledge to help design and evaluate drugs for the prevention and treatment of disease.

Also Known As

Biological Scientist, Research Scientist

Employment and Advancement

Occupational outlook is currently unavailable. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Pharmacologists are employed by:

  • provincial and federal governments
  • universities
  • research institutes
  • pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
  • health authorities
  • food processing companies
  • agricultural chemical companies.

Pharmacologists work closely with other science and health professionals to ensure that new products are as safe and effective as possible. Often pharmacologists work in an advisory role in activities related to the development, formulation, production and marketing of new drugs for clinical use.

Pharmacologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2121: Biologists and Related Scientists. In Alberta, 80% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Suitably qualified integrative pharmacologists at the M.Sc. and PhD levels are in high demand in the pharmaceutical industry. The ability to study drugs in vivo (for example, conduct pharmacokinetic and toxicology analyses) is a definite asset.

The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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